9 cheater indoor/outdoor cleaning tips… for busy people!

9 Cheater indoor : outdoor cleanup tips... for BUSY people! via Funky Junk Interiors

Should you EVER desire to hire help to spring clean up your house, please do not call me. Trust me, your money won’t be well spent.

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Cleaning is necessary, but I don’t do enough of it by a LONG shot. Out of pure choice mind you. If you hand me a blog assignment vs wiping down all the baseboards in the house, (I die at the thought) guess which I would choose?

Truth be told, we all detest mess. Some just make more excuses than others as to why they don’t clean. (hand raised)

So! Knowing how pathetic I am with keeping up with things, I’m going to offer you some tips ideal for busy blogger types! Or for those that just don’t like cleaning, period.

Hold onto your clean dust rags! This is life changing stuff about to transpire here…




 Tip #1. Get a decent vacuum cleaner.

I fought with a crap happy duct taped variety for 20 years. I even landed some upright vaccums on the curb that were better than the one I used. But the curb ones died before my 20 year old. I still have that duct taped special for emergencies. But the day I allowed myself to by my Dyson, well… yes, the wallet grew emptier but for something that has to work this hard and be used daily, you need a good setup.

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Tip #2. GUT.


If you just move stuff around, that’s all you do. The ONLY way to clean a room is to gut. Then only put back what you want and put away the rest or toss it or what have you. Just don’t bring it back into your room.

My little trick is to put stuff that belongs downstairs, at the foot of the upstairs, so I have to virtually trip over it to get down again. That way I’ll remember. If I don’t land in the ER first.

I already gutted the garage HERE.


#3. One cleaning product. 


Once you try this stuff, you won’t be able to live without it. This is the Shaklee system. This Basic H2? It’s very concentrated. You put a couple drops in a squrit bottle, fill the rest with water, then you have  an all purpose cleaner for most ANYTHING.



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#4. Hire out help.


This is my back 40 boneyard area. The junk use to be piled nearly as high as the fence.

One day a real nice guy dropped off his card by my front doorstep, and I gasped as soon as I picked it up. I dialled his number before he had a chance to make it home I’m sure, begging him to come right back!


This is Chris with Evergreen Home and Garden Care, and he’s taking away all my bad junk. Man with trailer… yes, please.

The thing with Chris is, he works with a smile. He’s a super nice young dad kinda guy, and runs a family operated Home and Garden biz. I love supporting small biz and he’s my go to guy. He makes me happy because he’s happy and he’s happy because I called him. We both win!


If you are in the lower mainland BC Canada area, call Chris. Click here for Evergreen Home and Garden Care Facebook. But only after he thatches my lawn and also prunes my big trees, and caulks every window from the outside. I know! I’m so excited!


Imagine… I had time to take pictures but not do this work myself. Please don’t ask.

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Moving in day! Ok, well, this is overflow stuff. My pie in the sky plan is to outfit this area with a potting bench. After I fix and power wash that fence.

pressure washing

 #5. Pressure wash everything in sight.


Except the soil.

pressure washing

I ALWAYS look so forward to this time of year. The front of our house faces north, so it gets pretty green. We power wash twice a year to keep up with it and there’s just nothing like a fresh start.

pressure washing

That’s my boy! Nothing like paying him $ and the offer of a nice tall slushie for his efforts!

I really do love doing it, but it’s hard on me, which leaves my boy next in line.

pressure washing

There is no better way to clean your outdoors. We had to really crank the pressure up and move inch by inch to get this green off. And you are left with a spotless surface. If you don’t yet own a pressure washer, your life would change if you did.

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6. Get yard tools that work. For YOU.


I have a newish gas variety weed wacker thing, but I can’t get it to start. AAARRRGGG.

So I lucked out when friend Cyndi was getting rid of some garden tools. To not fight that gas pull, thank-you! So done with that. Our little yard does not need something that weighs 5000 lbs and strong enough to hack a full grown tree down, so this does just fine. And bonus… it starts!

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Not only that, we treated ourselves to a new lawnmower. Isn’t it pretty?! This is a self propelled, that cost us around $400. It’s just enough for us and yes, the self propelled was worth it!

