Does it feel like you are constantly cleaning in pursuit of a really clean house? There is no better feeling than relaxing in a house that is really clean. Unfortunately, for many of us, we are making some key mistakes when we are on our mission to get a really clean house.
There are secrets to get a really clean house. Some of the things that you need to do to get to the sacred level of a really clean house may surprise you.
Don’t Confuse Cleaning With Maintenance
It can be really frustrating when you feel like you are cleaning every day and still not enjoying the benefits of a really clean house. You have to change how you look at what is cleaning and what is maintenance. We often confuse the two.
Certain things like doing the dishes, which by the way, cleaning experts recommend you should do immediately, or sweeping are looked at as cleaning tasks. Yes, those are necessary activities to keep your home tidy, but that is not cleaning. That all is day-to-day maintenance activities that everyone should be doing on a daily basis.
Those activities (doing dishes and sweeping) help to get a really clean house but the acts in and of themselves are not cleaning. Think of tidying up every day as an activity similar to HVAC maintenance. You need to stay up on things so that things do not fall apart.
A good rule of thumb to follow on the path to a really clean house is any room that you use daily should be tidied up daily. Here are some suggestions to create an easy-to-follow routine:
- As soon as a dish hits the sink, wash it. It literally takes seconds to do dishes as they enter the sink. If you have a dishwasher, make it a habit to rinse the dishes and stick them right in the dishwasher.
- Make it a habit to clean as you go in the bathroom. Invest in organizing tools like cabinets, baskets, and other organizers. Make it a habit to put something back as soon as you are done with it. If everything has a home in your bathroom it will make it easier to keep the mess down. Clean the shower while you are in it. They sell products that you can spray in the shower as you are exiting it that will help to keep soap scum from building up.
- Set at least one day a week where you pull out the vacuum and vacuum all the rugs. A vacuum is a great cleaning tool not just for the floors but for other areas like the corners of the room, your ceiling fan blades, and more.
Sounds like a lot of work? It really isn’t. According to the experts, anything that you do for three weeks can become a habit. Try it. Maintenance is just as important as deep cleaning. What if you are starting from scratch and your house is in need of a really deep clean? The tips below are going to help you to get a really clean house fast, then you will just have to keep up with it by following the maintenance suggestions above.
Tip Number One, A Really Clean House Is a Highly Functional House
One of the biggest oppressors of a really clean house is anything that is broken. You can do all the interior painting that you want to brighten things up and make it feel cleaner, but if there is something that is not functioning right in your house, it will never feel really clean.
For example, you have been having a plumbing problem for a while now. The drains are running slow, and you have to take the plunger to the toilet just to get it to flush. Why have you not called a plumber? The problem will not fix itself. As long as you are having to plunge the toilet in that sparkling clean bathroom every time you want to flush, your house will not feel clean.
Whether it is a simple hose clip on that connection that is driving you crazy, or it is something bigger like your HVAC is on its way out, having the repairs done that are necessary is vital if you want a really clean house. A recent survey asked homeowners “what was their biggest obstacle to getting a really clean house?”. The answers were surprising. The majority of respondents (81%) said that they felt it was a losing battle because their homes needed some repairs.
It makes sense when you think about it. If you need new air conditioning installation, it kind of makes you feel like it is hopeless to clean a house that is broken. Besides who wants to clean anything when there is no functioning AC?
Get the necessary repairs done, and you will feel so much better about doing the deep cleaning your home needs to be a really clean house. Cleaning a house that is not functioning as it should is like putting lipstick on a pig.
Tip Number Two, Declutter
Stuff is the enemy of a really clean house. Even those of us who think we are not hoarders, do have some element of hoarding. You have to scale down. If you have junk drawers that are crammed with stuff (mostly junk) start there. Do you really need 500 pens or the chopsticks that you got from that take out six months ago? The answer is NO. Throw everything out that you do not use. Get organizers and live by the one in one out rule. Anytime you put something new in that junk drawer you have to throw something out from that junk draw. As, a matter of fact, you can use the one in one out rule in just about every room.
The best furniture stores will sell furnishings that are multipurpose. For example, a bed frame that has drawers in the bottom. Investing in multipurpose furniture can help you to keep the clutter down and free up some space.
Clutter makes cleaning harder and living your best life harder. It is the weight that you do not need in your life. Clutter winds up on counters, shoved in closets, shoved in drawers, and just takes over. Declutter, you will feel better, and you will be on the path to a really clean house.
Tip Number Three, Start At the Top
People that have really clean homes, start their deep cleaning at the top of the room and work their way down. For example, they will use a vacuum hose to get in the corners of the ceiling to suck away any spider webs that have accumulated, next they will hit up the ceiling lights, and the ceiling fan. They will clean the top of their window frames and work their way down.
