Here are six steps to follow to give your room a thorough cleaning:
1. Before you start going room to room, pause first to put on some great, lively music. That's better. Now pick up clutter, and as you go, feel free to second-guess your belongings. The less you have, the less you have to put away, clean, and dust: scrutinize books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, furniture, toys the kids have outgrown, old computers you've outgrown, old clothes and shoes in the closets... is it time to donate and recycle? Turn off light bulbs and ceiling fans as you go for the upcoming dusting work.
2. Speaking of closets, if you have any that you're afraid to open, face your fears its time to minimize and organize.
3. Dust (go left to right, top to bottom) with microfiber cloths. This will lower allergens and improve the air quality in your house. Dampened cloths tied to the ends of mops and brooms work great for removing cobwebs. For slatted blinds, use the string to close them one way and dust, then close them the other way and repeat... it's effective and a lot more efficient than trying to do one slat at a time. Don't forget to hit the tops of doors, fans, light fixtures, picture frames and yes, each of your knick-knacks (keep them in display cases to reduce dusting work). For the face of framed photos, TV screens, and computer monitors, use glass cleaner on your cotton cloth or microfiber to avoid streaking.
4. Vacuum. Make sure your bag/compartment isn't already full, and use the right settings and attachments. Hit the floors in the whole house, and upholstered furniture. Be amazed at all those missing items (socks, your favorite pen) that you find under your couch cushions.
5. Sweep/mop/treat floors (except kitchen). For mopping, start at the farthest corner of the room and move back toward the entrance. Rinse mop after completing each 4 x 4 foot area.
6. Furniture freshening. Every now and then, some wooden furniture needs a good waxing.
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