Before you start cracking on with the house cleaning, put aside breakables. Sweeping up broken pieces can divert you from your schedule.
Set aside big pieces of furniture to avoid bumping and scratching them with the vacuum cleaner or mop handles. Remove the curtains while you’re at it.
Pick a cleaning system and stick to it to avoid more mess and confusion. Your options:
- “In going out” -start by cleaning the farthest from the door so your movements are minimized. The more you move around the room, the more you generate dirt because you bring it with you on your clothes and under your feet.
- “Single motion” -from the door of any room, clean in only either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. This is so you won’t miss out on anything. You can start with that side table in the corner with picture frames, then the closet, then the windows, etc.
- “Top to bottom” -this works for everyone. Because dust always falls down, you only clean the floor once-at the end.
Gather all cleaning tools and products before you start to clean. Put all these in a carryall with a handle you can take from one room to the next.
In every room, assign an area where you will put small items that have to be moved as you clean surfaces. In the bathroom for instance, put shampoos, soap holders, and toothbrush tumblers in the sink.
Have a trash can and a large empty box in the middle of the room as you start to clean. First gather all trash and put it in the can. Next, place everything else that doesn’t belong in the room in the box. Returning misplaced items to where they belong wastes your time. Family members can retrieve their belongings from this box later on.
When you dust, use two clean cotton rags. Wet one rag, wring it out until it is just damp and use that to wipe dust away. Immediately dry the surface with the other rag. Be sure not to leave any surface wet-that’s a surefire dirt magnet.
Never have the television on while you clean; it will double your working time. Instead play a piece of your favorite fast-paced music to keep you going.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself! Kids can be encouraged to pitch in during general cleaning. Assign them the lighter tasks, like washing refrigerator bins.
How To Clean
SCREENS. Use a dry or damp sponge for screens that cannot be taken out. For thorough cleaning, take off the screens once every two weeks, scrub with detergent, hose it down, then dry under the sun. You can also use a small paint brush and water; steel and plastic brushes will do damage.
REFRIGERATOR. To defrost, turn off the switch and take out everything. Discard leftovers that have become inedible, as well as empty and near-empty bottles of condiments. Wrap frozen meat in several layers of newspapers and store in a Styrofoam box to prevent unnecessary thawing. Boil water in a pan and put the pan inside the freezer. The steam will hasten defrosting. Remove shelves and bins. Wash these in warm, soapy water. Rinse and drip-dry. Clean the fridge and freezer using baking soda, which absorbs foul odors but its milder than cleansers. Brush the rubber parts of the fridge with an old toothbrush immersed in a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe inside and outside the refrigrator with a sponge dipped in a warm, soapy water. Rinse and wipe interiors dry. Return shelves, bins, and food. Don’t forget to clean under and behind the refrigerator.
COOKING RANGE. Remove grills and wash in soapy water. Rinse and drip-dry. Meanwhile, clean stovetop, inside, and exterior walls of oven. Use baking soda to remove cooked-on food spatters. Wash burners in soapy water. Use an old toothbrush to unclog burner holes. If control knobs can be removed, wash these also with brush. Dry thoroughly before returning. Meanwhile clean control panel. Don’t forget to move cooking range to clean under and behind it.
Remember to break the job down into manageable tasks so you won’t be overwhelmed and you’ll have little accomplishments along the way. Happy Cleaning!