Thursday, March 6, 2008

"9 Tips For Speed Cleaning"

Keep Supplies Together: The number one rule for speed cleaning is to have quick and easy access to your tools and supplies. When it's time to clean, it zaps all of your motivation when you have to hunt for needed supplies. Consider creating a cleaning caddy for different areas of your home. You'll always have your supplies right where you need them.

Pump Up the Music: Music makes a big difference in how quickly I'm able to clean. My mix of songs for cleanup music is a playlist of high energy, fast moving songs that make me feel great. Using music can help you to move more quickly, all while giving you the feeling of fun. Just be sure to shut the blinds if your favorite tracks make you bust into dance moves that you don't want the neighbors knowing you have.

Start With Your Least Favorite Room: The room you always leave until last is the best one to start in. Procrastinating the rooms we hate cleaning only makes us feel worse when we say that we're done. When we're finished with everything else, our mind still remembers that we chickened-out of the hard rooms. Do the most difficult and annoying areas of your house at the beginning, when you are most motivated. Once you accomplish the feeling of completing those tough areas, everything else will seem like a piece of cake.

Don't Clean Just To Clean: I know it sounds silly, but don't waste time cleaning things that don't need to be cleaned. If your refrigerator is still spotless from last weeks cleaning, then why bother moving everything around to clean it? If you never use the downstairs bathroom, then it won't need to be cleaned as often as the master bathroom. Don't clean something just because it's a scheduled day of cleaning. Clean the dirty things, and leave the rest alone.

Clean As You Go: When you see a mess, clean it up. We tell our families this all the time, but do we actually practice what we preach? This can be as simple as grabbing a handful of items that belong upstairs when we know we're heading upstairs anyway. It also includes wiping up spills and splatters before they have the chance to harden. Cleaning as you go will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Don't Overuse Cleaners: The knee-jerk reaction is to use as much cleaner as possible in an effort to get our homes clean. This can actually backfire. Too much cleaner can damage the surfaces in our home. It can also leave a residue that will attract dirt and dust like a magnet. Do yourself a favor and use just enough. At the same time, realize that cleaners rarely work instantly. Give a cleaner some time to penetrate the dirt and grime. Then, instead of spending several minutes scrubbing, you'll usually be able to just wipe the dirt away.

Top To Bottom: This was one of the first rules I learned from my mom. Always start cleaning at the top of a surface, and work your way down. This allows you to avoid dripping cleaner, or settling dust over surfaces that have already been cleaned.

Dry To Wet: The second rule I learned was dry to wet. Do your dry cleaning, dusting, wiping down, etc. first. Next, move to your wet cleaning. The more you can take care of with a dry cloth, the less streaking, spreading of dirt, and potential for spilling you'll have.

Put Supplies Away: So that you'll be ready for your next speed cleaning session, make sure that all of your tools are put away neatly. They'll be ready for you the next time you decide to speed clean.

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