Deep Cleaning Your Home for a Fresh Start

A new year can spurn a renewed commitment to improving your life. Eating healthier, making fitness a routine, and getting organized are among the most popular new year’s resolutions. All of these things give you more control over your life and your health, which lessens your stress and makes you feel better. There is no better place to start than with your surroundings. A truly organized home begins with a thorough cleaning, which will clear away all the dust and clutter that have been cramping your home’s style.

Start with a plan

You might wonder where to begin with such a big job ahead of you. Merry Maids suggest making a schedule to make your routine cleaning process less overwhelming. This is an excellent idea if – like most of us – you are busy during the week and put off cleaning until the weekend. Trying to do it all at once will discourage anyone and make it nearly impossible to do a thorough job. Breaking up the tasks make them much more manageable.

Declutter, donate and dump

Many people use springtime as an excuse to get their things in order, but it is probably something that should be done multiple times a year. We get busy and papers pile up, and over the course of a month a once clean house can look like a tornado whirled through the rooms. Go through papers that have built up over time, and toss or shred any that are not relevant anymore, such as receipts that have expired or old bill statements. Consider going digital in the future – many stores now offer to send digital receipts, and most utility and cable companies offer online billing.

Sift through your closets and drawers and weed out any items that you no longer wear. If you are holding onto something for when it will fit again, or for a special moment that has not yet arrived, let it go! If you go more than 18 months without wearing something, it is time to move on.

One room at a time

Go room by room so you can be sure to check off all the to-do items on your list. Make sure you start with a decluttered room to make the process go much faster. For each room, start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Start with the ceiling: light fixtures, fans and cobwebs that have accumulated along the crown molding. Clean windows and dust blinds, making sure not to forget about the windowsill where dust and dirt can gather. Vacuum, sweep and/or mop last, once all the debris from elsewhere has settled.

Sleep easy: tidying bedrooms

Your bedroom is your peaceful sanctuary, where you go to rest and de-stress from the pressures of the day. Make this room your first priority with your cleaning agenda. A clean bedroom leads to a better night’s sleep. You can use the energy you will garner from being well-rested to fuel the rest of your cleaning spree. Plus, studies have shown that people with clean bedrooms are happier, more organized and more likely to exercise.

If you started with decluttering, you should be able to dive right into dusting shelves and wiping down dressers. Wash all bedding, including your comforters (or take them to be dry-cleaned, if applicable). Dust your shelves and wipe down your dressers. Vacuum along the baseboards and behind and underneath the bed. Now is a good time to rearrange, if you have been considering it. Do not forget about your closet. Now that you have cleared out some space, take time to rethink the organization and layout. Are you using the space to the best of your ability?

White set of bed sheets

 

Where you live: common areas

Your family needs clean and tidy rooms where you can gather to watch movies, play games or eat formal meals together. Since these areas get the most traffic, they may have been the most cluttered, so get that out of the way so you can have a clear path to clean. In addition to dusting and cleaning baseboards, vacuum the couch, both the cushions and underneath it. Wipe the TV and electronics with special wipes or cleaner. In the dining room, dust any shelving that houses china and crystal. If your kids have a game room, take the time to organize the equipment.

Bathrooms and kitchen: where the deepest cleaning happens

These areas are likely going to be the toughest rooms to tackle, as they readily build up grime. With a set list and the right tools and supplies, you should be able to make those countertops sparkle in no time. In the kitchen, start with the cabinets: wipe down the shelves inside and reorganize as necessary and wash the outside of them with a wood-safe cleaner to get rid of any scuffs or spills. Clean and descale the coffee maker and wipe down the inside of the stove and microwave. The fridge and pantry will be a larger job, but getting rid of old food should make the process easier. For the bathroom, use a deep cleaning solution to get rid of stubborn soap scum or hard water residue. Go through the bottles under your cabinets and get rid of any that have been lingering.

Each new year deserves a fresh start, and so do you! A clean home helps you take the first step toward a happier, healthier and more balanced life.