We all have a place we live – and that ALWAYS needs cleaning. Today I wanted to look at the best way to clean so that you can get things done more quickly, while enjoying it as much as possible and being happy that it’s all been done well.
These tips will really help you maintain a clean home week in, week out.
Let’s get going then!
Obviously it takes time to clean a room really well, and as always I would suggest making this fit with how you want to do things. Whether you prefer a blitz session or a bit every day, you can still use these tips to great effect.
TIP – Deep clean a room or a space in your home each week/month so that over the course of a year each room will have been deep cleaned x amount of times (whatever your number is), and lightly cleaned at all other times. This works really well and stops the overwhelm. For even more tips on putting together a cleaning schedule – just CLICK HERE.
GET INTO THE RIGHT MINDSET & GET ENERGISED
First things first.
If you’re not in the right mindset for cleaning you will no doubt take longer to do it, feel terrible in the process, and procrastinate before you get started. Who wants that?!
It’s time to get your head into the game!
Cleaning can be seen as a very dull way to spend your time, so getting motivated and creating a buzz around the jobs will end up helping you to get things done a lot more quickly.
- Understand what you’ll be doing during your clean. Will you be tackling one room, an area in a room, or a whole house? If you know what your goal is, then you will be more focused and won’t feel as overwhelmed.
- Set a time limit for the task – this also helps focus as you will have a finish line to aim for.
- Make it a habit – get used to the fact that you have to get things done, but how good it feels to have finished when it’s over. Making cleaning just part of your daily routine will make it a no-brainer and you’ll just get it done rather than fight yourself each and every time.
It’s also no good if you are feeling low and have no energy. Getting into the right mindset with the tricks I’ve just talked about will have helped already, but you may still be feeling like you can’t do it right now because you’re still too tired/lethargic (I’m talking general energy slump and not medical of course – if you have medical issues then listen to your body and do what you can).
The higher your energy levels, the more you will whizz around the room and get it done so much faster – a huge bonus!
The best trick I know for helping this is to put your favourite music on loud and have a dance around! (you can even make cleaning a workout which works well!).
GET EVERYTHING READY
Having your cleaning stuff ready to use will be a time saver, and help you not take all day doing each task (who wants to to and fro from room to room finding what you need?).
I like using a cleaning caddy as this houses all my usual items ready to pick up and go to whichever room I am focusing on next, but some items you may want to have at hand are as follows: –
- Bin bag for any rubbish
- Duster (cloth and long handled for ceilings and hard to reach places)
- Damp cloth
- Window cleaner and wipe
- Hoover with attachments
- Mop and bucket (steam mops work really well)
Bathrooms and kitchens will have their specialised cleaning products in that room already, no doubt, so you will have these to hand immediately – this list is more for the general room cleaning around the house.
LET THE FRESH AIR IN
Whatever time of year it is, it’s worth opening the windows and allowing fresh air into the room while you are cleaning it.
This will make everywhere feel fresher, and give it a new lease of life! It’s also a great way to circulate the air and allow any damp air out of the house rather than creating condensation and mould in the space, so it’s a great habit to get into each and every day.
TIP – If it’s already dark outside then try and open the window for a while the following day just to let everything get a fresh blast of air.
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Spring cleaning came about because that’s when the days started to get brighter and show how dirty a house had got over the darker winter months.
Whatever time of year it is, you want to be able to see exactly what you are cleaning – so that you can clean it properly.
As such – if it’s night time then turn on all the lights, and if it’s daytime then pull back the window treatments to allow as much natural light in as possible.
TAKE AWAY THE SOFT FURNISHINGS
Once you can see what you are doing and are energised, then it’s worth taking away the items that need to be washed / cleaned / refreshed – so that they aren’t in the way when you start the cleaning.
For example, in a bedroom it’s worth taking sheets of the bed and letting that air, in living spaces take any rugs outside and shake them, take cushions outside to air a little, and generally ensure there are no dirty fabrics/soft furnishings anywhere.
DECLUTTER THE SURFACES
You really don’t want to have to spend time cleaning things that don’t belong in the room you are going to clean.
What a waste of time!
It’s also a real pain to have to keep moving things out of the way so you can polish/hoover properly.
As such, do a declutter of the space before you start cleaning, and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong there. (It may need to be moved to another room, or it may be actual rubbish/recycling).
For example: –
- Dirty washing waiting to go to the laundry basket
- Kids toys lying around
- Anything on any surface that doesn’t belong there (books / magazines / letters / pens etc…)
- Contents of the rubbish bin in the room
The important thing to note here is to just take them out of the room for now – DON’T TAKE THEM TO WHERE THEY BELONG.
You may well get sidetracked if you go off to another room, and that’s when cleaning starts to take over the entire day.
