Hello Peep, and welcome back. Wondering what to do with all those boxes you collected in The Quick Clean Plan? How about how to clean the rest of the house? Well, read on. Grab some more boxes, because the box cleaning isn’t done yet. Lets finish cleaning. What you missed the fun? Find it in this post.
I like to start at the back of the house, or upstairs and finish with the kitchen. (Just make sure you get the dishes out of the oven. I wouldn’t know, but preheating an oven full of dirty dishes does not go well.) This part of the cleaning is not so fast, in fact, it takes 24 hours, but we will get to that later.
This time you are going to take a box or a basket (Thank you Amazon for all the boxes) and pick up things off the floor. Put it in the box. Pick up any dirty dishes and box them. Since my kids are teens this is all I do in their rooms.
Same plan in here. Put the stuff on the floor in a box or basket. Then anything on the nightstands or dressers that does not belong there goes into the box Yup dirty cups and dishes too. To be honest this is usually the worst room in my house because things that nobody knows what to do with end up here. That means it also needs the biggest box.
Now if you have a ceiling fan clean the blades. If you don’t have a tool for this find a ladder and use a dust cloth. I like to use a microfiber rag for dusting. I have one that is dry and dust first, then one that is spritzed with a little water to go over it again. Don’t forget to grab a broom and sweep around the wall and ceiling edges to knock down those cobwebs. Dust flat surfaces next, include things like legs on the nightstands, and the front and sides of dressers. Any decorative items you left out should get a wipe too. Lamps and shades count. Next vacuum the rugs. Then mop tile or wood areas.
Put anything that does not belong in here in the box from the bedroom. This time you will put away things that are left since they should all belong in this room. Now you should have clean surfaces.
Tub and Shower
For the shower and tub get a clean broom. I have one I use just for this job. I also keep a bottle of Dawn dish soap with my bathroom cleaning supplies for this, and some vinegar. Squirt some of the dawn in the tub, and on the shower floor, follow that up with about 3/4 of a cup of vinegar. Now take the broom and use it like a long-handled scrub brush, scrub the bottom of the tub, then the sides, same with the shower if it is separate. Now you are going to let that sit while you do the rest of the room.
Mirror and Vanity
I usually work in a circle from the mirror, and top to bottom. If you have a light fixture above your mirror give it a dust. Now clean the mirror. I use a vinegar and water solution for this as well. I should probably invest in vinegar stock. The key to a mirror I have found is to make sure you use a lint free rag. This means these rags cannot be washed with towels, they have to be completely lint free. Next clean the vanity top, sinks, and fixtures. Don’t forget to wipe down any decorative items you left out of the box. Things like toothbrush stands, chargers, or whatever you decided should stay.
Next up the toilet. Work from outside in. Clean the top sides outside the bowl and the bottom with, yup the vinegar and water solution. Open the top and pour in about 3/4 of a cup of vinegar. Did you know this stuff disinfects too? let that sit while you dust any other parts of the room. Don’t forget to clean both the top and bottom of the seat while this soaks. We have a few free-standing cabinets I usually clean as well while this sits for a few minutes.
The thing that changed my life for toilet cleaning was a pumice stone. Use your toilet brush to do your regular cleaning. Now grab that Pumice and use it in any stains or rings that didn’t come off. It’s like a magic eraser for your toilet. I know right?
All that should be left now is rinsing the toilet and shower. Grab a shower pouf, yup. One just dedicated to this job. Scrub the tub and shower with it. Now rinse out the solution. If you have glass shower doors use the vinegar and water solution on them, and another lint-free rag. If you want your tub to really shine grab a towel and dry it. Same with the shower. To be honest, sometimes I skip this step, who besides me and hubby are going to see it anyway?
Now sweep and mop and you are done.
