This post has been six months in the making. Finally, Janel over at Hating Martha encouraged me to write this post. So here goes.
I worked as a house cleaner for all of one month. In truth, I'm too educated to clean houses for a living. I just felt that I was not using my expensive education to do the grunt work of cleaning other people's houses all the time. Also, it was really hard work, for not very much money. So I went back to subbing.
While I was house cleaning, I got a lot of great tips on how to my boss cleaned the house. She has been a house cleaner for 30 years and we had it down to a science. I'm pretty sure she knew what she was talking about.
1) Have all your supplies in one bag. We used two paper bags nestled inside each other. That way you can put your wet gloves and sponges between the bags to dry.
2) Have a paper bag for garbage (or sometimes, because we don't have many paper bags - I recycle - I just take my little garbage can around) and your roll of paper towels. My boss would tear off the paper towels by two sheets and layer them, but I don't find this helps much.
3) As Janel recommends, start at the top of each room and clean down. We had a feather duster for the ceiling, then counter-tops, sides of furniture and cabinets, and the floor last. As soon as I learned this I realized how great this tip was. As the dirt falls you can clean it up. Brilliant.
4) Because people tend to straighten up before the house cleaners come over, I do that first in my house. I run around the house putting stuff away and generally straightening up. I try to do this every day even if I can't clean. I don't use baskets or anything because I use the process of straightening up as extra exercise. the more times I run up and down the stairs the better shape I will be in (right, makes sense?).
5) Unlike Janel's house cleaning plan, I always start with the kitchen, as suggested by my former boss. The reason for this is that the kitchen is usually the dirtiest room in the house so it is good to get it out of the way.
6) I like to use all natural cleaners, but it all depends on my mood. I have tried a lot of different cleaners. Shaklee, Myer's, Vinegar, Baking Powder, Bleach, you name it. So far I like Ms. Myer's Geranium spray and Pledge (citrus scented).
Both these cleaners make the whole house smell wonderful.
7) The Pledge is great for so many surfaces and dusting. I learned to use it on the cabinets in the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets do need a wipe down and a little pledge and elbow grease makes a big difference. I also use the pledge on all wood surfaces and leather. Everything sparkles with pledge (and smells good too!).
8) As you move from room to room you bring your bag of cleaning supplies, garbage bag, mop, and vacuum along with you. I start in the kitchen and work through the house. The only problem with this is that I usually lose steam by the time I get to the last two rooms, the bedrooms. I figure I can just close the door if I have to and hubby and I don't care if it is not too clean.
9) Things I don't clean: windows, inside light fixtures and walls. I really should clean my windows but it is just too much work. You know, remove screen, get ladder, spray, wipe ... ugh, it is endless. Every morning I wake up and look out my dirty skylight and think "I should clean that!" but I don't.
Oh and last but not least....
I hope these techniques are helpful, they work for me. If you are a long time follower, you will know I posed a plan for housecleaning over a year ago, but it did not last. It is a good plan, but hard to execute, because some days you just don't like to clean.
How do you clean?