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The Method Behind My Cleaning Madness

As most of you know we’ve been slowly settling into our new home (I know, I know, it’s been one HELL of a process), it literally feels like we’ve been hauling and organizing stuff for YEARS! Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean! As most of you know I’m a tiny bit of a CLEAN FREAK and since we’ve waited so long to finally be in our new home I’m even more crazy about keeping it clean so I’ve sort of nailed this routine down to a science. I will admit here that no, we don’t do it all on our own (SHOUT OUT TO THOSE OF YOU WHO DO!!!!), I honestly just don’t have the time to stay on top of it as much as I would like to … both Justin and I travel and work so much!! The two of us do keep up on our daily chores and keep the house clean but we brought on a little help (Superwoman, if you will) to help us maintain our investment. It’s REALLY important for us to keep the house in good shape so the ol’ gal doesn’t weather too quickly. This was a BIG debate in our household, but ultimately we decided to bank that time back into our family time or extra work time and that was worth the expense for US (everyone is different)!

Anyway … I had this idea of moving into this brand new sparkly home and it just being so perfect and clean and just gleaming! LOL!! Good one, right?! With our yard not being done (and Nacho taking FULL advantage of his doggy door) and contractors still in and out, there’s dirt in places I didn’t even know dirt could get. LOL. So I got an email from the team at Swiffer (thanks for sponsoring today’s blog!) and they asked if I wanted to try a couple of their products out … what’s that saying? “Give a man a hammer and everything becomes a nail” … welp … “Give a clean freak a Swiffer sweeper and everything looks like dirt” … LOL!

So, I’ve given both the Swiffer Sweeper and the 360 Duster a few goes and so far so good! I especially love the wet/dry sweeper for nachos footprints prints every morning because instead of having to haul out the mop every time he sees a squirrel or needs to pee (how small IS a dog’s bladder anyway?!?! The size of a pea?!?!) I can just give it a quick wipe … and again the next time he comes in … and again after that … lol.

Anyway, the whole point of this blog is to fully admit that I’m a clean freak (I’m one of those people who clean before the cleaner comes!! And funny enough … I was RUNNING around the laundry room BEFORE this photoshoot like the old lady on speed from Something about Mary trying to clean and organize … LOL! I know … it’s a problem) and I also LOVE to organize… and while at first, I thought I was a little crazy with this mentality I thought there HAVE to be people out there like me!! And for those of you who are baffled by my ways … I want you to know that there is a method to the madness … and I’m going to share it with you! LOL

Jillian Harris Cleaning Hacks Swiffer

1. Purge: One of the things I love MOST about moving is it’s the prime opportunity to PURGE!! I take some time to purge as I’m packing up and then I do it AGAIN as I’m unpacking. If I unpack something and I realized I haven’t used it in a couple of years, I will donate it because I don’t want to hold on to any unnecessary clutter!!

Pro Tip: Before you unpack, go around to all of your drawers and cupboards with a roll of painters tape and label where you want specific items to go. That way when you unpack you know exactly where you want everything!

Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home

2. Schedule: I’ve mentioned this before in some of my previous blogs but I LOVE to schedule EVERYTHING including cleaning!! I use the notes app on my iPhone for my cleaning checklist and clean with the best hepa vacuum that allow me to clean faster, I can easily assign chores to either myself or Justin (Yes, Leo … this is what you have to look forward to … LOL!) and as you complete them you can literally check them off and they disappear from your list BUT they also reoccur every single week!! You REALLY thought you could get out of chores that easily?? Not in this household!!

Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home

3. Organize: I am a little bit of an organizational FREAK … lol! I like to have a place for everything! Baskets, bins and storage containers are my best friends!! I like to separate the items in my drawer items with containers … basically “hide” (for lack of a better work) random odds and ends in baskets! It’s the PERFECT way to keep your home looking neat and tidy! Nacho even has his own little drawer that’s separated into his bow ties (yes … he has bow ties … they’re for special occasions, okay?? LOL!), his medications, treats, food, nail clippers, you name it, it has a “home”.

