2019 Update: I’m in the process of digging through the months of insanity that is an inbox with a published email address. For every legitimate email, there are 500 fake, but not quite spam pitches. While I work finding the actual questions, I’m going to update a few Home-Ec 101 classics. This one was originally published in 2010.
If you’re overwhelmed by the process of cleaning your home, quit worrying about finding the best option.
Stop trying to learn everything and start doing something.
We all know that in a perfect world we’d make our own ecologically sound cleaners -not all homemade cleaners are, you know-, always reach for a rag to clean, and never use gas or electric powered items when a manual would do.
Get over it.
If you came here searching for how to get started, how to clean a house, or overwhelmed by a messy home (I get a lot of those) the best advice I have for you is to quit worrying about finding the exact right way to do things.
Pick a room.
This is your starting point, you are not allowed to start any projects in any other space. Use baskets, boxes, or trash bags if you’re the distracted type and a lot of items need to be placed in a new home. Just don’t mix up a trash bag full of items with actual garbage. Have a plan with a specified area for trash and another for sorting.
Top to bottom.
Pretty-self explanatory, clear shelves before floors, wipe counters before sweeping, dust fans before vacuuming.
Left to right.
This trick just keeps you moving. Start in one corner and work toward another, when you hit a wall, turn and start again.
Dry to wet.
Dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping should all be done before washing windows, polishing, or mopping to prevent dirt smears or damage caused by scratching.
Take frequent breaks.
Unless grandma (or the landlord is on her way, there is no prize for getting it done in record time. You’ll get there, don’t kill yourself in the process.
Turn on some music, an audiobook, or your podcast and get moving.
If you have questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.