Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Declutter Your Shower!

Happy first day of spring! Here's a good, quick "shower declutter" plan.
1) Lay a towel on the counter or the floor. Take every item out of your shower, and lay it all on the towel.

2) start consolidating and purging your products. Do you have several bottles of shampoo and body wash that are nearly empty? Or has that bottle of face wash that you don't really like and therefore haven't used for the past three months just been sitting there? Consolidate all your gels into one bottle. Use this mixture to refill your refillable soap pump. 
(As long as you don't get a clear soap pump, it doesn't matter if the colors of the gels look ugly together, and so what if it's a mix of fragrances?)

  • throw away any teeny slivers of soap and any gunked-up razors
  • assess your sponge, washcloth or loofah -  is is falling apart? 

         Growing mold? It might be time to toss that out and get a new
3) Assess your shower curtain-liner. Is is shredded, moldy, stained and gross? If it's the type that you can wash in the machine, you might want to do that now. It might be time to replace it with a fresh one. If it's in good shape then you just need a spritz of cleaner and a rinse! 

4) if you have toys in the shower stall/tub, assess the toys. Dry them off. Are there any that your kids don't even play with any longer? Get rid of those. Go grab a large Ziplock gallon-size bag from the kitchen and put several of the remaining toys in there and stash them under the sink. You don't need THAT MANY TOYS living right there in the tub! 

5) Now that your shower is completely empty, it's a lot easier to clean it! I have a quick two-step process that I love:

(First, put on your cleaning gloves. It really is the best thing you can do to protect your skin and your jewelry.)

  • Step 1 -  Toss water around onto the shower walls. Spray surfaces with Method bathroom cleaner. This stuff smells good, like eucalyptus-mint. It's supposedly a better-for-you and better for the environment cleaning product. Let it sit a few minutes, then wipe the walls from the top down with the spongy side of a cleaning sponge. Rinse the walls... the nice thing about using a natural/safe cleanser that smells good is that if you don't rinse perfectly, it's okay that there's some cleaner lingering.
  • Step 2 - Lightly sprinkle Bon Ami powder cleanser onto the bottom of the tub, where you have remaining water + cleanser (Bon Ami doesn't smell like anything, and it's made from ground feldspar and limestone to create its grittiness. Moonstone is a feldspar!).Scrub around in circular motions in the Bon Ami/Method/water mix with the abrasive side of your sponge. Rinse. 

Okay, there is a step 3, sort of. Go get a fan and set it up so that it will aim into the shower. Air out the now-clean shower stall for a good long time. This keeps stuff from growing in there. Dry it out! 

Some people would say this is half-assed or it's not "really clean" after this fairly mild two-step process. The skeptics are not happy until their nostril hairs are burning from the smell of the bleach, their hands are reddened and chapped, and oh! an accent diamond just fell out of their ring! Here's the thing: if you have moldy grout, you need to re-grout. If you have those sliding shower doors that collect tons of hard water mineral and mildew and other gunk, take those down, patch the holes left behind (they typically attach with just a few screws!) and paint the patch with some repair paint that matches the color of your tub/tile. Then put up a tension shower curtain rod and a curtain and liner (you can do the repairs, a rod and the linens for under $50). If your hardware is deteriorating and rusted, you need to replace that hardware. Bleach and harsh chemicals and your bulging biceps aren't going to help. Home maintenance is another post, but for now, take a good hard look at your shower and get de-cluttering. 

Two Rules of Cleaning and De-Cluttering:

Have compassion for yourself!

It's okay if it's disgusting in there. Today's a new day and you are starting anew today. Wearing gloves is part of having compassion for yourself. Don't punish your skin or your manicure because you let your shower get dirty. Yes, you really do deserve to wear gloves. You are worth it! 

80% Perfection!
It's hard for perfectionists-- everything is so disappointing, most of the time, and perfectionists are toughest on themselves. Don't aim for "perfection". In fact, try to erase that word from your vocabulary! Can't let go of perfection? Aim for 80% perfection! It doesn't have to be perfect-- it will be cleaner when you finish than when you start, and that's great. Try on this attitude and I guarantee your house will be cleaner in a month than it's ever been. 

xo Dani Wendy

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