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1. Clean it sooner than later
Spills and stains are generally much easier to clean up when you attack them right away. Once they dry and set, they become much harder to remove. One exception: mud. If tracked on your carpet, let it dry completely, then vacuum.
2. Neaten, then clean
They’re different things: neat means things are put away, and everything is in good order. Clean means there’s no dirt, dust, or mold. You’re goal is a room that’s both at the same time. To do that, make neatening a daily process, by removing clutter and putting things away. Then on cleaning day, you can focus just on dirt and dust removal.
3. Clean from the top down
Don’t fight gravity. You’ll lose. This holds true when cleaning a single room (Do ceilings first and floors last), and when cleaning a whole house (start on the top floor and work downward).
4. Clean dry, then wet
Dust, sweep, and vacuum before doing the wet cleaning (such as washing mirrors with glass cleaner, or mopping a floor). Wet cleaning should be to remove what little dirt remains after dry cleaning.
5. Start with the least harmful approach
Cleaning can be abrasive to fabrics, floors, surfaces, even walls. So use your gentlest methods first and step up to more aggressive techniques only when necessary.
6. Let time do the scrubbing for you
Most cleaners work better if you let them soak in. Spray on your cleaners, then go do a little job before coming back and wiping away. You’ll end up doing much less scrubbing that way.
7. Carry your supplies with you
Every household should have a cleaning caddy or bucket that has everything you need in it to clean a room. That means cleaners, sponges, paper towels, rags, and a trash bags for emptying wastebaskets.
8. Minimize your walking
Cleaning gets tiring and takes longer if you’re constantly carrying things from room to room. If lots of things need to be transported – say, shoes need to go from the front door to the bedroom closet – keep carrying bins handy, and don’t make the trip until the bin is full.
9. Protect yourself
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can damage your eyes, skin, nose, lungs or skin. Rubber gloves should be in your cleaning bucket; wear them! And if you are using harsh chemicals, consider safety glasses. Finally, wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained or tattered.
10. Make the most of it
Play great music while you clean. If nice outside, open the windows and enjoy the breeze. Eat a nice breakfast before, and a great lunch after. Cleaning should be a pleasant experience, not a painful chore.