GET ORGANIZED! THE ULTIMATE CLEANING GUIDE
Most people think the parallels between disorganization/organization and cleanliness are indistinguishable, which, in some cases may be accurate, but this assumption is not necessarily true.
I’ve met people whose homes were spotless, but whose organizational skills needed a little tweaking. And I’ve met people whose homes were organized down to the labels on their underwear drawer, but cleaning toilets, making the bed or putting the dishes in the dishwasher (at least once a week) was not a priority.
And please, don’t get me started about mold, which of course is typically more prevalent in a disorganized and dirty home – I’ve seen my share of organized “clean” homes and offices where the distinct smell of mold would curl your toes.
I’m a fanatic about protecting the environment, so it might come as a surprise when I suggest using paper towels, Clorox brand disinfecting wipes and/or Mr. Clean Magic Erasers – mostly recyclable, but not reusable – in lieu of sponges and cloth towels, which, if you think about it, are sort of gross because all you’re doing is moving the dirt from one surface to another.
And although I might not do every task below on a set schedule, I do make my bed every day; vacuum and dust at least once a week; clean the shower and toilet twice a week and wipe down the ceiling fans once a month.
This easy-to-follow schedule will help you keep your home in tip-top shape. If you have someone come in once a week or once a month to help with the housekeeping, this list should serve as a guide as well.
- Dust and clean ceiling fans with disinfecting wipes
- Replace air conditioning filters, or wash washable AC filters
- Clean oven, stove, microwave and refrigerator/freezer as needed
- Wash all mattress and pillow protectors (note: bed linens should be changed at least once a week)
- Vacuum mattresses
- Thoroughly clean glass shower doors, tracks & sweeps, checking for soap scum and mold (note: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work beautifully to remove soap scum and mildew stains)
- Dust tops of all picture frames, and clean picture frame glass
- Clean the stopper from kitchen sink
- Clean all removable faucet vessels (stoppers) from bathroom sinks and tubs
- Clean kitchen and bathroom faucet heads and washers
- Remove grease, detergent residue and hard water deposits from the dishwasher by running a quart of white vinegar through a full cycle (no dishes or detergents)
- Wipe down ice/water dispenser paying special attention to the dispenser for scale and dirt deposits
- Wash indoor trashcans with soapy water; wash outdoor garbage and recyclable trash receptacles with soapy water and bleach
Annually or bi-annually:
- Pull oven, stove, washer and dryer away from walls and clean all exterior surfaces, as well as floor underneath appliances. (This is also a good time to check for leaks.)
- Once a year, hire a professional dryer vent cleaning service to clean the inside and outside dryer vents, as well as to replace dryer hose. (Remember to clean lint trap and underneath lint trap after every use.)
- Remove washing machine odors, stains and detergent build-up, by pouring 2 cups of white vinegar into tub; then run a full cycle on the hottest setting. Remove and scrub bleach and fabric softener dispensers as well. (Note: please refer to washing machine instruction manual.)
- Pull refrigerator away from wall and wipe down all exterior surfaces with soapy water solution or disinfecting wipes, gently vacuum back panel and vent. Remove detachable vent (bottom/front) and clean with soapy water solution
- Remove icemaker basket, empty and wash with soapy water solution
- Replace refrigerator and/or sink water filters as per appliance instructions
- Empty refrigerator/freezer; clean all interior surfaces with a soapy water solution
- Sort through spices, canned and packaged foods and all perishable items; dispose of outdated food products
- Wash or dry-clean all decorative bed covers, blankets, quilts, bed skirts and pillow shams
- Dust all closet shelves (cover clothing with a sheet while performing this task)
- Have carpets professionally cleaned as needed
- Have upholstered furniture professionally cleaned as needed
- Clean and condition leather furniture
- Clean sliding glass door and window tracks, as well as windowsills, with an industrial-strength cleaner such as Greased Lightening
- Have windows – interior & exterior – professionally washed (clean screens as needed)
- Empty all kitchen, pantry and bathroom cabinets and drawers; wipe down shelves, drawers and cabinets with disinfecting wipes or soapy water solution; let dry before putting items back in cabinets
- Wipe down cabinet doors – inside and out – paying special attention to the raised panels for spills
- Clean and dust all doors and doorjambs, floorboards and wood trim with disinfecting wipes. Remove scuffmarks with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (test a small area first)
- Polish silver and hand-wash crystal stemware, et cetera
- HVAC ducts should be professionally cleaned as needed
For those of you who are overwhelmed by this list, remember this is only a guideline and not a rulebook.