Learn to Clean your home like a Professional
CLEANING...the one household choir no likes
Hello and Good Day to YOU!!
I've have been a professional home cleaner for over 2 decades. I've learned more tips and tricks then a pony in a parade. The most asked question that I get from my clients is "how do you get it all done so fast?"
That's what this lens is going to be about. I'm going to teach you how to get started, and get it finished in 3 hours or less. We will assume that this lens is cleaning a 3000 sq foot home. That is a fairly normal size home, although some are smaller and some are larger everything remains the same, just add or subtract a few extra minutes.
This lens will teach you the few things you need to do in order to just start the process and make it an easy follow up each week. If you really find it helpful and you give this a try, you'll find out that this choir of cleaning isn't so bad.
First things FIRST...
everything has an order...organization is key
First and foremost get the house to yourself id possible. Send the kids off to school, or arrange for a play date at a friends house. This is also a good way to help your friend have her own cleaning day later in the week. Having the house cleared of all nonessential personnel is so helpful.
Let's pretend in a magical world that you are finally alone and at home. No you can't go watch TV uninterrupted but I promise at the end of this you will really enjoy a fresh cup of coffee in your now clean home, so let's work on getting to that point first.
Do you want to know why it is so easy for a professional to get in and do the job and get out in so little time? Because we aren't answering phones, we aren't sending text, we aren't watching TV. A real Professional will leave everything in an area of "out of sight, out of mind". We are there for you and to clean your home that's it.
So let's move the cell phones and laptops to that out of sight area, maybe the office desk or kitchen counter.
You need to remove the distractions, but just for 3 hours.
Let's gather your supplies...
bet we will be doing some downsizing on all those cleaning products you have
Grab something handy to put your supplies in. I like to use one of those good sturdy and deep plastic shopping bags, you know, the ones that we use over and over? Let's give some thought as to what to put in it. This bag is going with you room to room, so you want all your supplies in one place.
Here's all you need for basic cleaning...
Windex or vinegar and water in a spray bottle (windows, glass tops, and mirrors)
Can of Comet or Bottle of soft scrub (bathrooms, sinks, counters, and scuff marks)
1 good bottle of all purpose cleaner, let's say Pine Sol Lemon ( get an empty spray bottle and add half a cup of Pine Sol to it and top it off with water, you just made an inexpensive all purpose spray cleaner)
1 Bucket (no holes)
1 broom, 1 scrub brush, and a pair of good rubber gloves
1 hand held Swiffer Duster
1 old towel sacrificed into rags, you should be able to get 8 rags out of a regular size towel
1 Kitchen size trash bag
Now you have nothing but standard "Old School" cleaning products. This is what your moms used, this is what they still use. They didn't buy things because they smell good. They bought what worked.
you have the tools, and you are organized
where to start?
Generally when I go in to a home to clean I like to start upstairs. This is where most of the weekly action takes place so it normally takes the longest. Set your supplies outside the bathroom, or one of them. Start with the bathrooms, one room at a time, do not bounce around trying to get all the trash, then dust, the wipe....no all this moving room to room takes time and energy. Trust me on this, do one room at a time.
TIP #1 Stage your cleaned rooms
Bathroom Staging: Fold all the towels like a hotel would, nice and organized. Line bottles up so they too have that organized look
Bedroom Staging: make the beds, set the pillows up against headboards, make them look inviting. Learn to make a hotel style bed.
Kids room Staging: make their beds and add their favorite Teddy Bear to the pillow. (Tried, True, and Tested...kids keep their rooms cleaner when someone stages them)
Notice how in the photo that the bathroom is staged and their aren't health and beauty products on the counter? See how close you can make that happen. It makes breathing room, and it feels liberating not to fight all of those products.
Go in alone...no products needed at the moment.
Remove all linens that need to head to the wash. Remove the trash. This is a good time to get rid of empty product bottles too. Lining trashcans with plastic shopping bags makes this choir go quick and you can just toss the used ones in your awaiting garbage bag. Now with all the clutter removed you are ready to start cleaning.
I like to start with the sink and mirror, then the tub or shower units, and the finally the toilet. So if you need gloves go ahead and put them on. Start with the mirror, scour sink and rinse, wipe down the counter. Make sure to remove any left over toothpaste and stray hairs. Dry everything to a shine. Water spots left behind can cause problems down the line or maybe they already have but I will discuss that problem as an extra later. Now off to the rest of the bathroom, tub/shower and toilet. Remember to dry everything as you go...shine means clean. Don't forget to wipe down the trashcan, decorations items, and lights...the Swiffer duster comes in really handy for this. The average bathroom shouldn't take more then 20 minutes.
Bedrooms aren't always the easiest. They become the 'catch all" rooms and this cane take the tranquility out. But today is just about cleaning them, so after this you might want to de-clutter and get the tranquility back to these special rooms. Each bedroom is that persons home inside the home, we read there, study there, spend time reflecting there. It's hard to do any of that when so much else is going on, less is more.
