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I'm going to properly deep clean my house, slowly.

(111 Posts)
slightlysoreboobs Wed 21-Sep-16 12:06:05

My house isn't exactly a midden, but it's not good. The middles get cleaned a la flylady, but I have no real routines and you can tell! It's all just a bit grubby unless its dark and there are only lamps or candles to add a gentle glow and hide the mess and muck. I'm a single mum, three kids and I work so I give myself a bit of slack and try not to get too bothered by it as long as I keep the kitchen clean, food in the cupboards and we all have clean clothes. But I've been thinking about Christmas and how I'd love the house to be all cosy and lovely and with that in mind I'm going to do an epic declutter, clean everything and make it gorgeous. The caveat is that it will probably take till Christmas to do it all!

Today so far I have:

put the sofa covers in the wash
defrosted the freezer
done a food shop (not part of Operation Christmas but necessary!)

Once I've finished my cuppa, I'm going to pull out the sofas and clean under there (anyone else find that EVERYTHING ends up there?) and declutter a bookcase. Maybe if I have time I'll address the living room toy box too.

I thought I might focus on one room a week. Anyone care to join me?

danTDM Wed 21-Sep-16 12:19:11

I've been thinking the same, like you am on my own with DD, we've had a long summer hol and I was very ill last year (better slowly) and so have too, cut myself slack with cleaning, doing exactly what you do!

However, I too want a lovely flat for Christmas! I live in a big flat with marble type floors, so I'm going to start with them, this weekend. Once I've vacuumed and mopped I will deep clean and declutter lounge kitchen and bathroom, gradually. The vague plan then is too cull the clothes and get that organised.

Good luck!

BiddyPop Wed 21-Sep-16 12:24:25

Have a look at - they have 2 different long plans doing a room or an area per week, a 100 days plan (it's 94 days to go today so you are still good for that) or a 6 weeks plan from October to finish by early December. They may give you a helping hand.

But the sister site of Organized Christmas (American spelling), is Organized Home and they have the actual room-by-room cleaning plans. I find them useful to go through each room one by one and actually deep clean them all. On a very infrequent basis.

danTDM Wed 21-Sep-16 12:26:33

ooh, thanks biddy!

BiddyPop Wed 21-Sep-16 13:53:31

I tend to use them as a list of jobs that I'd like to get done. Then do any 1 job I can do when I have a chance, tick it off, move onto another if I still have time. But I have finally learned to only start and pull out a small amount at a time, so that I can easily put it back when I run out of time. But that doing small jobs methodically can actually make quite a bit of progress over the course of just a few weeks! (Being a FT WOHM and keeping track of DD's multiple activities and everything else!).

slightlysoreboobs Wed 21-Sep-16 19:21:24

dan I'll be glad of the company smile

biddy I couldn't find a list on that site - it kept saying the page couldn't be found. I'll have another look tomorrow because I love the idea of direction. What does the site suggest for tomorrow?

The sofa covers are all washed and in the middle of drying
Under the sofas cleared and hoovered and mopped
I even hoovered the lampshades with the upholstery attachment grin
and cleaned the skirting boards. It's only one corner of one room but I'm pleased with an afternoon's work.

Peanutbutterpussycat Wed 21-Sep-16 20:42:46

Me too! Can I join in please?

Due to various reasons, Mainly looking after my nan who has dementia, my house has taken the hit ( was normally spotless ) and it's really getting me down.

Will check in tomorrow when I've got more time, off to bed as been up since silly o'clock and am exhausted.
Looking forward to it...

slightlysoreboobs Wed 21-Sep-16 21:28:26

The more the merrier peanut I'm sorry about your nan flowers

I think I'm going to need accountability buddies - with all of the usual every day stuff plus today's additional stuff I feel worn out! Wresting with sofas takes it out of you! Going to think of a list of priorities for tomorrow.

GreyandGrumpy48 Thu 22-Sep-16 08:00:49

Can I join too. I'm drowning in a sea of paperwork and I never seem to get more than the basics done. I would love a truly clean and decluttered house by Christmas

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 09:01:31

When o get to work, I'll put up the list for the living room as a start.

slightlysoreboobs Thu 22-Sep-16 09:26:53

You're very welcome grey

biddy that'd be great, thanks

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed today. Surrounded by mess and stuff and it's like I have no control over it all. Dams with multiple holes and fingers springs to mind... Going to have a cup of tea and try to calm down and just do a little bit, like I did yesterday.

