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Spring Queening: The Bucket List

April 5, 2009


I like to have a cleaning kit, a great caddy or other container that fits all of my essentials and can easily be toted from room to room with little effort. It’s enough that I’m actually cleaning, I don’t want to have to haul a lot of crap around in the process. I also don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping for new things that need replacing or upgrading, so I’m sticking to two online stores—shopOrganic and The Container Store. Shop Organic has a phenomenal selection of eco-friendly cleaning supplies (and virtually everything else for squeaky green living!) and quick shipping, and I can order from TCS online and pick it up at the store near my office. (Not only do I get to earn frequent flier miles through AA’s shopping program, they’re also having a 25-percent off everything sale until April 13!)

Because this year’s spring cleaning marathon is something of a recommitment ceremony to my keeping a neat home, I’m restocking a new kit, based loosely upon Real Simple’s thorough cleaning supply checklist. I prefer an open container (of beer) over a more organized caddy, so to replace my trusty orange Home Depot bucket, I’m going for Casabella’s eclipse bucket. Its 2.5 gallon capacity makes it plenty big for holding bottles and accessories, and it’s also made of recycled soda bottles (yay!). It’s also green and pretty. I’m also considering the matching “cleaning system” which features a 30-percent recycled aluminum pole that fits three attachments—mop, broom and floor duster—that are all made from recycled soda bottles as well.

I started switching to more natural and eco-friendly cleaning products a few years ago, and I’m so excited there are so many great ones to choose from these days. I recently discovered shopOrganic on Twitter (@shopOrganic), and was amazed at the selection of well, absolutely freakin’ everything to completely green your world…and in bulk too! Natural, organic, vegan, kosher, raw…from toothpaste to tortillas. And plenty of great green cleaning supplies!

  • Howards Naturals Kitchen Cabinet Cleaner and Polish: Made with Brazilian carnauba wax to cut through oil-based kitchen grease, this will bring back the much-needed shine to my kitchen cabinets, which haven’t been touched since they were repainted far more than a year ago. And it’s lemongrass-lime scented!
  • Howards Naturals Wood Cleaner and Polish: Made with soybean, coconut and palm oils—with a natural sandalwood-tangerine scent—this will gently polish the bookcases and living room furniture my dad made for us years ago.
  • Bon Ami: This hard-to-find mild abrasive is chlorine-, fragrance- and dye-free and contains biodegradable detergent, making it a natural and effective cleaner for appliances, sinks and even cookware.My parents used to use this in their concession stand they had when I was growing up (don’t ask), so I know how well it works. The aftermath of making funnel cakes is nasty.

We’re at t-minus five days ’til the spring cleaning marathon begins. I’m hoping for nice open-window weather and maybe even a little sunlight. Tomorrow, the pre-decluttering begins after we finish the attic floor and can move some stuff upstairs. But that’s another story.

Next: The Final Countdown!

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