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Keeping our homes tidy can be an uphill struggle. Even more so with kids.
There are times when we think we have it all in hand, then life hits us, and the chores can mount up. Before we know it, the house is a mess (again). It can be pretty overwhelming to get on top of it...and stay there.
(Trust me, I’ve literally written entire blog articles about it.)
Even more depressingly, even when we are on top of the housework, how clean are our homes really? There are a lot of areas that don't even look at when we are cleaning. And just because we don't see them, does not mean that they are not dirty!
Once in a while, it is good to have a good, thorough deep clean of your home so that you can get all the dust and grime out of the place that always gets forgotten about.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide. For that you’d need an entire course. (As it so happens, I have an entire course about it...but more on that at the end…)
This is simply the biggest problem areas you’ll encounter and a few tips on how to handle them.
Every day we make hundreds of steps around our homes.
Unfortunately, so do our spouses, kids, dogs, cats, and who knows how many other people with goodness knows what on their shoes. Carpets are great because they hide the dirt/dust/doghair/crumbs/etc., but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Everyone walking the dirt from their shoes into the floor, on top of the dust, hairs and any pet dirt. Basically, when left unattended for 15.37 seconds, our carpets get absolutely filthy.
You may well be someone that vacuums very regularly, and while that picks up a lot of dirt, it is not the same as a professional deep clean.
Hiring a company such as Chem-dry will ensure that your carpets get a thorough clean throughout, making them like new, but this is often incredibly time-consuming, expensive, or just annoying to schedule. If you want a DIY deep clean for your carpet, here’s my most trusted routine:
Start with a thorough vacuuming. I recommend 2-3 times over the entire area...I wish I was kidding.
Follow this with a thorough session with your handy neighborhood wet-dry vacuum using liberal amounts of white vinegar and water until the mixture starts coming up clear. (We have this baby, but a trip to your local hardware store will reveal a shocking array of choices if you don’t have one.)
After you let it thoroughly dry off, vacuum one more time. (This is less to clean and more to basically to brush the carpet back into a fluffy-looking substance, rather than something clumpy and sad looking.)
Yeah, you have to clean that too.
We forget to look up when we're cleaning the house a lot of the time, but cobwebs can quite often lurk in ceiling corners, and dust can accumulate around cornicing and on lampshades. And all this is before you even start looking on the tops of mounted pictures or doorframes. *shudder*
Getting up on a ladder with a cloth (or this majestic little feat of cleaning wizardry) can make sure that you are getting all of the dust from these often forgotten parts.
We often clean the top and the outside of our ovens, but let's be honest, how regularly do we clean the inside the oven?
Usually, when we're cooking, food and grease get deposited on the insides of our ovens. This gets baked on during subsequent uses, and before you know it, the whole of the interior is a greasy mess.
Ovens can be pretty hard to clean and require quite a bit of heavy-duty cleaner to get it clean. You will often need to leave the cleaning solution in the oven for a while for it to lift the grease off the walls. (The self-cleaning setting only does so much, unfortunately.)
I go over this and more in my ultimate guide to a clean kitchen, but if you’re tight on time the oven is a great place to start. Don’t forget anything that’s mounted above the stove, because things splatter.
Often the source of a great deal of dirt, a bathroom is a place where we go to get ourselves clean. But it can be a haven for soap scum, hairs, and mold.
(Oh joy, let’s clean the room that’s supposed to clean us.)
Start with the ceiling and check for damp patches or mold spores. When shower steam rises and sits on the roof, it can cause problems over time. Use bleach and rubber gloves to get rid of any patches of mould.
Remove any shower curtains and bath mats, and pop them in your washing machine. If you have tiles or glass around your shower, they're prone to collecting soap scum and water spots. Use vinegar and bicarbonate to clean these off.
Cleaning around the toilet is a job that nobody enjoys. But getting right in under the rim is important as it's somewhere that really collects dirt. Make sure and clean all around the outside of the base of the toilet, including floor as drips often form.
As we go through life, we acquire lots of things: clothes, gifts, ornaments, and household items. Our cupboards get crammed with possessions, but how often do we get rid of things we don't need or use anymore.
Take some time to do through your home room by room. Go through each storage area and every item you come across, ask yourself when the last time you used it was. If you forgot you had it, it might not be that important you. My personal rule is if it hasn’t been used in the last 6 months (with the exception of seasonal items), it goes to Goodwill.
The act of giving items that are in a decent condition to charity should help you destress if you ever feel guilty about the amount of perfectly good stuff you really don’t want to keep. There are plenty of stores that will gladly take the things and you will be massively helping out those in need.
If these tips only scratch the surface (or if they lead you to some unpleasant discoveries of areas that haven’t been cleaned since the moon landing), you might be in need of a more in-depth deep cleaning.
Check out my course called 14 Days to a Spotless House for an in-depth, step-by-step program that not only gets your house clean, but helps you plan out a routine (that’s actually feasible for your busy lifestyle) to keep it that way.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
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