5 Cleaning Hacks For Other Confused Millennials

5 Cleaning Hacks For Other Confused Millennials Around The Home Using Clorox - The Confused Millennial [ad]
**Thank you to Clorox® Bleach for sponsoring this post.  All thoughts, opinions and stories represented in this post are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that support TCM!

If you caught this post, you know my word of the year is “organized”. Basically, ever since wedding shenanigans took over our lives (and apartment) last year, we have been living in squalor…

Ok, maybe not squalor but a lot of clutter and chaos, which has led to me avoiding doing any sort of household cleaning or organization. I basically just move clutter from one surface to another and spend most nights eating on the couch using a pillow as my table because there’s no room on the coffee table, #truestory.

But now that it’s 2017 and I am all about organization, that means cleaning too. I used to be a total rockstar at cleaning! When I moved in with E five years ago, I was always cleaning. The floors, the toilet, the shower/tub, the dishes, and the clothes! I did it all like a true wannabe Stepford Wife.

Fast forward to getting my first real #adult job (aka a 9-5) and I literally could not function. Slowly I fell deeper and deeper into my quarter life crisis, and didn’t move from my bed and trusted Netflix unless it was to refill my ice cream cup.


E stepped up during that time and took over a lot of things around the house, but for the last two years I’ve been in business for myself, which means working from home. For some reason, I can’t pull myself out of this funk I fell into while working a 9-5 which has left a lot of household chores still on E’s shoulders. So this year I really want to get back to being an equal partner around the house and get organized with a cleaning schedule. If I don’t have a game plan telling me exactly what I should be doing and when, I totally plop myself on the couch and don’t move until I’ve binged 18 hours of whatever latest show there is.

The Game Plan:

Start by writing down each area of the home to tackle:

1) Get that dang Christmas tree down! I know a whole lot of you are like me and normally leave your tree up ’til April, but not this year! I tackled our tree before anything else.

2) The Kitchen. Ok, probably should’ve started with the bathroom, but let’s ease into this whole yellow gloves thing.

3) The Bathroom. Seriously not looking forward to this one, but at least we only have one and it’s small!

4) Cleaning out the closets. I still have Hollister and A&F tees from high school in there that just need to go!

5) The floors. Maybe I’ll leave those for the cleaning lady…

*Since our apartment is literally just our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and a main room that kind of joins to the kitchen, my game plan is shorter than yours might be. Make sure to write out a game plan for all areas of your home!

I would strongly recommend tackling one a week if you haven’t cleaned in a long time. Once you’ve been keeping up with cleaning, I would recommend getting into the habit of doing one small 5-minute task a day (which is how I used to do it before I started failing at this whole adult thing).

namase in bed the confused millennial

How I Am Hacking Cleaning Around The Home:

1) Christmas Tree.

There’s not much I can do about the Christmas tree situation. I kind of just had to do it. If I had a roomba, maybe that bad boy could’ve cleaned the mess under the tree… Or maybe next year I could line underneath the tree with newspaper like a pet pen? 

the confused millennial christmas tree december goals

2) The Kitchen.

Alright, this bad boy has a foul stench going on that no matter how many Bath & Body Works candles I light, I can’t seem to cover it up! The main culprit is really our trash can. I’ve been making a lot of excuses as to “why I can’t clean the trash can,” but I need to suck it up. Start by rinsing with soapy water (ideally outside, but we live in a second story apartment, and if I did this the restaurant below us probably wouldn’t be happy with dumping this on patrons heads, so I am doing this in the shower). Next, I deodorized and sanitized with 1 gallon of water and 1/2 cup of Clorox®  Regular-Bleach and 1 cup of water by letting the mixture stand in the can for 5-10 minutes. Dump, rinse, and let dry before putting a bag in!

*I am scheduling this for one Tuesday every month

Next up is the cutting board. We actually have 4 cutting boards because I get so skeeved out by germs and raw meat. But when doing research for how to sanitize them I found that I could sanitize them with Clorox®  Regular-Bleach. Seriously, why had nobody ever told me this before? I just kept buying cutting boards and running them through the dishwasher once a week (which inevitably led to a horrible smell in our dishwasher because #rawchickenbakinginaplasticboxDUH)

But now that I am #adulting, let’s take care of those cutting boards appropriately: Start by rinsing with dish soap and water.

