I just love having the right tool for the right job around the house. I’ve shared some of my favorites before, but here are just a few more.
What a simple joy it is to have the things you need to keep your home in tip-top shape, and to have those things be lovely items that are enjoyable to use and that make you feel happy when you see them around your house. Having the right tools around you can really change your whole outlook on taking care of your home. I found that things feel so much less complicated when I’m not struggling to make something actually work or rushing to stash the cleaning tools away as quickly as possible because they’re just so ugly. A little while ago I shared a little list of my favorite cleaning tools, but I realized I had more that absolutely needed to be added to that list, so here’s the second instalment.
My Favorite Housekeeping Tools That Are Actually Life-Changing
Wood Dish Brush | Not that these work any better than a regular plastic dish brush, but they look so much better while they’re doing it, and afterwards when you leave them on the side of your sink. Just like with the glass spray bottles, they actually make your home look cleaner and more beautiful when you leave them out.
A Toothbrush | The world’s most satisfying cleaning tool. Use it around faucets, on the knobs of your stove, and basically for any other tiny corner or seem where dirt and grime can collect. You can absolutely use a beautiful wood toothbrush for this too, it doesn’t have to be an ugly old plastic one.
A Lint Roller | Not just for clothing. Use it on lampshades, upholstered headboards, and curtains to easily remove dust and pet fur.
A Long-Handled Exterior Window Cleaner | What a difference clean windows make. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of dust and wind, this makes it so easy to give your windows a quick wipe after a big storm without having to make an appointment with a window cleaning company.
A Long-Handled Shower Cleaner | These just make cleaning tubs and showers less painful and awkward, so that you’ll actually do it. The tub still gets clean without you having to hunch over and I hear these are amazing for people with back problems as well.
Pressure Washer | Of course, the outdoor uses are pretty much endless from cleaning concrete patios and pool decks, to keeping vinyl siding looking fresh and new. Our favorite use for ours is on our all-weather patio furniture in the spring to remove all the dirt that has blown off the fields onto our porches during the winter and the spring planting seasons. So satisfying.
Fancy All-Purpose Cleaner | When you turn every mundane clean-up and wipe-down into a little luxury, the cleaning just seems to happen a little more often and it’s just a tiny bit more enjoyable too. I like to try different ones to test out different seasonal scents. If they happen to come in a beautiful bottle, that’s great, but if not they can easily be poured into a clear glass bottle.
Good Quality Fly Swatter | I’ve resisted owning a fly swatter because they’re just so ugly and gross, but then I came across this one. Love the perforated leather and it really does make it quicker and easier to keep flys under control when they show up in the house compared to the rolled up newspaper we were using before.
Beautiful Laundry Baskets | This has been a favorite trick of mine since forever. If your laundry baskets are a beautiful natural wicker instead of utilitarian plastic, you can leave them out – empty or full – and they look just so charming instead of cluttery. They make your home look cleaner because it looks like you’re in the middle of a day of cleaning and laundry. Somehow a left-out plastic laundry basket full of unfolded laundry just doesn’t have the same effect and looks more neglected than anything.
Black Tea Towels | For some reason, white has become the standard tea towel color over the years, but black tea towels make life so much simpler because you can use them on anything and they never look stained. You just toss them in the wash and they come out looking great. The bonus is that you can keep them for longer without needing to replace them because they always look fresh. We all know that tea towels just get better and better over time the more you wash them, so you end up with the most soft, absorbent tea towels eventually.
Consistent Basket Choices | Baskets are a clutter busting tool everyone needs around the house, but when you have brightly coloured and patterned bins and baskets everywhere around your house, they can actually add to the visual clutter instead of fix it. If you use beautiful baskets in only one or two different styles, you’ll be able to easily move them around and use them wherever you need them, while keeping your house looking tidy and your design calm and cohesive. I use a darker seagrass type basket in quite a few places, as well as a lot of natural water hyacinth baskets. The great thing about these styles is that they pretty much look the same, no matter where you buy them, so they always work together.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.