General Question

Kayak8's avatar

What approach do YOU take to house cleaning?

Asked by Kayak8 (16440points) August 12th, 2010

This question is predicated on the assumption that you enjoy a clean house. If you are a hoarder or live in a pig sty, your answer will not help me. I want a clean house and hate cleaning and am trying to figure out an approach that might make it more enjoyable.

So, house cleaning: do you enjoy it or hate it? Hire it out or do it yourself?

If you are a DIYer, what is your approach? Every Saturday morning is cleaning day or a little bit every day or what? What are your favorite tools and/or products that leave you just KNOWING that your place is clean?

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28 Answers

iWitch's avatar

I don’t make my house get dirty and clean things as I notice them.

lewispratt's avatar

im a bit of a DIYer, and i live in a student house so you can imagine the state of the house sometimes…however my rooms always tidy. I’ve got tons of storage, boxes and shelves and hideaway places for small bits. aslong as they look good, and they fit in with the style of the room it looks tidy. I’d suggest having a look at some very good inspirational houses/flats/workspaces are reviewed here! inspired many of my projects!

Jude's avatar

I’m a house cleaning lova’ and whispering “Swifer WetJet” in my ear is like foreplay.

Have some good tunes on hand, a glass of wine, or a cup of freshly brewed, put on your grubbies, tie your hair back, pull out the Mr. Clean, Windex and Pinesol and get ‘er done. Seriously, for me it’s cathartic and I love it. Start with the bathroom. Usually the grossest room, so, get that over with. Nice, clean porcelain, shiny chrome, and scrub away that ring of crud under the toilet seat. Light a smelly candle in there and let it burn for awhile. Smells great.

Next tackle the bedrooms: clean sheets feel wonderful! dust, vacuum all up in there.

Before you track any more dirt through the rest of your pad, sweep (or vacuum) and wash down the hallways, landings, stairs.

Livingroom: dust and vacuum and dance around a bit. No can see that you dance like Elaine Benes.

Finally, the kitchen: scrub down the table, wipe the crumbs and smudge marks off of the chairs, wash down the microwave, stove, fridge, countertops. Sweep the floor, and get down on those hands and knees and scrub (much like Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest).

Bring that lit candle on into the kitchen.

Finally, grab yourself a cold beer or some more wine and relax. :)

MoxieGal's avatar

First, I put on the tunes… nice and loud. Then, I make everyone get the heck out. :) I just start in one room and clean till all are done. If I don’t want to spend a bunch of time traveling around from room to room putting things away then I will grab a laundry basket and dump everything that doesn’t belong in that room in it, then put them away.

A good rule of thumb is to get the dishwasher and laundry going first, that way they can be doing their job while you do yours.

MissAusten's avatar

Oh, how I wish I had a cleaning lady! :)

I’m home with my kids right now, so I divide everything up and do different things each day. There’s bathroom day, when I clean everything in both bathrooms and switch out the towels for clean ones. Our bathroom stays decent for a week, but the kids’ bathroom needs an extra wipedown or two on other days (darn those little boys and their bad aim).

The living room is swept every few days, but dusted once a week. The kitchen is cleaned several times a day, after each time I cook. Dishes go straight into the dishwasher, pots and pans are cleaned right after each use. Counters and tables are wiped down, and the floor is swept once a day. I wipe down the cabinets and clean the fridge on an as-needed basis, usually when the fingerprints get to be too glaringly obvious.

Our bedroom is kept pretty neat, and dusted once a week, vacuumed as needed. The kids clean their own rooms whenever I can’t walk through them, and then I go behind them to dust and vacuum.

Mopping, oh how I hate it. This is one thing I always put off for far too long because with three kids running around all the time it seems like a waste of effort. I use an electric steam mop, which I really like. I also use it to clean the bathroom floors. The windows are cleaned on the inside every now and then. The basement is my husband’s domain, being his painting studio and office. I avoid it like the plague. The office is where we store clutter, and every few months my husband and I take a Saturday morning to clear it all out!

Laundry is one of those things that I sometimes slack off with. I’ll be on top of it for a while and do a load every day, then get busy with other things and have to catch up. It’s getting easier now that the kids are older and at least put their clean clothes away.

Our rabbit’s cage gets cleaned completely once a week, with his litter box being changed twice a week. Sometimes my daughter does it, and sometimes I do it. From fall through spring, I just dump his litter box in the garden so it can age and be fertilizer by the time I plant my veggies!

As for the cleaning products, I use Windex, Pledge, or Murphey’s Oil Soap for glass and wood, whatever kitchen cleaner or bathroom cleaner is on sale, and a Magic Eraser for counters and walls. A good old broom and dustpan for sweeping, and a vacuum cleaner that I’m pretty sure hates me. Either that or I need to find the manual and figure out how to clean/replace the filters. When I’m cleaning, I stick to the “top to bottom” rule, dusting and cleaning everything in that order and saving floors for last.

The clutter is the worst of it, but the kids clean up their own things and my husband and I try to weed out the worst of on a regular basis. No one will ever walk into our house and wonder if we have kids or not! It seems like so much typed out like this, but divided up over the course of the week, it means I have a lot of time to hang out with the kids and once they go to bed I can just relax and not feel like I have to do other things. When I worked full time, I’d spend hours each Saturday cleaning from one end of the house to the other. Bleah!

zophu's avatar

Don’t buy things to clutter the place up with. Also, getting very drunk for long menial tasks always makes things go smoother. You have to dumb yourself down.

wilma's avatar

I want @jjmah to come and clean for me, I’ll buy the beer.

wilma's avatar

@Kayak8 I am following this thread to get some inspiration. I have really let my cleaning go. I used to be so on top of it, now…
not so much.