This is the room I most hate to clean. People tend to pile up junk in there. In my house, it leads to the garage, so things that go out there end up in the laundry room. It also has the cat box, and since our cat is not very tidy it often smells bad. So first things first. get that box and put anything in there that does not belong in the laundry room, put away things that do belong in there. Knockdown cobwebs, again. Now clean the washer and dryer, top and sides. Wipe down cabinet fronts and counters. Clean the utility sink using the same method as you did with tubs and showers.
Home Office or Craft Room
First off if it does not go here, box it.. Put away things that do belong in this room. Dust desk and chair base. Clean any other surfaces in the room. Sweep, mop or vacuum.
Clean the same as the Master bath, and don’t forget the box.
Grab another box or basket. The same drill, anything that does not belong goes into the box. Clean from the top down. This means light fixtures first, then surfaces, then floors.
Now you should be all done, except for that pile of boxes from before and the boxes you just made.
Finally what do with the boxes.
Find a spot that can be really messy for the next 24 hours. I use our guest room to gather up the boxes from the rooms you just did. Empty out the boxes onto the floor. Just pour them if there is nothing breakable. You now have a collection of empty boxes or baskets and a huge mess on the floor.
I like to tackle this mess by putting anything that goes into the kitchen in a box. All the dirty dishes you collected will probably be the bulk of it. Take that box to the kitchen. Come right back,
Now anything that belongs in the master bath or bedroom. Put that into a box or basket, and take it to there. This also includes my personal stuff and Greg’s stuff. Just leave the box and come right back.
Laundry is next. I don’t do the kids laundry anymore, but I will grab dirty towels to make up a load. Sometimes I will ask for their whites also to make up a load. Everyday clothes, never! I got tired of picking up, and washing clothes they put on and then decided not to wear. So id it is something I will wash it goes into my laundry basket. Take this basket to the laundry room and leave it there.
The things left for you to deal with should be a few items that may belong in a family room, living room, dining area. Take boxes and put these items into the rooms they belong in.
Now you should be left with a pile of laundry, movies, make-up, and stuff that belongs to your kids. This next step is tough love. Again since I have teens I don’t have to help with this, you may consider making this age appropriate. They have 24 hours to claim their items. Whatever is left after 24 hours goes to donations or trash, and I mean it. I also don’t pay to replace these items. If I threw out your favorite movie, oh well. You had a whole day to retrieve it and put it away. It only takes once or twice before that pile disappears fast.
Now it’s time to deal with all those dirty dishes. If you have a dishwasher load ‘r up. For some of us, this will mean doing the empty and put away first. If hand washing git ‘r done. If this is a kids chore make sure they get it done. Now empty out that box of stuff that went to the kitchen that wasn’t the dirty dishes you just took care of and put the items away. Clean any kitchen light fixtures. Time for a better mop job now as well.
Go through the house and put away the items that are in the box for each room.
The Benefits of this System.
By using this method you have saved yourself countless trips up and down stairs or hallways putting away things that go into various places. Now instead or running to a different room every time you have something in your hand that does not belong where you are, you have just boxed it, moved it to a sorting station, and then returned to each room only once to put away the things that go there.
I also assign each kid a laundry day. They only have that day to do their laundry. It has to be washed, dried and put away, on that day, so the washer and dryer are clear for someone else the next day. If it’s not they will find it on their bed.(unless it is wet, then I dry it first) No video games,TV, or phones will be allowed until it is taken care of. Period. No exceptions.
I also expect rooms to be cleaned as my son likes to say “to your standards” weekly. They can pick a day and let me know what day it will be so so I can apply “my standards.” No, I’m not really a drill Sargent, but I do have expectations.
I hope you have laughed a little. at some of this, but in the end the system works. You don’t need to wait for an emergency to start. Just get a bunch of laundry baskets or boxes and try it on your next cleaning day. I like to do a good deeper cleaning day in one room each week, then on Saturdays have the claim your stuff day. I hate to take away from homework time too much. so for now, go concur that mess, and as always…