THE HOME CLEANING SERIES: THE SUMMARY
Starting with a plan will always be helpful but there are a few basics to get the job rolling
For the past few weeks, we’ve been on a journey describing home cleaning tips. We’ve explored rooms such as the bedroom, garage, kitchen and even the attic. The articles broke the rooms apart to give you an overview into the specifics of cleaning each space.
Although each room in your home may not have been covered, this summary will help you start to see a pattern for cleaning any room. Starting with a plan will always be helpful but there are a few basics to get the job rolling.
What goes up must come down
In a number of my articles, I discussed home cleaning from the top down. Here’s a reminder from the bedroom article: By starting from the top, you bring the unwanted dust bunnies down to a more manageable level. This is true for any cleaning project you tackle. We are all guilty of cleaning what we can reach but what’s the point if everything above us is dusty? That dust does make its way down to our living level at some point in time.
Starting at the top makes logical sense but what is above us is often overlooked. For one, we can’t easily reach what is above our heads and two, what we can’t see doesn’t hurt us, or so we think. Make sure you start off all of your cleaning projects by tackling the ceiling, walls, crown molding and even lighting fixtures. What goes up will come down so you might as well be the one to decide when.
By using a damp cloth, you will cut down considerably on the amount of dust that travels through the air. This method will also cut down on the amount of dusting you have to do at lower levels in the room.
Move it on out
Another tip I tried to impress upon you was the fact that home cleaning is easier, and a more thorough job can be done, if you remove everything from the room at the start. I discussed this in the garage article and this too applies to any cleaning project: The first thing to do: move everything out of your garage. Yes, everything.
Ok, so not everyone can remove everything from every single space, especially if you’re cleaning by yourself. But, if you can start with an empty room, the job ahead seems easier, and, it allows you to more easily clean what you bring back in.
If a totally empty room isn’t in your cards, try moving everything to one side. Thoroughly clean the empty side from top to bottom. Once you are ready to put your belongings back to the other side, make sure you clean and or dust them. Why put dirty stuff into a clean space?
Organize, organize and organize
If you are able to move everything out of your room before you clean, it is a perfect time to organize what you put back in it. Even if you can’t, making the time to organize gives you a chance to clean things you might not have thought about (think shoe boxes, extra dishes in the pantry and even holiday decor).
In the kitchen article, here’s what Allison said about organization: A clean kitchen is essential to feeling at peace and organized while cooking. I feel little stress when preparing meals for my family if I know it’s clean. Allison is tying together a clean room with feeling organized and less stressed. It’s amazing what a clean room can do for you!
Organizing can take time and even patience. Start by pairing like things together and once you are done, it’s easier to see the type of storage you may need and even the space you will need.
It may seem like overkill, but take the time to inventory each box. Tape the contents of each box to the outside in a place you can easily view it. You may not return to this space for some time so having a quick method to reference your items can be a time saver.
Sort once, sort twice
Ok. So sorting doesn’t really go along with cleaning but it can be a healthy side effect. An excerpt from the attic discusses this: While you’re in the attic, take time to sort through your belongings. Are there things you could donate or toss? This is a great time to pare down your things.
You may not think this could apply to your bathroom or even your balcony but we all have things ‘stashed’ in drawers or corners where they don’t really belong. And, when things are stashed where they don’t belong, it opens up an opportunity to clean the space as well as re-organize it. Actually, sorting and paring down can lead to you having extra space that you never thought was possible!
Your trash may be someone else’s treasures. Don’t be afraid to donate your unwanted items but make sure you toss those that are broken, stained or missing pieces. If you are looking to make some extra money, and are up for a challenge, garage sales are always a good idea!
Now that we’ve looked at cleaning from a general point of view, the process or principals to cleaning one room really can apply to all of your rooms. Just remember to start high, clear out as much as possible, organize and sort through your belongings.
Staying ahead of the game and dedicating time to home cleaning pays off in many ways: it generally makes you feel better to be in a clean space; it helps to preserve your flooring and furniture; it provides for a more healthy environment.
I recommend cleaning your most used or high traffic rooms once a week (think kitchen, bathroom and bedroom). Rooms that you use less often (think office, living room and guest bedroom) can go every other week or third week. Rooms like your balcony and attic could use a good once over about twice a year.
If you have children or roommates, you can encourage them to help. If everyone pitches in, it saves time but also helps them to see what a difference home cleaning can make.
— Amanda Pokorny