Strip the beds and place fresh new sheets on and remake the bed, sitting the pillows up against the headboard, make it look as inviting as possible. Try and make sure the top sheet is even on both sides so you don't have a crooked look to your bed making.
Clean off the nightstands of unwanted clutter and dust and remove cup rings left behind from glasses of water or coffee cups.
Vacuum. Always always always run the vacuum. vacuuming removes so much from the carpet, not just what you see on top but what lies deep in the fibers, you don't want to sleep with that so suck it up and get it out of your house.
the "HUB" the most beaten room in the house
I have never met a kitchen that didn't look amazing when I was finished. Whether it was in an old 40's house or a brand new home. Kitchens all have the same standards. First and foremost, make some sense of what is going on there. Most likely their are dishes in the sink, get those washed up or into the dishwasher. Next clean the stove top and microwave. These are the biggest jobs in the kitchen. Let's try and remove any unnecessary items form the counters. If you don't use an appliance everyday then put it in a cabinet. The only things out should be a coffee maker, a toaster, and maybe a can opener. Other then that the counters should be clean and clear. AND EASY TO CLEAN!!
As you are cleaning your counter tops wipe them dry, so it's a lot like wipe on wipe off theory. Lastly use your Comet on the sink and down the drains holes.
Vacuum the floor and wash. Washing the floor by hand will always give you a better finish, but most people prefer a mop. Let me suggest that a sponge mop only pushes dirt from one place to another, a string head mop will at least take most of it with it. I might also throw in here that a rinse mopping is a good idea.
Now if you cleared the counter tops and wiped everything dry as you went along you should be looking at a pretty amazing kitchen space.
If you want to do some staging this is a great place for it. Add a small candle to the stove top and fold your tea towels and hang them on the oven door, maybe a tiny vase of flowers, everyone has something outside they can out in a vase. Greens, leaves off a tree, dandelions.
TIP: To easily clean a microwave...put a semi wet washcloth in there and turn on for 45 secs and let the door closed for 2 minutes. The steam will soften any nuked on foods and they come right off now.
TIP: To freshen garbage disposals throw an old orange or lemon in, cut into quarters, turn the disposal on for just a few secs, turn it off and let it sit 3 minutes and then full finish the removal cycle. Gross food smells be GONE!!
What's Left to do?
Family Room, hallways, front porch
So now you've cleaned all the major areas of your home but there are still a few areas that need your attention. This is from the view of a professional so I know you are ready to take a break but don't. If you stop chances are you won't feel like starting again. You can do this!!! We are almost finished and you are moments away from being alone in a clean home WOO-HOO!!!
Okay so let's wrap this thing up. Pick up any toys that are laying around from children and pets, put them where they need to go. Get that Swiffer in hand and dust the lights and book shelves. Look around, what looks out of place? Fix that and you should be ready to vacuum. Vacuum everything at this point like hallways and steps, keep the Swiffer handy so you can dust photos along the way or stair rails. You are doing double duty at this point but are accomplishing so much!!! Go YOU!!
Now as part of my services I always clean up the front porch. THis is the first place you see before entering your home, it is also what makes curb appeal, what others see. Front porches should have a nice bright entry light that is clean and clear of webs. Look into the corners and remove unwanted webs with your broom, shake out the rug, maybe add a clean wreath to the door. If there is any glass around your door give that a cleaning as well. Nothing says clean like clean windows.
No towels to sacrifice? The bar wipe towels make great reusable cleaning rags
What more can I say? This is my one cleaner that made me do the Happy Dance...shower doors and faucets look brand new again....HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
My favorite of all time product - Hard Water Stain Remover
I live in Washington and they have phosphate laws. There aren't any in the cleaners, which is what helps break down hard water stains. I can't tell you how frustrating it was to be a cleaning professional for all these years on the East Coast only to find out that here on the West Coast I was going to meet the worst shower door glass I've ever come across. This plagued me, I literally lost sleep over this. I researched all kinds of alternatives. White Vinegar, CLR, TSP, even dryer sheets!! Then one day while I was cleaning a new house for the first time the lady of the house showed me this product, now she bout it off a late night TV ad but I found it available at my local ACE Hardware, but then I found it cheaper on Amazon. This stuff not only works with ease on glass shower doors but it removes the hard water stains from sink faucets and shower faucets as well...everything looks brand new, like it was just installed!!! Yes I am an advocate for this product, I am spreading the word because it is disturbing to clean a shower and then the glass turns all white and foggy again from the hard water stains, it's not soap scum my friends, it hard water stains!
I personally give this product a 5 star rating!!
- A-Maz Hard Water Stain Remover
This product is what it says...Clean and GREEN....no harsh chemicals, no smells, non-toxic Really works, no joke