Are You Making these Cleaning Mistakes?

Are you making these cleaning MISTAKES? We all have lots of STUFF to do, so why waste time cleaning ineffectively?

Let’s face it – cleaning is one of those things you can’t avoid.  Like death and taxes.  We all have to clean up the house at some point.  But it’s just smart to do your cleaning as quickly and efficiently as you can, so you can get onto more fun stuff – like watching Dancing with the Stars!

These are some tips I’ve picked up over the years that a lot of people are doing wrong when they clean.

Smart to do your cleaning QUICKLY, so you can get on with the fun stuff Click To Tweet
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One mistake is not having the right tools or keeping them in inconvenient places.  Let’s face it, it slows you down considerably if you have to traipse all over the house to find the right tools.  I like to keep mine in a handy cleaning tote like this one:

CleaningTote

It’s stocked with cleaning cloths, spray cleaners, Goo-gone, brushes, scrapers, and all the handy little tools and products I need.  I also keep a full set of cleaning supplies in each bathroom for a quick tidy-up.  It’s so much easier than playing hide and seek with the Windex between different bathrooms.

Get one, stock it up, keep it handy.  You’ll be so glad you did!

Don’t feather dust – use a microfiber duster.  Being a true fan of Flylady, I hung onto my faithful Flylady feather duster for years and years, but honestly, that thing didn’t dust for squat.  Then I tried the Swiffer dusters, but I got annoyed with the cost of the refills.

So, instead, I use this microfiber duster.  Works like a charm.  Grabs the dust instead of spreading it around.  Plus it’s machine washable.

Bonus dusting tip – use an old pillowcase to dust the ceiling fan blades.  Keeps it from flying around the room.

Which brings me to one of my favorite tips.  The order you clean things in is important.  I read this book like a decade ago called Speed Cleaning.

It’s brilliant and I’ve lived by it ever since.

One of the best tips I learned (pay attention!) from it is to always clean from top to bottom and to move in a clockwise rotation around a room.  That way you are not wiping dirt down from a dirty surface onto an already cleaned one.  Start high, move down, then move forward to the next area.

It’s speedy and more thorough that way and you’re less likely to miss spots.  Hey I have ADD, so if I’m darting all over a room, I’m definitely going to miss stuff.  If I do it more methodically, I do much better.

Always clean from top to bottom and clockwise around a room Click To Tweet

Also, you want to be fast, but you are wasting your cleaning products if you don’t give them time to work, especially grease-cutting agents.  If you spray and then wipe immediately, you might as well be spraying water.  Spritz, and let it sit for a minute or two, while you put a few things away, then wipe.  And don’t overspray.  You don’t want cleaning product on your painted walls or upholstery.  Just a light spritz unless it’s particularly heavy grease.  Otherwise, you are just gunking up your cleaning cloths with excess cleaner.

Here’s the mistake some of my decluttering clients used to make.  They would start a decluttering project, but then they would just pile the giveaway items in a box.  They had the intention to take them to a Goodwill the next day.  Never happened.

Either the box would sit in the hallway for a few more weeks and then get shoved into a corner.  OR they would start “shopping” in it and decide that they really did NEED some of the items they had decided to declutter.  My rule is that everything has to be out of the house by sundown.  No, really.  It’s literally part of a contract I ask my clients to sign.  It really helps – out of sight, out of mind (and out of the darn house!).

Another decluttering mistake – buying cute little organizing containers.  Well, I should say “over-buying” organizing containers.  Let’s face it, ladies, we love to buy stuff.  And it’s kind of fun to buy all these bins and baskets and shelves.  We think we’re going to come up with all these fabulous Pinterest-like ideas to store all our “stuff”.

If you buy a bin or a basket, you are darn well going to find SOMETHING to put in that basket.

I coach clients to declutter FIRST and re-purpose some of the baskets and bins they already have.  That usually works like a charm, but if they absolutely have a need for a storage item after that, then they can go out and buy just that one thing they need and not a whole houseful.  The whole point is to get rid of stuff, not to feed your shopping addiction – whoops!

Here’s a tip I just learned about how to pick up broken glass.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like it would work.  Use a piece of bread to pick up the shards – supposedly the glass magically clings to the bread.  It saves your fingers and it’s supposed to get even the tiniest shards of glass.  Then take a flashlight and shine it across every inch of the floor.  If any tiny pieces are left over, they will reflect the light.  I’m going to try that one next time we break a glass – hopefully no time soon.

Bonus tip – this isn’t a cleaning tip, but it’s SO handy.  When you lose something, think back to the very FIRST place you went to look for it.  That is it’s natural home and if you always keep it there, you will be able to find it – first time, every time.

Hope these tips help – got any handy tips you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them.  Leave them in the comments.


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Comments

  1. Smart to put it in the contract to get the items out of the house by sundown…. too tempting to rethink the decisions if they are sitting there in plain view!

  2. These are some great tips! I hate cleaning so I’ll take whatever help I can get…LOL! Thanks for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!
    xoxo
    Lisa

  3. These are great tips, thanks! I totally agree about the bins. Sometimes we don’t need to organize our stuff as much as we need to just parse it down or get rid of it altogether! I think people (me included, but I’m realizing it’s not a good idea) buy storage thinking it will solve the problem without first just assessing what we have and where we need it!

    • I agree absolutely. You can’t organize clutter. Usually it’s just because we are too exhausted to take the time to make the decisions about what to keep and what to toss. I spent about 3 hours this weekend paring down my inbox. I had over 3,000 Emails in there – yes, I am a virtual hoarder! And that was just from about May or June time frame. Do you know what helped me a ton? Instead of figuring out what I wanted to delete, I started figuring out what I wanted to keep. I would select about 50 messages at a time to delete and then unmark the handful I wanted to keep. I was really surprised at how much easier that simple trick made the decision.

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