Is 2013 the year you resolved to keep your house tidy? With planning, a bit of extra effort and these six tips to start you off, you can succeed where your 2012 diet failed. 1. Start with a clean slate. Get a leg up on your new cleaning regiment by bringing in professionals to tackle major jobs, like cleaning the stove or scrubbing floors. Once your home is spic and span, make it your resolution to keep it that way. 2. Make a cleaning plan. The best resolutions have clear, concise goals and a timeline to accomplish them. Check out the 2013 New Year’s Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge, a 14-week program by the Organized Home web blog, for a step-by-step schedule, as well as cleaning tips and tricks. 3. Invest in tools to make cleaning easier. Often, it’s the simple things that help keep a space clean: a cover for the microwave, baking soda for the fridge, automatic cleaners for toilet and shower. And let’s not forget that industrious robotic helper, the Roomba. It cleans your floors while you’re away, then recharges itself automatically. 4. Clear that clutter. The post-Christmas season is a good time to take stock of your living space. Has paperwork taken over your desk? File it away. Ages-old condiments in the fridge? Toss ’em. Invest in storage containers to put away odds and ends. 5. Tackle cleaning one chore at a time. With any New Year’s resolution, the quickest route to failure is to tackle too much at once. Resolve to set aside just fifteen minutes per day to clean your home, focusing on one room at a time. 6. Reward yourself for a job well done. Resolve to treat yourself whenever you reach a milestone on your cleaning plan. A new flat-screen TV would look great mounted of the wall of your squeaky clean living room.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… dust bunny? With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, keeping your space ready for Santa’s annual inspection can seem like a tall order. But not every cleaning job requires hours of work. This solid ten-minute cleanup will ensure your home is ready to entertain over the holidays. First, grab a laundry basket and gather up your clutter. This includes anything you don’t want guests to see. (We’re looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.) Focus on clearing out common areas, like the front entrance, kitchen, living and dining room and bathrooms. Throw in anything and everything that doesn’t belong, toss it in a closet and sort through it later. Next, wipe down surfaces, focusing on the bathroom and kitchen. Use quick disinfectant wipes to leave surfaces shiny and clean. If you’re pressed for time, don’t worry about moving things around. If you’re really pressed for time, cover the surfaces with holiday-themed decorations. (We’re looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.) Give the bathroom a once-over. Nothing fancy: pour some Pinesol into the toilet bowl, wipe down the mirrors, clean the sink and lay out fresh towels. Polish it off with some candy cane-scented pot pourri to give your WC a festive touch. Sweep, sweep, sweep. You want your floors to pass the “step test”: Can you walk across the floor in your stocking feet without picking anything up in them? Good enough. Finally, vacuum your carpets. Don’t concern yourself with the nooks and crannies; the key is to make those comforting “vacuuming lines” on the carpet, to show guests that you care about cleanliness – or at least pretend to.