Pro Tip: Make your cleaning cabinet CUTE (yes, cute, lol!) and loaded with products that get you excited for cleaning invest in some new rags and cleaning supplies and that get you amped! Not amped?? See tip below.

Pro Pro Tip: A glass of rose ALWAYS makes cleaning fun. 

Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home
Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home
Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home
Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home

4. One Step at a Time: Sometimes I like to tackle too many things at once and what I call “organized chaos” Justin considers it to be more like “little bombs” scattered around the house … lol! I’ve learned over the years that while I want to pound an espresso and DO ALL THE THINGS, I have to focus on one room and take it one step at a time. Slow and steady wins the race, right?? (Tell that to my espresso machine … lol) …

Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home
Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home

5. 15 Minutes a Day: Yup, 15 mins a day keeps the dust away. LOL. Seriously though, if you can get into the habit of cleaning for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening every day, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can get done and how much easier it is to stay on top of things! I mean, it’s pretty handy to quickly grab the Swiffer Sweeper for the floors and the Swiffer 360 Duster for all of those damn little dust bunnies that like to hide in every damn corner! Where do these come from anyway?!

Jillian Harris Swiffer Tips to Cleaning a New Home

photo credit

Ok ladies … (and gents!!) … PLEASE share your cleaning hacks with me below! I’m ALWAYS looking for a new way to tackle things around here!



Thank you Swiffer for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.

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  1. Do you have a secret for cleaning walls? I find anything I’ve tried leaves steaks or marks where I can tell where I wiped. Thanks!

    1. washing walls
      1 cup gallon hot water
      1/4 cup baking soda
      1 cup amonia
      1/2 cup vinegar
      Just wipe your walls, no rinsing.

  2. This is just a comment on the swiffer… or should I say a warning?
    I loved the convenience of it, as you mentioned, but our experience ended under a negative tone unfortunately. It left a sort of “cloudy” layer on our floor. And then footprints smudged into that…. it looked horrible.
    Major elbow grease and specific direction of scrubbing got rid of it for the most part, but just a heads up!

  3. Thanks for the tips Jillian! Every couple of weeks when I finish a master clean of the house I put together my go to recipe in the cock pot over night to freshen the air. I mix together 1/2 cup baking soda, water & my favorite essential oil of the season. Leave the crock pot on high over night with the lid off. When you wake up in the morning all the smells of the house have been pulled ou from the baking soda and the oils freshen the air. It even tackles those annoying smells from pets or composting. I found this on pinterest and I think tis my most used DIY hack. Try it out!

  4. Love this room!! So organized!
    Dying to know where your cabinet knobs are from? The big gold circle ones 😀

  5. I love that you are a clean freak. I feel better knowing someone else speaks my language! My house is organized, clean and I swifter daily. I have three children, two girls 12 and 17 and one son 12. They all pitch in and help. I hate clutter and I love to purge. No matter how tired I am at the end of the day I make sure the house is neat and tidy, clutter free, clean and then I can relax. I love to putter and I am proud of my home. Thank you for sharing your life and all your quirks. I have never emailed a celebrity but I totally get you and I feel like we would be great friends. Okay, that sounded creepy but I think you know what I mean. You really put yourself out there and that is amazing. I can’t wait to watch the next episode and I am sad there are only a few episodes. PS I love the bangs!

  6. This is going to sound like an advertisement, but it’s totally not…Invest in Norwex EnviroCloths, you’ll save time, money and the environment by using only water -reducing landfill waste (hi Swiffer), eliminating chemicals in waterways and protecting your family’s health as you cut down on dust and reduce chemicals in your home.

