While I have plenty of respect for those who keep their houses neat and tidy, I have never been the type to do so. There is a never-ending pile of unfolded (but clean) laundry on our couch, and toys strewn about on the floors. A friend once told me that our house reminds her of a saying her parents instilled in her: “Keep your house clean enough to be healthy, but messy enough to be happy.”

While clutter often hangs around, I have no tolerance for things that might affect my family’s health, like shoes inside or mold and mildew in the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most important rooms to keep clean, and yet it is also my least favorite to tackle. Luckily, there are ways to stretch your cleaning routine and make it last even longer.

Straighten up


Keep the shower curtain stretched straight at all times. This will help to avoid mold or mildew buildup in the folds. Take it a step further and spray the bottom with bathroom cleaner periodically. Just remember to rinse it off before you shower again.

Treat the glass

Because shower doors are glass, you can treat them as such. Coat shower walls and doors with water repellent or glass sealant. The coating will help the water bead up and prevent hard water stains and grime buildup. Follow manufacturer instructions and don’t forget to test a small, inconspicuous area before applying.

Make it easy

Organize cabinets so that your regular-use items are easily accessible. Take the toilet paper out of the bags they come in, and stack them for easy access.


Keep items neatly tucked inside cabinets so that they are up and off the counters. Reducing clutter on the counters makes quick wipe downs easier later.

Stash wipes

Anticipate the need for quick-cleans, and keep items like window cleaning and disinfectant wipes at the ready. Cleaning spots soon after they occur helps reduce the chances of stains setting in and becoming more difficult to clean later. When you notice a toothpaste stain in the sink, you can easily wipe down it and the counter down in 30 seconds or less. Window wipes make cleaning the mirror more efficient by eliminating the multi-step process of getting out the spray and paper towels, spraying and then wiping.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.