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House Cleaning 101

Updated on October 22, 2012

Cleaning Doesn't Take as Long as You Think it Will

House cleaning is not everyone's favourite thing to do. Lack of time and often, lack of interest means that more and more cleaning services are utilised to take care of everyday cleaning tasks. There are companies who will clean everything from your windows to your dog. Doing it yourself however has quite a few benefits. If you get organized and focus on the task, you can have a clean house in an hour or less.

Step Number 1 - Get Rid of the Clutter

Put away (or give to charity or throw away) as many things as you can. It's much easier to clean if you don't have to move or work around piles of toys, clothes, newspapers, coffee mugs and other items that most of us leave around the house in day to day life.

Step Number 2 - Collect Your Gear

Duster, mop, vacuum, cleaning products. Collect them all before you start. Keeping your cleaning products in a bucket is useful to avoid accidental spillages and damage to surfaces.

Step Number 3 - Start at the Top

Work to a system. It is logical to start high. Think cobwebs. First go around and remove all obvious webs and dust high places such as the tops of curtains, picture rail, pictures, blinds and window ledges. This makes sense because if you did this later, you would then be showering dust down on your clean furniture and floors. So do the high ground first.

Step Number 4 - Clean the Wet Areas

Think bathroom/s and kitchen. These are the areas that usually need the most work, so do them while your energy level is high.


Clean the shower, bath, toilet and basin first and clean mirrors and glass last. If you clean mirrors and glass first it's easy to end up splashing water and products all over them while you're cleaning other items which means they'll need doing all over again. For a professional touch, polish basins, bath and faucets with a soft cloth last to give your bathroom a sparkling clean appearance.


Clean the oven, cooktop and microwave first as these are usually the dirtiest items. Using new cleaning cloths then clean inside and outside of the refrigerator, benchtops,splashbacks and basins. If you have a dishwasher, clean the filter and wipe down the outside of the machine. Once again, polishing everything with a soft cloth last gives a professional finish to your work.

Step Number 5 - Dust and Polish

Next, dust everything from head height down. Don't forget window ledges, skirting boards and hard-to-get-to places such as behind the TV. Follow up by wiping down flat surfaces with a damp cloth and applying wood and furniture polishes according to your decor. Clean mirrors and glass last.

Step Number 6 - Clean the Floors

Vacuum all floors. Mop hard floors with products appropriate to the surface or use a general purpose option such as a cap or two (10-20mL) of eucalyptus oil.

Step Number 7 - Completion

Do a final check to see if you've missed anything, then relax and enjoy your sparkling clean home.

Handy Hints

1. Don't put it down, put it away. Whatever you pick up, clothes, toys, anything, put it away neatly.

2. To do a thorough job of dusting and polishing, work your way along the walls of each room without crossing the room. This ensures you won't miss anything.


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