1gorgeousson Thu 22-Sep-16 09:30:42

I need to do this! My house is cluttered, I need a cull and sort ready for Christmas. Hopefully you can all inspire me to actually do it.

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 09:33:53

OK - bear in mind this is from an American site (we don't use Windex - and it is a little twee!). It's from this page and the links to the other rooms are on that page too (not putting it as a link in case that was what went wrong last time)

Begin by washing the outside of the windows in this room. You will appreciate being able to see outside when you sit down at the end of the week in your beautiful, clean, and organized living room!

Take everything off walls, dust it, and set it aside.

Dust or wash the wall, vacuum or dry-clean draperies and blinds. Get your favorite cobweb killer and sweep down ceilings, corners and tops of doorways

Take cushions off furniture. Vacuum thoroughly, replace cushions, spot treat any stains and shampoo if necessary.

Wooden furniture (and anything with drawers/shelves): Empty, sort and throw away what you really don't need. Put the rest where it belongs.

Dust/polish the piece you've finished with and repeat with other pieces. Don't forget the maintenance on piano.

Baseboards: depending on condition they're in, dust or wash them.

Coat closet: empty, sort clothes (by family member, season).

Remove any "off-season" items and decide whether to trash, donate, or store elsewhere. Replace only those items which should be in your coat closet.

Clean the TV screen (if you have a set in this room). Don't neglect the stereo items either. Re-organize tapes/records/videos as per your needs.

Clean/change the silk flower arrangements as per seasonal needs. Wash/trim any live plants in this room.

Other items needing attention if your room has them:
•Fireplace/mantel/chimney/glass doors
•Lamps (does the shade need dusting or replacing?)
Electrical cords (check for frayed wires)

•Mirrors (items framed w/glass) get out the Windex
•Doorknobs/drawer-handles (are they clean?)

Now is a good time to measure furniture pieces and windows, to enter in your planner or Household Notebook and keep on hand for shopping for necessary items.

slightlysoreboobs Thu 22-Sep-16 09:36:09

Haha!! I love the favourite cobweb killer bit - I shall go and choose from my range grin

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 09:37:42

Oh, it automatically made a link blush

slightlysoreboobs Thu 22-Sep-16 09:41:19

Biddy is that a list for the whole week? That seems more than I do in a year!

AgathaP Thu 22-Sep-16 09:44:19

Me too please! I am also a single parent of 3 DDs. I work at home so I can see the 'issues' around me constantly but know I need to get on with my (paid) work. Last night we blitzed the underwear/nightwear drawers and produced three huge bags of fabric recycling - it felt like an achievement!

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 09:47:48

Now for my real life version:

Gather up junk, redistribute plates to kitchen, rubbish to bins etc.

Pick up cushions and throw covers in the wash.

Clean out fireplace/stove (in my case, clean the glass in the stove as well).

Dust shelves and blinds.

Pull up blinds and clean windows. Clean mirror while Windowlene is out.

Polish woodwork (shelves on bookcase, mantelpiece).

ONLY THEN, when the rest of the dusty stuff is done, pull out all the furniture and hoover to the skirting board and under everything.

Check the sides of sofa cushions that no cash or other things are lost from pockets, give leather a wipe.

Put things back where they belong.
If there are large numbers of things in wrong places, put them back in the right area and take time later to sort through each different shelf/box/whatever to make it tidy.

ONLY tackle 1 step at a time.
ONLY take out what you can put away in 15 minutes or less.
DO mark off what's done (satisfaction and helps keep you motivated to keep going, as well as remembering for next time).
Look on it as a long term project - so if you get 1 or 2 items done today, but over half the list done this week, that is a lot better than if you did nothing or had a pulled apart room giving you an unhappy conscience and stress that it needs putting back together again.

We are NOT aiming for perfection.

We are aiming for an improvement compared to when we started - wherever that starting point is. And the next time we get to each room, will hopefully be a better starting point. And over the course of a few days/weeks/months, there will be visible signs that efforts are being made.

Baby steps. Hot spots.

(OK now I am mixing up Flylady and Organised Home - see what this does to your brain!).

