Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Clean Your Home Quickly Like The Professionals

Friday is my Clean-The-House-Really-Well day.
It is my deep-clean day.

The other days of the week I focus on the dishes, counters, washing laundry and picking up the floors. The kids also have their weekly chores of sweeping, wiping and daily dishes.

A made bed and clothes in the laundry hamper can do just fine for most days, but on Friday everything gets done (except laundry folding which I do on Saturday). Some people like to deep clean one room per day, but I like to get it done all at once.

Not making messes in the first place really helps to cut down on cleaning. I donate my kids toys if they are constantly left out of their rooms (with lots of warnings of course). I also really pay attention to what toys I purchase for my kids. I try to avoid things with small parts or things that can come apart easily. My favorite toys are dress-ups, cloth dolls, books, large trucks/cars and action figures. I like large wood blocks and other wooden toys. Also bikes, scooters and outdoor toys are great. Things like play-dough should be used outside. Keeping clutter out of the house really cuts down on messes. I also make sure to tell my kids to clean up their own messes.

My daughter is having a birthday party soon and I am asking guests to donate to charity instead of bringing a gift. We will have our own gifts for her later. This way I can control what comes into our home.

It also really helps to live in a small, uncluttered home.

As far as cleaners are concerned I like using a commercial eco-friendly glass and window cleaner (i.e. Seventh Generation ), and a homemade all purpose cleaner (1/8 c. white vinegar 1/8 c., 1 T. baking soda, 1  T. lemon juice, and 2 c. water). Ivory dish soap is also a good non-toxic cleaner for hand-washing dishes and for mopping floors. You can see more ideas here  and here

Cleaning in silence can be therapeutic, even spiritual when you really focus on the present task at hand and work to do your best. However, when I don't feel like cleaning it is nice to listen to a book on my ipod or some motivating music while working. Cleaning with the family or with friends can also be fun.

It is a good idea to have a cleaning schedule. This site  has an Excel file with a house cleaning schedule template and checklist chart that might be helpful to some people. Some also swear by the Fly Lady Cleaning Tips . You can get cleaning reminders in your email. I personally like to make my own schedule and check list.

By having a schedule you ensure the cleaning actually gets done and doesn't pile up. Efficient cleaning- getting done fast- is best done by following the advice of cleaning professionals.

1. The day before you clean go into each room with four containers or bags nearby- one for clutter to donate, one for garbage, one for recycle, and one to move to a different place in the house. Pick up and put away everything that is on the floor or other surfaces that shouldn't be. Store clean rags and your cleaners in the kitchen and bathrooms. Two cleaners (glass and all-purpose) for each bathroom. Keep a toilet scrubber in each bathroom also. I recommend having a broom and vacuum for each floor (I only have one floor, so its easy).

2. Start your cleaning day in the kitchen first. Try using plastic gloves to protect your hands. Do dishes first. Clear all the counters and table(s) and put things away. Work from top to bottom, left to right. Spray everything down and let sit for a minute then wipe.

Before cleaning the microwave you can try zapping a bowl of 1 c. water and 1/4 c.vinegar for 3 minutes on high and then you can easily wipe it down. Clean the sink and floor last using the vinegar mixture. For small spaces I clean the floor by hand with a wet rag. Make sure you use a new, fresh rag for each new job. Keep the used rags in a plastic bag to take to the laundry room when you are done with the kitchen and bathrooms.  For larger spaces I sweep first and then use a mop dipped in cleaning solution and water.
I only clean my oven every once or twice a year with the auto-clean feature. The trick is to keep a sheet of aluminum foil at the bottom of your oven and then just trade that out every so often.

3. After sweeping the kitchen/dining area sweep all of the other non-carpet areas (hallways, rooms) and then mop as needed. Use the broom to get any spider webs as well.

4. Clean the bathrooms next using new rags. Clear all the counters and put things away in an organized manner. Spray the mirrors with glass cleaner and the counters and sinks with the home-made or all -purpose spray. Dry the mirror with a lint-free towel. Clean the counters with a wet rag and then dry with a thick rag. After that use folded pieces of toilet paper to wipe any excess hair, etc. out of the sinks and counter top. Spray down the toilet and bathtub then use the same method to clean these. For the sake of germs clean the bathtub before cleaning the toilet and then use new rags for each bathroom. Clean the floor last. Do this for every bathroom. Recycle the plastic bag that is storing the used rags as a trash bag after you take the rags to the laundry.

5. Next remove the trash bags from all trash receptacles in the house and replace with a new bag.  Put all of the trash by the front door to take out later.

6. Do all dusting. Getting rid of a lot of nick-knacks makes dusting easier. You can move dust to the floor where you will be vacuuming next.

7. Vacuum all carpets. Make beds (clean sheets if necessary) as you are in the room.

8. Take the trash out

9. Remind kids to take their shoes off before coming into the house.

I recommend having sofas and carpets professionally cleaned every once in a while. Please choose an eco-friendly company.

Great job. You are done!


Medifast Recipes said...

Great cleaning tips, and thanks for the list, good tool.

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