Then for plastic: Soak in a solution using 2 teaspoons of Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Let stand 2 minutes, then air dry.

And For wood: Mix 2 Tablespoons of  Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water to create a sanitizing solution. Apply the solution to the cutting board and let it stand for 2 minutes. Finally, rinse with a solution of 2 teaspoons of Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Do not rinse or soak overnight.

FUN FACT: You can reduce cutting board odors by rubbing them with halved lemons and then rinsing with cold water.

Cabinets: Don’t forget to wipe those bad boys down! You can even use the same solution from the trash can adventure (½ cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water) to wipe down sealed or painted enamel cabinets. And don’t forget all the handles on drawers and doors!

* Scheduling all the drawers and knobs for one day a month and all the cabinet faces another day a month since we have a lot more of those and really small knobs – remember to break it into a 5-10 minute task! 


3) The Bathroom.

OK, TBH I have a history of letting mold grow in our showers. I know that is probably super gross to most of you, but I lived in a frat house and some other questionable places throughout my life and just got wayyyy to used to dirty bathrooms.

Shower curtain: Ok will someone get rid of these things? I hate them! All showers should just have doors! But since every apartment I move into seems to have shower curtains, I finally realized this year why some shower curtains are more expensive than others… Apparently, you can wash them! Not all of them. But some of them. I think… WHO THE HECK KNEW AND WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME? I digress, it’s beyond easy. Just take the baby down, and throw it in the washing machine with 1/2 cup of Clorox by itself or with like colors & detergent (check your shower curtain for full directions – seriously this thing is just like a piece of clothing! who knew?). Then just hang it back up!

* I do this once every 3 months and am scheduling it in my planner!

Grout: True story, E and I thought our last apartment had black mold and that we were going to die. But it was just mildew and we were fine. I mixed 1/2 cup Clorox with 1 Gallon of water and filled a spray bottle with it. I sprayed all the grout then covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12 hours (because it was that bad, this isn’t necessary though), and then I just rinsed and had white and clean grout again! Totally recommend getting in the habit of spraying down your shower grout once a month to keep it fresh!

* I do this once a month

I am pretty good about keeping the rest of the bathroom clean, so I do the mirrors one day, the sink another day, and the toilet once or twice a month.

4. Cleaning out the closets.

If it’s more than 5 years old and I’ve only worn it twice, I am tossing it. I still haven’t actually done this though, so we’ll see what actually happens.

rachel ritlop the confused millennial clorox

5. The Floors

I really want a Roomba after watching the Rossen report on the Today Show a few weeks ago… but until then I am going to be sweeping weekly, and vacuuming and mopping once a month. Do you guys have any cleaning hacks for this?

[RELATED] Adulting Cleaning Hacks: Tackling the Floors & Dusting!

rachel ritlop the confused millennial clorox


In honor of Bachelor fever going around (don’t forget to join TCM’s fantasy league! Full directions are in the middle of this post); Did you know that you can add 1/4 teaspoon to each quart of cold water to keep your flowers fresher longer? Someone tell that to ABC handing out all those roses!

Oh wait… maybe that’s how they keep those roses looking so fresh? Totally explains the partnership with Clorox on those “Bleachable moments” last year!


rachel ritlop the confused millennial clorox


How are you organizing around your home and cleaning schedule for the new year? Drop me a comment! Also, share any of your cleaning hacks!

Ready to reach all of your goals? Grab TCM’s Goal Setting Guide!

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  • Having a schedule really helps! There are things I totally forget to do unless I have a schedule! And we did take down our tree much earlier this year 😉

    • Same! Now I am worry I forgot stuff on mine! haha What are some of the areas you tend to forgot?

  • Jamie Fray

    I really like your idea to put these on a schedule! I have three kids, and we just seem to collect clutter…

    • Thank you! I would literally never do any of it if I had three kids haha the clutter is already piled up between the hubs and I!

  • Jamie

    Love that you set up a schedule, and figured out when to clean everything!

    Feel ya on getting your first 9-5 adult job. It can be draining!

    xx, Jamie

    • So draining! I literally felt like I couldn’t do anything I normally did! And it’s taken years to get back into the swing of things!

