House-cleaning tips from a professional cleaner

- Private group -
July 11, 2013

I'm not sure why it happens. It's not like cleaning the house is my favorite activity, yet when I started cleaning I ended up spending twice as much time as originally planned, while only accomplishing half of what I thought I would.

Here are some strategies for making the biggest impression in the least time.

Have a cleaning plan
Before beginning, know where you are going to start and where you are going to finish. This system involves starting at the farthest point from the front door and, in effect, cleaning your way out of the house. Having a plan focuses your efforts and prevents you from getting off-task, meaning you don't waste time and you do a better job.

Make the most of your time
In my life it's rare to have time to clean the entire house from top to bottom. So, what to do with a set amount of time and a dirty house? First figure out if you're cleaning for yourself or for company.

• If you're cleaning for yourself: Two words. Kitchen and Bathroom.  Plain and simple. These rooms are where the germs hang out so you should tackle them first.

• If you're cleaning for company: Think of where you'll spend most of your time The family room, kitchen and main floor powder room "panic spots" along with the "runway" -- the central strip through your house linking front door, hallway, stairwell and kitchen. Focus on removing fingerprints from walls and spots from floors and vacuum thoroughly.

How to make your home look and feel clean
Whether your cleaning job is quick or complete, certain details always make a house look and feel cleaner:

• Folds. Put a triangle fold in your toilet paper just like hotels do and hang your towels with military precision.

• Cuts. Leave vacuum "cuts" in the carpet – especially on the stairwell since it's often one of the first things you see when you enter the house.

• Scent. Find a clean-smelling product, dab some on your cloth, and wave it around the house. As a final touch, wipe some on the top of your front door so it's the first thing you smell when you walk in.

4 dos and don'ts
for a clean home

1. Do dilute your cleaning products. Replace one-quarter of the bottle with water to thin out the product and make it less sticky and less likely to streak.

2. Don't swirl. Wipe mirrors and doors using first vertical, then horizontal strokes. Swirling patterns show up when the sun hits.

3. Don't use paper towels. Long fingernails or rings pierce them easily and can scratch the surface underneath. Instead buy a set of washable cloths or make your own out of old T-shirts or cloth diapers.

4. Don't apply products directly to furniture or floors. Instead, spray or dampen your cloth before dusting or washing. The saying "a little goes a long way" holds true for cleaning products, too.

Tips compliments of CSM Cleaning...

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