By Arianne Cohen
Clean Your House in Less Than an Hour (True and I do clean my house weekly basis)
When it comes to cleaning fast, the key is to “have a system, move quickly and never go back to a room,” says Andre Lewis, manager of Alpha Living, a green cleaning service in New York City. Follow this plan-starting upstairs and working your way down-and you’ll be done before you know it.
Zone 1: Bedrooms
Approximate time: 10 minutes per bedroom (About 15 mins. on ours)
Do a clean sweep. Strip dirty linens and toss in the hamper. Stash unnecessary items clogging your dresser or nightstand in nearby drawers or closets. Empty the wastebasket. Think “hotel”-you want spartan surfaces to help the room look tidier.
Make the bed. Take a tip from hotel maids: Rather than trying to tuck sheets under the end of the mattress, lift up each corner of the mattress with one hand and tuck with the other. It’s faster.
Deal with dust. Using a dry microfiber cloth, start with a piece of furniture in one corner and work your way around the room clockwise. Dust each surface, working back-to-front and lifting knickknacks as you go, and dump the dust right onto the floor. Your cloth should only touch each part of the surface once (no constant back-and-forth). If there’s a lamp on the nightstand, clean it top-to-bottom first, then dust the tabletop. Use your long-armed duster on mirrors and wall art.
Vacuum. Start from a back corner and vacuum your way out the door, using long firm strokes. Save time by only running the vacuum over each strip of carpet once-not twice. Don’t worry about missing an inch or two.
***Before I strip down the linens, I open up the windows if they are close so that fresh air can come in, I go to the closet and prepare the new set of linens then I start dusting the highest corner and then down, then I will start stripping the linens and cleaned, arranged, organized and dust off the bedside tables, shelves, desk and then when the linens are all put into place, I empty the trash bin and vacuum and I am done.
Zone 2: Bathroom
Approximate time: 9 minutes (About 15 on ours)
Do your prep work. Spritz the sink, vanity, shower and tub with your all-purpose spray and let sit.
Tackle the toilet. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, give it a thorough scrub with the toilet brush, then flush. Next, spray a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe down the outside of the toilet and tank.
Clean the mirror. Spray on glass cleaner and, starting in the top corner, wipe in a circular motion.
Go back to the sink. Use the toothbrush to quickly scrub hard-to-reach spots around the fixtures.Then, working back-to-front, start in one corner and move horizontally, wiping the counter, vanity, fixtures and handles.
Wipe down the shower and tub. No need for a full scrub-just give them a quick swipe with a dampened cloth, then pull the curtain shut.
Mop the floor. Using a water-dampened microfiber mop, quickly mop your way out of the room, beginning in a far corner and ending at the doorway.
***After all are done using the bathroom/shower, then I spray the water mix with bleach and fabric softener to the shower area then let the exhaust fan run, remove the rugs, spray the water mix with vinegar to the mirror and the water mix with bleach to the sink and toilet and water for a little while and of course mop the floor and remove the trash and viola… Fresh and clean bathroom.
Zone 3: Kitchen
Approximate time: 12 minutes (I would say about 20 minutes on ours)
Do the dishes. Load the dishwasher and start the cycle.
Declutter. Spend a minute or two removing any clutter from countertops-put items back in the cabinets, stash papers in a drawer. The emptier your counters, the cleaner your kitchen looks.
Pretreat. Notice hard-to-remove gunk on your stove or countertop? Scrape it up with the credit card. And use the eraser sponge to tackle any stubborn stains.
Clean the counters. Wet a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe countertops back-to-front, brushing crumbs onto the floor.
Wipe down appliances. Swipe the fridge, dishwasher and stove with
a damp cloth.
Tackle the floor. Starting in a far corner, sweep your way out. Then give the floor a fast once-over with a water-dampened microfiber mop, again working your way out.
***Nightly kitchen is kept clean. After dinner is done, dishes, pots, and etc. are washed immediately. Table and counter tops are wiped down with water mix with bleach and fabric softener. Microwave and stove top gets the wiped down too. Floors are swept and mop as well.
Zone 4: Living Room
Approximate time: 15 minutes (abt 15 mins on us.)
Clear the clutter. Quickly scan the room to see what’s out of place. Stash scattered items like remotes and DVDS in drawers; neatly stack magazines on the coffee table.
Dust. Start in one corner of the room, and follow the same how-tos as in the bedrooms, working top-to-bottom and back-to-front so that the dust falls onto the floor. And if you have blinds, swipe them with the long-armed duster.
Make glass gleam. To clean glass surfaces, spray a microfiber cloth with your glass cleaner and wipe in wide circular motions, working from one back corner to the front.
Vacuum. Speed-vacuum yourself out of the room, starting in the farthest corner.
***Because after dinner we end up in the living room we get to clear and clean this area of the house before we leave for work/school which is pretty quick and on weekly basis this is the last if not the kitchen of my chores to be done.
Arianne Cohen is a contributing editor to Woman’s Day and author of Help, It’s Broken!: A Fix-It Bible for the Repair-Impaired.
***I love a place where things has its home, organize, clean and smelling fresh. I am an OCD by nature but not diagnose… LOLS. 😀