Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up
Wow, cleaning the house…not one of my favorite things. Living in a clean house, though? Yes, that’s awesome, so it follows that you gotta get it done. We’re going to get this joint clean like our mother-in-law is coming. You don’t have to do this all in one day. I don’t want you to judge yourself for the state of affairs either, life happens. Tackle one section a day, then you can take Friday off.
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Do the Worst Thing First Thing
Kind of catchy. Bathrooms are the worst thing to clean ever, especially if you happen to live with a man or children. Okay, let’s get our feet wet…
- Clean the toilet with real, name-brand toilet bowl cleaner. Trust me, it’s better. Wipe every surface, except inside the bowl, with a disinfecting wipe (because I don’t want to reuse something that touched crusty, old urine).
- Take the shower curtain down and throw it in the washer. Don’t put it in the dryer if it’s plastic, duh.
- Spray Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner in the sink and the shower or tub. Wipe shower walls first, then do the tub or shower floor. Be sure to clean the faucet and drain. If you have glass doors, finish up with window cleaner.
- The Scrubbing Bubbles will have worked in the sink now, so wipe that and the counter down. Make sure you scrub the aerator and get all that black gunk off. Don’t judge yourself for letting it get there in the first place.
- Wipe the vanity doors and drawers down and clean the mirror.
- Dust the light fixtures, baseboards, doors and blinds.
- Vacuum and mop floors.
- Extra credit if you organize drawers and cabinet.
Whew! You did it! Now go one and do the others…
You Eat Here for Goodness Sake
The next stop is the kitchen.
- Clean the countertops first, stopping to wipe down everything that sits on them.
- Spray cleaner inside the microwave and let it sit while you take the turntable out and wash it in the sink. Wipe down the inside and put the turntable back.
- Clean the top of the stove. If you have a glass top, use a mild abrasive like Bon Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend. Open the oven door and get the top of that and the handle. When you’re finished, hit the self-cleaning button on your oven.
- Clean any old spills in the fridge and wipe the front and handles down.
- Open the dishwasher and wipe the top edge of the door, the handle and the front.
- Clean the sink super good. Again, if you live in the south, make sure to get the gross, black stuff which I don’t think even grows anywhere else.
- Use Stainless Magic on all your stainless-steel appliances, including the toaster and coffee maker.
- Wipe down all the door and drawer fronts and handles.
- Look at your trash can. If it’s yucky, take it outside and spray it out with the hose.
- Vacuum and mop the floor. When I say mop, I don’t really mean mop. Why would you want to slop dirty water around on your floor? I use a wet Swiffer in small spaces like the bathrooms but that dang thing hurts my back. My whole first floor has hard floors, so I use a Hoover Floormate on them. It sprays hot water (I add vinegar and a drop of Dawn) onto the floor, scrubs it around with soft scrubbies, then sucks up the dirty water, leaving your floor dry and clean, without hurting your back.
Yes! That kitchen is toast!
Now, the Less Dirty Stuff
The living room and dining rooms shouldn’t be as bad as the bathrooms and kitchen because there’s no water in there or, hopefully, pee. Your strategy is to work from the top down, so all the dirt ends up on the floor and you can vacuum it up.
- Take all the crap that doesn’t belong in these rooms and put It away. I guess I should mention: if you’re some crazy hoarder, this probably isn’t the right place for you. You need to find some heavy-duty cleaning instructions…and possibly professional help. Not judging, just sayin’.
- Vacuum and dust drapery, rods, blinds and windowsills.
- Wipe down any grimy surfaces. Check underneath stuff too.
- Dust furniture and knick knacks, taking the time to rearrange things and spruce up a little. Ha! Gotcha! Do not, I repeat, do not take the time to spruce up. Now is the time to clean, not decorate. Get back to work.
- Vacuum the floors and under all the furniture that you can without moving the heavy stuff and “mop” if you have hard floors.
You are kicking ass and taking names! You are just thiiis close to cleaning bliss.
Aren’t You Afraid to Sleep Here?
Last thing is the bedrooms, which shouldn’t be all that bad, but they usually are because kids, that’s why. I give my sweet angel the chance to clean her room herself, but if it’s not done by the deadline, Momma’s doin’ it, Momma’s way.
For your kid’s rooms, you’ll need some special gear: rubber gloves, hazmat suit, ventilator, trash bags and kitchen tongs. Suit up and head in.
- Drag all the laundry out and start a load.
- Throw every bit of trash away. I’m not going to tell you what trash is, you’ll know it when you see it.
- Vacuum and dust drapery, rods, blinds and windowsills.
- Wipe down any grimy surfaces, carefully checking underneath.
- Dust furniture and décor.
- Vacuum and “mop” if you have hard floors. Get under the bed too. Oh, is there a bunch of stuff under there? Surprise!
All done! One last thing to do: reward yourself with a lovely gin and tonic. The kind with really good tonic and a squeeze of lime. If you don’t have to drive anywhere, earn another by dusting and sweeping your porch or patio and enjoy it out there.
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Check out my post about cleaning maintenance here.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever found under your kid’s bed?