Stay focused, you will have time to deal with this stuff at the end…
SCAN THE ROOM FOR FLAWS
This step is often missed when you clean a room, but I always find it really helpful to do a quick scan of the room that I am cleaning to check for anything that’s broken or needs attention in any way.
These could be things like: –
- Lightbulb needs replacing
- Cupboard door hinge not fixed properly
- Batteries need changing in remote controls
- Clock needs winding
- Stains need treating
These are all things that need tackling, but NOT RIGHT NOW.
You want to stay focused on the cleaning, so I recommend having a notepad in your cleaning caddy so that you can write these extra jobs down and add them to your TO DO list for later.
This is a great way to not get distracted by them right now, but know that you won’t forget about them and will get to them shortly.
WORK AROUND THE ROOM & FROM THE TOP DOWN
Once everything is in the right place for the room, and you have taken things out that don’t belong, then you can start cleaning properly.
Everything you can now see in the space needs to be cleaned, it’s that simple!
But the trick is to do it methodically, and there are two things to remember for this to work really well.
#1 – WORK AROUND THE ROOM – CLOCKWISE
I always work around the room from the doorway so that I end up back at the doorway when finished, and I know that every part of the room has been cleaned as a result (I’m also by the door at the end so can walk straight out and not mess things up again!).
#2 – WORK FROM THE TOP DOWN
I also work from the top down – from ceiling to floor. Working from the top down ensures that any dust that falls will fall to the floor and the lower surfaces and will be cleaned up as you work your way down. If you start to clean from the floor up then you will simply have dust settle on the floor and have to do it all over again.
This method will ensure you are doing things as efficiently as possible. So with that in mind….
DUST, POLISH & WIPE
Work around the room from top to bottom, concentrating on all surfaces where dust and dirt could settle.
- Use a long handled duster to get rid of cobwebs and dust from the ceiling and top corners of the room.
- Clean all light fittings (including the bulbs as these get dusty very quickly and you’ll be surprised at how much brighter the room is once you’ve finished)
- If you have picture rails, cornicing and coving, curtain poles etc.. then hoover or dust around all of these to pick up any dust that has settled.
- Clean the inside of all windows, and any mirrors and pictures you have on the walls.
- Clean all light switches / door handles etc…
- Any shelves that have things on will need to be cleaned as well, so take the stuff off first, clean thoroughly, clean the items as well, and then put them back (remember to make them look nice when you put them back as then that jobs done too!)
- Clean any wooden/metal furniture
- Clean all skirting boards
TIP – I find using a damp cloth picks up the dust much better than a polish and duster – I have even been known to use an old (clean!) sock as this fits onto your hand really easily, and when slightly damp can pick up all the dust and grime really quickly and easily.
VACUUM &/OR MOP
Vacuum from top to bottom as well – if you prefer you can vacuum the dust up as well before adding a final polish to surfaces.
- Vacuum under sofa cushions and vacuum mattresses.
- Move ALL furniture out of its normal place (as long as its safe to do so of course) and vacuum behind it, as theres always so much dust there that can easily be missed.
- Vacuum the floor (carpeted and hard floors will need to be vacuumed)
- Mop the floor as well if it’s a hard floor
BRING BACK THE SOFT FURNISHINGS
At the start of your cleaning, I asked you to take outside / wash the soft furnishings in that space, and now is the time to bring them back.
Put cushions / throws back on the sofas, rugs can be put back on the floor (hoover these as well of course), beds can be made with fresh bedding, towels changed in bathrooms etc….
FINISH WITH A FLAIR!
Now everything should be sparkling clean ad looking neat and tidy – so simply add something nice smelling to the space and walk away knowing you’ve done a good job!
I like a variety of things, depending on the room and my mood!: –
- Spritz of room spray
- Fresh air (the best, in my opinion, as long as it’s no freezing outside of course!)
FINISHED? – NOT QUITE…
So – you can walk out of the room knowing that its clean from top to bottom and all the hidden areas have also been tackled.
Job well done – well – almost!
Remember the stuff that you took out of the room at the start? – the stuff I said to leave just outside the door…
You now just need to sort these items out.
Take the items and put them back where they belong: –
- Put them back into the correct room
- Take them to charity if they are no longer needed by you but could be used by others
- Throw them away / recycle if they are beyond repair
By the time you have tackled each room in your home there should be less and less out of place, and hopefully this step will become obsolete once you have taken up the habit of having a quick tidy round each day (this is reason enough for me to have a walk around the house each night and check that everything’s in it’s place).
I hope this has helped you with working out the best way to clean any space in your home.
You should find it takes less time to do once things are done in this order, and that you find it more efficient and easy to get things done.
If you want to go even further and create your very own cleaning schedule, so you’ll know exactly what you need to do and when (to get your head focused) then take a look at this post that takes you through how to do it, step by step. Enjoy!