  • I’ve been focusing on cleaning my living spaces more lately, and these tips definitely ring true! I agree with the cleaning schedule – super helpful!

  • Anna Hubbard

    You go girl! You’ve inspired me to start doing more cleaning around my apartment. I have a lot more time because my school schedule is a lot more open this semester, so I don’t have an excuse not to! Good luck with everything!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

    • Seriously get into the habit of it now Anna! I was on top of it in college and after college (so much pride in my own space kind of thing), then I just backslid completely when I started working!

  • Carly Ned

    I LOVE cleaning! I am Monica from friends. This post speaks to me. Having a 9-5 is so draining that it’s hard to clean after work! I’ll definitely be taking some tips from you 🙂 xx thecarlycollective.com

    • Want to hang out? haha I need some Monica momentum in my life! haha

  • You go girl, sticking to a schedule! I need to get into the same groove so my bathroom doesn’t get neglected for a month at a time…

    • Thanks Shane! Lol I know that story all too well!

  • Courtney Patterson

    I use the lemon on the cutting board trick all the time. It truly does work AND it’s a natural way to kill odors and bacteria. Good luck on your cleaning goals. Sounds like you have a solid plan!

    • I just learned it and feel like everyone was leaving me out of the loop! And thank you!

  • You rock it girl!!! I feel like its so hard getting everything on your to do this done!! I always feel like there is not enough time in the day.

    • Totally agree! It’s a lot to juggle! I honestly don’t know how people take care of themselves, their work, and kids haha

  • K Shaw

    LOL! I am totally guilty of having the roxy and hurley tees from highschool and college and just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

    • Hahaha so happy I am not the only one! I have no idea why I hold onto them too!

  • This is a great post – you should turn this into a PDF checklist for your email subscribers!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • I was thinking about it! But ran out of time! I am thinking of doing a follow up post on some more hacks, so I might do it there!

    • I was actually going too! But then ran out of time haha I may do it for a follow up post!

  • I’m decluttering over the next few months too. My closet totally could use a cleaning. I have so many things that I don’t wear anymore.

    • Same! Then they start getting that “dull” smell haha

  • I had no idea that you could put bleach in you roses to make them last longer! I need to keep that in mind as I always have flowers!
    Also, great job on doing some cleaning! I always say I’m going to clean and then get distracted by something, so yeah, I totally know the using a pillow as a desk thing.

    • Yup! Just make sure you pay attention to the bleach to water ratio or else you will have white or pink roses! haha

  • Yes to all these hacks! I need to schedule in which rooms I’m doing which days the way you did! That’s such a great idea! 🙂

  • I needed these tips, now I just have to actually go and get it done.

    • Right!? I wish just knowing how to do the cleaning would suffice haha

  • Omg I’m so glad you mentioned cleaning the cutting boards! So few people do that but I’m religious about it, although we don’t eat meat so it’s really just fruits and veggies being chopped up.

    • That’s amazing! I seriously went through 25 years in life without know how to clean them! I felt like such a moron haha

  • Okay, I have the same habit of letting the shower mold. I’m trying to be better about it, I just always seem to let it go a little too long. Also, I really need to clean the trash can. Like I’m going to put it on my to-do list for tomorrow because I’m too lazy to do it tonight.

    • Lol so happy I am not alone (I was like everyone is going to think I am gross). IT just always escapes my mind until I am shaving or something then I forget about it later! Hope you to the trash can yesterday!

  • Katie Runyan

    Great tips! Since I’m living on my own for the first time, these will def come in handy!


    • Thanks Katie! And that’s so exciting! Enjoy it!

  • pennyanddash

    Loving these tips. Cleaning is definitely something I do not enjoy but these tips will make it easier 🙂


  • I’ve been on a crazy cleaning and organizing spree for like four months, haha. My biggest tip is to go through your stuff and throw out or donate or give away whatever you don’t use, because it’s SO much easier to clean when you don’t have a bunch of clutter!

    • I need some of your mojo!! And I love that tip! I am the queen of clutter haha but i’ve been shredding a lot of paper waste that I had been holding on to and slowly making progress

  • Miss ALK

    I’m awful at cleaning but the one thing I do try and keep up with is the dishes!! My roommate definitely takes the lead on the rest of the apartment though- lol!

    xoxo A

    • Lol! The dishes are so key! I always live them in the sink during the day, because when I cook dinner I will clean them while stuff is on the stove or in the oven… but my husband comes home to dishes in the sink sometimes (If I haven’t started cooking dinner yet) and he gets so annoyed haha

  • Creating a schedule keeps me on top of things! I also have a tendency to… ya know.. BLEACH EVERYTHING >:) teeheeeee

  • Ugh cleaning is not fun!! But unfortunately you feel so much more productive & put together afterwards. Great post girl!

    • Lol I wish I felt productive and put together afterwards! I just feel exhausted and gross! If I felt like that after I would probably do it more haha

  • Creating a schedule is so helpful for me to stay on top of cleaning. If I don’t have a cleaning, I start to lose track of things. These are great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah Jean

    My husband and I live in a fairly small apartment too but oh man would I love a roomba! those hardwood floors take forever even in a small space. And yes to bleach! gotta kill those germs

  • Oh my god, a cleaning blog post I can relate to! Most of the ones I’ve read are people who are already neat freaks. Nope, I’m with you – I’ve got the stinky trash can and the mold in the shower. My goal was to create a cleaning schedule this year and then I’ve been sick since the beginning of January so everything fell by the wayside and now it’s more messy than before. I’m gonna try and pick it back up now.

    • Haha love it! so happy you an relate! Hope you are feeling better!

  • I love this. I didn’t know you could bleach wood cutting boards, but I am definitely doing that when I get home! Thanks for the tips!

  • mckenna bleu

    Haha getting the christmas tree down and put away with all the ornaments can be such a pain!! I try to do mine the first on January!

    • that’s so impressive! I actually got mine down the first week of January this year for the first time ever! I usually leave it up until at least Valentine’s day!

  • This is such a great post! My closet is definitely something that can get out of hand- I try to deep clean and get rid of clothes (which is so hard for me) once a season!


  • Some great tips in here…taking bite size sections of the house is smart! Room by room…or sometimes even smaller!

    • Definitely! I like the 5 minute clean up, so if that’s just the cabinets one day and then the kitchen sink and knobs another that’s good

  • Couple of things:
    1.) I LOVE your raw chicken hashtag. That cracked me up!
    2.) I usually take my tree down on the 1st, but it is STILL UP this year. Ugh.
    3.) Were your photos with cleaning taken inside your apartment? How did you get the lighting so bright and perfect?

    • Lol thank you! I think we body swapped, because my tree was down the first week this month but it’s normally up until at least Valentine’s day but usually march/april! and Yes they were in my apartment, I am going to do a post on my new set up I think! so stay tuned!

      • Haha, we must have! Too bad I didn’t get to see the ocean while “I” was in Florida :p
        I am looking forward to that post!

  • Ahhh, I am so with you on the bathroom cleaning! The deep cleaning there always seems to fall by the wayside. It’s an icky reality!

  • I absolutely hate cleaning the bathroom, but feel so accomplished when it’s over!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

    • I feel exhausted and like I need a shower when it’s over haha I wish I felt more accomplished!

  • Ugh, cleaning is the worst. Most of our house is white/gray, so it feels like I’m cleaning something 24/7 around here!

    • SAME! We have a very white house overall and I feel like I am always bleaching stains out of the curtains or furniture or bedding and always wiping and sweeping!

  • Fabulous post! This is inspiring…not to get too overwhelmed. Seems it’s such a massive job that I get bogged down. You broke it down in an easy way to tackle. Gotta get busy!

    • Thank you Jessica! As someone who feels totally overwhelmed by cleaning usually, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! the five minute a day thing has been a real game changer around our house

  • Cleaning the house is exhausting but it’s always so rewarding!! Cleaning the trash can is such an important thing to remember. My kitchen smelled loads better after I started doing that regularly haha!

  • I am a person who loves to keep a clean home because it is so wonderful to come home after a long day and know that everything is clean and taken care of. Thanks foe sharing these cleaning tips!

  • Theresa Hewston

    I love all the Clorox in the backgrounds of the pictures, lol. I like the ideas about spreading out the cleaning and not trying to do everything in one day.

  • M.

    I hate doing a deep clean anywhere in my home. I find that if I do a little bit each day, then I almost never have to spend a whole day or week deep cleaning. haha

  • Great tips! I love things being clean at home – I definitely need to do a deep clean again soon!

