Partly Cloudy   73.0F  |  Forecast »

Get a Grip on Housework

Want to finally kick the clutter, grime and disorganization in your family's home this New Year? Go for the gusto with these realistic tips

Excited about giving your house a good deep cleaning? Me neither. But maybe you've gotten sick of parking your car in the driveway because the garage has become a dumping ground for your family's odds and ends. And just maybe, keeping your house tidier has even made it onto your New Year's resolutions list.

Whatever the reason, now is the perfect time to get organized, so that cleaning your home isn't a chore – but, instead, an easy part of your daily routine.

Your cleaning bucket

According to Kristi Mailloux, president of the Ann Arbor-based Molly Maid, the No. 1-ranked cleaning service in the United States, having a well-stocked cleaner carryall will save time – and money.

"If you keep all of your supplies in one place, you won't have to keep looking around for products when you could be cleaning," explains Mailloux.

Another advantage: You won't overbuy on supplies, because you'll know exactly what you have on hand. Here's what you'd find a Molly Maid home cleaning professional carrying (Mailloux points out these are the same products you'd find at your local grocery store): window cleaner, bathroom cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, sanitizer.

You should also stock cleaning tools – such as paper towels, rags and scrubbing brushes – in your bucket. Mailloux says that Molly Maid uses microfiber cloths for cleaning because they're better than rags, even though they're pricier. She reasons that consumers will save more on cleaning products if they use microfiber cloths because they require less product to clean more surface area.
I also keep old toothbrushes in my cleaning bucket because they're perfect for reaching behind and between bathroom faucets and for picking up toothpaste residue.

Schedule a little at a time

Cleaning your entire house can seem daunting – and time-consuming. Plus, if you wait until once a week, for instance, your house won't be consistently clean. It will look great for the first day or two, but then it will be all downhill from there. For overall cleanliness (which means unexpected drop-ins won't be embarrassing) and a more manageable use of time, break it down into pieces. Mailloux, who's also the mother of two, reveals how you can get your whole home spotless in a two-week cycle.

Do a quick cleanup every day. Whether you take 10 minutes at night or a few in the morning, make sure everything in your home is put away and dirty dishes cleared.

Tackle one or two rooms per day. Take your time to do a more thorough cleaning in two rooms each weekday. Wipe down surfaces, reorganize clutter zones and vacuum during these deep cleanings. (Trouble zones like kitchens and bathrooms may need a little extra attention every week.)

Take the weekends off. If you follow this schedule, your whole home will get a complete cleaning every two weeks – and you can relax and enjoy Saturday and Sunday!

Clean a room like a pro

Home service professionals have a specific method for cleaning rooms, so they move quickly – and efficiently. Here's how:

  1. Pick up and put away any items that are left out and belong in other rooms.
  2. Bring along a cleaning bucket, so that you have all of your supplies readily available.
  3. Move clockwise, or right to left through the room as you clean. "If you jump side to side, you may miss areas," explains Mailloux.
  4. Clean top-to-bottom. Working down instead of up ensures that you're not leaving behind any dirt that falls down during cleaning.

One note: Mailloux points out that in the kitchen, home service professionals always leave the stovetop for the end. "It tends to be the greasiest or dirtiest part of the kitchen, so we save it for last – so that we're not spreading grease throughout the room."

Leave it to the pros

If you're still not ready to tackle your housework, you may want to hire a professional. Mailloux explains that the price to clean a home varies according to the size of the home and the level of cleanup it requires. Most of Molly Maid's clients have bi-weekly cleanings.

To give you an idea how much these cleanings might cost, a 2,500-square foot home would cost around $95-$105 per cleaning. Keep in mind, the initial cleaning will most likely cost a little more and require more time.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Is your garden overflowing with this vegetable? Try making cheesy zucchini bites, zucchini fries or any of these recipes.

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Looking for an easy, compact way to tote those summer necessities? You're in luck! This simple sewing project makes carting your fabric accessories a breeze.

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement