When it comes to cleaning, deep cleaning, and decluttering your home, you probably have strong opinions.
Either cleaning excites you (a chance to finally get organized and clean), or you dread it (where do I begin with this mess).
Regardless of your feelings about cleaning, deep cleaning is the perfect chance to get your house in order.
You can have a clean house from top to bottom if you follow this cleaning plan:
1. Give yourself a reason to clean
I normally do my “spring cleaning,” or “deep cleaning,” quarterly. This is my chance to get to all the weird things that I fully intend to clean but never do.
While I have my master cleaning list broken into sections (daily, bi-weekly, weekly, etc.), sometimes I don’t get to everything.
To make sure I get everything done, I schedule something at the end, like one of my kids’ birthday parties, a holiday gathering, or a fun evening with friends.
A little bribery is always nice, too!
2. Clean from the top down
When doing a deep cleaning, start from the top down.
Especially if you’re cleaning quarterly or less frequently, you need to make sure that the dirt from high things, like ceiling fans, isn’t falling on your freshly scrubbed floor!
3. Follow a cleaning routine
Following a cleaning routine (and a handy checklist) is the perfect way to whip through your cleaning. It takes the guesswork out of what you need to do next (and in what order). It also helps distracted mommies (raising my hand!) stay on task.
In case anyone wants to help (husband, kids, anyone?), they can jump right in!
I also really like the Motivated Moms Chore Planner. It’s a checklist and planner in one with cleaning tasks for every day of the year. By doing one extra task a day, your home will be whipped into shape in no time.
4. Break your cleaning into sections
Break your home into sections when you clean.
When most people come to your house, they don’t go parading around your bedroom, peeking into closets, and looking in bathroom cupboards (unless they run out of toilet paper, which is why you should always get out a fresh roll before someone comes).
If you’re doing a quick weekly cleaning, start with the sections of the house that people will see, like the kitchen, family room, etc.
However, if you’re doing a deep cleaning, start with the areas least likely to be seen, like the bedrooms. Then, by the time company comes a week later, the main living areas will still be clean.
I normally spend a week deep cleaning, so it makes sense to end with the high-traffic areas, like the kitchen. This ensures that the most-used areas of your house are still fresh when company arrives.
This may seem out of order, but I don’t typically worry about decluttering when I’m deep cleaning.
Especially if you’re cleaning for a purpose, like a party or holiday, and you’re on a timeline, it’s essential to clean as quickly (but thoroughly) as possible.
I’ve been trying to be more intentional about keeping clutter out of my house. A few months ago, I spent some time decluttering based on Marie Kondo’s principles in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up (read my review here).
However, if you still need to declutter and aren’t on a time crunch, take an extra day to declutter each room as you go.
Cleaning will be much easier once your home is decluttered.
6. Maintain a tidy home
Once your house is decluttered, you’ll want to maintain that clutter-free status.
Try to stay clutter-free by doing things like this:
- Keep two bags in the bottom of your closet: a bag of clothes that need to be dry cleaned and a bag of clothes that need to be donated. If clothes need to be sewn, keep them with your sewing kit or start a third bag if you need to take them somewhere else. Once those bags are full, take care of them.
- Keep empty, clear plastic tubs under your kids’ beds. As you notice that your kids outgrow clothes, place the clothes in the tubs (discard worn or irreparably stained clothes). Once those tubs are full, place the clothes in labeled containers (the clear, zippered blanket bags are great, as are empty diaper boxes) and store them for the next baby. If you’re done having kids, still take the time to place the clothes in labeled boxes to save for a garage sale or donation.
- Declutter the kids’ toys as you wash them. After an illness (or quarterly if we’ve been healthy), my kids and I give the toys a bath. That’s my opportunity to throw out broken toys and put away toys that are no longer age-appropriate.
- Try not to let clutter enter your home. Go through the mail, newspapers, magazines, etc., and discard whatever you don’t need. Make sure that everything has a home, and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong or is broken.
Getting your house party ready (or just ready for your enjoyment) may seem like a daunting task. By following a routine, breaking your house into sections, and working from the top down, your house can be ready before you know it!