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Housecleaning with iTunes Apps Giveaway

Pesach is coming up, which means that I have to flip the house, which is a fancy way of saying “spring cleaning when you’re also getting rid of all of the grains in your house.”  A long time ago, someone told me that once I had children, I would stop flipping my house.  Which has only made me more hardcore in my house flipping.  Scrubbing between the shower tiles with a toothbrush and bleach?  Check.  Taking apart the vacuum and cleaning out the vacuum parts?  Check and check.

A person does not need to get to this level of cleaning in order to get the house ready for Pesach, but I do love having a reason to clean this thoroughly, to get rid of the piles of paper and the bits of clutter and make the world feel orderly again.

The way I do it is that I declutter the weeks leading up to Pesach and do a semi-deep clean over a long period of time.  I’ll do the baseboards one day, clean out drawers another day.  I never clean for longer than an hour.  Then, once the house is completely decluttered and prepped after what I like to call the Slow Cleaning Phase (SCP), I do a two-hour Hardcore Cleaning Phase (HCP).  It’s like a slow stretch moving into a sprint.  Except the sprint isn’t taxing because I’m not trying to declutter and clean at the same time.  See, it’s just a little bit brilliant.

The other thing I do is leave a set of cleaning supplies in every room.  I go buy the four pack at Costco and open all four Clorox wipes containers at once.  That way, I don’t have to consciously set aside time to clean.  I just grab the wipes and start cleaning surfaces as I move into the room, and five minutes later, everything looks (at least surfacewise) better. I’m not just talking about in the spring — I do this all year long.  But it makes the SCP that much easier.

Can you tell that I’ve put waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much thought into my cleaning routine?

What are your cleaning tips?  Especially for keeping baseboards dust-free, but truly, everything else too.

In cleaning, I found paid apps that I haven’t downloaded and I am turning them over to you if you want them.  All I have to do is send you the download code (a string of numbers and letters) and you can go into iTunes and hit “redeem” (if you’re in the iTunes store, the redeem button is at the bottom of the screen).

So here is how this will work.  I’ve put a number next to the apps I have and linked them to their iTunes description page.  In a comment, leave the numbers of the ones you want (for example, 1 and 3) and if you’d take any of them, write “all.”  I’ll randomly pick the winners on Monday evening and send that person an email with the code.  Sound good?

  1. Tetris (you know, the game with the falling shapes and you have to line them up and… we all know Tetris, right?)
  2. Bejeweled (the gem game that everyone describes as addictive, but I can’t figure out)
  3. Chocolate Fix (one of my favourite games of all time)


1 Battynurse { 04.01.12 at 10:42 am }

Not really interested in the apps but oh how I wish I loved cleaning. Instead I loathe it. I do like the Clorox wipes for quick stuff as it doesn’t feel much like cleaning but worry they might make my cats sick if they get it on their feet and then lick. I do have on favorite discovery though. A friend told me about using a pumice stone to remove water stain rings in the toilet. I have no idea how the toilet I never use gets so ugly looking but the pumice stone will remove the nasty stains.

2 It Is What It Is { 04.01.12 at 10:42 am }

I have dark walnut hardwood floors that show all the dirt tracked in as well as smudges from the soles of bare feet. I have to vacuum (much more effective than sweeping) twice a week. And, even though the company that refinished them for me said to only wet mop them once/mo, that is simply not enough. My ‘cheat’ is to use my Swiffer but instead of using the wet mop cloths (which are expensive & leave streaks) I found an old cloth diaper that is just the right size and I dampen it & affix it to my Swiffer & go to town. Plain water & a cloth diaper do the trick easily & perfectly.

#3, please.

3 Mary { 04.01.12 at 10:50 am }

FlyLady has a one-hour crisis clean podcast which I’ll listen to to get motivated, but after that, I find I’m on a roll.

Oh, and 1 and 3. I already have 2. 🙂

4 Hope { 04.01.12 at 11:54 am }

Vinegar in a spray bottle instead of a brand “daily shower cleaner”. Works at least as well, possibly better. 🙂 Of course, there is the smell issue, so some people might not like it for that reason.

And number 1 please.

