Cleaning Catch-Up

While we were preparing for last weekend's craft show, I hate to admit it but many other things went by the wayside. When I came home Saturday afternoon with joy in my heart from the wonderful day, I was shocked to see how the house had been left for the past few days. I'm not a fan of clutter to begin with, but this was beyond what I'd realized. It wasn't Health Inspector failure by any means, but apparently I'd had blinders on while I'd been in my craft room.

With renewed vigor in my soul, I began to tackle the piles, dog fur and general messiness with zeal. Truth be told you own home may need the same cleaning catch-up that mine did. Let me explain how I organize a mass cleaning project and perhaps you can use it to put your house in beautiful condition, too.

First is returning everything to its rightful home. I carry a laundry basket with me from room to room. Anything that doesn't belong on the dining room table goes in the basket. Then on to the kitchen - anything that was on the table that belongs in the kitchen comes out of the basket and gets cleaned or put away. Then things that don't belong in the kitchen go in the basket. Then on to the living room...see the pattern? Continue around the house until everything is at least in the room it belongs to.

Then I clean room by room, making a circle around the house. Begin at the front door (the porch even, if you like) and clean from top to bottom. This means organizing, straightening, dusting, windows, mirrors, picture frames...everything. You'd honestly be surprised at how quick this will go because you already did step number one, clearing out everything that doesn't belong there. Save all the floors for last so you don't track anything.

Due to the changing seasons, you may want to pull out your fall decorations now, if you already haven't. They'll look even more wonderful in a lovely, clean home. And remember that in a few weeks you'll want to put out Christmas decorations (that's right...I said it!) so make room now.

This is also a great time to make your honey-do list and any shopping lists you might want. While I was cleaning I noticed several things that needed fixed or replaced. Some of it I could do myself, but there were several chores that I'll have to have help with. If you love lists the way I do, jot them down for the moment and keep cleaning. Do your shopping all at once and you'll save boat loads of time and energy.

I try to catch up in one room each day. That speed isn't too daunting and I can still get my shop work done. Tackle this kind of project in little bites so you don't get worn out or overly frustrated. Remember that you're trying to keep an entire home, but it doesn't have to be done in one day, no matter how excited you get when the first room looks wonderful!


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