We can’t overstate the importance of a clean home. More than just making a home pretty, cleaning makes those within the home happier and healthier. Furthermore, the stress brought on by a cluttered, unkempt environment can negatively affect the attitude of anyone who lives there.
Because of all that a home says about us, we want the message to be welcoming and pleasant. So whether you plan to entertain guests or just enjoy the fruits of your own labor, here are some ideas to get you started.
• Begin by planning. A priority list of areas to clean can go a long way. Top priority will include kitchens and bathrooms. Lower on your list should be areas in which the family (or guests) generally don’t spend much time.
• Tasks can be grouped so that your time is spent most efficiently. Vacuuming is an example: instead of taking the vacuum cleaner out for each room when needed, get all the vacuuming done at once.
• After getting rid of all the clutter, do “top-down” cleaning. This means you take a vertical approach, starting at the ceiling, and cleaning down towards the floor. Begin by dusting trim and clearing cobwebs, also addressing fans and lighting fixtures. Then move to the tops of furniture, cleaning down the furniture and the walls before doing the floors.
• First impressions are important. Think of what others see first when visiting your home, and make a good effort to keep those areas tidy. Make your porches and walkways as presentable as possible. Clean the welcome mat while you’re at it; after all, first impressions are important.
• If you have a family, get them involved in the cleaning with you. Aside from easing the load on yourself, this activity can actually serve to bring your family closer together, with each family member taking pride in contributing to the common good.
• Clean early in the day. Letting the sun into your home in the morning is a great feeling and it also makes dirt easier to see. The sense of accomplishment gained in the morning from cleaning your home will make you feel good throughout the rest of the day.
• Don’t feel as if you must clean the entire house from top-to-bottom in one day. Instead, divide work into smaller tasks, doing a bit every day. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, while ensuring that all of the cleaning gets done.
• If you’ll be entertaining guests, make an eleventh hour visit of the rooms that’ll be busiest. Look for dust you may have missed, or floors that could have been overlooked. Clear a closet for guests’ coats, and place clean, fresh towels in the bathrooms.
• Above all else, make cleaning fun. Music can add a measure of joy to the process by keeping your mind off of “work”.
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