You don’t have to spend a great deal of time keeping your rooms neat and organised. Learning how to clean a room involves doing it the same way each time so that you go through each step quickly and automatically.
Once you give your room a good cleaning, you should never have to spend more than 15 minutes at a time to keep it in charming, presentable order.
Gather Your Supplies
Whenever you begin any cleaning project, it’s important to gather everything you need at the beginning and carry it with you from room to room throughout the house.
Photo by Wade M. on Flickr
You should never need to stop and go back for anything. Invest in a large bucket and also a basket at the local dollar store so that you can tote everything you need:
• A large basket
• Broom or a commercial duster on an extension rod.
• A bucket to carry the items below.
• Cleaning fluid such as ammonia or a window-washing type fluid, which actually contains ammonia.
• A furniture polishing product.
• A separate cloth for each of your products.
• Vacuum sweeper, with attachments
• Optional: Steam cleaner
When you enter the room, begin at first by picking up everything that doesn’t belong in the room. Put all those items into the basket. As you go from room to room, you will just keep adding to it. Once you’ve cleaned everything that’s on your agenda for the day, you have two options: You can finish your cleaning by putting everything away as your final task.
Your other option is to leave the basket in an inconspicuous area so that members of the household can claim the items you’ve collected. If they don’t claim their items, you can toss out what’s left in the basket before you begin next week’s cleaning. That will teach them to be neat!
Of course, in each room you will find items that do belong in the room—so take a couple minutes to put those items back in place.
Dust Down, Clean, and Polish!
Take your broom or the extended duster and brush all dust webs from the ceiling and walls. This is something you will need to do only once a month or so.
Run your duster over the blinds if you have them covering your windows. Spritz the window glass with your window-washer cleaner and wipe it with a microfiber cloth or with crumpled newspaper to avoid streaking.
Next, you can begin cleaning the surfaces of the furniture in your room. For items made of glass, Formica, or some other artificial surface, use your ammonia or window-washing fluid. Check product labels to be certain you can use it on the surfaces you’re about to clean.
If the room you’re cleaning is the kitchen, you may want to buy lemon ammonia; it’s a really knock-out degreasing cleanser.
Polishing the furniture follows. Do each piece even if they’re not real wood; even medium density fibreboard is coated with a wood-like veneer. You need a commercial furniture polish for this, because whether or not it’s genuine wood, polishing will protect your furniture from drying out. It also gives it a soft shine.
Sweep It All Up
Plug in your vacuum, and check beneath each of the sofa cushions for the debris that just magically collects there. If you have an attachment, run it over the cushion surfaces, and push the cushions back into their proper places. It’s amazing how dishevelled a sofa cushion can become if it’s not tended to.
Don’t forget to vacuum the carpet. Make certain you set the sweeper adjustment, if applicable: Some of them have a dial or other setting to utilize if you are sweeping a carpet with deep pile and another setting for indoor-outdoor carpeting or hardwood floors. Using the right setting not only applies the right amount of suction for your floor covering, it also protects the beater bar of the sweeper from being damaged if you’re running it over an uncarpeted surface.
You now officially know how to clean a room, but there’s a bit to say about investing in a steam cleaner. You can buy units that stand upright like an electric broom or small vacuum but with a tank to fill with water. A favourite among housekeepers is a unit that runs upright like a vacuum so that you can steam the carpet.
Photo by Maggie Osterberg
It’s not the same as shampooing the carpet, but it can disinfect and freshen it. It will also allow you to detach the carpet unit so that you can use the steamer as a handheld unit.
Use it to apply steam to just about anything: Steam around your kitchen faucet, your stove top, your toilet, your bedroom mirror, your windows, and even on your furniture cushions.
You can steam in the kitchen in bathroom one week, and then the next week hit the sofa cushions and lamp shades, and alternate. Even your harshest critic—your mother-in-law—will admire the way you clean if you invest in a steamer!