We bought a cheap self propelled 2 years ago for half the price and by the time I mowed our yard once, the handle already jiggled loose. And it went all downhill from there. Spending a little more will hopefully land you a better return. And to not have to hunt for handle parts in the grass while you are attempting to beat the rainfall that’s already begun.

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Tip #7. Weed and prune early, before it has a chance to grow.


Oh goodness… if you yank weeds before they have a chance to get going full speed ahead, your job is 90% easier. Last year I waited until the weeds were grown half that window height. Do it early. Pruning too.


 Tip #8. Edge all your flower beds.


I’ve only begun the edging this season but here is one bed complete. Creating sharp new edges and mounding up your soil away from the edges gives your flowerbeds a true pro look.

How to edge flower beds in the garden Funky Junk Interiors

Edge flower beds.. like a pro! post is HERE

It was my #1 most popular post for 2012 and is yet a hit again this year. Because it really works!


Next up for the yard is power washing out back. Everything in sight will get hit including the entire little shed out back. Cannot wait!

Tip #9. Pressure wash the patio before you use the grill.


You’ll enjoy your experience more than we did…

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Categories: Gardening, Outdoors, Seasonal, Spring, Tools & Building, What To Get

18 thoughts on “9 cheater indoor/outdoor cleaning tips… for busy people!

  1. Oh Donna, I need to do a lot of cleaning because we are moving. And yet I am here looking at your blog, ha. Great tips, and I have got to get tough and get rid of stuff. Love the hiring idea. As I get older, the more I like to hire out. Someone else needs the money as you say, and I really don’t have the time or desire to do that kind of work. It all looks so clean, and fresh at your house. Back to work… I loading boxes today.

  2. Wow. What a great post. But most of all I LOVE the how to edge from last year. That is golden! Thanks for inspiring me. Your gardens are beautiful! I am getting some junk for my beds. I love that look.

  3. Great tips – all of them! I don’t like to clean either – much more fun stuff to do instead! But I love a clean house. We bought a rainbow sweeper years ago and I LOVE it and am so thankful we did it. I use the sweeper and hot water to clean most stuff in this house. Of course we have some cleaners for the bathrooms but not harsh chemicals on my hardwood floors thankyouverymuch 🙂 I want to try that H2 stuff too!

  4. This is great! I’ve just moved into a new house that actually has garden space in the back and a little patio. It’s time to buy a pressure washer, methinks!

    Have been using your tutorial to edge my garden borders, too. They’ve been neglected for years by the previous owner and it’s hard to tell what’s grass and what’s border… A quick edging has spruced them up big time!

  5. Great tips, think I will find a handy man like yours! I will have to go with hosing down the concrete and walkways, as I gave up on the pressure washer years ago, when I quit painting houses.

  6. Donna- It is looking so good at your house. I am waiting for some warm days to be able to just open the house up and air it out. Do you know we had a short snow blizzard yesterday? UGH…xo Diana

  7. I bought my husband a heavy duty power washer a number of years back and I love using it on the north side of our ‘siding’ home! We don’t have kids at home anymore so I do the pressure washing while he looks after heavier jobs. I also bought myself an old lawn mower, the kind with no motor (shoot, can’t remember what they’re called!) to use around the flower beds. Larry uses the riding lawnmower on the rest of the property, but I love my new/old one.
    Great idea hiring out for that tough work! And Oh how I’d love a Dyson! I get fed up dragging the hose for the central vac system.
    Sorry, long-winded here. Have a great, clean day! 🙂

  8. I’ve been using some of these tips already this spring as we get our home ready to be put up for sale! My favorite tip…hiring someone to do some of the things! That way, TWICE as many things get done in the same amount of time! Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! I’m also going to offer $$ to my son…sheesh..why didn’t I think of that! Thanks, girlfriend! xo

  9. You are such a busy girl and I am jealous, but then I am a 70 year old. It is going to look great. Love your blog.

  10. Donna: I love your edged flowerbeds, but I have a question. We have done this in the past, but how do you mow? Do you have to use a trimmer? When I have used my self propelled push mower, it always ends up slipping off the edge, and gouging or scalping the edging. Looks worse than if I had just left it alone.

  11. Oh! I’m so jealous! I live with a packrat that won’t hear of throwing anything out, so ‘spring cleaning’ is more like the ‘yearly battle of wills’…LOL

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