Life gets complicated fast. You wake up in the morning, your feet hit the floor, and from there on out the action is nonstop. House cleaning doesn’t always take top priority. The unfortunate aftereffect is a home that doesn’t get the attention it needs. But it doesn’t have to be this way. To keep it clean, keep it simple.
Make it a Priority, Simply
Having a clean home means making cleaning a priority. This doesn’t mean devoting your whole day to housework. Keeping up a simple daily housecleaning routine is actually the easiest means to achieving the goal of a clean home.
It’s all in the Details
Housework is all about details. Many small tasks over the course of a day are easy to accomplish. Look at housework from the bottom up to figure out what you need to do to keep your home clean. Every mound of clutter started off with a few single items.
Your Home Versus the House Next Door
There’s not a specific one-size-fits-all regimen that applies universally where housework is concerned. What’s true for you isn’t your neighbor’s truth. Your neighbor might need to focus on clutter control or making sure floors are clean enough for toddler safety. Your daily routine might be more about keeping the dog hair out of the Jello.
Break it Down
It’s not difficult to figure out where your attention is needed. Just look around. If your mud room is continually messy or dirty, this is an area that needs regular attention. Make it your mission to pick up every day or wipe up the floor. It’ll only take a few minutes.
If your bathrooms never seem clean, commit to a daily 5-minute wipe down. If your kitchen sink is constantly overflowing with dirty dishes, make a point of getting the job under control each day after dinner or breakfast or whenever it’s do-able to get it done.
Keep it Simple
The most important part of housework is the doing. The longer a task goes undone, the larger the job becomes. Just 20 to 30 minutes each day, spread out over the whole day in little increments, can make a huge difference.
Commitment to daily cleanups means never spending a weekend catching up. And never make the mistake of cleaning what isn’t dirty. Address the messes that need attention and don’t waste time or energy wiping down or sweeping up surfaces that are already clean.
Keep your cleaning routine simple by doing what needs to be done when it needs doing. It’s quite simple: just keep it simple.
Strangely enough, house cleaning means different things to different people. One person’s perfectly acceptable clean house is, to someone else, appallingly dirty. House cleaning doesn’t have to be a subjective experience. This step by step cleaning maid simple approach will get everyone on the same page.
Before You Clean: Declutter
Picking up and putting away or throwing away miscellaneous objects is the prerequisite to cleaning that makes dusting, vacuuming, and wiping up a quicker and easier process. Some people mistake this step as a part of the actual cleaning process. It is not. De-cluttering is like warming up before starting a workout.
Step 1: the Kitchen
The kitchen is the room in most homes that sees the most action. This is the space that will likely be the most time-consuming part of any cleaning job. Using the “do the worst first” approach gets this big job done right off the bat.
The job itself will vary considerably from house to house. Fastidious types who clean up after each meal will have much less to do than those who don’t.
Ideally, chores such as unloading and/or loading the dishwasher, taking out trash, wiping down countertops, and cleaning the stove would not be a part of the cleaning regimen because they would be done on a daily basis. That being said, if these chores need to be done, they must be done.
Additional kitchen must-dos include cleaning appliance fronts, de-crumbing the toaster, wiping out the microwave, and spot-cleaning cupboard fronts, drawer pulls, knobs, and handles.
Finally, as will be done in all rooms of the house, the kitchen floor will need whatever attention it demands, be it from a broom or vacuum and wet mop.
Step 2: Dusting and Vacuuming Common Areas
Dusting and vacuuming common areas is as much a must-do as cleaning up the kitchen. Whatever approach to dusting you take, make a point of clearing away cobwebs in corners and dust on baseboards as well as the obvious settlements on flat surfaces.
Vacuum, sweep, or dust mop floors, and wash as needed. Don’t forget to occasionally vacuum upholstered furniture as well.
Step 3: Clean the Bathrooms
Bathroom cleanup is the third essential step to cleaning any house. Like the kitchen, the amount of work involved will depend on the degree of daily cleaning that’s done. Showers that are squeegeed every day will be far less trouble to clean and disinfect than those that aren’t. Sinks and countertops that get wiped down every day or two will likewise take less time.
Don’t forget to sweep and mop the floor to complete the job.
