Cleaning

Unlike some popular believe, cleaning is a very different part to organizing and decluttering. It is however, an integral part of the Declutter, Clean and Organize sequence.

Before you can organize, you have to declutter and after you declutter you clean as most people don’t want to have a nice organized space that is dirty. Although I am not a cleaner and don’t have all the know how about the lotions and potions you can use for your house, I picked up some amazing tips and tricks over the years. Overtime it became such a collection of tips that “cleaning”, is now one of the workshops I run regularly.

This page talks about some cleaning misconceptions and how awareness of these will help you increase your cleaning efforts and your ability to become a “mean, lean, cleaning machine”. Also be sure to check out the page: how to practically clean anything for some more step-by-step guidance. 

Some cleaning misconceptions:

  • The use of expensive soap is required
  • Any old cloth will do
  • I’ll just wipe it and it should be fine.
  • The latest gadgets are needed.
  • I’ll start and finish my cleaning anywhere

Cleaning requires expensive soaps and spray bottles

I would say this is incorrect, I use water, vinegar and diluted environmentally friendly dish washing soap this covers most of the house. For the bathroom and toilet I like to use Jif (Cif – depending where you live) or a more environmentally friendly cream cleanser like Earth Cream cleanser and sometimes I use some bicarb to move some stains it works really well with vinegar when combined (as it froths).

Any old cloth will do

I disagree with this, of course it is better to use a cloth rather than not use any, there is however a huge difference in the quality and purposes of cloths. Most of my cloths are terry toweling (baby nappies), some microfiber cloths and some Fly lady cloths (as nothing can beat the way they shine things).

I have an allocated space for my clothes and go through a lot (because they get washed as, they are either dirty or wet). These cloths need to be kept together specifically for the purpose of cleaning – just this act of having allocated cloths and a space for them means your house will be cleaner. This because cleaning has just increased its significance in your space (and therefor your life in general). Or in organizing speak, these products and tools now have a “home” for themselves. 

I just wipe it and it is fine

Nope, dirt comes in different formats. The best way is to manually remove as much of the dirt as possible, then to vacuum and lastly to use your spray bottles and terry toweling to remove the fatty layer (the ones with dish washing detergent) and shine it (with the vinegar bottle). It always strikes me as very odd that people would use a wet cloth before they vacuum as you are in essence just moving the dirt, not removing it from the surface. Sometimes people also leave the rag where they used it for secondary use say the bathroom – this is okay if the towel / cloth is just wet and you let it dry. However, if it is dirty it has done its job and needs to be removed from the area, otherwise we have a clean floor but a cloth with old dirt on it, all in the same space.

One of the best books I have read on this topic.

The latest gadget are needed

People have cleaned for centuries in all different circumstances. However, seeing we live in privileged times as long as you have: a vacuum (to lift and remove the dirt) and a washing machine (to wash your cloths) you will be more than half way there. It also means, there is no excuse that you cannot clean. If you want to learn a bit more about additional tools which could be help full click here.

I’ll start anywhere

Of course starting is better than not cleaning at all. But having a method to the way you clean makes things a lot easier. 

For example: In a bedroom I would move from a corner and work my way back, through to the door. You would also start to work top to bottom. For example; in the bedrooms, I work left, to right, starting in the far left corner from the entrance of the room.

In the kitchen I remove all clean things, wash items or place them in the dish washer followed by my benches (left to right, this might be the Aussie ingrained in me ;-)) until I clear the sink. Which way you do it doesn’t matter too much, as long as it makes sense to you (clearly, there is little logic to finish in the middle of the room, when it is more strategic, to work your way to a door). It is furthermore helpful, to keep the way you clean the same every time. You will create neural pathways - little habits for yourself, saving you valuable brain cells as you don’t have to think and reinvent the wheel every time you start the process in a space in your house.

Want to learn more about cleaning?

So there you have it – I hope some of these points have changed your view on cleaning. Make sure to read this page to get some more step-by-step ideas. 

But wait there is more;

Want to learn how to clean after a party?

How to clean the toilet and How to clean the bathroom

Or how to clean the wheelie bin?

Click on the hyperlinks and learn how to add some sparkle to your spaces ;-)

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