5 Tigger { 04.01.12 at 12:03 pm }

I am not a fan of cleaning, the reason being that it kicks my OCD into hyperdrive. When we lived in an apartment and it was just Aaron and I, I frenzy cleaned the house every Sunday before the boys came over to play. Then? We moved into a house with 2 other adults, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. My FIL doesn’t clean, and my MIL has RA and doesn’t clean. People, I found MOUSE POOP in the PANTRY! I cleaned for weeks getting the house straight when we moved in. I also got a cat!

After about 3 months of nonstop deep cleaning, I had to stop. Just…stop. Accept that I couldn’t keep up with 4 adults and 4 animals with little to no help AND keep my OCD under control AND keep myself from being in so much pain (from what would later be dx’d as fibromyalgia). Any time I’ve kicked into cleaning gear, I end up laying myself out for anywhere from a week to a month, depending on severity. (I once cleaned the yard for 3 hours in the same smallish patch and couldn’t walk for a week!)

Being down like that is no longer an option. Small children do not understand. So now…I don’t do it very often. I’ve been cleaning like a mad woman this past week because we have Cole’s 1st birthday coming up and there’s a possibility that there will be 15 adults and 4 children (including us and the child) in my house and it WILL BE CLEAN. I don’t really have a system – it really depends on what needs to be done in each room…and I have a tendency to clean sporadically (meaning, when I take something from one room to put it in another, I end up cleaning that second room a bit until I have to take something to a third room).

6 loribeth { 04.01.12 at 1:19 pm }

I get why you would want to keep up the tradition of cleaning for Passover, Mel. When my mom was working (in a school), she used to come visit me in March every year for spring break. And I would inevitably take a day or two off work before she came and clean house like crazy. Dh always asked, “Why are you so afraid of your mother?” (After all, she saw my room when I was a kid, lol.) I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t cleaning because I was afraid of her or what she’d think (well, maybe a little… ). The point for me was if you couldn’t get the house clean before your mother came, when WAS it going to be cleaned??

I generally do a once-a-week (Saturday) dust and polish (kitchen & bathroom) & dh vaccuums. It’s the other stuff, the deep cleaning & organizing, washing the windows & wiping off the tops of the kitchen cupboards and emptying out drawers & reorganizing the linen closet, etc., that I find hard to fit in & thus doesn’t seem get done often enough.

I don’t have a smartphone or iPad so you don’t need to enter me in the apps draw, but here’s a couple of tips. I agree with Hope that vinegar works wonders in lots of cleaning situations (baking soda too). I mop my floors with hot water & vinegar (I don’t mind the smell), and I use vinegar in the rinse in my laundry. And at the end of each cleaning session, I take a Clorox or Lysol wipe & go around the house & wipe down all the light switches, door knobs, phone handsets, remote controls, computer mice, etc. I do the same at my office every Monday morning when I get in — desk top, drawer pulls, telephone, computer mouse & keyboard. And since I started doing this, I haven’t had nearly the number of colds & sore throats & such that I once did. (Knocking wood.)

7 Crystal Theresa { 04.01.12 at 3:07 pm }

i like the idea of having wipes in every room!

I suck at cleaning… or rather I lack the motivation to clean. One cleaning tip I have is for getting burnt off crap off of pans and that’s boiling baking soda in them — works really great in removing the crud 🙂 Something else that my mom taught me is to use newspaper to clean class (vs cloth or paper towels); works great in preventing lint and getting rid of streaks.

I’d love #1 and #3.

8 Life { 04.01.12 at 3:22 pm }

I vacuum at least 3 times per week, kind of have to with 2 boys running around in the house. In the summer I probably vacuum every day, I HATE the sand they bring in from the sandbox! 🙂
I try to clean every room at least once every 10 days or so. The kitchen I do as I’m cooking…..
I try to keep things as clean as possible, so I try to vacuum and use the swiffer regularly….

I’d love 1 and 2

9 Leigh { 04.01.12 at 5:13 pm }

Wow, your cleaning routine has really inspired me to do some heavy spring cleaning of my own. The way my house looks, though, it might take me until summer to finish! 🙂

10 a { 04.01.12 at 5:14 pm }

Our cleaning strategy is to never let anyone wear shoes in the house. That keeps the floors surprisingly clean. I hate cleaning with the fiery passion of 1000 suns. But I also don’t like dirt much either. Sigh. I try to dust and vacuum and clean bathrooms weekly. Clutter sometimes builds up, but I try to keep it down.

