Cleaning Lesson

“Honey, can you clean the bathroom?”
“Sure.”
A half-hour later
“Honey, did you clean the bathroom?”
“Yup.”
“Did you clean the floor?”
“The floor of the shower?”
“No. The floor of the bathroom.”
“Uh…no.”

If you’ve ever had this conversation, you know the frustration of asking your significant other, child, etc. to “clean” a room in the house, only to find the room incompletely cleaned. Now, I’m far from a neat freak, but if a job is going to be done, I want it done to the fullest extent. Otherwise, I’d simply do it myself. (And I have NO desire to clean the entire house by myself.)

So I decided my best option was to create descriptions of how to clean each room in the house. These descriptions would inevitably seem overly detailed to me, but would save me from conversations like the one in the beginning of this writing. So if you have similar problems, simply print out this page and slap it up on the fridge right next to the grocery store list and that A+ book report.

Bathroom:
1. Dry dust or vacuum the floor and all surfaces to remove dust, hair and large particles. Be sure to dust the baseboards along the wall and the door frame.
2. Apply toilet bowl cleaner to inside of toilet bowl rim and let soak.
3. Spray down sink, all surfaces of toilet (tank, lid, top and bottom of seat, etc.) with a bathroom cleaner. Wipe down with a wet cloth.
4. Scrub toilet bowl thoroughly with toilet bowl brush.
5. Spray down shower/bathtub with bathroom cleaner. Wipe down with a wet cloth.
6. Use a glass cleaner to clean any glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, etc.).
7. Use a floor cleaner and do the old-fashioned hands-and-knees scrubbing, or use one of the newer methods for cleaning floors.

Bedroom, living room, etc.:
1. Use a spray-can dusting formula and a cloth to dust any wooden surfaces. When dusting, remove all objects from the surface – don’t just shift them around.
2. Use a dusting cloth or other duster to dust other objects (picture frames, baseboards along the wall, door and window frames, objects on tables, appliances, etc.).
3. Use a glass cleaner to clean any glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, etc.).
4. For carpet, vacuum. Move any small furniture and vacuum in its place before moving it back. Use attachments to get into small edges and corners as well as the furniture cushions.
5. Be sure not to overlook things like ceiling fans (dust), tops of high furniture (dust) and stairs (vacuum and dust baseboards).

Kitchen:
1. Dust all appropriate areas including top of fridge, top of cabinets, baseboards, door and window frames, etc.
2. Use pledge and a rag to clean a wooden table.
3. Use a kitchen cleaner to spray down all countertops; wipe clean with a wet rag or as bottle directs. Also wipe down fronts of appliances (fridge, dishwasher, stove, etc.).
4. Be sure to clean tops of appliances as well.
5. Remove glass plate from microwave and clean with dish soap.
6. Remove racks from toaster oven and clean. Empty crumb tray in bottom.
7. Use a glass cleaner for any glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, etc.).
8. Dry dust or vacuum floor (directions are likely different for hardwood!). Move all kitchen chairs into a different room to thoroughly get under table.
9. Use a floor cleaner and do the old-fashioned hands-and-knees scrubbing, or use one of the newer methods for cleaning floors.

Obviously, there are other rooms in your house that will require additional or more specific directions, but this is a pretty good start. At least for these rooms, you won’t need to worry about hearing, “But you didn’t ASK me to do that.” Now, when you ask your significant other, child, etc. to “clean the bathroom,” just give them this short cleaning lesson.

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