About 25% of those surveyed responded that they clean around their windows about two times a year. That is by far not enough. Ceiling fans, according to the same survey, get cleaned the same amount of times. Tsk tsk. That is not a really clean house. You should do the ceiling to floor cleaning about once a month.
Tip Number Four, Psst Here is a Cleaning Secret
When you dust do you use a spray polish like Pledge? According to the experts, you should not. When you dust wetting the dust with any type of cleaning product just makes it harder to lift. A good quality microfiber cloth will remove the dust quickly.
Here is another secret about dusting you should be doing it once a week, and you should be dusting every surface. There are a few things that people leave out of their dusting routine that can actually be causing them more work. When people dust their homes they often forget about things and spaces that can accumulate dust and then send it right back into the room:
- Wiring, outlet covers, and other do hickeys. When you dust to address all of the things that are connected to other things. For example, the wire and plug on your lamps? What about the cable seals that you use to lock things up? There are plenty of things that are part of something else that we forget to dust that we should not.
- Behind Televisions, appliances, and electronics. Do you wipe down your router? How about the back of the TV? Don’t feel bad, about 71% of us do not, but we should if we want a really clean house.
- Under things. Do you move everything off the surface when you dust or do you kind of swipe around it? If you are guilty of the latter you are in good company about 30% of people just give everything a swipe and leave heavy things on the surface. You have to move things, even the heavy ones.
Keeping the dust down is vital to getting a really clean house.
Tip Number Five, Learn How to Delegate
You have to know when to delegate duties and when to hire someone for the big jobs. For example, according to carpet manufacturers, you should have your carpets professionally cleaned twice a year. It is a big job to clean your carpets and do it right. Let the professionals handle that.
Everybody in your household should have chores. Even the littlest hands can pick up toys and dust. Getting everyone on board with specific duties will cut down your workload and help you to have the really clean house you want. Set up a chore list.
Kids like to help, they also like to know what is expected of them. It may take a while for younger kids to perfect the fine art of dusting, but let them do the job anyway. They will get better with time.
Tip Number Six, You Have To Clean These Areas
It is all well and good to clean everything that has been mentioned up to this point but there are areas that you will need to clean that are not areas that are normally addressed:
- Behind and underneath kitchen appliances. Typically people do not clean behind their appliances. Most people will pull out their refrigerator maybe once a year. You should do it once a month. Don’t forget your stove pull that out too and get behind it and clean.
- Window blinds. We often overlook window blinds when we are cleaning. Keeping up on your blinds will ensure that they do not “suddenly” appear to have yellowed. A bathtub filled with a bleach-water solution will help you get your blinds back to like-new condition. In between those deep dunks into bleach water, dust your blinds regularly. They sell a special tool just for the task.
- Lightbulbs (you read that right) light switches and outlet covers. You should be dusting your lightbulbs. Turn the lamp off let the lightbulb cool and wipe it down. Wipe down the lampshade while you are at it.
When you want a really clean house you need to clean every item and every area in the house. Don’t skip out on the spaces no one else sees.
Tip Number Six, You Have to Clean The Outside
If you want a really clean house there are areas outside your home that will need to be cleaned. Typically, homeowners will clean things like their garage doors, siding, and other exterior surfaces during their annual spring cleaning. If you clean the exterior more often you will not have to give up that weekend in the spring to get it done.
While you are focused on outdoor spaces take some time and do a little car detailing as well. You might as well get all the “outside” stuff cleaned up.
Tip Number Seven, Clean Like the Pros
When professionals have cleaning tasks ahead of them, they approach it like a job, because it is. That is how you should approach any deep cleaning project. Get organized, have all the tools that you need on hand, and focus solely on the one job until it is completed. While most people do not have refrigerated trailers in their front yard that needs a good cleanup, they do have refrigerators and freezers that need one.
Follow the lead of the people that have to clean out those trailers. Get rid of any questionable food. Anything that has been in the freezer for a year, needs to be tossed. Turn the freezer and refrigerator off while you clean it out. Then restock it when you are done. Make sure you take the time to label everything that is going back in the fridge and freezer so you can discard it if it gets past the due date.
Tip Number Eight, A Really Clean House Does Not Happen Over Night
If you are starting with a house that needs some reorganization and some deep cleaning, give yourself a time limit to get it done. Once you have all the deep cleaning out of the way, come up with a maintenance schedule and stick to it.
Be patient with yourself and take solace in knowing that about 75% of Americans wish their house was really clean. You can get there.