November is here! Are you getting ready for the holidays? Getting the house cleaned up before company arrives, or parties begin, can be a bit overwhelming, so I always try to start early making sure there is "a place for everything and everything is in its place". A few tips:
De-clutter before you clean.
Cleaning is a chore all by itself, but when there is tidying, pick up, and de-cluttering to do at the same time as dusting, scrubbing, and mopping, it can be overwhelming. If that's the case, I think it's advantageous to just tidy, pick up, and de-clutter on one day and leave off cleaning till the next. One day can just be "trash & tidy" day where you take time to put things up, throw out trash, tidy up corners, table tops, toy areas, shoes and clothing, newspapers, dishes, etc. It can actually make you feel better when you SEE how nice everything looks.
Next Comes Cleaning
Save the cleaning for the next day and then only clean. The picking up and tidying is already done. Now you can focus your time and energy on the washing, vacuuming, and dusting.
First, look UP. If you see cobwebs dangling from the the ceilings, chandeliers and corners of the walls, you can take care of them with a telescopic duster. If you don't have anything fancy, just use a broom covered with a kitchen towel. Our house looks homey when every eye level surface is dusted and polished. And it's okay to leave super high and super low places that are hard to reach and less visible for spring cleaning. They tend to be much more labor intensive and time-consuming.
If you've got a little get-together, or company coming this weekend and you don't have time to clean everything, just spend the next two days de-cluttering and hitting the basics (floors, dusting, and bathrooms). Tackle what you know you have time for, where the results are most visible, rather than attempt more than you can do and get frustrated before you even start. :-)
My favorite tool for dusting flat surfaces like end tables, and dining room tables is a microfiber dust cloth because it grabs and holds the dust. I get it slightly damp first and it works even better. And for tables with inset glass, a streak-free glass cleaner makes the job faster so you don't waste precious time buffing out hopeless streaks.
For floors, I must say that a new cleaner I found at Walmart called "Bona" worked extremely well. I'm not a fan of chemical cleaners and usually clean with natural ingredients (vinegar, lemon, baking soda) the majority of the time. But for an extra boost of shine, Bona's the way to go.
Most importantly, whether you're cleaning just for you or entertaining friends and family, enjoy your clean house! There is nothing so delightful and soul soothing as a clean and cozy home.