Housecleaning is one of those chores that you know you need to do, but don’t want to do. Whether you have just moved into your first home and are overwhelmed by how much work it is to keep it clean and fresh, are starting your career as a professional housekeeper or are looking to hire a maid, there are certain basic duties you should do to keep a home organized and clean. Putting off housekeeping duties can result in increased illnesses due to germs and dust spreading around the living space. Proper housekeeping doesn’t have to be difficult if you spread out your tasks throughout the week.
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You should always do the dusting first, before vacuuming or any other housekeeping tasks within the room. Begin dusting from the highest place in the room (shelves or top of cabinets), making your way lower and lower as you go. This way, any dust you disturbed will settle on the floor, where you can then vacuum it away. It helps to dust with a damp rag rather than a feather duster because the damp rag will pick up more dust. The feather duster will just make it airborne and allow it to settle somewhere else when you’ve finished.
After you’ve dusted, you’re ready to vacuum. A vacuum can be used on carpets, tiles or hardwood floors. If you are cleaning hardwood or tiles, you may want to finish your vacuuming with a hardwood floor polish or a mop for tiles. The vacuum will pick up all the dust and other loose dirt, but it won’t get out scuff marks or spilled food stains.
The bathroom is where you go when you want to get clean. No one wants to bathe in a dirty bathroom. Keep it clean every day by using a squeegee to wipe down the walls after you shower. You can hang a squeegee inside the shower and encourage everyone in your household to adopt the habit of quickly wiping down the walls before they step out. Using a squeegee prevents soap scum build-up, allowing you and your family to enjoy a mold-free shower. To keep your bathroom sink shining all day long, you can keep a box of baby wipes near the bathroom sink and wipe it down in the morning and evening after you brush your teeth to get rid of toothpaste blobs.
Toilets are germ basins. Make sure you keep a toilet brush and a bottle of toilet cleaner beside the toilet at all times and encourage your family members to give it a scrub. You can also purchase self-cleaners that stick onto the rim of the toilet bowl and release a cleaning solution every time the toilet is flushed.
Knowing where germs like to hang out is the first step in creating a germ-free household. Get rid of germs with a rag dipped in warm water mixed with detergent. Germs are most commonly found on lotion and soap containers, light switches and doorknobs, kitchen appliance buttons and handles, electronic controls such as the TV remote, the bathroom sink faucet and toilet flusher. Make sure to give these germ-festering surfaces a wipe down at least once a day.
While you may not reorganize every room each time you clean, you should attempt to keep a well-organized home and de-clutter every four or five months. You should make time to organize closets, dresser drawers, the kitchen pantry, bookshelves and other storage areas that tend to be dumping grounds for the things you don’t have a place for. Figure out what you must hold on to and what you can let go of and start purging. Placing a trash can in every room can encourage you and your housemates to throw out items that are no longer needed. Just remember to empty your trash baskets when they are full.