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The Hardest Part Is Starting: The Smart Cleaner by Bernadette Murphy

Writing.ie | Magazine | Tell Your Own Story | Writing & Me
Elizabeth Murphy

Bernadette Murphy

Cleaning is a catch-all term for all the thankless, repetitive chores most of us have to do. Wash, scrub, dust, repeat.

Raise your hand if you have ever met anyone who likes cleaning?

Everyone likes a clean house but not everyone likes cleaning.

Last December saw The Smart Cleaner published as an invitation to the reader to live in brighter, cleaner surroundings, dust and grime free.

This book asked to be written, the words just flowed out(more of an overflow to be honest) It’s a real life story as much as a cleaning guide.

This was a book that I wished I had access to when I was a mega busy working mother of twins.

Cleaning smarter has an impact not only on our homes but on our moods, well-being, our purses and our planet. It gives us more time to do the things we enjoy.

The organic cleaning approach is growing in popularity these days. People use terms like “eco-friendly” “green”, “all-natural” “sustainable” and “organic”. When I was growing up in the seventies our lives and our cleaning was organic-it’s just I didn’t know it then. They were simpler times and I’ve learnt over the years that using simple often natural home-made products is easy, budget friendly and often lead to a faster more effective clean.

There was no conscious plan to write this book. I did often wish though over the years that I had known then what I know now.

It began with the thought that what I had learnt might enhance other people’s lives. Little by little, the germ of an idea about compiling all this information and sharing it became this book, a practical go to guide that I felt confident sharing with others.

Years of “jotting down things” about stain removal I’d hear on the radio, read in magazines or hear from others. I never thought as I stored away all the practical things I learnt that it would turn into The Smart Cleaner.

The Smart Cleaner is a culmination of all those loose pages, cleaning tips and tidying tricks, they have been tried and tested, forgotten and retrieved. Experiments have been done. One of the most popular sections is when I pose and answer the question “what cleaning and tidying I can achieve in one minute?” People were intrigued and wanted to have a go, testing themselves to see what they could do in just one minute.

This is my first non-fiction book. It is a type of a help on your shelf guide. The reader is free to choose not follow it exactly, maybe not at all and that’s okay.

It’s about creating a schedule of good cleaning habits suited to your home that hopefully will last a lifetime. And your children’s lifetime, if you involve them too. Don’t try to be a perfect cleaner, aim to be a happy, contented home-maker. This book encourages getting into the right mindset and headspace to achieve a more ordered and less stressful living space.

I wanted it to be the kind of book you could dip in and out of. You see a stain on the rug or your best jumper, nothing seems to be working, in a last ditch effort you try one of the recommended tips and find it does work.

Each area of the house is visited, room by room, inside and outside.

There are things to do everyday, every week and then of course the deep clean, the Spring clean, Autumn and pre-Christmas clean up.

I’m not a cleaning goddess, I never thought of myself as the kind of person who would write a book about cleaning. The idea formed first eighteen months before when I had articles based on the same theme published in a local newspaper and a well known magazine and got a few positive comments, people asked me things like “how do I get candle grease off a pair of jeans?” this gave me encouragement and showed there was interest in the subject.

My Writing Process

I have written many short stories, non-fiction pieces and lots of poems(all short pieces) so writing a full book was challenging.

I have a habit of free writing, often on paper and then transferring it onto the screen. I am often guilty of using two words when one would surely suffice and that is where good editing comes in, believe me. Editing is not my favourite part so after I had edited the book many times I had it professionally edited and for me it was worth it.

The hardest part with writing for me is sticking to the topic and not going off on loosely related tangents. I wasn’t daunted about taking that first step. I do believe anyone can write, a bit like cleaning I suppose.

I had many speed bumps along the way, the little voices popping into my head telling me to do it later. I found walking the country lanes helped. I got my thoughts in order as I walked and felt energetic on returning home.

Having a theme that you are interested in definitely helps. Not getting bored with what you are writing.

Let’s face it if you the writer is bored then the reader will be too.

(c) Bernadette Murphy

About The Smart Cleaner:

The eco smart house cleaning system was designed to make your life easier.

If you could clean and organise your home in less time with better results, would you? Now you can with The Smart Cleaner.

These tips, tools and plans will help you get organised so instead of spending hours cleaning, organising or decluttering at once, which usually just leads to burnout and frustration, now there is a simple method for doing it over time so that it becomes manageable.

Here are some of the benefits of The Smart Cleaning Guide

  • Smart cleaning is a great way to keep your house clean.
  • You’ll save time and money because you will have to buy less products-most you may already have in your house!
  • You’ll feel more relaxed living in a calmer, clutter free space.
  • It will help get rid of any lingering odours.
  • Cleaning your house will help you find things that are lost!
  • Cleaning your home helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew which can lead to nasty health issues.
  • Regular cleaning means less time spent on cleaning later, because you’ll need to do much less deep-cleaning or heavy duty scrubbing.
  • A clean house is a happy one – so take care of yourself by making sure the place where you live is tidy too!
  • You can spend more time doing what matters most to you when everything else has been taken care of first!
  • Cleaning your house will make it look nicer and more presentable.
  • It can also help you relax after a long day.
  • You’ll be able to spend more time with friends and family without worrying about the mess at home.
  • Feel more organized, less stressed, and happier.
  • Improve your mood and well being by decluttering the space around you.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Bernadette Murphy born in Roscommon, now living in Galway after sixteen years in London and two in the East side of Ireland.
I work as a registered nurse, wife and mother of grown up twins. I share my home with lots of animals(pets). I share my garden with all the birds that come to feast at the feeder way up high away from my well fed cats.I love the countryside and connect with nature every day with a daily walk along the quiet lanes with the dogs.
Being close to nature and appreciation of the seasons and what they give us is very important to me. I find nature very inspirational for writing. I enjoy |”the simple things” in life and love spending time in my home.
I love writing and reading.I have been writing creatively for more years than I’d like to admit to. I had a letter printed in The Irish Press when I was eleven years old and haven’t stopped writing since.
I have had many short stories published. I published a joke book over ten years ago and an ebook seven years ago. I have written poems and have had a few published. This is my first non-fiction paperback book I’ve written and published.

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