It happens to the best of us. We’re getting on with life and find that we just don’t have time to keep on top of the house as we’d like to. Either we’re too busy, or too tired and so some things start to pile up. Little jobs turn into big jobs. Before we know it, we look around and the house is an overwhelming mess.
This means that when we finally find the time to clean the house, our motivation is already suffering, and we don’t know where to start. Maybe we only have a few hours, or less, and know that we can’t quite do everything. Maybe we have the time, but not the energy.
Whatever the reason, the house is dirty, and we need to get it cleaned up. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are some tips that I’ve found really helpful when it comes to cleaning a dirty house from top to bottom.
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As you may have guessed, getting started is the first and possibly largest hurdle when it comes to cleaning a messy home. While there are some people who do enjoy cleaning, they are rare.
Most of us would much rather be doing anything else, especially when it’s been neglected for a while. However, there are some ways to kickstart the cleaning process and get yourself moving.
First off, have a plan in mind. This turns the nebulous and vague task of ‘cleaning the house’, into something more orderly and manageable. Figure out how much time you can devote to the house cleaning, and what day that you can do it. You’ll also want to know what needs doing.
Now that you know when you’re going to clean the house and what you’ll be doing, you need to make sure that you’re stocked up on whatever cleaning products you need. You can do all the planning in the world and have it all ruined when you realize you’ve run out of trash bags or all-purpose cleaner.
Once you’re prepared for the cleaning, you need to get yourself in the mood. Rather than focusing on everything you have to do, think about how nice it’ll be to relax in a nice clean house. After all, a dirty house can be bad for us, both physically and emotionally.
This is something I’ll always recommend, put some headphones on and listen to some music. Pick music that has a good beat to it and is energetic, otherwise, any genre will do. This will help you to have some fun while cleaning, as you’ll be entertained and want to move as you do so.
You could also listen to podcasts or audiobooks, which won’t get you moving, but will keep your mind occupied. However, don’t try to put on the television or start playing with your cell. These are productivity killers.
Finally, keep in motion. There’s nothing wrong with having a quick break to catch your breath or grab a glass of water but keep it quick. If you keep moving, then it’ll get done all the faster and you can relax without worrying about finishing the rest of the house.
What Supplies Are Needed to Clean a House?
It’s all very well saying to make sure you have all the supplies you need, but sometimes it’s good to have a reminder of what these are. Each person may prefer to use different things, but there are some supplies that are good for everyone to use.
First of all, you want at least a broom for floor cleaning. Chances are, you’ll also want a vacuum cleaner for carpets and rugs, and a mop for tiles. Other equipment that you’ll need include a duster, reusable cloths, microfiber cloths, and a scrubbing brush. Some people like to keep paper towels around as well.
Now, what cleaning products do you need? The obvious ones are dish soap, for washing dishes, and all-purpose cleaner, for everything else. However, you’ll also want to keep bleach around for more difficult jobs, glass cleaner, for windows, and likely, furniture polish.
Finally, if you like more natural cleaning products, white vinegar and baking soda are great things to keep around. Both are odor eliminators and baking soda can be especially good at getting rid of stubborn stains. They are gentler than bleach but can be remarkably effective.
Where to Start When Cleaning Your House
Sometimes knowing where to start is the hardest part of getting a large job done. When it comes to house cleaning, often it’s best to work room by room. Technically, you could start in whichever room you like, but there is some logic in choosing with a little more care.
However, before you even get properly started, it can be good to open all the windows and get your cleaning supplies together, including a trash bag. The windows being open will air out the house, and you can close them once you’ve cleaned each room. Okay, get that music started.
Also, now is a great time to start a load of laundry. This way, you can make sure that no time is wasted and if you have a lot of laundry to do, it’s best to start early and get as much done as possible. Once that’s underway, quickly go around the house and take any dishes into the kitchen.
The Cleaning Process Itself
From here, start your cleaning in earnest. This doesn’t have to be a deep clean, but you’re trying to get everything in a state you can be at least a bit proud of.
Again, you could start in any room that works best for you, but sometimes it’s good to get the trickier rooms out of the way. For this reason, I recommend starting in the kitchen.
As with every room, the first goal should be to get all the clutter out of the way. So, any trash should go in the garbage can. Any clutter or cupboard food should go back in its place. Once the quick clean up is done, wash and dry the dishes. A dishwasher is great for this, but there’s nothing wrong with doing them by hand.
Getting the dishes done is another great hurdle because everything automatically seems that much cleaner. After that, dust the ceiling, then wipe down the cabinet doors with a damp cloth and some all-purpose cleaner. This will only take a few minutes.
If you have time, pay attention to your small appliances. Empty out the crumb tray on your toaster and clean out the inside of the microwave. Then, wipe down the countertops and stovetop. Now wipe down the sink area and faucet. Take out the trash and clean the floors.
Once the kitchen is done, move onto the bedrooms. Gather all the dirty laundry and take it to the laundry room. If the earlier wash cycle is complete, put it in the dryer and replace it with the collected dirty laundry.
Work through each bedroom in turn, first putting any trash in your trash bag, then putting clothes in clutter back where it should be. When this is done, dust the ceiling and curtains or blinds. Dust or wipe down the surfaces, then change the bed linens. Finally, clean the floors.
Now you want to clean the bathroom. First, get rid of the trash and clutter, and dust the ceiling. Then spray all-purpose cleaner in the bath and shower area and leave it while you wipe down all the surfaces, making sure to use a different cloth for the toilet.
When everything has been wiped down with the all-purpose cleaner, wipe the bath and shower area and rinse them off. Finally, clean the floors.
Once the bathroom is done, move onto the living room, or family room. Again, get rid of any trash and put clutter away. Dust the ceiling and curtains, then dust every surface, moving ornaments as needed. Polish whichever surface would benefit, then dust or wipe down the soft furnishings. Sweep or vacuum the floor.
At this point, you’re very nearly finished. I like to save the glass polishing for last, so I can put all my other cleaning things away. Go through with the glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth and clean all the windows and mirrors. Finally, go to the laundry room and sort the now clean and dry laundry.
Your house should now be nice and clean. If you’d prefer to clean the rooms in a different order, that’s fine. As long as you pick an order that makes sense to you.
To stop it from getting dirty again, take half an hour a day to clean a room. This will stop things from getting out of hand, making your life that bit easier. Also, get the rest of the family to help out if you can. Assign them a room each and give them a checklist.
Cleaning House Checklist
- Get started. Turn on the music and get cleaning supplies together.
- Put on the first load of laundry and take all dishes to the kitchen.
- Clear up clutter in the kitchen.
- Wash dishes.
- Dust ceiling in the kitchen.
- Wipe cabinets.
- Clean small appliances.
- Wipe countertops, stovetop, and sink area.
- Empty bin.
- Clean floor.
- Put dirty laundry from bedrooms in laundry rooms.
- Dry clean laundry and set off the second load.
- Clear out trash from the bedroom.
- Put clutter and clean clothes away.
- Dust ceiling and curtains.
- Dust or wipe surfaces.
- Change bedding.
- Clean floor.
- Repeat with other bedrooms.
- Get rid of clutter.
- Dust ceiling.
- Soak bath area with cleaner.
- Wipe all surfaces.
- Wipe bath area and rinse down.
- Clean floor.
- Get rid of trash and tidy clutter.
- Dust ceiling and curtains.
- Dust all surfaces, polish as needed.
- Dust and wipe any soft furnishings as needed.
- Clean floor.
- Dust all other ceilings.
- Clean other floors.
- Wipe all windows and mirrors with glass cleaner.
- Sort clean laundry.