I never intended to do product reviews on my website. I became an affiliate for products I already loved, but I did not like the idea of committing to writing about something before I ever used it. How often do you see scathing product reviews? Never. The disclaimers always state their opinions are their own, yet somehow they are always positive. Lately, I have seen some reviews of a special brush that I will leave unnamed, and not one review mentioned children shrieking in pain the moment the poky bristles touched their heads. Maybe my girls are just weenies! Anyway, I did not want to do reviews because I don't really trust the ones I read.
Then I saw an opportunity to review e-cloth. I got sucked in! I looked at their product and really wanted to try it even though I was very skeptical about it working as claimed. I have severe sensitivities to many cleaning products and have tried countless all-natural products that just do not get the job done in the bathroom as well as the nasty chemicals, so I have resigned myself to popping a couple Advil, taking a couple inhaler puffs, and trying to clean as fast and infrequently as possible. This is why I was so intrigued by the e-cloth company's claim that I could clean with just WATER. There was no way I was going to pay for a product I was confident would not work, so I went ahead and applied to do a product review. I figured I could be the first to write an awful product review, and I envisioned it to be a very sarcastically entertaining piece. Unfortunately, e-cloth worked better than I could have imagined, and I don't get to write it. Instead, here goes my disclaimer: I received a free sample of e-cloth for review purposes. All opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Let's just pretend that I knew weeks ahead of time that I would be doing this review and intentionally let my sink get this disgusting. On the left, that's make-up stuck in toothpaste spit you see there and a lot of hair that you can't really see due to my photography ineptitude. On the right, you see a clean, shiny sink that I seriously cleaned with just water and the e-cloth. It looks nice, but I know you are thinking it is nothing earth-shattering. However, it took me a fraction of the time to clean. The hairs stuck to the cloth instead of sticking to the wet counter as they normally would with other cloths I have used.
Next I quickly wiped the toothpaste spatters off the mirror planning to come back and de-streak it with some an all-natural glass cleaner that I like. After a few minutes, I realized that there was no need. The mirror was clean and completely streak-free. I was officially impressed!
It was time to put e-cloth to the ultimate test after that. The windows in my front door drive me bonkers. They are so hard to clean. I know Windex would do the trick, but it would make me too sick. I absolutely cannot use it. I have experimented with numerous all-natural glass cleaners, but it is impossible to get a streak-free, lint-free shine on these particular windows with any of them and fly stains require some elbow grease. Here are a couple pictures of how they looked after e-cloth. Once again, it took considerably less time, and they look better than ever!
I also just have to brag a little about the amazing view I have out my front window. One of the perks of country life! Though I can't wait until the pasture gets green, instead of just the wheat.
The one caveat to my stellar review is that I do not know why they have so many different cloths. There is one specifically for glass that seems useless since the regular cloth shines glass to perfection, as you can see. I purchased the kitchen cloth and I can't wait for it to arrive!
Are you drawn to posts about organizing and cleaning tips like moths to a flame? I am. And, never fail, I come away from reading them thinking, “Well if I could do that, I wouldn’t need to read posts about organizing!” I never find mind-blowing innovation. The basic premise behind every post is to put stuff away right after you use it. Here is the problem: the women who write those posts are organized people who naturally put stuff away. I am not. They are under the impression that ideas about how to organize elude the unorganized. And while I am sure those people are out there, I am certainly not one of them. I know how to organize, but I do not put stuff back in its neat, new organized way. I have already thought of and failed to implement pretty much every organizational strategy I get baited into reading about. We have empty hooks, empty plastic tubs, and empty baskets galore! And if they are not empty, they are filled with granola bar wrappers, Burger King toys, five shoes that do not create even one matching pair, a sock, a baseball, a Nerf dart, a crumpled art project, and a half-finished overdue math assignment. We have the ‘a place for everything’ portion taken care of, but we struggle with the ‘everything in its place’ part.
I admit it has taken me considerably too long to realize that creating new ways to organize is not going to solve the epic mess cycle in our home. It has been a long process that continues to evolve, but I am starting to figure out how to stop trying to do things the 'organized people' way and do them MY way. A great example of my new insight happened the other day when my husband showed me a cool boot rack made of horseshoes and suggested we purchase it because he is tired of tripping over the kids' boots every night when he gets home. I sarcastically replied, “Sure! I bet it would look real nice with a pile of boots in front of it!” He didn't think it was as funny as I did.
Another thing that helped me realize I am not cut out for taking advice happened last year when a number of my friends were raving about www.flylady.net. I figured I would give it a try, even though I was pretty sure most of them were naturally more organized than myself. I will admit that I started out with a less-than-positive attitude about the likelihood of success. I was pretty much acting like a whiny, excuse-making brat because I don’t like getting dressed and wearing shoes in my house while I clean. However, I honestly do believe having seven kids and a larger-than-average house are legitimate obstacles to the fly lady’s plan. Despite all that, I started the first step, which consists of just shining the sink every day. I did it for a few days and then forgot for a couple and then did it for a few more days. Then about two weeks later, I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh yeah, I was doing that sink shining thing! Oh well, I guess I am just not fly lady material.” I did the same thing when I started planking to get my tummy back in shape after seven pregnancies. So until my kids are all old enough to not starve when left to their own devices, I will stick with feeding them as my only every single day chore.
My plans for organizing can be amazing plans, but the execution rarely works. Even though this is a hallmark of my rare personality type, I am certain I am not the only one struggling with this. Why do you think there are a bazillion ‘how to’ posts about organizing out there? Over the next couple weeks, I am going to post my organizing philosophies. I realize I am doing what I just got done complaining about, but I promise it will not be like anything you have seen before. I think making beds is a stupid waste of time and cleaning is done best while looking like a slob. If you agree, check back (or sign up for my monthly newsletter via the pop-up) if you are also frustrated with the same old organizing advice.
Love this? Try this:
I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.