Deep Cleaning Your Home The Organized Way

Deep cleaning your home takes a lot of time and organization. Try to think of it this way...you can't feasibly jump from simple arithmetic to calculus, so don't attempt to jump from a filthy-dirty house to an immaculately clean home in just one day or in a few easy steps.

It takes time to change daily habits, so it will be much easier and more fruitful to concentrate on one of those old "dirtying" habits at a time.

Before you start cleaning your home, to get this task accomplished at the level you desire you will need to have a good reason for doing so.

Ask yourself why you want or need to clean your home? One of the most compelling reasons is it makes you feel so much better about yourself. You will save yourself from embarrassment when unexpected company comes.

There are fewer accidents and fewer lost items in a clutter-free home. And finally, you can save yourself some money in the long run because the things you have will look nicer longer.
On a scale of 1-10 (one being just plain filthy and ten being sterile), rate how clean your home is today? Be honest, but not over critical. On the same scale, what level would you prefer it to be? Be realistic with your goal considering the number of family members in your home, each of their messy habits, their ages, the size of your house, and the age of your home as well as its furnishings and appliances, because all of these factors will directly affect how much time and energy is needed to clean your home and to keep it that way. You make the decision ... "I want my home to be at the #__ level."

There are three levels of cleaning your home: (1) general cleanup, (2) surface cleaning, and (3) deep cleaning your home.

A general cleanup is the everyday pickup of things lying around the house. This is obviously your front line, and when you do it you see immediate results. It also serves to make what you've "deep cleaned" in the past stay this way longer.

Surface cleaning is done between the pickup and the complete cleaning job. An example of this would be when you pull out your furniture to vacuum but not go quite so far as to shampoo the carpet.

Deep cleaning your home is defined as cleaning all surfaces (drapes, walls, furniture, and floors). It also includes sorting and maybe even some redecorating or painting.

Review the different strategies for each of these three levels of cleaning your home. The strategy behind these methods will help you identify which kind of job you will be doing so that you stay on target and get the job done. So-called "housework survivors" take care of the surface and deep cleaning in one of two ways: (1) marathon cleaning, or (2) cleaning your home in small jobs.

What Exactly Is Marathon Cleaning? Most of our great-grandmothers used this system during the spring and fall. Sometimes it takes us a deadline, such as out-of-town guests or birthday party to initiate this type of "marathon". Typical marathoners would be school teachers. They do basic cleaning during their busy school year and then catch up with deep cleaning and redecorating projects during their summer breaks.
If you choose to deep clean your home thoroughly on an annual basis, October is thought to be an ideal time because it falls after the busy summer and your things have collected a lot of dust. If you use this method, pick a specific date and stick to it. In the old days, our grandmothers would take everything out of the house and place items out on the lawn. Next, they would tackle each individual room and then wash curtains, "beat" the rugs, and polish the furniture before taking it back inside. When the job was finally done, the house was sparkling but grandmother was dead tired at the end of the day. In today's world, however, this just isn't feasible because we simply don't have enough time to do it all in a day.

Another way to organize this huge task of cleaning your home is to use a "spring cleaning" system by tackling one room at a time. Clean everything thoroughly and completely but don't upset the whole house at once. If you use this method, you will do a little at a time without a huge mess to deal with later.

One woman's example of a disaster: She had told her daughters to clean their rooms by instructing them to remove everything from their bedrooms and put it out in hall. With various interruptions throughout the day, their project was ultimately delayed. Needless to say they ran out of time and their stuff stayed out in the hallway that night. Although it took much longer than expected, all of their belongings did get put back and their bedrooms looked nice, but the delays wreaked havoc in the house for several days. Even from the entry way you could tell something was going on, which would give an unexpected guest an unwelcome impression.

Let's just say you have nine rooms in your house and it takes three days to complete each one - that would be 27 days of total chaos! Some homes never look neat and orderly because there is always "a project" in process. The solution is not to cut out the project but keep it contained instead. Keep the mess within one room whenever possible.

Straighten up after yourself. Just because you are busy in one room doesn't mean you should totally neglect other areas of your home, otherwise you won't make much progress. You should be showing progress as you clean your home, not making more messes as you go.

If you are painting or emptying a room to lay new flooring, for example, designate only one area for storage of the removed items while you are getting the job done. The key here is to disturb only one other room and not let it take over the whole house. Otherwise, how would you ever choose which room to tackle next? Prioritize by using visual clues.

Another option is to make a list of rooms, putting the kitchen in the list more than once and then follow it through. One lady focuses on a "room of the month" (like flavor of the month). The list reads: December and May - Kitchen; January and October - Living Room and Laundry Room; April and November - Bedrooms. Her summer months are reserved for redecorating, yard work, and organizing the garage.

Try taking a survey of a room before starting to deep-clean it. Check walls, curtains or drapes, flooring, and even the light fixtures. List everything that needs your attention. As you complete each task cross it off your list. This way you can see where you stand and you will also remember to tend to each of your problem areas that listed.

Work on your target area until it is completed. Once that room is finished, you can then choose another room to concentrate on. Accomplish this method of deep cleaning your home in one of the following ways: (1) 30 minutes a day or (2) one 3-hour block. While assuming that you will use the physical wall boundaries to designate where to clean, some people prefer to group similar jobs, i.e., windows, light fixtures, at the same time. They would rather go through the whole house and do all the vacuuming, dusting, etc., at one time.

It doesn't really matter whether or not you choose your cleaning method by specified job type or by the room. You should decide on which method works best for you and then get started with cleaning your home so you can be proud of your accomplishment in the end.



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Tips on cleaning your home
Home storage solutions...after the clutter is gone!
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