Step 4: Clean Bedrooms
Bedrooms are the rooms typically left for last for two reasons: people spend less time in their bedrooms than in other parts of the house and guests are less likely to notice dust and debris in these rooms. It is necessary to clean up these rooms on a regular basis. Change bedding, dust, vacuum, and mop as needed.
Step 5: Keep it Clean
Cleaning up as you go along is by far the simplest cleaning method on the market. This means cleaning up spills as they happen and keeping a watchful eye out for messes as they crop up.
While the detail involved in house cleaning will undoubtedly differ based on the amount of effort invested day to day, the overall process should generally be the same. Cleaning involves the same steps for everyone in every situation. This straightforward step by step approach means never having to wonder if your home is as clean as it should be.
If you’re a total cleaning novice, you’re in the right place. This is House Cleaning 101, the introductory course to making your home shiny and clean. Cleaning is both simple and complicated at the same time. At its core, house cleaning is quite simply the means through which dirt and other unwanted substances are removed from your living space.
There are also many nuances to cleaning which make it complicated. We won’t worry about the nuances today. Our focus today will be on some basic home cleaning fundamentals.
Cleaning is a Process
The first thing you should understand about house cleaning is that it’s a process. Done properly, cleaning isn’t something that only happens once in a while. Keeping a home shiny and clean requires commitment. Simply put: the more frequently you clean, the nicer your home will look and smell. It’s therefore necessary to establish a cleaning routine that involves cleaning your home on a regular basis.
Establish a Routine
Figure out a schedule that will easily fit into your lifestyle. Your routine could be carried out daily, weekly, every other week, or some combination thereof. Whatever the routine, the most important element is that you have one. Get into the habit of cleaning your home on a regular basis in order to ensure that it stays clean.
Doing an extensive cleaning of your home once every six months isn’t a cleaning routine; it’s damage control. When dirt and grime sit around for a long time, they begin to degrade surfaces. Furthermore, it’s much more difficult to remove long term buildups; a process that is both time consuming and potentially damaging to the surface.
Get Some Supplies
After deciding on a cleaning schedule, you’ll need to know what supplies to have on hand. The short list: a broom or vacuum cleaner, a mop for bare floors, a bucket, a toilet brush, some rags or cloths, sponges, possibly a dusting wand (makes the job go quicker), and some basic agents for cleaning glass, appliances, counter tops, bathroom fixtures, floors, and any other surfaces. My post entitled What Supplies Do You Need To Clean A House? gives more in-depth info on this topic.
Once you’ve got your cleaning supplies, it’s time to get busy. First de-clutter and organize your living space as much as possible. It’s a lot easier to clean surfaces that aren’t covered in stuff. Organizing and de-cluttering are the prime prerequisites to keeping a clean home. This step might take ten minutes, or a week and a half, depending on your particular state of clutter. If need be, just work around the clutter for now and plan to organize and de-clutter incrementally.
Make a Strategy
Next, take a few minutes to make a strategy for your plan of attack. Decide how much time you have available to spend on cleaning. Then take a quick walk through your home, getting an idea of what needs to be done. Refer to my House Cleaning Checklist for ideas about what specific tasks comprise the steps in cleaning a house.
Look for trouble spots as well as areas that don’t need any attention. Once you’ve got an overall picture of the job, plan how much time you’ll spend cleaning each area, keeping in mind the total overall time that you have available to spend on the job. Getting the whole house cleaned is your goal; budgeting your time and staying on schedule will help you to make that happen.
The cleaning process itself shouldn’t be too elaborate at this point. If you’re a cleaning novice, focus on the obvious. You’ll hone your skills over time. There’s a learning curve to house cleaning.
Keep it Simple
For now, keep it simple. Dust, vacuum, sweep. Clean glass surfaces and counter tops and appliance fronts. Clean your bathroom fixtures and mop your floors. Don’t concern yourself with eradicating every speck of dirt. Cleaning every single nook and cranny is time-consuming and unnecessary.
If you perform your cleaning routine on a regular schedule, everything will get cleaned eventually. For now, focus on high-traffic areas. These will need to be done every time you clean. Areas that see little or no use don’t need to be cleaned as often.
As your cleaning skills improve, you’ll get a better feel for the process. Regular cleaning ensures that high-traffic areas are always in good shape and areas that need less attention get cleaned as needed.
The final step of house cleaning is maintenance. Getting your home into excellent shape might take a few weeks, or months, depending on the state it’s in today. Once you’ve achieved a state of excellence, your home will stay that way if you clean regularly and keep up with the control of dirt, grime, and dust.
