This morning my house was a mess. A big mess. On the verge of being condemned. You could probably have eaten off my floors - there was food there. It's not my fault. I blame everyone but myself.
Mostly, I blame our four legged children. We have 4 dogs. They bring in a load of dirt every time they enter the house. Thanks to my darling husband, they enter and exit the house about half a million times a day. We have cats. They are not quite as messy but thanks to them it looks like our furniture was upholstered in fur.
Today, the first day of Spring, was sunny and in the mid 70's here in Georgia. My hunky husband stayed out of my hair today and I was able to do a little Spring cleaning. I didn't finish everything, but I think I can safely leave the house now without praying, "Please God, don't let me die today, because if I do, friends will come to console my husband and they will all see my messy house and I would die of shame. Well, actually I'd be dead already, but you know what I mean."
Keeping a house clean with pets is a real challenge. I do what I can to make cleanup easier.
I vacuum as often as I can, but not as much as I should.
I slipcover everything! My slipcovers are all washable and I wash them as often as possible. I slipcover chairs, pillows, ottomans, porch furniture, office chairs... you name it. I've never had much luck with fur removing tools. But, the slipcovers come out wonderfully fur-free (or almost) after being washed and dried. Today, I washed all of my slipcovers. Now, if I kick the bucket, I could die in peace, knowing that any mourners who came over wearing black pants would not end up with a furry fanny after sitting in one of my chairs.
I have no wall-to-wall carpet. I have rugs - you can lift them up and get to the dirt that's underneath. I can turn them over and vacuum both sides. With dogs going in and out, there's no way to get all the dirt vacuumed up from wall-to wall carpet. Some dirt will work it's way through. We got rid of the wall-to-wall in our previous house a few years ago and when we pulled it up, I swear, it looked like a beach under the padding. Now I know I don't vacuum as often as I should, but I'm not a complete pig. Today, I pulled up most of our rugs and cleaned under everything.
I then used my Haan steamer. I love that thing! I don't use traditional cleaners. I am sensitive to chemicals. I have found that most everything can be cleaned with vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, cream of tartar, or steam. There is something about steam cleaning my floors that makes me feel good. The Haan cleaner comes with pads that attach to the bottom. You just throw them in the washing machine after each use.
If you want to learn more about cleaning without toxins, I highly recommend these books - Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond and Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan.