Quill & Brush

I’m trying to set up systems and routines to make my work and home life run smoother. Since I work where I live, if one area is running like clockwork, the other is often in disarray. Add in the hyperfocus of an author on a creative tear, and it might be days before I come up for air to finally notice the mountain of laundry I’ve been actively ignoring to meet a deadline.


So I’ve been searching for tools to get a handle on this. Along with the KonMari method, I’m incorporating a new cleaning routine so I can stay on top of my mess. I also replaced my geriatric Roomba with new model, which keeps my hardwood floors from breeding dust bunnies large enough to be mistaken for Olive. I need my space to be clean and organized so I can devote my attention elsewhere.

I want to write books, after all, not live in a showhouse.

A few weeks ago, I was reading Simply Clean by Becky Rapinchuk, and she suggests having several task-specific cleaning caddies so you can grab and go. This made a lot of sense to me, and since my work schedule is set up with breaks, I’m better off doing a little each day rather than cleaning my entire house in one shot. I can clean and get a mental break from the work, and I might solve a plotting issue while scrubbing the tub.

Fast-forward to the day a Grove Collaborative ad popped up on my Facebook feed, teasing me with a caddy that was cute and classic and perfect for what I wanted. Not too big. Not too small. Their Welcome Gift at the time was a free caddy and several Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products if I spent $20. I clicked and discovered this is a subscription service, but not one where you’re required to order every month.

I loved the pomegranate caddy so much, the pomegranate dish soap set is coming to me in February.

I’m not a huge fan of subscriptions, largely because most give you zero control over what you get. I love getting mail—don’t get me wrong—but do you know how much Loot Crate stuff we’ve passed on to Goodwill in the last few years?

Consumables are a different thing, which I discovered with Olive’s BarkBox subscription. I want stuff that is useful or can be used up, and I want to be in control of what comes to my house rather than at the mercy of some random theme I have no interest in.

With Grove, you decide what you get, how much, when, and even the scent of your product. You have choices on a lot of the products, many I’d never seen in my local stores, like Mrs. Meyer’s seasonal Orange Clove, which is right up my alley. Their new seasonal is Rain Water, and for the first time in my life, I enjoy doing dishes because of their Rosemary dish soap. Yummy.

So I ordered the caddy, spent enough to get my free gift, and then spent some more. I spent enough to get another free gift, and they even give you the choice to take the gift out of your cart if you don’t want it, so you don’t end up with stuff you’d never use.

While waiting for my order to arrive, I did some price comparisons between Target and Amazon. Target was the same for the most part, but I’ll keep an eye out on that. And while I could get some items at a lower price from Amazon, I’m often stuck with a scent I dislike or quantities that will take me a decade to use.

I never thought I’d give a second thought to a subscription service for cleaning supplies, of all things. I’ve made my own from vinegar, borax, and Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap for over a decade, so I honestly went to the site expecting to find nothing that would keep me there. But then I saw some of the tools and I was in heaven. I’m a sucker for tools. Always have been.

I absolutely love the sponges, made from cellulose and walnut. Fully compostable when I’m done with them, so that’s a bonus, knowing they won’t be in a landfill forever. I love the tile grout brush I got too.

I love their glass spray bottle with a nonslip silicone base because I can mix my own cleaners in glass and not have to worry about degrading plastics if I use citrus or other acidic essential oils. And then I stumbled upon their bamboo brushes. I’m gonna have to pace myself because I want them all! My February order includes the long-lost potato brush my hubby fell in love with, and I was able to get another mini broom and dustpan set. I found the originals at TJ Maxx and was never able to replace them, but now I can!

grout brush, mini broom & dust pan, bubble up brush, soap, walnut scrubber sponge on tray

Alongside cleaning and household product, Grove also carries items for personal care, pet care, and stuff for kids. Their products are good to the Earth and people and pets, and they are a Certified B Corporation. If you want to get a 5-piece Mrs. Meyer’s set of your own, you can find it here.

I’m likely never going to be excited to clean. It’s work but not fun like writing. Yet I love a clean house and tend to write better in a house where everything is in order. An infusion of new products every so often will motivate me. At least that’s my hope.

I have so many books waiting to be written, after all.


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