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Discover India Hicks

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Discover India Hicks

Makeover Monday: SPEED CLEAN

For all you that clean your own house, this post is for you! It's almost Spring and it's time to makeover your cleaning routine. It always kills me when I hear women say they slaved for hours cleaning their house. Doing what?? You can be just as thorough in 1/2 the time...IF...you have a system in place and learn the tricks to speed cleaning.

I used to own a cleaning called Finishing Touch in WA. We specialized in new construction cleaning. I always bid per job; never on the amount of time I thought it would take. You can dilly-dally for hours but it simply doesn't do anything but waste time. In order to be as profitable as possible, it was my job to teach my employees the art of speedy, efficient cleaning. To master the quick clean you can't circle a room more than once and you must always clean HIGH TO LOW. Always start cleaning at the top of a surface, and work your way down. This allows you to avoid dripping cleaner, or settling dust over surfaces that have already been cleaned. Another rule of thumb to remember is DRY TO WET. Do your dry cleaning, dusting, wiping down, etc. first. Next, move to your wet cleaning. The more you can take care of with a dry cloth, the less streaking, spreading of dirt, and potential for spilling you'll have. Also, you must touch everything in your path before you make the next move. Don't waste time back-tracking when you could have wiped down the door knob and light switch as you swung around grab the toilet bowl brush. And last but not least, clean the sink LAST.

Before you can master the art of speed cleaning, you must;

1) Have the proper tools - You don't need gadgets. The specialized, one-use tools, or gee-whiz gimcracks hawked on some television infomercial are a waste of money. Forget flimsy supermarket cheapies, and invest in sturdy, well-made tools. Replace the rickety sponge mop with a terry-covered Magic Mop or Sh-mop for easy, efficient floor cleaning. Buy good tools, once - because they'll have you out the door in record time.

2) Tote your tools - Forgot the 409? Down the stairs you go. The toilet brush? It's in the kids' bathroom down the hall. Run to the laundry room for more cleaning towels, to the kitchen for a roll of paper towels. Where's the vacuum? Did the teenager take the squeegee to wash the car?

Stop this madness and tote around ALL your tools, cleansers, brushes and rags needed to finish the job in one cleaning caddy. Have the vacuum, mop and mini-vac waiting in the doorway. A plastic bag for trash at your finger tips. If you do this, you'll be done with the bathroom before you would have made it back up the stairs with the 409.

3) Simplify supplies - In order to get all your supplies in one caddy, you need to simplify your cleaning products. You honestly can clean your house with just a few products. You don't need any special counter spray, no single-use products designed to clean only blinds or fans or walls. My recommendation is a good multi-purpose cleaner or glass cleaner, Clorox bleach or powdered abrasive cleaner, tile cleaner, disinfectant wipes or a Lysol disinfecting spray and vinegar. You honestly should be able to clean your house with those minimal products which will save you money as well as time.

Now that you have the right supplies corralled into one caddy, you must keep in mind that you ONLY CLEAN WHAT NEEDS TO BE CLEANED. I know it sounds silly but don't clean just to clean. If your refrigerator is still spotless from last weeks cleaning, then why bother moving everything around to clean it? If you never use the downstairs bathroom, then it won't need to be cleaned as often as the master bathroom. Don't clean something just because it's a scheduled day of cleaning. Clean the dirty things, and leave the rest alone.

Because the kitchen, bathrooms and living rooms are the most used rooms, here are some quick tips to get your started in the right direction:

Kitchen: Get gleaming
The secret to a speedy kitchen cleanup is one of the cheapest products around: plain old vinegar. Either white or cider vinegar on a paper towel can clean and shine the sink, counter and appliances — including stainless steel. (Don’t use on marble, however, It can damage the surface.)

Before you start, clear off countertop clutter, and load dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Figure out a system that works but remember high to low and dry to wet.

Dirty floor? You should have time for a quick sweep. But if you want to mop up too, cleaning expert Donna Smallin, author of Cleaning Plain and Simple and the One-Minute Cleaner suggests checking out the new Bissell Steam and Sweep: “It leaves the floor clean and dry in a few minutes.” Haven't used it but it's gotta be better than the Swiffer Wet Jet. Not a fan.

Bathroom: Spray, Wipe and Go
Step 1: Pour 1/2 cup of bleach into the toilet, and let it sit.

Step 2: Spray the shower walls and door with shower cleaner.

Step 3: In the meantime, focus on the countertop, sink and mirror. You’ll only need one product for all three - glass cleaner. For the mirror, use a towel/rag, not paper towel, to avoid streaks.

Step 4: Return to the toilet. Scrub the bowl and under the rim with a toilet brush, and flush.

Step 5: Use disinfectant wipes for the outside and the seat. Do a final wipe down with a dry rag.

You’re done!

Family/Living Room: Swipe and Sweep
Quickly vacuum the floor and sofa cushions wherever you see crumbs or pet hair. (If you can’t see it, don’t sweat it. You can do a proper sweep-up later on).

Clear off the coffee table, but don’t bother with furniture polish or oil soap. Just dampen a cloth with water and swipe it over tables, lamps and any other surfaces.

And for easy clutter reduction, toss items that belong elsewhere into a laundry basket — and take it somewhere else to put away!

There you have it. Spend 30 minutes instead of 2-3 hours and get more items on your to-do list checked off!

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