This sometimes calls for aggressive proactive measures and sometimes can be handled with a more laid-back style. Every situation is different. If you notice that you’re losing ground, increase your vigilance. It’s much easier to maintain a state of order than to have to reclaim it after you’ve lost control.
Following the steps laid out here will get you going in the right direction. House cleaning is a hands-on endeavor. Get in there, get your hands wet, learn on the job. Before you know it, you’ll be effortlessly keeping your home shiny and clean.
Lots of people get away from the nonstop busyness of everyday life by retiring to the woods for a few days. While going off the grid is relaxing, there’s no maid service in the wild. Keeping camp clean can be tricky; these cleaning gone wild tips will keep you on track.
Cleaning is Necessary, Even at Camp
Cleaning a camp, or even a tent, is necessary. Life is messy, no matter where we are. In the woods it’s especially important to clean up leftover food or anything that might attract insects or bears or other undesirable visitors.
Keep a Lid on Food
Store food in locking, airtight containers to keep out wildlife and insects as well as ensure the food’s freshness.
Keep Food Cool
Keep items that normally require refrigeration on ice.
Clean Up Leftovers
Never leave leftover food sitting around unattended. Seal it up in airtight containers or Ziplocs.
Don’t Leave Trash Lying Around
Corn cobs and dirty paper plates have the potential to attract unwanted attention. Keep them under wraps or in a locking trash can.
Bring Plenty of Water
If camp doesn’t have a supply of fresh water, be sure to bring plenty to use for cleaning up.
Wash Your Dishes
Dirty dishes don’t belong at camp any more than leftovers or open food. Pack a couple of plastic tubs specifically for dishwashing. If there’s no hot water, heat some up on a cookstove or over a fire (use a fire-proof pan).
Don’t Forget a Broom
Sand and dirt and pine needles are tracked inside all day long at camp. Plan to sweep at least once a day.
If There’s Power, Bring a Small Shop Vac
If camp has a power source, a small shop vac is useful for all kinds of jobs from cleaning up sand on the floor to removing cobwebs to vacuuming cushions or other furniture and cleaning up mouse leavings. Use your imagination.
The cobwebs at camp aren’t the same as the cobwebs at home. At camp, think of cobwebs as nature’s insect traps. Eliminate some, if you must, but leave a few cobwebs around to reduce the number of gnats and mosquitos.
This is the only time the Cleaning Pro will advocate the use of disposable cleaning wipes, with the caveat that they be disposed of properly. Nature’s call must be answered, and if the facilities lack running water, cleaning wipes may be the simplest choice to ensure a sanitary toileting experience.
It’s Camp, It’s Supposed to be (a little) Dirty
Finally, don’t try to eliminate every speck of dust at camp. This is the time to let it be. Keep up what’s necessary to promote safety and good health, and let the rest go. Relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Who out there wonders what everyone else does when they clean their homes? Do you secretly worry that you’re not doing everything you should to keep your house in order? Do you want to know the process a professional house cleaner uses when cleaning a home? If so, you’re in the right place. This house cleaning checklist will explain how a pro cleans.
To help you achieve the best results from your cleaning routines, I’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist breaking down the tasks which make up a typical house cleaning job. Completing every item on the list each time you clean isn’t necessary, so don’t be intimidated.
The trick is in establishing a rotation that’ll ensure all items are done on an as-needed basis. And “as-needed” is a pretty loose timeframe. Some things might have to be done every six months and some every week. Each home is different. Customize your cleaning routine to fit your situation and keep it as simple as possible.
Tasks that are done in all rooms:
Working from high to low, eliminate cobwebs or dust along the edge where the walls and ceilings meet, on the ceiling itself, and in corners.
Dust ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and anything else up high.
Dust the top edges of curtains and valances or other window treatments, window blinds, window sills, window grates, shutters inside windows.
Dust the edges of picture frames and wall-hangings.
Dust ridges on multi-panel doors, louvered doors, tops of door frames and doors, chair rails, air-vent covers.
Spot clean fingerprints and other marks on walls, switch plates, doors and door frames.
Clean doorknobs, handrails, banisters.
Clean exterior glass doors and spot-clean insides of windows if necessary.
