Holistic Housekeeping

This place is a mess! A quick method for controlling household chaos

First, consider your resources.  These include machinery (washer/dryer, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner), containers (garbage bags, laundry baskets) cleaning products, and time.  If you have a washing machine available, get it going first.  Machines can work while you're doing something else.  Fill the dishwasher --empty it first, if necessary, or fill your sink with hot soapy water and soak those dishes.

Next, get three containers, one for garbage, one for recyclables, and one for objects out of their place.  The key is to consider the whole house, and to look at the project in a wider scope.  Go from room to room and pick up all the garbage, be ruthless in getting rid of old magazines, newspapers, broken toys and junk mail.  Then take it out!  Once you've eliminated the trash completely, you're no longer spending time moving it around.  Using a box or basket, pick up objects as you move around, putting them away in the correct room as you go.  Move in one direction, and don't spend time going back and forth.

The vacuum cleaner can do a lot more than carpets, and the dirt is contained.  Use it to dry clean your bathroom before applying wet cleaners.  Hair is the biggest pain in cleaning a bathroom.  The extension wand can be used on kitchen counters, floors, under couch cushions, etc.  Change the bag.  The vacuum is only useful if it is efficient.

Your washing machine can do area rugs, cleaning rags, even throw pillows if they're sturdy.  If you take your laundry out, bag it up and get it out of the way before you start cleaning.

Use a spray cleaner on the bathroom, kitchen counters and hard surfaces.  Let it set for easier wiping.  Use a glass cleaner for mirrors and glass surfaces to avoid streaking.  I think cotton rags are better than paper towels, but paper is good for a quick wipe up.

Ultimately, the best cleaning tip is to eliminate items that clutter your home.  An excellent book on this subject is written by Don Aslett, Clutter's Last Stand.  Any item you don't own is one you don't have to clean.


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