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My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession

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My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession #BonaHealthyHome #ad
All righty, Blog Friends, today I am coming clean, so to speak, about cleaning and sharing real life photos of where we’re living. I hate cleaning. With a passion. And I’m no good at it. It’s one of the top three biggest sources of stress and arguments and fighting with my family, so apparently I have passed my hatred right on down to my kids. No one wants to help. And we’ve had a pretty good mess going on for quite some time in the barn house we’re temporarily living in (for almost two years now) while we build our passive house.

I’ve been pretty stressed out the last few weeks: the end of the year homeschooling just won’t quit;  my barn-home was getting dirtier and dirtier; blogging deadlines kept looming; and the college class I teach came to an end for the semester which meant final grading and calculating. My husband finally asked how he could help and I told him to hire a professional to come clean our home. I told him it would be the best Mother’s Day gift ever. And you know what? He did it!

For two days, I had the most fantastic cleaner ever on the job. She cleaned things I don’t even want to admit were dirty. It was AH-MAZING! After she left, I felt some of the stress just slide off my shoulders and was thrilled with my newly cleaned spaces. Because here is my reality and it’s not pretty or inspiring:

My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession

My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession #BonaHealthyHome #ad barn kitchen

There is some shame in admitting I need help. I mean, come on. I stay at home. I should be able to keep my house clean, right? It’s not like we live in the 3,200 sq ft passive house we’re building. Yet. I only have about 1,000 sq ft to clean upstairs and the nasty shop of a kitchen downstairs {pictured above}. After overwintering rabbits and starting chickens in the shop-kitchen, it was time for some major attention downstairs and upstairs too.

My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession #BonaHealhtyHome #ad outside the barn apartment

I know most people have got it together and live in shiny, clean homes, right? I know, because I see it all over facebook and Pinterest! But some of us bloggers often don’t share reality at all, instead showing only pin-worthy pictures of our homes on our blogs. I’m sure some of the bloggers actually do live in nice clean spaces, but others might simply move the clutter out of the way for the photo shoots and then move it right on back when they’re done. {Don’t as me how I know this.} But above you will see the little landing area that is just outside the entrance to our upstairs barn apartment. It’s a mess. All the time.

But anyway I digress, and back to my experience with a professional cleaner. While I loved coming home to a nicely clean space, there was one thing I did not like. That clean smell that was left behind. You know the one. The toxic one. The one that makes me a little ill to smell. She used all of her own cleaners, and they were not what I would have preferred.

#BonaHealthyHome #ad My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession

When I clean, which I’ve admitted isn’t very often, I use non-toxic stuff – vinegar & water, baking soda & lemon juice, and Bona Free & Simple® Hardwood Floor cleaner.  I love non-toxic cleaners, but no one cleaner works perfectly for every job. Did you know that over time vinegar can damage the finish on hardwood floors making them appear dull and lack luster? That’s why I’ve been using Bona on my floor for years and I’ve got blog posts from 2011 to prove it!  All of these non-toxic cleaners work very well, but with my nasty build-up of grime and dirt, I did not ask that she switch. And I regretted that when I smelled that sweet clean smell after she was done.

My Dirty Little Home Cleaning Confession #BonaHealthyHome #ad

We’re lucky not to have asthma or many allergies here, but May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and the cleaners you use can help or hinder. Conventional cleaners are a large source of indoor air pollution, and not only as they clean, but the off-gassing while they’re stored in your home might even be worse! Now that everything around my barn home is cleaner, I will hand my new home cleaner non-toxic supplies to use when she comes back. Oh yes! I totally plan on having her come back. I need all the help I can get. And when we move into our new house, she will be there from day one, helping me keep it clean from the beginning.

Many thanks to Bona for encouraging me to admit that my home is less than perfect and share pictures with you of the reality. I hope this post can encourage you to do two things. One, get help if you  need it – no mom guilt or shame needed. And two, make a switch to at least one non-toxic cleaner. Bona recently launched a brand new formula — Bona Free & Simple® Hardwood Floor cleaner that’s certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and removes at least 93.33% of allergens from hard surface floors. For the time being, they are offering a $3 off coupon to encourage you to make the switch!

So, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts. What do you think about green cleaning supplies, Bona Free & Simple, and living a messy life?

For more posts on non-toxic cleaning and real life, read these posts:

DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash

Homemade Laundry Soap

Decrease Toxins with 4 Frugal Cleaning Ingredients

Do You Know What’s in YOUR Cleaning Products

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankAlly's Sweet & Savory Eats says

    Kudos to you for keeping it real Michelle! And I love your barn house. Just sayin’. I’m like you and use the vinegar/water method most. Although, I will save my orange peels and make it orange scented, so it’s not so “vinegary”. If that is a word!

  2. blankKelli @ The Sustainable Couple says

    You finally shared these pics! So proud of you, girl 🙂 Speaking of all-natural cleansers, I am big on the vinegar-water combo. I also used this Thieves cleaner (kinda pricey!) that I LOVE and leaves a cinnamon scent from cinnamon essential oil. Even that took some getting used to, and it wasn’t even toxic.

  3. blankDee says

    Not many homes are spotless all the time. After many years of struggling with this issue I am convinced that 99% of us do not know how to clean properly. We use the wrong products, tools and technique. Think about it, how do the services do it all so well in less time. These service people are trained. I’m surprised someone hasn’t fill this need…..teach us how to clean and do it well and fast. Or if anyone knows of such a site please share it.
    On using green products I think there are good choices and there is a lot of hype too. And some commercial products are still needed. The commercial ‘green products’ are a great marketing success…..for the manufactor and the middle man.
    Good luck with your house cleaner and it’s so much easier to keep it up when we start really clean.

  4. blankCamille says

    Cleaning is not my friend. Other people’s homes or offices? I can keep those clean and organized. Not sure why my house is different. You’re not alone! I’ve never heard of Bona, but I will definitely take a look! We have bad allergies and asthma and really old wood floors in this rental. I’d like to see how this works! Great post, thanks of sharing! 🙂

  5. blankDiane says

    Michelle this post is so awesome. I homeschooled five kids and did year round barn projects too. Not easy to keep a place tidy and sparkling with people and pets (we had lots of those too!) constantly in the way and distracting and messing everything up again! Non-toxic cleaners are definitely the way to go. When I think about all the toxins my family was exposed to growing up by ME! Cleaning to provide a healthy home. Lol. Life is so ironic!

  6. blankJennifer A says

    Thanks for being open and honest. Too often we see pictures of perfect homes with beautiful kitchens, but they never look lived in. The challenge is to find a balance and a way to have a home where the clutter isn’t overwhelming, but also where the cleaning is manageable.

  7. blankMorgan McLean says

    I appreciate that you are honest. Why are you ashamed of your need for help? Believe me, I can understand you perfectly. That’s not a shame, after all, you are a mother. You don’t have a day off, mothers work 24/7.Thank you for that article. I admire you.

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