Kayak8's avatar

@wilma I am sooo with you sister!

TommyGun's avatar

Just clean things right after you mess them up, don’t let things pile up or get too dirty. For example, wash your dishes right after you ate and stuff like that.

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t really hate it but have become a procrastinator about it. When it’s time I turn on the radio and get busy. I do like a clean house.

lilikoi's avatar


I’ve been wanting to ask this question myself.

On the one hand, I deeply appreciate cleanliness. On the other, I see cleaning as a repetitive, basically pointless task. I’m not ashamed to admit that I would outsource it if (1) I could afford it, and (2) I could get past having someone else in my house going through my stuff.

It does not help that I haven’t been able to figure out an efficient and effective way to clean. Every cleaning tool I’ve ever used has a major flaw that irks me. I don’t blame the designers entirely, as I have turned this problem around in my head every which way for years and have yet to find a good solution.

For wood and tile floors, I sweep, use a handheld bagless vacuum instead of a dust pan, then mop/swiffer (both leave a LOT to be desired, and I’m looking for a replacement, sorry Mr Swiffer). For carpet (which I’d rather not have), I vacuum. Moving furniture is annoying and time consuming, so I’ve started just having less of it. I like the look of mid-century / danish furniture, but it is also functional since things are typically on legs that you can get under with a mop or vacuum. I’m not on a set schedule, but I think I should be. Right now, I just let it go until I can’t stand it anymore, then clean like a mad man.

lilikoi's avatar

@MissAusten What is an “electric steam mop”? You’ve got me excited! I may need to get one of those….Is it like this? Does it work on carpet and wood/tile (it kinda looks like it would only work on hard surfaces, but then they have a “carpet refresher”[ ? ]) ? Is it like a vacuum and a mop in one so I don’t need to sweep first? How long do those pad things last?

wundayatta's avatar

When things annoy me, I clean. But my wife gets annoyed sooner than I do, and we have a cleaning lady, so I don’t have that much to do.

Trance24's avatar

What do you hate doing the most? I usually try and start out with something I like and then alternate it with the things I hate. For example I do not mind sweeping or mopping, but I hate pulling things apart and organizing them. So I will generally sweep, then organize a room, do some more vacuuming or mopping, and switch back. Something of that nature anyways.

zenele's avatar

Kitchen and bathroom; spartan. The rest; sparse. I simply can’t be bothered and do tend to sweep under the rug, so to speak.

zzc's avatar

Some friends swear by cleaning naked, to great music, and then showering and luxuriating in the clean house and clean bod! Other friends see to it that a cleaning lady is one of the budgetary priorities! A Dyson Animal Vacuum is great for a household with pets and fur…lots and lots of fur. Those little slider things you put under the legs of furniture, can make moving furniture by yourself easy. I love my longhandled whisk broom and longhandled dustpan, helps my bad knees, would spend the money again in the blink of an eye…..nice gift idea too! Read up on the professional cleaning tips too. Like, have a long cord for the vacuum so you’re not plugging in and unplugging repeatedly. Have a carrier for your cleaning products( hopefully eco-friendly and economical, limited to just a few, made from common ingredients…can be a big cost saver), so they move room to room with you. The, “Start high up and work the surfaces down to the floor”, is a classic. Use rags, instead of paper towels, and then throw them all in the wash. I like to start the dishwasher when I go to bed (for one thing it’s really noisy!), and a load of wash…. nice to have it all done in the morning!

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ZEPHYRA's avatar


MissAusten's avatar

@lilikoi I have a Shark Steam Mop which is one of the less expensive varieties. The reviews on Amazon are mixed; people seem to either love it or hate it. I am pretty happy with it. It does not vacuum, so I do have to sweep first. It only uses water to clean, and the pads are reusable. Just wash them in the laundry and they are ready to go. It does a nice job cleaning and I like the way the steam smells. Downsides are the size of the water tank, which means you have to refill as you move from room to room. I usually have to change the cleaning pad before moving to another room (so I use one for the living room, one for the kitchen, and one for both bathrooms). Mine only came with two pads, so I got a box of replacement pads to have extras on hand.

zzc's avatar

@Zephyra, zero tolerance to cleaning, or what?

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carriebloomy's avatar

some times I hate it sometimes I enjoy it. It depends how tired I am and In what mood I am

Reader65's avatar

I have a lady come in on Mondays and Thursdays. The Monday lady vacuums the whole house, 2 stories, makes the bed and does the dishes and cleans the kitchen. If there is any time left over she hangs out the washing., My Thursday lady changes the bed linen, puts the washing on and hangs it out. She cleans the bathroom and toilet, does the dishes and cleans the kitchen. She also vacuums the bedroom again.

I make the bed on other days, do the dusting, ironing, constantly tidy up, polish furniture, and all the other little things to be done.

I have a gardener, and someone does the lawns, so I potter around the garden.

JustPeachy's avatar

I take a nice slow approach…. then I kick butt !!

keobooks's avatar

This website has saved my bacon over the years. I highly suggest it.

My Messy House

If your house is really really messy (as mine was when I started using it, click on Emergency Clean Sweep and follow the directions. After you get it in order, there is a room by room checklist of everything you need to do and some suggestions about setting up a system that makes sure your house is fairly clean, but won’t overwhelm you.

Basically, the goal is to make it so that you aren’t cleaning more than 30 minutes a day, tops.

I HIGHLY recommend the site. It was created by someone who hated housework and wanted to make it less of a terrible chore she avoided.

Kayak8's avatar

@keobooks What a terrific suggestions! This website was written for me. I already did the Emergency Clean Sweep with great results. I like the writer’s attitude as well, perfect for my own! Thank you very much for this link!

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