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Microfiber cloths are great for most jobs, but some tasks require a specialist. Try a damp pet sponge to quickly remove pet hair from upholstery and pillows. A dry sponge erases grime from acoustical tiles. Wear cotton gloves and clean mini-blinds by hand.
Microfiber cloths are great for most jobs, but some tasks require a specialist.
If you’ve decided to put some time aside to spring clean your home this year, we’ve discovered some great tips from the experts to give you the inspiration to get going.
1) Organise: always tidy up first so that all the surfaces are clear of clutter. House cleaning professionals Molly Maid, suggest the most efficient way to clean is to start at the top of the house and work your way down, cleaning each room from left to right – dust first and vacuum second.
2) Dusting: use a clean, slightly damp microfibre cloth to wipe over surfaces. A clean dry paintbrush is ideal for dusting keyboards, louvre doors and other objects with awkward nooks and crannies.
3) Green cleaning: you don’t need to use harsh cleaning materials when cleaning. Great alternatives are vinegar, salt, lemon juice, baking soda and borax*. For example you can clean glass and mirrors with vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can also use a cheap brand cola for cleaning the loo (chuck a litre down the loo and leave for an hour) and removing burnt on stains from saucepans (yes really).
4) Stains: you can remove small stains on upholstery with baby wipes, finger prints from stainless steel with olive oil and stubborn marks on china with a denture cleaner.
5) Floors: sweep or vacuum floors before mopping. Wash floors starting from the furthest corner first and work your way towards the door. If you have carpets use a stiff brush around the skirting boards before you vacuum (link to category)
6) Vacuum: apart from the floors, use the upholstery attachments to vacuum your hanging curtains, sofa cushions and mattresses.
Tip: If your curtians need a press, many irons feature a vertical steaming option, meaning you won’t have to take down your curtains to iron them. For example check out this Philips EasyCare Steam Generator Iron.
7) Grouting: whiten the grouting between tiles with bleach and an old toothbrush.
8) Be ruthless: if you haven’t used or worn something for a year, it’s unlikely you ever will again so get rid of it. Divide things you don’t need into piles to give away, recycle or take to the tip.
9) Deep clean: wash walls and doors and window ledges with hot soapy water. Clean out cupboards and drawers with soda crystals. Get rid of any out of date tins of food, old kitchen gadgets, pans and chipped mugs and crockery.
10) Polish the silver: you can clean tarnished silver with cheap toothpaste. Apply the paste with a toothbrush and leave it for at least an hour. Wipe it off with a damp cloth and then buff with a dry one.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy your beautifully clean and tidy home.
Paid cleaning help can be a wonderful short-cut to a clean and organized home–if the household budget can stand the cost.
But what do you do if the Prize Patrol bypassed your door this year?
Take a speed-cleaning lesson from the pros!
Paid cleaning services are masters of the art of speedy, efficient cleaning. Watch professional cleaners at work: they don’t waste time, ccut corners or dawdle over the job–and they know how to clean fast, clean right.
To speed cleaning chores in your organized home, take a tip from their copybook. Try these tips from professional cleaners.
Professional cleaners schedule every job, right down to the minute. Nobody hires a cleaning service that promises to arrive “some Saturday when nothing else is happening.” Take a tip from the pros, and set up a regular weekly cleaning schedule.
There’s nothing like the feeling of a completely clean home—but you won’t get it by cleaning in fits and starts! The pros don’t quit until the job is done, and neither should you. Schedule the job and stick to it to get the work done in record time.
Professional cleaners dress for the job in comfortable, washable clothing designed for work.
Check out their supportive shoes and kneepads. Goggles and gloves protect against chemicals, while a cleaning apron keeps tools and supplies at their fingertips.
Clean catch-as-catch can and clothing tends to catch it! End the era of bleach-stained sweatshirts and dripping nightgowns. Set aside a “cleaning uniform”, and wear it, right down to shoes, gloves and eye protection.
Professional cleaners don’t use gadgets. You’ll never find them toting specialized, one-use tools, or gee-whiz gimcracks hawked on some television infomercial.
Forget flimsy supermarket cheapies, and invest in sturdy, well-made cleaning tools. Replace the rackety sponge mop with a terry-covered Magic Mop or Sh-mop for easy, efficient floor cleaning.
White terry cleaning cloths (find them in the auto parts section as “detailing towels”) are durable enough to stand up to walls, counters and floors, and are easy to launder in hot water and bleach.
Professional cleaners come to clean: counters, furniture, appliances and floors. They can’t do the job if each horizontal surface in the home is covered with papers, toys, dirty dishes and just plain clutter.
Pretend that you’ve hired a high-priced cleaning crew. You wouldn’t make them sweep the clutter to one side to do their job! Give yourself the same head start you give professional cleaners: pick up before you clean. Without the distraction caused by out-of-place items, cleaning chores will fly.
Watch an average home manager clean the bathroom. Ooops! Forgot the powdered cleanser, so down the stairs you go. The toilet brush? It’s in the kids’ bathroom down the hall. Run to the laundry room for more cleaning towels, to the kitchen for a box of tissues. Where’s the vacuum? Did the teenager take the squeegee to wash the car?
