Time is tight, the kids want attention, dinner simmers on the
stove and the house needs cleaning. Did someone mention housework?
Most people would rather darn socks than clean their home.
Consequently those annoying chores get tucked on the back burner where
they sit simmering until the pot boils dry. That once 30-minute job
has now turned into a half-day nightmare.
Rather than ignoring those chores let's explore some time savings
tips professionals use to clean a home. Start by hiring yourself to
clean your home. If a professional comes to clean they will insist
that dishes be put in the dishwasher, clothes hung up, papers picked
up and the house tidy. You cannot speed clean a home with clutter
anywhere let alone everywhere.
Here are a few shortcuts to help you declutter your home.
-If the clutter in your home seems a bit overwhelming, start with the
big stuff. We live in a time when everyone thrives on instant success.
Picking up large size items like clothing means fast results. That
spurs you on to tackle the smaller piles.
-Never leave a room without taking something with you. Put it where
it belongs so you don?t waste time looking for it later.
-Clean up your dishes after every meal. Instruct each family member
to rinse and put away their own dishes. This goes for cups or glasses
used during the day too.
-Learn to multitask. If you head in the direction of the washing
machine, take a load of clothes with you. When you pull meat out of
the freezer in the garage, get enough for 3 days. Leaving for the
grocery store? Take the garbage out with you.
-Purchase a spare pair of needle nose pliers, regular pliers, a
hammer and one of those screwdrivers with all four heads in one
handle. Tuck them in a kitchen drawer so they are handy when you need
Organize then organize again
Experts encourage people to
organize their lives. They know disorganization robs you of valuable
time among other things. Follow this outline to organize your cleaning
Head to the hardware store for the following items:
* Tote tray with dividers ? do not waste your money with aprons
designed to hold bottles of cleaners, etc. The weight of so many full
bottles slows you down. Talk about an achy breaky back!
* White nylon scrub pad found in the cleaning section. Use it for
stubborn spots or water spots on glass shower doors. Use only white.
Other colors may scratch.
* Stiff bristle brush that looks like a toothbrush. It is ideal for
scrubbing around faucets.
* 1 Â½ inch paint brush. Use it to dust cobwebs along window
and doorways etc.
At the grocery store pick up the following:
* Window cleaner
* Concentrated orange cleaner without petroleum distillates
* Bar Keepers Friend
* Toilet bowl cleaner
* Toilet bowl brush without metal rings
* Rubber Gloves
Next stock a plastic bag with old but clean terry cloth towels
and a few lint free towels for dusting. Tuck in a second plastic bag
to store soiled towels as you clean. Then add a large trash bag for
emptying the trash.
Speed Cleaning Essentials
In todays world of quick fixes people want fast results. They
buy the fastest computer and instant dinners. The single most
important thing you can do to speed clean your home has no quick fix -
exercise. A regular, consistent exercise program gives you the
strength and stamina to rocket you through not only your house
cleaning chores but everything you do.
Clean like the pros. You never see a professional enter a home and
heat up a cup of coffee, flip on the TV or send an email. Do not allow
distractions to pull you away from the task at hand. Let the answering
machine handle your phone calls and wait to retrieve the mail until
you finish. Distractions turn a 15-minute job into an hour?s worth of
A key point to remember: You build speed as you clean. Every time you
stop it takes time to rebuild your momentum costing you valuable time.
Give yourself the gift of time by staying focused on the task at hand.
Speed cleaning usually entails cleaning your entire home all in
one day. For many people this does not work due to busy schedules.
Should this be your case, dust your home one day, tackle the bathrooms
the next etc. Whichever job you do complete the entire task. Dust the
entire house or clean all the bathrooms. It takes time to pull out
your cleaning equipment so keep going until you finish.
Divide and conquer. Many people become overwhelmed at the thought of
cleaning their entire home at one time. A professional breaks a home
into sections cleaning one section then moving to the next. Here is a
basic outline to follow. Adjust the sections according to the layout
of your home.
Section one: Bedroom area and hallway
Section two: Kitchen, dining area, den or family room
Section three: Formal living room and dining room
Section four: Laundry room and any remote rooms.
*Tip: Add a 15 to 25 foot extension cord to your vacuum cleaner so you
can reach all the rooms in one section without taking time to move the
cord from room to room.
Also remember you may not need to clean formal living rooms or dining
rooms each time you clean. Use that time to dust cobwebs, clean
cabinets, windows etc.
