This week we’re going to start at the front door and not only that, we’re going to take it a little bit further and include your front porch or stoop if you have one. (If it’s pouring down rain, wait until it’s a bit drier for the outside bit).
If you have an outdoor broom, you’ll want to grab that one instead of or in addition to your indoor broom, depending on how your home is constructed. We don’t have an entryway. You enter the front door and it’s hello living room, we’re here. If you have a foyer or mudroom, today’s cleaning may take longer than those of us who don’t, depending on how much it’s used.
So get your cleaning your entertainment ready and if you have cleaning help, get them ready, too.
Gather your Tools and I don’t mean your roommates
- A vacuum with a soft bristle attachment and a crevice tool if there is carpeting
- Window cleaner and paper towels or newspaper
- If you have wood furniture polish and an applicator (rag) or paste wax (as mentioned above)
- A stepladder or sturdy chair
- Maybe a screwdriver (standard or Philip’s head, that’s the cross-type, depending). I really like the ones that you can flip the tip out for small jobs. They aren’t the best for big jobs though they will work for our purposes, which is usually just removing a light globe or tightening something loose we find while cleaning.
- Dilute degreaser
- If you have allergies, grab one of the masks we’ve been wearing everywhere. We’re going to raise some dust in the next hour or two. You’ll have a much better afternoon/evening.
- If you have a mudroom you may need a mop and floor cleaner
Today we’ll start least dirty to most dirty. I know we normally only work top to bottom, left to right and dry to wet, but today we’ll also work in to out. So we’ll be pushing any dirt outside rather than the reverse.
Make Room to Work
If you have a mudroom and kids and a collection of winter clothes and boots. I’ve held this chore off until now for a reason. It’s May 1, you should be safe in most of the country. Get the too-small items ready to sell or donate and note what you need for next year. \
If you have an entryway table, clear it. Get rid of everything that is not decorative and put it where it belongs.
Now start Top to Bottom.
Is there a light fixture? Clean it, replace any bulbs that aren’t working and clean all of the glass. We talked about it last week, always clean the light. While you are up on your stepladder or sturdy chair, knock down any cobowebs.
This area should be pretty easy on the dusting front, but I bet there are fingerprints. Grab a rag dampened with a dilute degreaser and wipe your door frame and switch plates, especially if you have kids. Pay close attention to the area around the doorknob and bolt and then look lower where people tend to close the door with their feet. Cleaning up the scuff marks will make your door and consequently, your room look much fresher.
Clean any windows.
Remove any doormats or runners and give them a good shake them outside, before vacuuming. If the flooring is wood or tile give it a good sweep and vacuum. If it is carpeting, give it a good vacuum.
How do those baseboards look? Give those a once over with your vacuum and bristle attachment and yes, if there’s carpeting, hit that crevice with the crevice tool.
See, this wasn’t so bad?
Now we just need to do the other side of the door and your stoop or porch if you have one.
If you’re an apartment dweller, you get off pretty light here, while maintenance should take care of most of this, if they don’t, it doesn’t hurt to spiff up your entryway.
Are there any cobwebs or spiders lurking in the corners? Sweep them away. Does your light work? If not, replace it. Does the glass need to be cleaned? Clean it.
Use your broom or, better, a foxtail to dust off siding that is sheltered from the elements around your door. (If you have brick, the foxtail is great to get those weird little cobwebs that show up). If you have side windows giving them a quick, light dusting with your foxtail will make cleaning them easier if it has been a LONG time between cleanings. (Not that I ever let it go months…years between cleanings)
Normally we would clean windows etc., before sweeping, but because we are outside where more dirt lives, you might kick up lots more dirt than inside that would stick to still wet windows, so we’ll go ahead and sweep first. Before you do though, look for anything that doesn’t belong on your porch/stoop/entry that needs to be thrown away and get rid of it. Remove your doormat. Then sweep to your heart’s content.
Shake the heck out of your doormat, well away from where you just swept, I’ve been hanging around my kids too much, I didn’t have to tell you that, did I? I’m sorry.
Wipe down the outside of your door with your rag and dilute degreaser. Pay close attention to the frame near the doorknob and where you might rest your hand while inserting your key. Also, look for scuff marks at the bottom of the door.
If you have a glass storm door. Clean both sides of the glass with window cleaner and any metal framing with dilute degreaser.
Clean the outside of any windows.
And that’s it.
Call it a day if it’s nice outside. Grab a book and a glass of iced tea and enjoy the weather.