Forget about 10, 20, or 30 minute speed-cleaning. To do the job right, these are not realistic. You can do everything in one day. However, we recommend 2 ½ days. Enjoying life every day is still the priority, so no day should be all work and no play.
1. Ensure you have the proper cleaning tools and cleaners. By reading this list, you will easily assess this. Our secret cleaning weapon of choice is white vinegar. Buy 1 or 2 multi-task products and make sure they are not toxic. We like Greenworks.
2. Have a mix of your favourite music to listen to. An awesome 90 minute mix sets the tone. It should include the Black Eyed Peas at the start and near the end of the mix.
3. Make iced herbal tea or have a lot of purified water with lemons to keep yourself hydrated.
4. Make sure you have something premade to eat during or at the end of your cleaning day. Make it with lots of veggies and grains to give you energy and keep you alert. Avoid a sugar-crash mid-way through….
5. Declutter – everywhere in your home. We are talking right down to all those boxes you have hidden in the basement or storage area. Letting go feels amazing. Seeing what matters gives you energy. Donate what you do not need to someone who does. Sell what is worth the time and effort to do so.
6. Change your décor with what you have. As image consultants, we separate ourselves by focusing equal time to a client’s home and lifestyle, as we do their personal style. Like clothing, we often add without editing what is first there. Rearranging furniture and décor breathes fresh life into your space, and gives you a new perspective to enjoy what already exists. Donate or sell on eBay the spontaneous things you never should have bought.
7. Clean your cabinets, fridge, and freezer. We buy too much to eat. If you have not used it in six months – give it to a food bank. If it is past due, throw it out. Anything in the freezer longer than 3 months – bye bye. Prioritize your goods into meaningful groups so they invite you to use them. Coming home and opening a clean, organized fridge is liberating!
8. Clean out all the closets and drawers. We will have another blog on how to organize a closet in the weeks ahead.
9. Organize all necessary paperwork. Letting this get behind is a big mistake. This should include all key tax documents, passport information, bank information, etc.
10. Make sure the essential files on your computer are backed up. We love Mozy.
11. Do not forget your floors, carpets, and curtains. These are important at this time as they harbour a lot of mites and other contributors to seasonal allergies.
12. Clean your car inside and out. I am always shocked to be in the car of someone I respect and be surrounded by a sea of mess. A car space should provide you the same calm as your home.
13. Prepare your bike. This can include: getting the chain cleaned, air in tires, removing rust, and checking the brakes. For many of us, this is a main form of transportation and should be maintained as such.
14. Organize any outdoor oasis you have. This can be a little balcony or a beautiful deck. Make it beckon to you at the end of the day. Less is more. So edit and make each item count. Grow something you can eat.
15. Make lists for things you need to get by area and priority. By writing it down, you have given it thought. Working with lists will keep you true to your lifestyle and budget.
16. Plan time off. Part of the fun of vacations is the planning and anticipation. Set a goal to plan and work towards it. This can include setting a vacation fund, so when the time comes you have the money for having a good time. Who knows, cleaning up may give you enough to sell to start that vacation fund!