From the top down. Deciding where to begin and how to proceed
baffles many people. Clean the top floor first beginning at the back
working your way either down the steps or to the center if you are on
the first floor. Following this pattern keeps you from dragging
equipment and dirt over freshly vacuumed carpets. Once you have
developed a cleaning routine stick with it. The more familiar you are
with the flow the faster you clean.
Here is a common cleaning pattern to follow. Remember you will
need to make adjustments based on the layout of your home. Empty the
trash as you clean. You will be amazed at the amount of clutter that
heads to the garbage when a trash bag is handy. Carry a second trash
bag for items that can be taken to Goodwill.
1. Master bathroom
2. Hall bathroom
3. Dust all bedrooms, stairway railings and wall hangings
4. Vacuum the master bedroom, bedrooms, hallways then stairs
5. Clean kitchen
6. Dust family room and dining area
7. Vacuum or dust the floors in kitchen and family room and mop the
8. Half bathroom
9. Dust formal living room and dining room
10. Vacuum these areas and damp mop the entry way if it has hard
11. Laundry rooms and any remote rooms like guest rooms or offices
The order of business: People often follow a different procedure
each time they clean a room and each room they clean. The secret to
speed cleaning lies in repetition. Begin either at the left or the
right of the room depending on which feels more comfortable to you.
Then circle the room.
1. Spray the inside of the toilet with the bowl cleaner.
2. Spray the rim, toilet seat, counter top and sink with your
Remember each time you put a bottle down and pick it up, you
3. Use your diluted orange cleaner and squirt down the shower or tub
4. Next clean the toilet and toilet rim by sprinkling baking soda or
Bar Keepers Friend on your toilet bowl brush.
5. Spray only the part of the mirror that is dirty wiping it down
with a clean rag. That puts enough cleaner on the towel to clean the
rest of the mirror.
6. Wipe the counter, sink and the exterior of the toilet and the
7. Next clean the shower walls. Spray the shower floor and clean it.
Finish by mopping the floor.
1. Lift objects with one hand then dust with the other. Place an old
clean cotton tube sock over your dusting hand and lightly dampen it
with your cleaner. People with arthritis or hand dexterity problems
find it helpful to wear a rubber glove on one hand giving them a
better grasp on objects.
2. Spray a lint free towel with the window cleaning solution and
toss that over one shoulder to clean any glass inlaid tables or
3. Begin dusting from either the right or the left and work your way
around the room dusting window sills and wall hangings as you come to
4. For homes with pets, tuck a clean pair of rubber gloves into your
back pocket. When you come to couches or chairs with pet hair, use the
gloves and work you hands in a circular motion moving over the
furniture. Toss the rolled up lint onto the floor for the vacuum to
Some people cover furniture with a body size bath towel to keep them
clean from pet hair. Easy to launder, towels also save on furniture
wear and tear.
5. As you dust move furniture towards the center of the room to
vacuum behind it.
1. Place a coffee cup half full of water in the microwave. Cook on
high for two minutes. The resulting steam loosens any baked on food
for easy cleaning. Allow the cup to cool for a minute before moving it
so you don't scald yourself.
2. Spray the stove or any counter area that contains dried food with
3. Start at the left and work your way clockwise around the kitchen
leaving the sink for last after you mop the floor.
4. Move appliances to one side then spray the counter, dishwasher,
refrigerator or microwave if it is in that immediate area.
5. Clean one section of cabinets each time you clean the kitchen,
paying special attention to door pulls.
6. Mop the floor using a 100% terry cloth towel. Rinsing mops and
filling buckets of water consumes time. A towel rinses quickly under a
faucet then can be laundered for easy care.
7. Sprinkle the sink with Bar Keepers Friend or baking soda using a
brush to thoroughly scrub the sink.
Vacuum around the room in the same order you dust. Vacuum behind
furniture first, replace the furniture then back out of the room. If
the floors are hard wood or laminated wood, dust them then damp mop
using terry towel dampened with a small amount of white vinegar and
water. For all other hard surface floors, vacuum them then damp mop
using hot water only. Marble floors must be dried.
Mary Findley Copyright @2003
About the Author:
Mary Findley spent 12 years professionally cleaning homes. Her book
"Whistle While You Work" is the first ever written for the care of
RVs. It also covers home cleaning as well. She writes articles for
several magazines and conducts informative and humorous seminars. You
are welcome to print out her complete stain removal guide from her
website at GoClean.com.
Or you can call 800-345-3934 for a product brochure.