Save Time by Power Cleaning

What do you do when there’s no time for traditional house cleaning methods, and you need the whole house clean and presentable – fast? No, crying isn’t going to help, but a scream might relieve tension! It’s time to go into “Power Cleaning” mode. The very first thing you should do is change your clothing and put on something old that can get soiled or even stained. Next, turn the ringer off on your phone or turn your answering machine on. Roll up those sleeves if you have them, and get ready to get messy!

After having worked for a time in housekeeping at a large hotel chain, I have learned a thing or two or about fast and efficient cleaning! One of the most important things to remember is that you should make every step you take count for something. You should not be running up and down stairs getting cleaning materials, or chemicals. You should create yourself a “cleaning station” on every level of your home. For the upstairs area I recommend getting a large plastic container with a lid, such as you might use for storage in the garage. You need one small enough to fit on a shelf in a linen closet, a cabinet in your bathroom, or even in your closet – anywhere that is out of view, and could be protected from the reach of children with a safety catch on the door that prevents them access. For a basement area, I would recommend the same, and again you would want to store your cleaning station out of the reach of children and away from view. If you have carpeting on more than one level, I recommend buying a carpet-cleaning tool for all the different levels in your home. This saves you the time and energy of having to lug heavy vacuum cleaners and such up and down stairs. I also recommend the same if you have wood flooring, tile, linoleum or any other surface on more than one level of your home. Buy a separate cleaning tool for each level to save time and energy carrying the tools up and down stairs.

Inside your power-cleaning box you will need three clear plastic spray bottles, sized appropriately for the height of your storage box. I recommend clear so that you can easily see when a bottle is running low and re-fill. In different spray bottles you need to pour a liquid glass cleaner, a liquid spot and stain remover, and a liquid multi surface cleaner (remember to dilute with water if required). I recommend you include a spray room deodorizer, and a spray disinfectant. Since this is a power cleaning kit and not a deep cleaning kit, I recommend using dryer sheets for dusting cloths. This eliminates the need for a tool such as a dust wand, or another container of chemical such as furniture polish. Your kit also needs to include a non-abrasive scrubbing pad and a large standard cleaning sponge. You will need to purchase a plastic bucket with a handle in an appropriate size to hold your three spray bottles and fit inside of your storage box. The remaining area of your storage box will need to be filled with cotton cleaning cloths, and I recommend dust free chamois cloths for the glass and high gloss surfaces in your home. You should also include a few trash bags that fit all the trash cans on that level or in that area of the home, and any supply that you must routinely re-fill such as drinking cup dispensers in the bathroom. And last but certainly not least, I recommend rubber gloves for hand protection while cleaning.

Let the games begin! You want to begin in a systematic order where everything you do is working toward your end result of a clean house. Try to eliminate the old pattern of running all over the house making wasted trips! Clean your bathrooms, laundry area and kitchen LAST. As you enter each room to be cleaned, gather trash, dirty clothing, and anything that doesn’t belong in that room first. Don’t worry with taking these items to their proper places yet, instead, set them in an area that won’t be in your way – such as outside the door on the floor. You want to work from top to bottom, with the top being the things you have to dust and the bottom being the floor. Otherwise, you’ll swipe debris onto your freshly cleaned floor! Your cleaning needs to progress in this order: put things that belong in that room in their proper location, clean glass, dust, polish shiny surfaces, do anything that is needed such as making bed, clean floor. Before exiting the now clean room, spray some room deodorizer. As you walk by the pile of things you created on the floor that didn’t belong in that room – take with you the ones that do belong in the next room. Repeat this process until all the rooms are cleaned on that level of your home with exception of the bathroom, kitchen, laundry area, and you newly created pile of “don’t belong here” items.

I recommend cleaning the bathroom first, and this time you will need to work from dry to wet, instead of top to bottom. As before, first remove trash, dirty clothes, and anything that doesn’t belong in this room to the area you have been placing all these items. Now do the cleaning processes that are dry, such as replacing the towels, toilet paper rolls and drinking cups. Then do the cleaning processes that are wet, START at the sink or countertop area. Next you should clean the tub/shower area. And LAST, clean the toilet, because you don’t want to migrate the germs that might be on your hands from the toilet to the other areas of the bathroom! Finish up by cleaning glass and shiny surfaces and spraying disinfectant. Clean the floor before you exit the room.

I suggest you do your laundry area next, as by now you should have slowly migrated all the dirty clothes toward this area… and hopefully there aren’t any in the kitchen! If there is no time to do the laundry right now, I suggest you try to make it a little less unsightly by putting it into baskets or hampers. If you have no other option, you can also bundle piles into dirty bath towels and stack them up against a wall. Anything looks better than a huge haphazard pile of dirty laundry all over the floor! Clean this area as you did the other areas of the house. And if this is where you store your garbage until pick-up, now is the time to migrate any bags that you may have in your pile as well. Clean the floor and spray a room deodorizer before you exit. And before you move to the kitchen, finish putting away the pile you created in the other area with all the things you were migrating, spot clean the floor in that area if needed.

I always recommend cleaning the kitchen last because this is a convenient place to be to wrap everything up. All the dishes should have been slowly migrated to there by now, and if you haven’t already migrated the trash, having it close to the kitchen should make further disposal easier. I recommend working in your kitchen the opposite of the way in which you did in the bathroom. In the kitchen, you should word from wet to dry because wet tasks such as washing the dishes or loading the dishwasher need to be done before you can clean countertops. In this order, I recommend you; clean out the refrigerator – in case there are dishes inside that need removed and washed, clean the microwave – in case the tray needs washed, wash the dishes, clean the stove, clean any appliances, glass, or shiny surfaces, clean the countertops, and then the sinks. Do the dusting next, then move on to anything you need to re-stock such as paper towel, napkins, salt and pepper or the like. Finish the floors last, spray disinfectant around the trashcan area – and walla – the house is power cleaned!

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