Professional cleaners tote their tools with them–all their tools.
Look in the cleaner’s tote tray: all tools, cleansers, brushes and rags needed to finish the job are right there.
Vacuum, mop and mini-vac wait in the doorway.
A plastic bag for trash is tucked into a pocket, next to the waving feather duster.
That’s why the pro has finished the entire bathroom before our amateur makes it back up the stairs with the powdered cleanser.
Really organized people are not born organized people. They have to cultivate healthy habits, which then help them to stay organized. Here are the essential ten habits they use to keep their lives in order:
We all know someone that remembers every birthday and sends cards for every holiday. It’s not magic and they don’t use memorization. Trying to remember things will not help you to stay organized. You should try writing things down.
A pen and some paper is our way of remembering things externally, and it’s much more permanent. You can also use a computer or a smart phone. You will only further complicate your life by trying to contain important dates and reminders in your head. Write down everything: shopping lists for groceries, holiday gifts, home decor, and important dates like meetings and birthdays.
As an experiment, try writing down people’s names shortly after you meet them (when they’re not looking). I’ll bet you remember a lot more names that way.
Organized people don’t waste time. They recognize that keeping things organized goes hand-in-hand with staying productive. They make and keep schedules for the day and week. They make deadlines and set goals. And most importantly, they and stick to them! Similarly, by living a cluttered lifestyle, you will not have the time or space to make your deadlines or achieve your goals.
As an experiment, look at your bucket list or make one. Write down the things you want to achieve this year or in your life. Then write down what you need to do to achieve them.
The longer you wait to do something, the more difficult it will be to get it done. If you want your life to be less stressful and less demanding, then organize as soon as you can. Putting in the effort to get things done as soon as possible will lift the weight off of you from doing it later.
As an experiment, think of one thing that you should organize in your life. Write it down. Then write down when you can do it and what you need to get it done. If you can get it done right now, then go do it!
It’s easy to get lost if you don’t have a home. Keeping your life organized means keeping your things in their proper places. Organized people keep order by storing things properly and by labeling storage spaces.
Make easy-to-access storage spaces for things you use all the time, and don’t let your storage spaces get cluttered. Be creative about finding places for things. In addition, as a BIG NO: never label a storage space as “miscellaneous!”
As an experiment, choose one place in your home that you can re-organize. If there are scattered items, then group them together. Once you’ve sorted everything, find or make a “home” for similar items, label the “homes,” and put them in the proper places. For example, a cup holder for your pens and pencils should go in an easily accessible place, but the rarely used craft materials can be stored out of sight.
Find time each week to organize. Highly organized people make sure they find time every week, or more, to organize there things. Stuff does not stay organized on its own; it needs to be reorganized continuously and consistently.
As an experiment, look at your schedule and find a time to organize, then do it.
More stuff means more clutter. People who live organized lives only keep what they need and what they really really want. Having fewer things also means that you enjoy those things more and feel better about using everything you own, rather than letting half of what you own collect dust.
Have you ever felt like you don’t have the space to keep all the stuff you own? Instead of renting a storage unit or buying a larger home, get rid of some things.
As an experiment, write down the number of things you think you actually need. Then, write a list of all the things that you own. If the number of things you actually own exceeds your ideal need list, then it’s time to organize.
Do whatever you can to get rid of stuff. Less stuff means less clutter. Donate to thrift stores. Sell on Craigslist or eBay. Take a trip to the recycling center. Set up a garage sale. Find a place to get rid of your things.
As an experiment, choose one space in your house to purge. Go through shelves, drawers, and boxes. Everything you find that you don’t need, set aside. Make a pile of things to maybe keep, which you can go through later, and a pile of things to discard now. Then find a way to kick those things out the door immediately.
You have removed the things you don’t need. Will you replace them when you see something on sale? Instead of bargain shopping without planning ahead, write down down exactly what you need and buy only those items. Organized people do not give in to false advertising. Items on sale will only produce more clutter.
As an experiment, go to a shopping mall with no money. Just look at all the things on sale that you wish you could buy if you had brought your wallet or purse. If you find nothing, then good for you. If you made a list, then keep that list somewhere and look at it a month from now. If you still want it, then it’s safe to buy.
A really organized life is not overfilled with responsibilities, meetings, and deadlines. In fact, it has less because things that create stress have been slowly organized out.
As an experiment, look at your to-do list or make one. Go through the list and find one task that you can remove from your list or give to someone else. Now feel the stress of having to do it fall away.
Put in a little effort. Actually, put in a lot of effort when necessary. Once you have delegated responsibilities and made a schedule, then you can organize what you have to do and when you can do it. Staying organized is not all a breeze. It requires that you work hard with recognition that when you work harder, you can enjoy your clutter-free home life later.
As an experiment, worker harder when you feel like giving up today.
A short video about the Reach and Wash system used for window cleaning. © Copyright 2007, The British Window Cleaning Academy. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorized Use
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