Pulse: Style: Low Down: Cleaning House
For Cleaning Supplies:
Foster’s Urban Homeware
124 North 3rd Street, 267-671-0588; shopfosters.com
Function meets fashion at this cool Old City home accessories shop, which features cutting-edge cleaning and organizing accessories ($4 to $25) for any abode. Head to the back for the ergonomically designed OXO Good Grip bathroom and kitchen brushes with non-slip handles, and the full line of Mrs. Meyer’s aromatherapy cleaning products. Hands are well covered with latex-free, cotton-lined True Blues: The Ultimate in Household Gloves. Urbanites will love sleek, space-saving finds like Simple Human’s stainless steel, wall-mounted grocery bag storage unit. Foster’s staff favorites include Mysticmaid’s microfiber cleaning cloths, which instantly remove grime.
For Clutter Removal:
Eclectic House Cleaning
As a reformed clutter-collector, Jennifer Kopp Lewis brings compassion and 25 years of experience to her cleaning business, which has grown by word of mouth. She specializes in one-on-one household decluttering services ($50 per hour); clients seek her help in sorting and saying goodbye to excess stuff. Lewis makes piles for repairs, returns and donations — but allows a sentimental stash for stuff too dear to be discarded.
For Deep Cleaning:
Too Little Time
When sisters Debi Sarandrea and Vicki Brown launched Harmony Clean two years ago, they set out to combine spotless service with earth-friendly, non-toxic cleaning methods. It proved to be a winning formula: The flourishing business now has 12 staffers tending to more than 100 clients in Bucks and Montgomery counties ($96 to $128 per visit). All-natural Ecover and Seventh Generation products are staples, while high-filtration vacuums help reduce dust. City dwellers can call on Too Little Time Lifestyle Services for an environmentally sound residential spring cleaning package ($200 to $600) that covers everything from appliances and baseboards to vents and windows.
For Organizing Tools:
The Promenade at Sagemore, 500 Route 73 North, Marlton, 856-596-4266, and other area locations
The name says it all: Organized Living offers solutions for straightening every room. Containers in all colors, shapes and sizes line the aisles of this warehouse-like cleaning mecca; beyond the standard plastic designs ($6 to $40), there are chic choices like peekaboo hat boxes ($39 for a set of three) and wicker hampers ($80). New for spring: pastel office accessories in butter-soft leather ($28 to $32), and canvas closet pieces ($15 to $30). A closet specialist is on hand to design shelving systems and consultations are free.
Eco-friendly products for the home front
The Philadelphia region offers plenty of people-and-planet-friendly cleaning products for conscientious consumers. Sun & Earth, a decade-old Norristown company, makes non-toxic products from plant, fruit and vegetable oils; the dishwashing soap, surface cleaners and laundry detergent are stocked by Whole Foods Market ($2.50 to $8). Organica, also based in Norristown, formulates environmentally responsible cleaning, degreasing, odor control and stain removal sprays available through its website ($5 to $24). The biodegradable Caldrea line combines luxury with well-being: The products ($8 to $20) contain essential oils and botanical blends, and are available at Belle Maison and Hello World.
Organica, 888-24-GREEN, organica.net; Sun & Earth, sunandearth.com; Belle Maison, 4340 Main Street, Manayunk, 215-482-6222, bellemaisononline.com; Hello World, 2056 Locust Street, 215-545-5207, and 1201 Pine Street, 215-545-7060; shophelloworld.com