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 10:24:31

Slightly I have never managed the whole list all at once! Probably never even in 1 week of doing a room (I tend to focus on 1 room at a time for about a week).

When I get to the kitchen - I deal with the fridge or the freezer or 1 cupboard entirely, clean it out, dump old things, put it all back together again. And only THEN, and only IF I have enough time, I start on the next one.

The same in bedrooms - 1 shelf or drawer or part of a wardrobe at a time.

I've just found I get more done that way than pulling it all out, losing track of time and having to abandon it before I'm finished and then shoving everything back into any old spot.

But it also reminds me to do things like check expiry dates on kitchen fire extinguishers, batteries in clocks, batteries in smoke alarms, check smoke alarms and CO alarms are working, spare stocks of batteries and bulbs - those sorts of jobs too.

slightlysoreboobs Thu 22-Sep-16 13:42:26

Well Operation Christmas has gone ok so far today - i said I always do the middles, well today I've sort of finished the edges! So I've decluttered the toy box (which has taken all morning but there's a whole bin bag of stuff gone in the bin, and about another one for the charity shop so I feel pleased) and I've hoovered and wiped all the edges and skirting boards. I even pulled furniture away from the walls smile

Unfortunately in my eagerness i accidentally spilled half a bottle of zoflora on the kitchen floor so the house smells a bit over clean.... got the doors and windows open to ventilate the house a bit!!

Anyone else got any success/plans to report? I'm not sure where I'm going to focus next. Dining room maybe....

BiddyPop Thu 22-Sep-16 15:25:09

Slightly, that sounds like great progress!! Well done!

(My recent efforts show the slattern in me - in not dealing effectively with something a while ago).

DH travels a lot and a couple of years ago, brought back some carpet beetles in his luggage. We thought we'd dealt with them, but in the past week, I've been washing every single item in our wardrobes and drawers, and DD's as well, as it has just become obvious that some were lurking and had eaten various things (mostly the expensive natural fibre items!!). So my jumper I bought at the start of the summer and wore once, and my nice swingy "White Stuff" cardigan I bought on holidays and wore 3 times are both gone, DH's merino thermals have a hole (but wearable as an underlayer).

I have washed about 40 million extra loads this week so far - ok slight exaggeration but I did 5 loads on Sunday alone and 3 on Monday and another 2 yesterday and 1 more went on this morning with at least 3 more from that cupboard to do. And all except this mornings have been dried and folded (I will move them back upstairs tonight).

Each drawer and wardrobe needs hovering as I empty them for this process. And at the weekend I will have to pull out every item of furniture and deeply hoover to skirtings (probably twice to make sure).

That has put paid to every other thought of paperwork for Scouts, paperwork for a School committee, my financial paperwork, or any other cleaning or Christmas prep. But it will force me to get rid of things at the same time - I have a further bag for the charity shop that I probably wouldn't otherwise have done (and yes, they are all things that have been cleaned and have no holes). And done lots of extra walking up and down stairs which is good for my fitness and weight loss aims too....

mrszc Thu 22-Sep-16 15:31:09

Place marking smile
I have a fairly clean house BUT I pick up things, clean underneath and put them back down! grin

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 22-Sep-16 15:36:46

Good thread. Place marking to go back and read properly.

sarahsarah76 Thu 22-Sep-16 15:37:23

I think you should just take things at a comfortable pace. the small things youve done make a big difference in the long run, and i imagine its far more manageable and less stressful doing it your way

slightlysoreboobs Thu 22-Sep-16 22:38:54

thanks biddy slow progress but in the right direction.

sarah I agree, my plan to do it slowly was to reduce the stress of feeling like it all has to be done NOW and stay PERFECT because I'd put so much effort into it. Like the crashing and burning thing Flylady talks about. I'm hoping the little bit every day on top of the million normal things that need doing will add up, over time, to a generally calmer, easier-to-keep-clean house. And that at Christmas it'll be pretty and sparkly. I'm also hoping that it'll make it easier for the DCs to tidy up after themselves, so a little bit of Kondo too I guess! It would be entirely unfair for me to expect them to have routines if I don't.

Tomorrow I'm not sure if I have the courage to tackle the playroom, or if I should focus on the (comparatively orderly) dining room. I feel like I'm coming down with a cold so I'll see how I feel tomorrow. Also not sure how I'll manage this on work days.... Hmmm, lots to think about.

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