Dishes in the sink, toys all over the house, dirty windows, icky grill and stinky garbage cans; this mess and clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, too.

spongResearchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) learned this when they explored the relationship between 32 California families and the thousands of objects in their homes. CELF’s social scientists discovered that clutter and mess affect our mood and self-esteem.

In fact, they discovered that women in particular associate a tidy home with a happy and successful family. And there’s a direct link between high cortisol (stress hormone) levels in female homeowners and a high density of household objects. More mess, more clutter equals greater anxiety for women. And you probably already know that high cortisol also causes us to gain weight? Yikes. We’ll pass.

So when we were scouring for ideas to naturally refresh you, we immediately gravitated towards fall cleaning. It’s kind of like returning home from a vacation to a clean, tidy home. All because you took the time to tidy it up before leaving. Relief. Right? You’re already so tired from the trip, who needs to return to a messy house?

So now is the time to fall back on some of our techniques because we have a whole slew of refreshing solutions for you. Get in gear before winter comes and beat the spring crowd by cleaning with these 5 tips in mind:

1. Clean like the professionals do to save on time and elbow grease. When you are cleaning multiple windows, hard-to-reach windows or large mirrors, save time and money by using a squeegee, strip washer and a bucket of solution made with – believe it or not – dish soap and water. Here’s a video to get you cleaning like a pro - Windows Glass and More video.

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2. Double Duty. Use natural products that perform more than one function. For instance, when cleaning your garbage cans use a product that will not only clean, but will also deodorize at the same time. Our cleaning tip for GARBAGE PAIL & RECYLING BINS shows you how to get your trash cans clean and fresh with our favorite orange cleaner, Citra Solv.

3. Best thing since s’mores waffles (have you seen those on Pinterest yet?) Yellow micro-fiber cloths. These cloths work great for cleaning, dusting and even polishing glass. So you get a lot of bang for your buck. Best of all? They can be thrown into the wash machine to use over and over again making them eco-friendly. Especially true when used in conjunction with Citra Solv products. (Not that we are biased in any way….but we still say Citra Solv smells the best, right?)

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4. Cut steps. Even though we promoted walking in our “Lions, Tigers and Pokémon” post (let’s save it for taking a nice walk in the park after your house is clean) – cutting down on the number of steps you take when cleaning saves on time and energy. Get organized. Put all of your cleaning supplies that you’ll need into a portable container. Repetition saves time. Develop an order that you clean each room and repeat it in each subsequent room. Clean in bulk. Things like rugs, that need to be cleaned elsewhere should be gathered and washed at the same time.

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5. Become a Grill Master. Or rather as we think… A Grill Cleaning Master! And hopefully you have been using your grill all summer - enjoying all the tasty barbecued foods. But as outdoor grilling season comes to an end, it’s time to give it a deep clean (You’ll be thanking us next summer.) Here’s our video to help you master cleaning the grill: Clean Like a Pro- Outdoor Grill

In fact, on our Citra Solv website we have a whole section dedicated to help you make cleaning less of a chore – including a checklist to guide you through fall cleaning. There is even a chart on to help you with some of the stains you might discover as you work your way through the check list.

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And remember guys….a happy wife is a happy life so chipping in with the chores (think garbage cans and grill) will put a little spring into her step this fall.  

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