Do you know the book “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”? Let me break it down for you. The kid gives a mouse a cookie, the mouse eats the cookie and wants milk. Then once he drinks the milk, it occurs to him that he needs to do something else. Each thing reminds him he needs to do one more thing. So the story involves cutting his hair, cleaning, taking a nap, etc. Well anyway, that is the story of my life. I get one project, then see another, then see another–pretty soon, I am surrounded by a mess of projects.
Let’s take today, for instance. We come home from Costco and my husband and I agree he will tend to our yard and get the kids down while I handle putting away the groceries and clean the kitchen.
He returns from his tasks to see this:
I am pulling out my new lightbox and showing him everything fancy….all while dishes are still dirty and groceries aren’t put away.
His reply is, “Are you sure this is a good time for this? What about the cold groceries that we need to put away?”
To which I reply, “Yes, but before I put the milk in the fridge, I want to clean the shelves of the fridge because they are sticky. But we are out of our disinfectant wipes that we forgot to get more of at Costco, so I think I should make my own. And of course if I am going to make our own, I’m going to blog about it, so I need to set up the light box….”
I think I saw him roll his eyes with the eyes I have in the back of my head, but I continued to work.
So let me break these wipes down for you. It took 10 minutes TOPS. You might be thinking, “What’s the point of disinfectant wipes? Just use a towel and cleaning spray? Or use paper towels?” I thought the EXACT same thing. I saw people using Clorox disinfectant wipes and thought they were batt —- crazy (<–pardon my LANGUAGE!). It seemed wasteful and expensive. Come on lazy people, just grab a flippin’ bottle of cleaner and a towel and clean! But one of my favorite bloggers, Shawna from Styleberry Blog swore be her disinfectant wipes. Now she is someone who (1) helps the environment and her pocketbook by using cloth diapers (2) limits chemicals as much as possible, and (3) embodies the exact opposite of the word “lazy”. So when I heard that SHE was addicted to these wipes, I knew it must be good.
One day my husband bought a pack despite my years of protests. And so I obliged and tried them out. HOLY SMOKES these are amazing. Sprayers: you know how when you can’t get something off a counter you then just spray and let it sit for a little bit? Well these wipes are like having the towel sit with the spray on it…they get that crud right off! But man I didn’t want to keep forking over the money to buy more of these…despite being addicted. Plus I’d find it pretty hypocritical that while I was showing people how easy it is to use cloth diapers and not be wasteful, here I was filling my trash bin with 4-5 wipes every time I cleaned my kitchen.
So I had to find a way to get the benefits of these wipes, without spending a lot of money having to re-buy them over and over again.
I figured it out. And here’s my tutorial:
So I cut up some old flats that I had hanging around. A good housewife would sew up the edges so they don’t unravel, but “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” I think that flour sack towels would work better for this (those are those thin, white towels that you can get for cheap cheap at Walmart. I only had ones that my Grandma embroidered for me and there’s no way I’m cutting those…so flats it is).
So I cut them into small squares. You know, like it could fold in half and fit in the wipe container.
Then I filled an old wipes container with about 1/2 inch of water (yes, even some Cloth Diaper Bloggers like myself have a few of these hanging around. Actually, this is an old one from YEARS ago before we used cloth diapers.) I then added about 3 tablespoons of Method All Purpose Cleaner (I loooove the lavender one).
I then wrung them out a bit so they weren’t sopping wet (if you put too many in here, they could get mildewy over a few days. Vinegar could help with this process, but I plan to just replace this every few days, it’s so dang easy to do).
Cloth wipes are made like this too, for those who cloth diaper. Some people even fold the wipes a certain way so that you can pull them out of the special little opening on the top of the wipes container….my theory? “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So I skipped that step.
(Ok, so only 10 minutes passed and so I quickly wiped down my refrigerator shelves and put away the cold groceries…I promise!)
I put the container of wipes under the sink and next to it I hung a wet bag to store the used wipes (for those who don’t know what a wet bag is…it’s something cloth diaperers use to store dirty diapers so it traps in moisture and stink. You just throw the bag into the laundry machine when you clean the diapers).
Because I wanted to prove to my husband that I was NOT slacking off on putting away groceries, I put them away and got the kitchen sparkling. But there was one problem, one of my plants was dying. So I decided to take some shears and trim off the dead leaves. Poor guy looks pathetic now!
So anyway, the kitchen looked great, except our spice racks were just sitting there on the counter, waiting to be installed. I went to my husband, batted my eyelashes, and played damsel in distress, asking him to drill the spice racks into the wall, but he wanted to nap with my daughter (a tradition they do EVERY weekend).
Ha, after I just wrote that part I went in to check on them and YUP, weekend nappers:
So I installed the spice racks and stepped back in awe:
So here is what I have to say in defense of the mouse. Yes, you gave him a cookie, and yes, he then asked to do a bunch more stuff. But nevertheless, that little bugger cleaned up and got a whole lot done…