I have no iStuff for the apps, so don’t enter me in the drawing, but how can you not figure out Bejewelled? It’s how I waste much of my time!

11 Chickenpig { 04.01.12 at 5:41 pm }

Cleaning tips? I wish I had some. I use a steam cleaner on my floors. It is better for the environment, is fast, and economical. Also, my kids like to do it 🙂 As cool as it is to remove dust, Clorox wipes aren’t the best option for an antique house like mine. I use holey or miss matched socks or T shirts with lemon oil. I keep bathroom cleaners in each bathroom. My shower upstairs is the biggest PITA ever, it sucks up a lot of time keeping it all shiny shiny and different cleaners. At least spraying it with a clean shower product stretches the time I have to spend between cleanings. I could spend 3X the time that I do cleaning my house and it still wouldn’t be perfectly clean, but it’s clean enough most of the time. That being said, I can’t wait until the weather warms up a little so I can open up the windows and do a really deep cleaning.

12 Chickenpig { 04.01.12 at 5:43 pm }

PS I already have more game apps than I have time to play, thanks to my boys, but my husband would love the Tetris one for his Ipod. 🙂

13 mikki { 04.01.12 at 8:02 pm }

I follow flylady. Or I used to. Now I am married with a stay at home husband who is a total slob. I want to move out because I can’t stand living in the pigstye I live in. Ideally I would get two townhouses and know a hole inbetween. It is one of our reoccurring fights and I am not sure how to solve it. Oh well.
I would love all of the games.

14 Kristin { 04.02.12 at 1:23 am }

I’m a really bad one to ask about cleaning tips right now. With Marty’s never ending migraine, my house looks like a hurricane hit.

But, I am interested in the giveaway. I’m interested in ALL.

15 Mina { 04.02.12 at 5:48 am }

Like ou, I try to keep things under control by doing regular decluttering/cleaning. Toys are always put back into their boxes in the evening, also a couple of times during the day (I hate tripping on megablocks and minicars, and it is a good exercise for George to get a hang of the learning to help stuff). I try to never leave a mess behind and put things back the minute I/we are done with them. Basic cleaning takes place once a week. I find it helpful to not do it all in one go (as I used to), but to do it in smaller chunks every day (this way George does not get bored and I don’t get wiped out and need ten days and a half to get back in shape). I dream of the day I am able to take out the toothbrush for a proper scrub again, but until then I focus on enjoying the other perks of my life. 🙂

And since you so generously offer, I would like any of the apps you mentioned. That is to say ALL. 🙂

16 Steadfast Warrior { 04.02.12 at 6:31 am }

Like Tigger, I can’t clean for too, too long because I also have fibromyalgia. Also, being 7000 kms from our family and not really having friends to come visit (or have room for much of a dinner party) means that so long as the place is clean enough for K to play on the floor, I’m happy. That being said, I often Skype with family and friends, and I treat it like company company. I usually tidy and vacuum before I call someone. 😛 But we’re also renting our flat and recently had an inspection. Half of my ‘spring cleaning’ is now done. The rest will, um, get there eventually…

17 Tiara { 04.02.12 at 9:34 am }

You mentioned in a previous post about keeping cleaning supplies in every room so that you can clean whenever & I loved this idea so very much that I went out & did the very smae thing…unfortunately I haven’t touched said cleaning supplies in 3 of the 5 rooms 🙁 so much for that motiviation.

I don’t need the apps but am pumped to learn that Tetris is available!!

18 Denver Laura { 04.02.12 at 10:50 am }


I follow flylady too. I printed out the sheets and added/changed a few chore items. I put each of them in a clear report folder for a 3 ring binder to I can mark them off with a dry erase marker. It feels good to see items come off the list. We’ve been a little slack now that we adopted but it was great motivation to have social workers visiting each month.

19 Liana { 04.02.12 at 10:52 am }

Just want to say that like Steadfast Warrior, I like to clean before we Skype….and my husband makes fun of me for it. Now I can tell him that I’m not the only one!

20 jodifur { 04.03.12 at 7:54 pm }

I was at a toy store today and I saw these games as board games? Did you know rush hour and chocolate fix are board games? I immediately thought of you.

21 Anat { 04.06.12 at 12:06 pm }

#2. Am I too late? I’m one of those Bejeweled addicted folks.

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