Bare Minimum Cleaning


I remember when my husband and I first looked at the model home before building ours and I said jokingly {but not really joking} that we would have to hire a cleaning lady because of all the tile. The main floor has a lot of it and then there are 4 bathrooms!

Un-Maintainable Standards

I had this idea that in order for the tile and grout to be truly clean, it needed to be washed on hands and knees with a scrub brush. {picture Cinderella scrubbing away}.


For the first three years we had a cleaning lady. It took me a while to find one who was willing to clean all that tile they way I wanted but I did. Alas, in order to be a stay-at-home mom, some things have to go. My cleaning lady retired when John was 6 months old and I didn’t replace her.

I missed my cleaning lady but found that I took great pleasure in a job well done and scrub brush in hand, washing my floor became something that gave me satisfaction. Weird, I know! I would put on my knee pads {a necessity if you are going to be on them on tile for an hour} and off I’d go.

Fast Forward to Fall of 2010. I’m pregnant, with a 2yo, 3yo and no energy whatsoever. I’m battling dark clouds, drowning and overwhelmed with the upkeep of my home according to my standards. I asked for help by hiring cleaning ladies. They came in for one long day, to put my home back in order and then they came on a regular basis for the rest of the year. The one thing about these ladies, as fabulous as they are, they do not wash floors on their hands and knees. But I was desperate and hired them anyway. I thought, “clean however you want – anything is better than what I’d been able to do”. That is when I recognized that I can not spend an hour+ on my knees with my scrub brush every time my children spill on the floor – it’s not realistic, nor is it necessary.

Maintainable Standards

Turns out, the cleaning ladies did a fantastic job with the floor and every thing else. I humbled myself and asked them how to clean my home, what products they used and have been thrilled with the results and the time saved!

Yes, I liked knowing that my floor was hand-scrubbed but did I notice the difference between my hand scrubbing job and their microfiber mop job that took a quarter of the time? No!

Do I need to deep clean my bathroom every day? No! A quick wipe down every day or so will suffice with a deep clean less frequently.

When I let go of my unrealistic, unnecessary standards, life got a lot sweeter. I constantly need the reminder that my beautiful calling is not all about housework, it’s about people; about my family! While I am not advocating “bare minimum” as a standard for life in general, it’s the cleaning rule I’m operating on right now, in this busy season of raising littles. It’s what works for me!

I encourage you today to evaluate your cleaning methods today. Is there a shortcut you could take where the results would be the same? How about frequency? Are you cleaning for the sake of cleaning or does it need to be done?

My Two New Friends:

image Vileda Flat Fibro Mop

image Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

I am just loving my new mop. It does a great job, saves me so much time and the microfiber heads are just tossed into the washing machine for a thorough clean. What a revelation.

What is your favorite cleaning product?


  1. Thanks for the tip on the flat fibro mop. I’ll look into one myself. Take good care of yourself. I’m excited for your new baby’s arrival! 🙂


  2. Yup, i remeber that scrub brush well LOL
    and and toby or AAron (when he started carwling) always kicked the bucket over LOL
    Glad you have some help, hope sunny skys come soon for you love ya!

  3. I have the same mop! It’s great. I don’t mop the floor very often though, it’s so time consuming and hard to keep my crawler away. 🙂 I also like my Norwex microfubre and window cloths. All you need is water for streak-free mirror/glass.
    Anything else is baking soda, vinegar, and an old toothbrush. 😉

  4. My favorite cleaning product is hydrogen peroxide, the regular drugstore strength. It kills germs, and its bubbling action gets gunk out of tight spaces like around drains and bases of faucets. I have 1950s Formica kitchen counters (yes, boomerang motif!) with a chrome strip along the edge, and it is just about impossible to scrub the edge of that strip–but let peroxide stand on it for 10 minutes, and all the dried orange juice and whatever dissolves and flakes off and can be wiped up. Peroxide is a lot safer than most cleaners, too.

    I’m glad you’ve found some sanity in your cleaning routine!

  5. I’m loving this post. I clean a few houses for friends. (And do a darn good job, I might add…) One of my “clients” commented to me once “My old housecleaner used to clean this tile floor on her hands and knees.” My response was something along the lines of “Really?” As I continued pushing the exact same red mop you show, smiling… I WILL pull out my scour pad for an occassional “gunk in the grout” that needs a little extra “push”. But the day I get on my hands and knees for the sake of a floor is the day I get a HUGE raise. LOL!

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