. Sunny Day Deep Cleaning
If the spring cleaning hasn’t happened yet and needs immediate attention, let’s tackle it this summer. Some of the family might be home to help, our spouse might lend a hand, and we might even be in the mood. Let’s begin this undone work anew as Sunny Day Deep Cleaning. Its fast, its easy, and it works. Here are some ideas to help a deep clean-up occur this sunny season!
Public to Private. It is most beneficial to clean from the public parts of our home to the more private. This means first deep cleaning those rooms that have the greatest number of outside visitors (usually the entry, the living room, and possibly the family room). Then we work on the more private rooms (according to their level of use) which means tackling the kitchen, main bath, and laundry room. Typically, we address the children’s bedrooms, the master bedroom, and the master bath next. And, finally, if there is energy and interest, we descend or ascend to the more hinder parts of the home, meaning other upstairs and/or basement rooms which haven’t already been mentioned. So to begin the process of Sunny Day Deep Cleaning, list on paper the order in which the various rooms in the house are going to tackled:
5) ___ …. etc.
Corners to Middle. When deep cleaning a room we work from the corners to the middle. This is opposite from regular cleaning when we tend to work from the middle of the room outwards. With a more thorough cleaning, if the corners have seen our attention, the middle of the room tends to clean itself.
Therefore, our second step is to decide which furniture will be moved and which will stay put. If it is too heavy or we don’t care, we’ll not worry about moving it, we’ll just clean around it as we get into those corners. For instance, the refrigerator is heavy, bulky, and difficult to budge. Unless there is something smelly underneath, consider leaving the frig right where it is and cleaning under it only as far as the cleaning cloth can reach.
On the other hand, easier-to-move furniture might be moved or tipped so the flooring/carpet underneath gets a swipe with the mop or vacuum, the baseboards see a damp rag, and the walls get cleaned of cobwebs. Oh, sometimes it feels so good to clean from the inside out!
Visible to Invisible. When we deep clean, our purpose is to make each room look lovely because it is being freshly cleaned where we see it most. This is usually not the occasion to clean out drawers, wipe down cupboard shelves, or otherwise take care of the innards of our abode. We will save that big project for another time!
Consequently, our third step is to decide just how much cleaning we are going to do. This is important, because the invisible often takes twice as long to clean as the visible and is much more emotionally draining because difficult decision-making is often involved. In other words, are we going to just make the noticeable areas of the room look great? Or, are there some shelves and/or cupboards we are also going to dejunk and clean, too? Usually, it is better to clean the outsides as our first priority.
Having said that, sometimes cleaning the less visible makes everything better and is worth the digression. For instance, sorting through the piano books might make practicing and putting away music easier for all pianists, thus keeping the living room neater with just a bit more trouble now.
Gather Tools and Supplies. We collect the smaller tools and cleaners in a roomy, handled container so when we begin cleaning a room, we have all we need close at hand. I like a tote with a sturdy handle to hold rags, sponges, spray cleaners, gloves, brushes, and anything else that gets the job done right. If we are missing something, it should be purchased soon so we won’t get thwarted just as we’re getting going with our cleaning routine.
Check Equipment. Before beginning a wholesale cleaning of the house, we will want to make sure the vacuum bag is rather empty, the mop head is clean, and that the dust cloths are washed and ready for action.
Dress Right for the Occasion. We should dress in sturdy clothes that can take some staining and/or damage and yet still remain comfortable and look reasonably attractive. After all, we might have to answer the door or run an errand in the midst of our deep cleaning. It is helpful to wear an apron with pockets, too, to safely keep in one pocket the diminutive treasures we find and securely keep in the second pocket the smaller pieces of trash we desire to discard.
We can bring method to our cleaning by considering the following concepts.
Top to Bottom. We usually work from the top of a room to the bottom so the dust and dirt works its ways down the room for eventual vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping.
Dry to Wet. As we clean, we initially do the jobs that require dry washcloths, then those that need damp washcloths, and finally use wet washcloths to conserve our energy and keep it simple. For instance, we might dust the top of the frig with a dry cloth, when wipe down the outsides with a dampened cloth sprayed with cleaner, and finally clean out the insides with a wet washcloth.
Clean to Dirty. When there is an option, we always work from the cleanest to the dirtiest. This means using our tools on the cleanest part of the room first and then working towards the dirtiest. As an example, in the bathroom we clean the mirrors long before we clean the toilet (especially if we are using the same wash cloth).
Most deep cleaning jobs are easier to approach if there is a time limit set to our misery. For this reason and to move the work closer to a game, use a timer to arbitrarily create momentum to the work. Can the living room be finished in less than 45 minutes? Hum… Let’s set the timer and see how we progress. Can our sons pick up all the debris in their teenage room in less than 20 minutes? Hum…. Set a timer and offer a motivational reward! Will scrubbing the walls in the bathroom take more than 15 minutes? Hum… Set the timer and determine that if it is beaten, someone else will make dinner tonight!
Lastly, take breaks from the heavy work before getting too tired. Small periods of resting, sitting right in the middle of the mess and dirt for a few minutes every hour, will revive us tremendously for another go at the cleaning.
Deep cleaning isn’t all that fun, but with proper preparations, some sensible methods, gathered tools, and a little motivation, it can be less miserable and maybe even a little fun, especially if we get a good start one cooler summer morning, don’t have too many distractions, and have someone pitch in for an hour or two!
And, when it is done, think of the satisfaction we will feel because the Sunny Day Deep Cleaning got done after all!