A FabChat With Jotties Journal
View of a Cleaning Guru
On the bracing South-Eastern part of Wales, tucked away in a little village next to the sea, there’s a woman called Jo, whose drive and focus can teach us all how to leap over life’s hurdles and keep on running…
Jotties Journal is a big hit with the online cleaning community.
Mum and small business owner, Jo has tons of tips to keep your home clean and tidy, sharing them regularly on social media.
Jo collaborates with Stardrops, a British-made brand, and makers of the famous Pink Stuff.
And recently she acquired a new feather in her cap: in collaboration with Fabulosa, Jo launched a spring/summer capsule collection, which included three disinfectant scents: Lemon Sherbet, Mango Punch, and Pineapple & Coconut.
It’s clear that this lady has come far since her university days, where Jo completed a Psychology degree and MA in Youth & Community Work. “I went on to work in a Social Care setting with Young People, but when my daughter was a toddler and I had become a single mum, the shifts were no longer suitable for me. And to be honest, I didn’t want to spend so much time away from her as we were required to stay for a 48 hour period and sleep in".
"I was able to offer something on my Instagram that not many people were doing at the time, and people loved it!"
Trawling the job sites and looking for a position that suited her education didn’t come easy. Especially with the hours she needed. But then “I came across a cleaning job with perfect hours and went for it! From this I set up my own cleaning business and my Instagram page” And the rest, as they say, is history.
The online cleaning community has grown massively over the last few years, with huge numbers following cleaning gurus like Jo and Mrs. Hinch.
“Cleaning is something everyone has to do, but as I found when I started my Instagram journey just over three years ago, people quite often needed help on how to clean certain areas in their home, or the motivation to finish [cleaning] it.
“With my experience as a professional cleaner and my passion for it, and cleaning products, I was able to offer something on my Instagram that not many people were doing at the time, and people loved it!
“Cleaning can be seen as a chore but why not make it an experience you can enjoy? Which is what Instagram helped to create. And of course, as more people enjoyed it, more and more pages developed to share this enjoyment!”
So with that in mind, is there any cleaning job you absolutely hate, Jo? Go on, you can tell us.
“The laundry. From putting away to ironing. I hate it. Whatever way I try to enjoy it, I don’t! I’ve pretty much scrapped ironing and found ways I can avoid it instead:
- By being careful when hanging clothes out to dry to avoid as many creases as possible.
- Or by folding as soon as the tumble as finished so that the clothes don’t cool and turn into a crumpled mess”
I hope everyone’s taking notes!
Jo is still influenced by her days as a student and uses those learned organisational skills to create planners and print outs to keep herself on top of her day to day tasks. Thankfully, she shares them all on her blog to help us to stay as organised as she is.
“I may not be as organised as I appear! I struggle with keeping up with the housework with working and being a mum, so the Task Tracker helps me to keep on top with it.
It also helps me to break down jobs so that they can be spread across the month, with different tasks completed weekly to break it up.
This ensures they are kept on top of and makes the cleaning so much quicker, easier and most importantly, more enjoyable!”
So which of your cleaning days is your favourite to do?
I love my bathroom Monday, the bathroom has to be my favourite room to clean because of the result, got to love some shiny tiles & taps!
We think Jo’s bathroom looks lush, and have been following her home renovation images on Instagram with interest. We’ve got plenty of those pics in our saved file, let’s just put it that way.
Another regular feature on Jotties Journal is Jo’s little girl, Seren who is as cute as a button I think you’ll agree.
So as a mum, are there any cleaning tasks you’ve found to get your daughter interested in cleaning with you?
“I mostly encourage her to tidy rather than clean as I wouldn’t want her going into my cleaning cupboard and grabbing something! But if she wants to help, one of the safest ways is to make up a bowl of soapy water using washing up liquid.
She enjoys doing the windows with this and it’s a bit of messy, bubbly fun for her! Or after I’ve cleaned and rinsed something like the bathroom she likes going round with a cloth afterwards buffing it up”
There’s a simple and safe tip for any up and coming kiddie-cleaners, thank you Jo. We’ve noticed that you veer towards mild and eco-friendly products. We’ve seen you using things from the Method brand and the Eco Egg.
“Don’t see the rain, see the rainbow. Good things always come from the bad”
How does eco-awareness influence your choice in cleaning products?