Tasks in the living room, family room, foyer, den, dining room, bedrooms, similar rooms:
Dust tables, shelves, stands, curios, dressers, chests, and other similar furniture, as well as the stuff on top, such as bric-a-brac, electronics, books, clocks, lamps, pictures.
Dust the sides, legs and feet of furniture. Eliminate any cobwebs along bottom edges.
Spot clean glass doors on things like china cabinets.
Spot clean mirrors.
Dust (or vacuum with a dusting brush) fireplace hearths.
Wipe down or dust leather furniture.
Vacuum upholstered furniture as needed.
Clean the floors: vacuum, sweep or dust mop bare floors & damp mop as needed.
Cleaning interior stairways:
On uncarpeted stairs, use a damp cloth or small broom and, starting at the top, brush dirt and dust down each stair using a dustpan to collect the dirt as you go.
Dust around spindles, the spindles themselves if necessary, and any moldings.
Use your vacuum cleaner stair brush attachment to clean carpeted areas on stairs, and use the dusting tool or a cloth to clean and dust uncarpeted edges and any moldings.
When cleaning stairways, don’t forget to wipe the handrails clean.
Kitchen cleaning tasks:
As in any other room, dust ceilings, blinds, furniture, baseboards, etc. Don’t forget to dust off the top of the fridge and the tops of cupboards if they don’t meet the ceiling.
Wipe down table and chairs or stools.
Clean appliance fronts: microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, trash compacter, stove, oven(s). Look out for fingerprints and sticky areas on keypads, knobs and handles.
If you have an inset water or ice dispenser in your refrigerator door, don’t forget to clean this area.
Clean inside the microwave, if necessary.
Clean cook top.
Clean top of range hood if you have one.
Wipe off the countertops and backsplashes, and wash the outsides of appliances on the counters as well as any other paraphernalia and anything mounted to the underside of upper cupboards. Shift appliances from side to side so you can clean the counter underneath.
De-crumb the toaster or toaster oven.
Spot clean cupboard doors and drawer fronts.
Optionally, clean your garbage container outside and/or inside.
Clean the sink
Sweep/vacuum/mop the floor.
Laundry room tasks:
Dust from the ceiling down, as in all rooms.
Dust all flat surfaces, walls, ridges on cupboard doors, whatever areas you can reach behind your washer and dryer, baseboards.
Spot clean the outsides of washer, dryer and any other appliances, and clean dispensers for laundry soap, fabric softener, as well as door gasket.
Vacuum the dryer lint trap.
Spot clean cupboard doors and wipe off any countertops.
Clean utility sink, if applicable.
Clean floor. Clean behind and under laundry baskets, hampers, etc.
Dust the bathroom as you would in any other room. Don’t forget the edges of towel racks, the lip along the top of partially tiled walls, the ridges around the top of shower walls, the top edge of shower curtains or shower doors, blinds and window grates, knick-knack shelves, and the edge along the top side of medicine cabinets or other cupboards.
Dust the covers on any ceiling vents.
Dust light fixtures.
If walls are tiled, clean with a damp cloth and buff dry, or spot clean.
Clean sink and vanity.
Spot clean cupboard doors.
Clean the toilet inside and out.
Sweep/vacuum/mop the floor.
Maintain a Routine
The most important element to keeping a home in the best possible shape is maintaining a regular cleaning routine. This ensures that every part of the house gets cleaned periodically, meaning that everything gets dusted, floors get cleaned, the kitchen gets a thorough wipe-down, and bathrooms get sanitized.
The Basics are Simple
While the list might seem long, the basics of cleaning are limited to dusting, vacuuming or floor cleanup, rudimentary kitchen cleanup like keeping counters clean, and bathroom maintenance. Both kitchen and bathroom cleaning is most efficient if it’s done on a daily basis, but do what you can when you can. Just know that more often is better in those two rooms, if nowhere else.
Keep it Quick and Easy
Cleaning your home every week or two doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive experience. Keeping up with the basics is quick and easy if you do it often, focusing on controlling the accumulation of dust and whatever debris gets tracked in on the feet of all who enter your home.
Add in the kitchen and bathrooms tasks that are part of good hygiene practices, and you’ve got yourself a simple routine that shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Then just rotate in whatever other chores need to be done as you notice the need arise. All those other chores are nothing more than gravy. At its core, house cleaning is really quite simple. The real secret is keeping it that way.