  • Taylor Smith

    you are SO FUNNNNNNNN. Being clean is so important. I am in struggle city right now because we are trying to put together furniture from IKEA (aka boxes, screws and plastic wrap EVERYWHERE).

    • HAHA I know what that’s like! When we moved into our latest apartment the hubs actually paid to have someone from Ikea come and put it together and it was so worth it! They did it in like 20 minutes and it was pretty cheap I think (like $75 I think)

  • Lucretia Carter

    I love your writing style, I can totally relate to you. I too need to tackle the cleaning and organization of our home. Good luck and enjoy the nice clean smell of your now clean home you got this!

  • So going to have to pin this! Your tips are simple, but great and all things I need to try. I feel like my apartment needs major deep cleaning and reorganization. 🙂

    Professional Couch Potato

    • Lol thank you! I feel like my life needs a re-org and deep cleaning haha

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Love these tips! Like you I have to schedule cleanings. I feel like I will definitely get it done if it is in my planner! Great post!

  • Ashley Mason

    Awesome tips, Rach! I really need to tackle cleaning out my closet… I have way too many clothes that I don’t wear and they’re just taking up space!

  • Hannah Stark

    haha I feel like taking down my christmas tree is the last thing I ever want to do after the holidays! It’s so bad because I have left it up for months sometimes! I hate taking it down for some reason! I should probably get better at that haha.

    xoxo, Hannah

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Lol agreed!

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    Cleaning is a nightmare if you let things build up. The older I’ve gotten, I’ve realized you just had to get in there and do it. However, taking it one room at a time makes it much more manageable.

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Thanks Kimberly!

  • GIRL YAAAAAAS. hahaha I cannot *stand* cleaning sometimes and usually wait until the house is totally gross before I do a full clean…#whoops. This is relatable + genius!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Thank you! Happy I am not alone haha

  • I’m getting better, but I’ve always been so bad about cleaning! The bathroom and kitchen were the worst for me.

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Same!! I don’t know what it is! Because logically, i would want those cleaned the most haha

  • Love this and your writing style! Bathroom cleaning is the worst for me — I dread it!

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Awe thank you so much! haha

  • Kennedy Skye

    These are some great cleaning tips! I have a lot to tackle in my apartment too. I’m so bad about cleaning and our bathroom is a nightmare! I’m going to have to grab my roommates and deep clean. Great post!!

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Thanks Kennedy! Good luck!

  • I am so jealous you only have to vacuum and mop once a month– I have hardwood floors and still have to vacuum weekly since we have a cat and hair gets everywhere. I’m naturally a pretty clean person and try to keep everything fairly clean throughout the week so I don’t have to spend hours cleaning… except the damn floors 😛 Love all your tips!

    • lol I should do it more, but I was trying to be realistic haha

  • I find that with working a 9-5 job it makes it so much harder to get my house clean. When I get home from work, I have no desire to clean and on the weekends….I want to do nothing. I try cleaning the bathrooms every other week (depending on how dirty it gets). As far as the kitchen goes, we clean that as we go (minus sweeping and mopping). I just hate cleaning honestly but I also hate clutter. Good luck with your cleaning girl!

    • Yup! I can totally relate! I often struggle between wanting to clear all the clutter, and just closing my eyes and ignoring it all haha

  • mQs

    Such great tips. I absolutely hate cleaning.

  • I need to try that trick for the shower grout! Loved reading these tips, I’m definitely pinning this for later!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  • These are such great cleaning tips. This year I’m really trying to stay on top of keeping our house clean. It’s such a challenge, or at least I feel like it, between working full time and trying to find time to blog.

    • I 100% hear you on that! It’s a lot to juggle and it can be hard to find the time. Even after writing this and doing these 5 minute cleans I am still not in the habit and slipping

  • Macarena Ferreira

    Omg deff have to try that thing with bleach + roses.

    P.S. Still gots my tree up haha

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

    • haha my girl ? !! Definitely pay attention to the water to bleach ratio! don’t want you to have white roses! haha and it works on any flowers too haha

  • Ugh. It’s been 6 months of marital bliss and living in squalor – I totally need to tackle all these things this summer!

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