  7. Sing it! I’m a neat freak just like you and yes! Schedules and being organized are key! We purged a lot with our recent move too. I do the full house vacuum and scrub floors once a week (but do spot treatments on the hardwood and tile when needed. I find bathrooms can be stretched out to once every 2 weeks. LOL but I’ve “trained” my husband and kids to keep things tidy. Haha or maybe they just don’t want to deal with my OCD… hmmm

    1. Amanda,

      I too was wondering about reoccurring lists on Wunderlist. I found that the feature isn’t on the phone app but if you have it sync to your computer the feature is on the computer version. There is a calendar at the top of your list and you can set it up to give a reoccurring alert.

      1. Thank you very much Kristina :). My boyfriend has it on his PC because he uses it for work too, so I will take a look there.


  8. Thank you very much for all of those tips!!! They should be really helpful!! Especially the 15 minutes a Day one :). We use Wunderlist for our grocery checklist as well and we LOVE it!!! I didn’t know that the items on the list reoccur every week!! How do you set that up? 🙂

    Thank you again for all of the helpful information!

    Amanda Panda

  9. If you have space between the tops of your cupboards and the ceiling, line the tops with paper towels. It gets greasy up there! Just remove the dirty paper towels and lay down clean ones – no cleaning involved!

  10. Thank you for these tips! I love the 15 minutes a day trick! We use this in our house too! Not going to lie, sometimes it’s 10! Haha! Okay! I have to ask – how do you keep Nacho’s hair from literally flying and being all over the place?! We have two boxers, Baxter and Bambino and unfortunately, their hair is EVERYWHERE! I am by no means a “clean freak” but I do like to keep a clean house since we have a toddler running around! I’ve used the Swiffer before but I can’t for the life of me keep the hair on the Swiffer pad?! Maybe I need to do it twice?! That way it’ll catch more hairs! Also, what do you recommend for kid/puppy safe products/brands? I’ve been loving Melaleuca and The Honest Company, curious to see what you use? Xo – Ashley

  11. I am sick and cleaning makes my whole body ache to the core so taking in your 15 min morning night might work. Pacing is everything when u have fibromyalgia. A tip for you is in cleaning a REALLY burnt pot! You know the kind where you think maybe it would be better just to start again and get a new one right?! Well all you have to do is take a dryer sheet and leave it to soak in the pot overnight and the next day you can just wipe it clean! Seriously ! Easy peasy! Hope that’s a new tip for you, not that I’m wishing for you to burn a pot but hey…you’re a busy woman and Justin might burn something lol!

  12. Love your shows- Love It or List It & Jillian & Justin. Leo is adorable.!! In one of the comments a lady asked about a cleaner that does not leave streaks. I was a professional house cleaner for 26 years (plus doctor offices). What works best is Spray Nine from Canadian Tire. This is the only cleaner I use after years of trail & error. It removes grease on all surfaces, cleans everything in the bathroom, does kitchen everything, doesn’t leave streaks & kills 99.9% of most germs, especially nasty ones. The only thing not to use it on is glass. If glass windows are really dirty use Ammonia in hot water, it doesn’ leave streaks either. Just be sure to have really good ventilation inside. Spray Nine comes in spray bottles & jugs for refill. Pencil or black marks on floors or walls or counter tops come off easily. Just spray directly on the mark(s) with a wet cloth positioned underneath mark, then wipe. Or pour some in a bucket of hot water & wash whatever needs cleaning. And a little trick for doing walls: use a sponge floor mop, then keep it for walls only. I am a mom of 4 & grandmother of 10, always something to clean!

  13. Hi Jillian & Team! I’m also a huge neat freak and love to organize. Typically spend 15 minutes at the end of the day to tidy everything up and get organized. I also try to implement the ‘two minute rule’ – if it takes less than two minutes to complete, aka put that item away, then do it that moment. Staying on top of little things avoids large messes being built up. I also love using clear containers and labels from Dollarama to separate everything and see exactly what is in each container. Happy cleaning everyone!

