Windows Wide Open

I have shared on how I keep my children’s toys organized (by spending 15 minutes a day picking up). 

There’s more to keeping my home clean than toys. I have three children. All three sleep in diapers at night. I have two dogs, a husky/malamute mix and a lab mix. I also have one {Foster} cat. 

The very worst part isn’t even all that when it comes to cleaning my home. That is all weekly cleaning. A quick vacuuming every few days. Mopping once a week (realistically every ten days). Laundry one-two days. All manageable. 

The worst part is that we live on the base of a mountain where almost 20,000 people pass us at least every morning and every night to live their daily lives. There are only homes, schools, and churches on this mountain. Every grocery trip, beach going, work headed car passes us. The worst part is our backyard backs up to the one road for those 20,000. 

The very best thing about our single wall home is that we have no air conditioning. You read that right. We have no temptation to lock up our windows and run the air. We get Hawaiian breezes day in and day out. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. It took adjusting, but we live in a beautiful, breezy spot and the weather is always perfect. 
Except. For. Cleaning. It’s so hot cleaning here. With windows open all day every day, all that car exhaust flies it’s way into my home. First, the screens catch some. Then the blinds. And then all the nearby surfaces. Which means cleaning has to happen. And not all that light vacuuming and hanging laundry on the clothes line. Wall washing, window cleaning, surface scrubbing hot, hard work cleaning.


I dust when I get a spare minute, which, as you can guess is few and far between. And I just couldn’t keep up. I was scrubbing my blinds every few weeks. Wiping black film off of bookcases and tables. And the fans. Ohhhh do we have fans. Just. Covered.  It didn’t matter! It looked like I never wiped down anything.

Something has to change. I simply cannot keep this place live able and keep my kids entertained. I need a way to make the frequent clean ups faster. 

Then, I remembered. This very wonderful woman I met at our previous duty station. I caught her one day, mid chores, to drop off a book I had borrowed. She was cleaning her blinds with a tube sock up her arm.

I poked fun, but she taught me the cleaning hack that just changed my homemaking world. 

“Puppet show?” — I try to be funny.

“No! Getting ready to have my windows open for the summer!” 

Okay, not following. Which, she saw my face. 

“I clean my blinds with a sock..? I can grab both sides and wipe; the weave of the fabric is narrower than cloths. It picks up everything. Watch.”

And I did. Her little tube sock picked up allll the dirt. 

“But why the tube sock?”

“So the water doesn’t tickle down my arm!”

She had thought of everything. My nose tipped me off that she was using vinegar and water, so I asked and she informed me her solution was half vinegar and half water. 

“Why not dish soap?” 

“Because it leaves a film that needs to be wiped clean with just water. And if left, all the dirt still sticks to my blinds.”

Ok. I’m sold. Definitely the easiest way to clean your blinds, but let’s face it, who has time to do that all the time? I’d rather just close up the windows, right? 

“Do you do this often? You have quite the science going.”

“Nope, once at the beginning of summer, once at the end.”

“Don’t they get filthy a few weeks in..?”

Lo and behold. She held up STATIC GUARD! 

She just sprayed the screens (after vacuuming with a brush attachment) and sprayed the blinds (after the sock-vinegar-water and drying). And everything just comes right off. All summer long. She just wipes and goes on her merry way to the next, non-disruptive, quick and easy chore. 

At the time, we were far away from knowing Hawaii would be our next home, but I’m so thankful for her today. I’ve been working through my home, scrubbing for the last time, and happily using static guard to help the time between wiping grow! The best part? The static guard makes cleaning my fans a *breeze* 😏 just scrub (or vacuum) off the caked on dust, spray with static guard, and suddenly the dust upkeep dramatically decreased!

My parents also found some screens for us to try out that catch even finer particles and allergens! Once we try them, I’ll be sure to come back here and share!

What sort of cleaning tips have great homemakers shared with you? 

Coming up: 

Getting tough stains out of cloth diapers

I was organizing baby clothes all wrong

How my mom saved us money monthly