“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”
~ Alice Walker
If you are like most of the world right now, you are probably barricaded in at home. Social distancing and self-quarantine have become the new normal. Face masks and gloves an international uniform. Jobs are being performed at home, or work-at-home jobs are being hunted down. Careers once demeaned are now essential, and every parent is a homeschool teacher.
It may seem like everything is going out of control, but there is one place you do have control—your home. Even though being stuck at home may be driving you crazy, this is the perfect time to set some things in order.
The truth is that many of us now have either excess or extra time. Whether you used to work at home, now work at home, or are on extended leave, there’s time now available that would have been swallowed up by something else, usually not a priority. Previously during that time, you might have allowed your home upkeep to fall by the wayside. Staying safe at home presents the opportunity to maximize time for the management of domestic affairs.
So, what can you throw yourself into right now?
Well, that’s easy. You’re already in it.
Of all the things we can work on right now, we can start right at home. Your home should be your sanctuary and if you are like me, being stuck at home every day, I’m seeing all the things that I need to work on from organizing to decorating. It’s time for the dust bunnies to go, piles of books to be organized, and blank walls to be filled. This means—home projects.
Remember all those times you said you were going to do something for your home? You were going to replace the wallpaper... change the hose behind the washing machine... Now’s the time to get it done! In fact, there’s probably no better time. So, let’s get started on refreshing and updating your home.
This “Stay-at-Home Projects” series will be broken up into parts to easily cover various target areas for sprucing up your home. The target areas will be divided into cleaning, organizing, and designing. The series will start with cleaning because cleanliness should be a priority in every home. It’s hard to do anything beyond this when a home is not clean.
So, let’s get to it...
... it’s a full day’s work; but if you break it down, it becomes much simpler.
Cover the basics. Cleaning is pretty much straight forward. Where there are dirt and grime you want to get rid of it. So, start with the basics. Sweep, mop, wipe and vacuum. Sweep and mop your floors. Wipe down all counter areas and be sure to use disinfectant. Vacuum all the carpeted areas, cloth furniture, rugs, and mats. Remember to empty the bag and change the filter depending on the vacuum you have.
Ideally, you’ll want to create a regular routine with this, especially with vacuuming, so it does not feel quite as intense doing everything in one day. You can divide the work into a weekly mop and vacuum and daily sweep and wipe.
Dust busting. Dust gathers everyday and if you have not kept up with your weekly, if not daily dusting, you are sure to be surprised at just how much dust has collected. If it’s a location or item, you haven’t covered in months, be sure to bring out a mask. Use a smart duster or microfiber. It’s best to use one cloth for initially dusting and reserve a separate cloth for polishing. Dusting and polishing should go together.
Clear as glass. Hit all the windows and mirrors in your home. Do a dry wipe or dust first and then go over with glass cleaner. A multi-purpose microfiber cloth is especially helpful here for leaving your glasses spotless.
Deep clean. You want to do a deep clean in your home at least once every quarter. This means getting all those hidden gems and missed corners that we typically don’t place to much attention on.
Pull up your sleeves and get down into your baseboards. Use a brush to get between tiles in the bathroom. Gather the items on your planter shelves, or any high places and bring them down for a good cleaning. Depending on the materials of those items, you may need to let them soak in warm soapy water and brush them with an old toothbrush. Go inside cabinets and drawers for a nice wipe down.
Check for build up around shower and sink heads and faucets. Bring down your curtains to be washed or dry cleaned. Get on top of valences to vacuum or dust.
Deep cleaning does not only mean inside your house but outside. Pressure wash the exterior, patio, lanai, driveway, or sidewalk. Get rid of insect increments around outdoor lighting. Check your chimney.
Tips and tricks. Use a system when cleaning to make the process easier, instead of going room by room. Add your favorite essential oil to your mop water to leave your home smelling nice. Polish wooden furniture, specifically, with an oil blend. When you’re all done, use a sugar scrub on your hands to restore softness.
What will you be working on?
Stay tuned for the next category: Organizing.