  14. I love that 1) you are a clean freak and 2) you don’t feel bad about outsourcing some cleaning help! I love a clean home, but I just don’t have time to do it all myself! My husband and I recently made the decision to outsource some of our bigger cleaner chores (for example, the carpet cleaners will be here on Saturday and the local neighbor boy does our yard every Sunday). I feel so much better not stressing about all of it, and we can afford it, so why not? However, some of my family found out and has been kind of shaming me about it, saying that I can’t be a good housewife/mother/etc. My motto is to each their own, but I am relieved to see someone else like me!
    Sorry, this turned into a rant on cleaning help and not really about the post, haha!

  15. li love your blog!! I have found that using a broom to clean up
    The pups fur that she’s into the floor works wonders and when the pups come home from the oh so dusty dog park you should see how dirty the floors get in just 2 days. I was using a sponge mop but it didn’t clean the floors very well so I bought an actual mop and it works wonders(vileda mop). I also use arm & hammer vacuum booster to fwy pet hair and dirt off the rugs and it works so well that I can lay on the rug and roll on it, the best thing is the one I buy smells like spring meadows which is an added bonus!

  16. Love this! I am a complete clean/ tidy freak. Also me and my husband are professional athletes so coming in and out of the house a lot. My husband thinks I am totally insane cleaning all the time like I do BUT there is nothing more satisfying than enjoying your glass of wine in the evening in a spotless house 😉

          1. Yes!! I’ll be sharing all of these details in my upcoming home tour blogs!! Stay tuned!! XO

    1. Hi Jill!
      I am obsessed with your laundry room floors. Would you mind sharing where you sourced them and what they are called. They are beautiful and would look great in my master bathroom. Thank you in adavance:)

    2. Hi! just wondering where your beautiful tile floors are from and what they are called.

      Thank you,

  17. You need to try the Thieves Household cleaner from Young Living. It is all natural, non-toxic and smells amazing. And it works like a hot damn! I mix different dilutions for different tasks. Love it. Game changer.

  18. hi Jill – where did you get the pull-down shade that covers your window in these pictures? I need to replace mine in the kitchen but the dimensions are off and I might need to order a custom one :-/

  19. Hello from Toronto! Nice to see I am not the only clean freak! I love your blog it is full of loads of interesting and helpful information. Thanks for the tip on Norwex, I did invest in lots of products and now going to have a home party and share the news!

    Jillian when are you coming back to Toronto, I know you were here for Home to win, but we would love you to do a meet and greet so we can tell you what big fans we are here! Maybe you could do Love it or List it here, I would sign up in a second for a chance for you to make over my home.

  20. Gorgeous!

    I know your countertops are Caesarstone, but can you tell me what colour they are?!


  21. Hi! Love all your work and I’m in love with this room! Where is the tile from if you don’t mind me asking? I’m going to be doing a kitchen reno and would love to use something like them! thanks 🙂 <3

  22. I am beyond in love with the Cement Tile….. I have called them and they only ship from the States $$$
    Are there any suppliers in Ontario Canada? I am building and really want to add these to our home.
    Thanks for your help.

  23. Hi Jillian! I love this room. It’s the inspiration for our master bathroom. We are using the cement tile atlas for the floors and I’m thinking about your subway wall tile for our shower walls – could you share the name and brand of the tiles you used for the walls? Thanks!

  24. In your article titled , “ The method behind my cleaning madness” , published June 28, 2017 you show a wonderful laundry room. Any idea what the paint color is for those cabinets? They are a love,ly light blue green color. I would be thrilled if you would share the color.. Thank you. Great article by the way!

  25. Can you PLEASE tell me what color your cabinets are? My husband wants that color and only that color for our laundry room makeover lol
    Thanks so much!

  26. I love this color! I’m figuring it will change in different lighting though. Do you have any photos in different lighting?

  27. I have a hard time keeping organized when I have 4 more people and 4 animals creating a mess every time I turn around. I am DYING to find out what the paint color of your laundry cabinets are. I have tried. to find a similar color in both Benjamin Moore or Sherwin williams. Please email me. I beg you.

  28. Could you let me know the brand and color of the blue you painted you cabinets in the laundry room.
    Thank you


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