For those of you who don’t know, Fisherman and I have owned a residential cleaning business for nearly 14 years. I was motivated to write this post because of scenarios that come up time and time again without fail.
It goes something like this:
Me (to potential customer): Has your home been cleaned professionally within the last three months?
Customer: No, but I clean it regularly. It’s not dirty and it shouldn’t take them more than an hour or two at the most…
Suffice it to say it does take more than an hour or two.
I don’t think people deliberately try to misrepresent what their home’s condition is really like. They just don’t realize there’s cleaning, and then there’s cleaning. Yes, they wipe down their stove top and counter tops, maybe even clean behind their toilet from time to time. But there are lots of areas that aren’t as easy to get to that need cleaning. Maybe not every week or even every month, but they do need some TLC every once in a while.
The good news is, you don’t need a lot of time or special equipment to get the job done. Just a mild all-purpose cleaner, a little water, a duster and maybe a magic eraser and you’re good to go!
Have you checked these areas lately?
1. Base Boards:
I’d have to say this is the number one area that is often overlooked. Most of us (me included!) just don’t enjoy bending down to clean. Have you ever heard the term ‘strike zone cleaning’? It just means we tend to concentrate on the strike zone area to clean, and avoid over our heads and below our knees. Because baseboards are low to the ground, they accumulate lots of dust, and pretty quickly! Try to get to this area at least every two weeks. Hand wiping isn’t always necessary though. Just use a lambs wool duster and only hand wipe maybe once a month or so, depending on your particular needs and circumstances.
2. Door Knobs:
Think about it for a minute. How many times a day do hands touch the doorknobs in your home? If you have a large family, the answer is A LOT! Clean these areas as often as you can.
3. Light Switches:
Stop reading right now and go take a look at your light switches. Did you notice they were looking a little worse for wear? Thought so. Get a damp rag and give them a quick wipe. Takes just a minute and they’ll look so much better and be more sanitary too.
4. Chair Legs:
Remember that strike zone? Well, guess what? Chair legs are pretty low to the ground and are often overlooked.
5. Under Couch Cushions:
If you have pets or small children, try to get to this area every two weeks. If not, once a month is perfect.
6. Behind Refrigerator:
This area is overlooked for obvious reasons. Who wants to move a refrigerator?? If you’re able to get to the back without moving it, just use a duster to remove some of the dust bunnies. If you have to move it, let’s face it, once a year is good enough in my book.
7. Lampshades and Bulbs:
Lampshades attract dust like honey attracts ants. Dust these at least every two weeks.
8. Grease Filters:
Make it easy on yourself. Put these in the dishwasher. If you cook a lot, do this every two weeks.
9. Picture Frames:
The tops of picture frames, especially if they’re hanging, get overlooked because we usually can’t see it. Take a few minutes once a month to tackle this job. Oh, and don’t forget to straighten them out when you’re done or I’ll have the picture police at your door (that would be me).
The handles on your oven, refrigerator, microwave and cabinets take a beating. Clean these weekly, or better yet, every day when you’re cleaning up after dinner.
Here’s one area you don’t need to do too often, once or twice a year, depending on where you live, should be enough.
A couple of times a year or more, take everything off your shelves and dust. While you’re at it, think about if you really need or even want the items you’re dusting. Now would be a great time to declutter!
Just because you can’t always see how dirty your door mats are, trust me, they’re filthy. Wash the mats you can, and shake out the ones you can’t. Do this at least 3-4 times a year. Mats aren’t that expensive, so consider replacing them fairly regularly.
14. Ridges on Cabinets:
If you have raised door panels on your kitchen cabinets, armoires, etc., lots of dust settles there. Use a duster regularly, and hand wipe at least every 6-8 weeks.
15. Under Beds and Furniture:
There’s that strike zone thing again! Vacuum if you’re able, but be careful you don’t nick the furniture! Use a lambs wool duster for areas a vacuum can’t reach. Every 2 months should be enough for most homes, but if you have pets that shed you might need to up that a bit.
I know this list seems pretty long, doesn’t it? But I promise most of these things can be done in an afternoon or less. I’m a big believer in doing a little at a time so it doesn’t get overwhelming and you end up doing nothing. Has this happened to you?
I know there are other areas of the home that can be added also. Can you think of any?