It’s almost officially Fall; Wednesday September 22nd will mark the first day of Fall and after a dry Summer here in the Pacific Northwest I think our landscape will drink up the impending rain. Personally, I love Fall because it’s such a cozy time of year. I enjoy sitting on the couch drinking my morning coffee on the weekends and reading, making a trip to the Pumpkin Farm and seeing the trees turning to beautiful autumn colors. And let’s not forget the decorating with mums, pumpkins and bales of hay on the front porch and assorted squash and scarecrows throughout the inside of the house. To top it all off, the quintessential pumpkin spice and cinnamon smell EVERYWHERE. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, the craft store or the hardware store you’re bound to get a whiff of Fall somewhere.
As the temperatures get colder and the days get shorter, this time of year tends to find us indoors more. There’s something about spending more time indoors that begins to highlight things you may not have noticed during the Summer months. Or maybe things you’ve tried to simply ignore 😊 The grimy looking kitchen cabinet fronts, the dusty baseboards, the shelves full of knick knacks and dust. If you really start to look around you could probably find a list of things needing some cleaning attention.
As owner of a residential cleaning company I have been in countless homes over the years, some clean and some not so clean. While every home is unique, the consistent theme in the homes that are clean is the general day to day lifestyle of the people living in them. They tend to tidy up daily, wipe up spills as they happen, don’t have a lot of clutter, etc. Whether there are children, pets, or just adults living in your home there are many things you can do to maintain its general cleanliness. I’ve had clients tell me they feel overwhelmed with all the cleaning needing done in their home that they don’t do anything because they don’t know where to begin. However, if you do something small each day or even every other day, you will notice a marked improvement in the overall appearance of your home.
You, too, can have a clean home by adopting some simple habits. Set your home up for cleanliness by putting a few cleaning supplies in the area’s that need the most frequent attention. For example, put a bottle of glass cleaner, all-purpose spray and toilet brush with some cleaning cloths under each one of your bathroom sinks. Put your favorite furniture polish and cleaning cloths in a closet close to living areas where you might have wood furniture. In your kitchen put your go to disinfectant spray and floor mopping solution under the sink so it’s at the ready. If you have supplies in multiple accessible areas throughout your home you won’t spend 10 minutes digging to the back of your hall closet next time you want to spruce things up. To help you get started I’ve compiled a list below of some quick things you can do on a regular basis to bring your home up to par on the scale of tidiness and cleanliness:
-When you are cooking dinner each night, wipe up spills when they happen. Whether it be sauce on your countertops, coffee down the front of the cabinet or a pot of water boiling over on the stove top, don’t leave spills for later, they will continue to build up making surfaces grimy and more time consuming to scrub and clean. Once or twice a week take a disinfectant spray with cloth and do a wipe down of the counters and appliance surfaces. Use a damp cloth to wipe the handles of your appliances. Doing this regularly will keep your Kitchen clean and sanitary!
-Spill something in the fridge? Grab a damp cloth and wipe it up as soon as it happens. Don’t let it get caked on over time.
-Keep your sink empty of dishes. Dishes that sit in the sink with food on them will take much longer to scrub and clean later. Rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher right after dinner so you don’t have dishes piling up in the sink or on the counters.
-Keep your bed made each day, it will keep your bedrooms looking tidy.
-Don’t cover your flat surfaces (i.e. dressers/night stands/coffee table/book shelves) with knick knacks, try to keep a maximum of 6 items on surfaces. They will collect dust quickly and make it a laborious task to keep clean. Houses that stay the cleanest are ones that don’t have a lot of clutter. Keep your home clutter free and it will make cleaning much easier as well as quicker.
-Run the vacuum over carpet and area rugs once per week to keep debris from being tracked throughout your home. Do this every 3-4 days if you have pets or during the Fall/Winter months.
-Mop hard surface floors once per week to keep excessive grime from building up. Don’t have time to mop? Take a damp cloth and spot clean floors of any noticeable spills to keep them clean until you have time to thoroughly mop.
-Keep children’s toys picked up each day when they are done playing. If it is a difficult task to get your children to put their toys away buy a fun bin or organizing system for their toys that is visually appealing. Come up with a song to sing while you help them put their toys away; this will make clean up fun and exciting while keeping your Living Room tidy.
-If you have pets that lay on the furniture run a lint roller or vacuum hose on your cloth furniture, damp rag on leather or vinyl furniture, when you notice hair building up. This is especially important during high shedding seasons. If you do this daily, it will cut back on the amount of hair floating thru your home landing on surfaces and floors. If you don’t want to deal with vacuuming or wiping your furniture lay down a blanket and let pets lay on that. Run the blanket thru the laundry every couple days to keep hair at a minimum.
-Take a cleaning cloth sprayed with furniture polish and choose a couple rooms in your home to dust. Using a furniture polish helps to repel dust longer than just using a dry cloth. Remember to wipe the front and sides of wood furniture as well-dust can collect on horizontal surfaces too!
-Notice fingerprints building up on sliding glass doors or windows? Grab a cleaning cloth sprayed with glass cleaner and spot clean glass for fingerprints and smudges.
Put these above tips into practice and enjoy your clean and tidy home this Fall and Winter,
Cheers to a clean home!