This is something I think about quite a lot and for example, my most used cleaner, my kitchen multi-surface cleaner is always one that is considered to be “eco-friendly.” I’ve also stopped using as many disposable items such as cleaning wipes.
There’s also a lot of things we can do to reduce a product’s impact on the environment. For example, only using as much product as is needed or washing at 30°C when you can.
It’s great to see brands as a whole becoming more sustainable with consideration for the environment.
And this is also true for brands that aren’t considered as “eco-friendly.”
So, as part of the growing concern for the environment, do you get involved in making your own cleaning products?
I generally don’t makeup cleaning products, but things such as adding a little water to soda crystals to create a paste makes a fab stain remover. Or creating a paste with bicarb and water makes a great natural abrasive cleaner for items such as your sinks or baths.
So if named products are your bag, then what are the top 3 cleaning products you like most from Fab Finds?
- The Pink Stuff Range
- Fabulosa Concentrated Disinfectants
- Stardrops White Vinegar Spray
But I couldn’t live without a Scrub Daddy and a good multi-surface cleaner as well.
Jo set up her professional cleaning business a while ago now, and as a self-confessed cleaning product addict, loves to test new releases and scents to make cleaning even easier.
So as a professional domestic cleaner, you must have come across a cleaning task or two that’s stumped you, Jo?
“Before I had tried The Pink Stuff paste this would have happened a lot, but now I know to reach for it when nothing else will work! From removing rust marks in the bathroom from chrome accessories to removing paint splats on hard surfaces.
Obviously, a product has to work, and generally, I have to enjoy using it. From how the packaging looks - superficial I know, but it just adds to the cleaning experience - to how it smells. Again, not something that is necessarily essential, but the scent is a key factor in how much I enjoy using a cleaning product.
There are exceptions to this rule, like the Stardrops White Vinegar Spray. I don’t like the smell but it works so, so well that the satisfaction comes from the results! Price is also a factor to me, there is such a variety of good value cleaning products to choose from that I wouldn’t generally want to spend over £2 on a cleaning product”.
We’re living in strange times, many of us have more time on our hands to stare at the four walls of our homes. Cleaning and home renovations are at the top of people’s To-Do lists.
Do you have any tips for everyone who’s stuck on lockdown at the moment?
“I think the tip I would like to give is to be easy on yourself. This is such a surreal time and if anyone has been like me, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions.
Your home may be a lot busier than usual, with children being homeschooled, individuals working from home or being home on furlough.
I think a lot of us will have to expect that [home] may look a bit more lived-in than usual, but on the plus side, we don’t have any guests coming over that we have to quickly tidy up for!
Try to complete the cleaning little but often so there isn’t the pressure to complete a huge big clean, this is why I love my task tracker!”
You have been on a real journey Jo, life has thrown a lot at you. If you could do it all again, would you change anything?
“To be honest I try and not look back to see what I could have done differently. Whatever decisions we have acted upon, whether good or bad shape who we are today".
How does eco-awareness influence your choice in cleaning products?
Don’t see the rain, see the rainbow, good things always come from the bad which I’ve learned from life experiences, and without those times I wouldn’t be where I am today. Might sound cheesy but you have to try and look into the positives of any situation, good or bad”.
And finally, where do you see yourself in 12 months’ time? Do you have any goals you want to fulfill or plans for Jottie’s Journal?
A year ago, I could never have imagined where I have gotten to today with my cleaning journey, so to think more amazing things could happen a year from now is unbelievable.
Like my Instagram name is on a series of Fabulosa bottles that I selected the fragrances for, how dreamy is that?!
"My biggest dream would be that Jotties Journal would become a reality in hardback form! A journal of planners, schedules, task trackers, some stationery to match perhaps?! That would be the dream!"
Dare to dream, and one day those dreams can become reality. Jo is the perfect example of that. A lady with a remarkable drive, Jo remains grounded but focused. We at Fab Finds wouldn’t be surprised if there was a book launch in her future.
See more from Jo on Instagram @jottiesjournal, and check out her reviews, cleaning tips, and most importantly, her printouts on her Jotties Journal Blog.
For now, stay safe everyone and we’ll see you back here for our next View of a Cleaning Guru.
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