A new year can mean new resolutions, and while a lot of people focus on things like getting healthier or learning a new skill, there’s another popular resolution to consider: a better cleaning routine! It can be hard to keep on top of household cleaning as it starts to pile up, but by following a checklist you can make sure your home stays spick and span all through the year.
We spoke with Nina Duque and Hillary Tan-Ortiz of Overdue Solutions, a cleaning and organizing service operating in the Greater Toronto Area, to get their best cleaning tips. They also shared a pretty compelling reason as to why cleaning should happen more frequently.
“Peace of mind! We can’t stress enough that a decluttered house helps declutter your mind. Also, the longer the wait, the harder it is to clean—residue and dust build up is never fun,” said Hillary.
Here are some guidelines and helpful hints from Overdue Solutions to encourage your New Year’s resolution!
How often do you need to do a major house clean?
Not everyone has the time (or the patience) to do a major house clean on a weekly basis, and that’s OK. Thorough house cleans, which include purging unused items, can happen less frequently than other chores.
“For high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms, we recommend a deep clean at least every two weeks,” Duque explained. “For other spaces in the home, try to schedule a monthly clean-up that not only involves cleaning, but also purging items that don’t belong in each area. That stack of mail sitting by your front door? Sort it or shred it. The pile of shoes in your front foyer area or mudroom? Lay out the ones you use the most for easy access and put away the ones that aren’t in season. There’s always something that needs to be returned to its rightful place in the home—or needs to find its place!”
Where should you start when you’re doing household cleaning?
When it does come time to clean, looking at everything at once can be a bit overwhelming. Overdue Solutions suggests starting with a specific task first so you can get the lay of the land.
“We always recommend dusting a space first so you can get a better sense of how much needs to be cleaned on different surfaces,” Tan-Ortiz shared. “Dusting also allows any excess particles to fall to the ground for clean-up on the floor last. When in doubt, always approach a clean-up from ‘top to bottom.’ Start with higher surfaces first and do the floor last.”
This is their recommended order for completing your cleaning:
- Wiping surfaces
- Mopping (if necessary)
The duo also suggests breaking your cleaning into rooms versus tasks, which can help you feel more accomplished as you go along.
“The best approach is to tackle one space at a time,” Duque explained. “By focusing on one room at a time, you’re allowing yourself to visually see your progress and walk away knowing an area is done. We find attempting to approach your cleaning by ‘task’ can sometimes lead to underestimating how large a task can be or how long it may take. For example, vacuuming a whole house takes time to apply carpet odour removal, change filters, and move around furniture which sometimes leads to other discoveries that sidetrack your vacuuming.”
What should be included on your weekly cleaning checklist for the new year?
Now that we know when to clean, it’s time to figure out what to clean! Overdue Solutions gave us their recommended cleaning checklist you should follow on a weekly basis:
- Disinfect and sanitize high traffic surface areas like kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, light switches, and door knobs.
- Check the refrigerator for any expired items.
- Empty all the garbage/recycle bins in the house.
- Find all the empty mugs/glasses around the house and wash the dishes.
- Sweep the floors.
- Vacuum the carpets.
- Clean the toilet bowl(s).
- Wipe down table surfaces (you never know what food/oil stains are lingering).
- Tidy the shoe area at your main entrance.
- Laundry (including towels/bed sheets).
Printing out this list—or writing it out every week as you get ready to start—is a good way to keep yourself accountable and tick things off as you go! Crossing things off a list is always satisfying, so why not use it to your advantage?
Sticking to a cleaning routine is a great New Year’s resolution to strive for! With these tips from Overdue Solutions, you’ll have everything you need to succeed—and to keep your house spick and span all year round.