When it’s time to spruce up the whole house, turn to this tip-packed action plan.
Tidying up a house from top to bottom can seem like a daunting task. Getting into every nook and cranny is incredibly time-consuming—and on top of that, you want to make sure you’re doing things the right way so that surfaces are actually clean.
What can help a deep-cleaning session feel more manageable is a detailed, step-by-step action plan. That’s where we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a guide that’ll help you tackle every square inch of your home, so you won't feel overwhelmed and you can feel confident the end results will be spotless. Before you get started, corral all your supplies in a bucket or caddy to help you move faster. (Less running around to find the right spray while you’re mid-task!) Some people prefer to break up the process over a few days, while others like to knock it out in one go. Whichever cleaning schedule you choose, we recommend listening to a podcast or an upbeat playlist to help you stay motivated. Now roll up your sleeves and get ready to start scrubbing!
Make Your Kitchen Sparkle
One of the best strategies cleaning experts recommend is cleaning a room from top to bottom—this way, dirt and debris doesn’t land on any freshly-cleaned surfaces while you tidy up. Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe dust off open shelves and the items displayed on them. Then, address those countertop appliances: Give your toaster a good shake over the trash, use a toothbrush to clean the blades of your unplugged blender, and soak extra dirty air fryer parts. Moving on to the countertops, you’ll need to take into account the material. Quartz, for example, is easier to clean and lower maintenance than marble. Use a dish soap-water mixture, vinegar, or a specialty cleaner with a non-abrasive sponge to polish up your stovetop, then clean the oven door to remove every last smudge and splatter. And if your baking sheets are looking rough, give those a facelift with some pantry ingredients and a little elbow grease. Next, scrub the sink (going with the grain if you’ve got stainless steel) and disinfect the drain. Take out the trash and recycling and wipe down the bins with disinfectants. Lastly, sweep and vacuum the floor, following up with the recommended mopping method for your floor type. Kitchen sparkling? Check!
Tackle Tough Messes
Most homes have the exact same trouble zones that get incredibly grimy, and bathrooms always seem to land at the top of that list. This is a space that you should be maintaining regularly, but for a deep-cleaning session, pay attention to areas like around the toilet bowl (wipe with disinfectant), get into the grout lines using an old toothbrush and a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste, and clean that often-overlooked shower drain.
Beyond the bathroom, there are other pesky problem areas that plague people’s homes. Look at your windows—when was the last time you cleaned your blinds? Blinds, similar to baseboards, sneakily accumulate dirt. They're also a pain to dust, but we have a variety of solutions you can try to make your blinds look brand new. Now is also the time to address those icky carpet stains you've been ignoring. These homemade solutions can help. Place a fan nearby to help everything dry quickly and prevent mold.
Finally, don't forget to de-stink your garbage disposal. If it feels like the lingering odor has become a permanent fixture in your home, don't worry—you can conquer garbage disposal smells using baking soda, vinegar, and 15 minutes…tops!
Clear the Air
One of the most immediate indicators of a truly clean home is scent, and a fresh-smelling room is incredibly rewarding after a long day of tidying up! You should always try to eliminate common sources of odor, but there are many other ways to deodorize and infuse your home with a pleasant aroma, like cleaning soft surfaces, getting some house plants, and investing in an air purifier. Perhaps one of our favorite odor-busting hacks that we turn to time after time is soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract and leaving it on a small dish near the back of a refrigerator shelf (seriously, try it!). With these scent-boosting tactics, you’ll breathe easily in your now-very-clean home.
For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Real Simple.