One of the best things you can do for your health is to keep your house clean. The very act of housecleaning is good exercise, but there is much more to it than that. A clean house is better for your mental health, and eliminating clutter has amazing emotional benefits as well.
Besides those things, one of the greatest causes of allergies and lung issues is dust. Removing dust from your home as often as possible helps eliminate germs. And speaking of germs, they thrive on dirty counters, in dirty carpets, and even on bedding that is not washed regularly. Not to mention the bathrooms, and the consequence of all the things that happen there.
Getting into a good house cleaning habit is beneficial for you and your family. Here are some simple tips for three of the most basic house cleaning tasks: vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping.
Set a Schedule
The first key is to set a schedule. Like nearly any other activity, vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping can become a habit. The definition of a habit says it easier to do the task, or the resistance to doing it is very low, much lower on day sixty than it was on day three. Getting into a cleaning schedule makes this possible.
This does not mean you have to go through and remove the dust from your entire home in one shot, although that approach works better for some people. You can set a rotating schedule so you do certain rooms on certain days, arranging it so that every couple of weeks you have made your way through your entire home.
This makes the task seem less daunting as well. A one room or area at a time approach allows you to be more thorough and feel like you accomplished something without taking on a herculean task.
Once you have set a schedule, how do you arrange how you do things?
Start at the Top
The general rule of thumb is to start at the top and work your way down. Start with ceiling fans, high shelves, ledges, and other areas. Why do you do this? Simple. Because gravity works, and often if you dust a top shelf, some of that dust will fall on the shelf below, and so on.
There is another reason for doing this. When you start you will have the most energy, and these high areas often involve the use of a ladder and stretching well over your head. These things take more effort, and if you get the hardest parts out of the way first, you will be more likely to finish.
The tough part up high is to be thorough. Unless you are very tall, there will be areas in your home you never see, but that collect dust. Be sure to clean them anyway. They are often close to heating or cooling vents and even air intakes. This means that dust is recirculating through your home. Yuck!
Once you have gotten the areas up high, you can make your way down toward the floor. Do this systematically, one wall or area at a time, so that you are not pushing dust from one place to the other before you have a chance to pick it up.
Sweep it Up
Once you are done dusting, you will want to move on to sweeping. This means any areas where you have bare floors in the area you are cleaning in. Why move to sweeping next? Because the act of sweeping itself often stirs up dust in lower areas of the home, and these can land on carpets and area rugs (more on these in a moment), meaning that if you already vacuumed, you will need to do so again to pick up the dust you just moved.
There are dust attracting options you can try for cleaning your bare floors. Some use microfiber and other materials to “suck up” and trap dust to keep it from spreading around. Even if you are using such devices, you need to sweep before you vacuum, simply because these are imperfect systems.
One you have swept things up, you are ready to get out the vacuum.
Suck it Up
There are several areas where you will use a vacuum in your home, and you need to adjust it for each area for ideal cleaning. The first is your regular carpets. These will have a pile, or a measurement from thin carpet to high pile carpet. Set your vacuum height correctly. Too low, and the vacuum will be hard to push and could actually damage your carpet. Too high a setting and your vacuum will not remove the deeper dirt from your carpet.
The second is area rugs. These are rugs that cover a certain part of the room they are in. Underneath them can be carpet or bare floor, either one. The area rug will have a setting all its own. Ideally, the area rug will be the right size for the area it is in and the furniture on it will be arranged in such a way as to make cleaning easy.
On these two surfaces you will have some high traffic areas. Use baking soda spread on the carpet ahead of time to decrease odors and help the vacuum remove more dirt.
The final area is bare floor. Yes, you should sweep first, but often little bits of dirt can escape the dust pan or your best efforts to sweep up. You can pick up this dirt with the vacuum before you mop or polish to finish cleaning. Sometimes if you are just doing a quick in between cleaning, vacuuming the bare floor can be a solution until you have a chance to sweep later on.
Automate What You Can
The good news is that you don’t have to do all of this cleaning on your own. There are automated vacuums you can program to run at night and even control with an app on your phone. Some surfaces are now actually dust repellent, especially ceiling fans and other surfaces. This does not mean you will never have to dust, but it will be less frequent.
Vacuuming, dusting and sweeping are just a few of the house cleaning tasks you will do, but if you follow these tips, they will be more effective, and you can do them more efficiently. This will make your home a healthier place to live.