Cleaning Essentials to Make Quick Work of an Often Dreaded Chore

Apr 17, 2021 | DIY, Living Spaces | 16 comments

My go to cleaning essentials to streamline your house cleaning routine, so you can get back to the things you love.


Cleaning essentials 101

 A couple years ago, in an attempt to finally streamline my cleaning routine, I did a ton of research to find the right products to get the job done quickly and efficiently. I love a clean home, and believe it or not I prefer to do it myself, but over the years I have less and less time to allot to household chores. 

I can’t be the only 40+ person still trying to figure out the best way to get things done, right? Make a girl feel better and agree with me, k? So, assuming you’re in the same boat, I’m going to save you a ton of time and give you my holy grail of cleaning essentials.

Cleaning Essentials - caddy - spring cleaning

a little background

I must let you know that I prefer to keep things as green as possible. I also like to keep my waste to a minimum. So I choose products that work best for me. You can easily substitute for similar items that work best for you. Ain’t no shame!

two ways to make cleaning easier

I attack cleaning in two ways. First, I make sure I have what I need where I need it. So, in the bathrooms, I keep a few cleaning essentials under the sinks. These are just designed for quick touchups, not any sort of deep cleaning. My favorite items to keep on hand are

  • Clorox toilet wand and refills
  • Norwex window cloths
  • Paper towels
  • All-purpose cleaner

These items allow me to keep on top of everyday cleaning. But for the weekly/monthly/or however long cleaning (let’s be honest it doesn’t always happen regularly), that is meant to be a deep cleaning, I have a cleaning caddy well stocked with cleaning essentials to get the job done super fast!

Cleaning Essentials - caddy - spring cleaning

picking the right tools

As with anything, be it a home improvement project or everyday household chores, having the right “tools” makes all the difference. Without the tools to get the job done right, I would find myself wasting time. Time I didn’t have! These are my absolute must have cleaning essentials for my caddy. I lug my caddy from room to room and have all the tools I need readily available to deep clean any space.

*Please note: May contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting TNRH!

If you would like a nice, tidy little list for future reference, I created a handy-dandy one for you! You can get it below.

Cleaning Essentials - caddy - spring cleaning

The scrubbers

Cleaning Essentials - caddy - spring cleaning

The Dusters

  • Norwex Dusting Mitt: This is nice to have for quick dusting, but it’s a little big for my hand so I tend to use the EnviroCloths more
  • Lambs Wool Duster: I prefer the lambs wool duster becuase the shape  works really well for dusting my wood work and baseboards and saves my back from hunching over to clean these things. Microfiber dusters are a good option as well
  • Small Wisk Broom: This little broom is fabulous for brushing off furniture quickly with out lugging around the vacuum 
Cleaning Essentials - caddy - spring cleaning

The Cleaners

  • Heavy-Duty Degreaser: I use homemade, again use what you prefer
  • Air Freshener: I use a homemade recipe for a fresh clean scent without chemicals
  • Castile Soap: For cleaning things that need a little more than water and the cloths (ex. grout). I love the travel size for a variety of scents
  • Amber Spray Bottles: I use these for my homemade cleaners. If you prefer to purchase your cleaners, then you can buy bulk and refill these bottles
  • Squeegee: To clean off water from showers and to clean windows as needed.
  • Trash Bags: To clean up messes and empty trash cans as you go

Additional tools

A little advice from yours truly

I know some people like to do one task for the entire home and then move on to another. I have never been that person. I like to clean an entire space before moving on. This is why the caddy is so very helpful.

I’m sure this isn’t news to some of you…but I know for sure there are some of you that need to hear this…

Clean each space starting at the top

and work down to the bottom

I know, I know…you’re impressed with my deep thoughts. But if my kids and husband don’t know where to start, then maybe it’s safe to assume more people need to know this time saving tip. 

All-Time Best Cleaning Essentials

My process for cleaning a room

Let’s just break this down for you all real quick. Here are the basic order of tasks and the cleaning essentials I use to get the job done quickly.

  1. Dust everything, starting at the ceiling (think vents, and corners) and moving down to baseboards (including walls and art). Cleaning essential: Wool Duster
  2. Wipe down all surfaces. Cleaning essentials: Norwex EnviroCloth and Norwex Window Cloth
  3. Vacuum and mop last. Cleaning essentials: Stick vac, upright vacuum, mop or power mop
  4. Spray air freshner as you leave for a lovely fresh scent. Since I clean mostly with water and EnviroCloths, I like to do this one last step for a lovely and clean scent. Cleaning essentials: Air freshener

Well there you have it. If you’re like me and prefer to clean your own home, but need some fine tuning of how you get that done, then I hope these cleaning essentials and plan of action are helpful to you.

Now go out and get her done! “Happy” (-ish) Spring cleaning!







  1. Janet R Lorusso

    I love it! You’ve *almost* inspired a cleaning binge here, and that’s sayin’ something LOL. I’m going to check out some of these products, I hadn’t heard of Norwex before.

    • Amie Druehl

      Almost!!! HA! I know. Hence the dreaded aspect of the chore. You will love Norwex! Definitely check it out to “clean up” your cleaning routine!

  2. Jeri


    I don’t know if you’re mom brought you up right or you’re naturally brilliant, but this is fabulous either way!

    Just had a chat with one of my adult kids who is surprised by the number of people in her age group (35) who have NO CLUE about how to clean properly.

    Well done!

    • Amie Druehl

      LOL! I’m not sure I can give my mom any credit in this department…HA! I think it’s definitely a lost art.

  3. Anne DeCocco

    Oh – some nice new tips for cleaning! Who knew that was possible? I’m going to get a little wish broom to brush off furniture TODAY! Thanks for this post.

    • Amie Druehl

      I know tight?! I thought I knew how to clean, but not until I did some digging did I see that I could improve things and make life easier. Glad you got some tips you can use!

  4. Christie

    Great tips!! Can you share your recipe for your home-made cleaners (Heavy-Duty Cleaner and the Air Freshener)? Thanks!!!

    • Amie Druehl

      Absolutely! They are on the amber bottles in the pics! Let me know if you would prefer it written out and I will update the post. Thank you!

  5. Leslie Carothers

    I love the whole idea of *learning how to clean.* Although our home growing up was always spotless, my Mom and Dad had a housekeeper, and so I never learned exactly *how to* myself.

    Last year, during the worst of the pandemic, I stopped having my own housekeeper come, and had to relearn how to clean again myself.

    Now, today, although I really do enjoy cleaning, I once again leave the deep cleaning to a housekeeper that comes once a month. In between, I keep my kitchen spotless, and tidy up.

    I will be looking into your Norwex clothes for my spot cleaning in the *in between* times.

    Thanks, Amie.

    • Amie Druehl

      I can relate. My mom had a housekeeper as well. I have had one in the past, a few different times. I still prefer to do it myself. Do try the Norwex cloths. I think you will love them!

  6. Mary Ann Benoit

    Well, you have inspired me!! Now, I just need to do it! Thanks for all the great tips.

  7. Lisa A Peck

    I recently discovered Norwex and love their cloths for cleaning! I love your tips and have to admit I am still figuring it out in my 50’s

    • Amie Druehl

      I think there’s always room for improvement!

  8. Sheri Bruneau

    This is a GREAT list. I love my Norwex and essential oils to clean our home too.


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Hi there! I'm Amie.

I’m an interior decorator, blogger and enthusiastic DIYer.  I help turn uncertainty into confident curation, breaking through preconceived rules of design to create a home you will love.


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