I let my place go and it needed a thorough cleaning, the kind you only want to do a couple times a year. Get out the furniture polish, dusting rags, your Bissell or Hoover, and you are ready to go. We go through our various rituals to make our surroundings fresh and attractive. You can do it yourself (no one will do it better) or get help. I do that only for the windows as I don’t have all the gear. In that I am in the midst of a major undertaking, it is relevant to share with you a few of my best hacks to keep your space tidy. Here goes:
- Start to repeat the word “organization”: if you do, may be you will internalize the need to keep things in some kind of logical order so you can find them and they look nice. Sort things in your kitchen and keep everyday appliances and utensils within easy reach. Clean under the sink (it is inevitably nasty) before you place your cleaning solutions and soaps.
- Read product labels. When I don’t, I make more than a few mistakes. Some solutions will eat at stained wood surfaces or destroy the sheen of marble.
- Learn how to use all the accessories that come with your vacuum. This can save a lot of time. They are shortcuts that shouldn’t be missed. The crevasse tool is great for upholstered furniture and the brush for dusty shelves. Switch the major attachment when going from carpet to wood floors unless it does so with a quick flip of a lever. I hope you have one like I do after reading The Vacuum Challenge. It’s much easier!
- Use soft scrub on delicate porcelain surfaces—tubs, sinks, shower tiles, etc. It is as good as the rough cleanser and won’t create peeling spots.
- Don’t forget the microwave just because you haven’t used it in a while. I also find food residue. Use the same products as you do inside the refrigerator.
- Clean the ice tray in your freezer from time to time unless you want one large block. Then it is almost impossible to pry it apart.
- Discover the value of a Swiffer floor “mop” for wood. It saves wear and tear on the floor from a heavy vacuum cleaner. Keep scratches to a minimum.
- There are great products out there to restore wood surfaces, whether furniture or the floor. If you have had water spills, you know about fading and stains.
- Some things people often forget: carpeted stairs, the dirty area of indoor floors adjacent to doors, cupboards that are high up in the kitchen, and behind the toilet. Learn your own house inside and out to keep it squeaky clean.
These are just a few of my favorite cleaning tricks that will get you in the mood to tackle the big job with vim and vigor. You might be like me: once you get started, you are on a roll and don’t stop until every nook and cranny has been addressed. Go for it!