I Turned Into My Aunt - Setting Yourself Up for Cleaning Success
Most women my age would say their mother is showing herself in them more in more. But when it comes to cleaning and hosting …I am turning into my aunt!
After I read the first two lines to my husband, he said, “That’s scaring me…just turn into your mother, I would rather that than your aunt…” 😊
What is so terrible about my aunt? Nothing. I mean I’m turning into her so I would say PERFECT! But since I’m all about self-awareness, I can admit there is a slight flaw. She is a clean freak and when company comes, nothing is more important than having the house perfect.
My aunt’s house is perfectly clean 24/7. I’m almost positive. I remember going over to her house when I was younger and watching in amazement that she put everything away immediately. On her down time, she would be cleaning surfaces of smudges from her kids on glass windows or door handles, light switches, or any surface that should be shiny. In my house this didn’t happen. I mean we cleaned at our house… every stinking Saturday. Our lives were so busy and both our parents had full time jobs, and when we finally crashed at home, everyone was exhausted. But my aunt has made a big impression on me obviously. That’s why I am writing this post about it!
Now I have not completely turned into her, but close. If I am hosting something, I cannot prepare last minute. I might have a panic attack or, to be honest, start yelling at anyone in my way while cleaning. When it comes to cleaning, I clean everything. You would say, “Do you have children?” and I would take it as a big compliment. Seriously, that means I cleaned like a pro! But this isn’t my real issue with me turning into my aunt… (it’s actually a pretty good asset).
The real problem is that I am turning into a stuck-up snob when it comes to other people’s homes. And I am well aware of it. Why am I writing this horrible rant about myself or my aunt? Because I want to help you, and let you know there are people out there that come to your house and LOOK at EVERYTHING. Is it creepy? Yes. Is it violating a person’s privacy? Nah, you invited me over.
If it’s not me, it will eventually be someone else. Trust me, we are out there.
I want to help you succeed. Let’s begin with things that should be done at least once a week or once a month. These are things that I consistently see at others’ homes that are dirty and need to be cleaned… at least before company comes. “Because we are watching… always watching”
Toilet Bowl – once a week
(the clean freak in me and sees the cracks brown, but I just washed them so they are wet ;) also, this is a rental so there are cracks in the tile...not dirt)
Top of the toilet bowl, where the water is held and handle first. The top of the lid and seat (don’t forget the cracks where the lid and seat are connected), all the grooves, get them. Rim of the toilet bowl is a must- on the top and the ledge sitting inside. Clean the entire bowl, back into the little tab covers for the screw (everyone misses that), and the AROUND the toilet bowl. The tile around the toilet bowl is often a little discolored, not from water or condensation, but from pee. Known fact – if you don’t put the toilet seat down when flushing it can shoot up to 6 feet. Disgusting and true. Clean it.
Get those streaks down the front!
clean around knobs under the seat
Clean in the cracks of the seat
Many people forget to clean this spot!
Look at all those cracks and crevices to be cleaned!
If you have boys like I do, I clean the floor in front of the toilet seat everyday...apparently aiming for boys is hard.
I clean the toilet top to bottom. If you do it out of order, you are just moving dust and germs all over after you already cleaned it.
Light Fixtures – at least once a month
Most people clean just the outside dust from a lamp shade or covering, but it goes so much deeper, literally. If you have light fixture cover, take it off and get all the dead bugs and wash the cover in the sink. If you have shades or small bulb coverings that show the bulb, clean the light bulb too. Careful they are hot, so I suggest turning off the lights for this one 😊 Easiest way to do a quick clean, is vacuum around and in all the light fixtures!
Sink – everyday or at least once a week
Bathroom sinks will have toothpaste residue around the basin. That is a must when cleaning. The rim to the drain is what gets me. If the rim is at all slightly discolored, it’s not clean, and bacteria is sitting there growing. The same thing applies with anything white in your house. If its discolored, it’s not fading its dirty. Magic Eraser or baking soda for a quick fix!
Kitchen sink needs to be cleaned thoroughly so there is no smell. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure you pour some soap and run HOT water through the disposal so any left-over food doesn’t sit and stink. The actual sink needs to be thoroughly cleaned too. Get the dry food specks off. I would suggest at the end to use the appropriate cleaner. For example, if you have a stainless steel, clean it with stainless steel cleaner. If you used a different cleaner on it, it most likely will leave a residue on the steel.
Floorboards or Radiators – monthly or whenever you vacuum
These are the last things people usually think of. I am not talking about the outside of the heat floor boards or outside of the radiator. It’s the inside where the heat is coming from. There tends be a lot of dirt that gets stuck in there, and it should be cleaned with a vacuum. I would NOT suggest putting cleaner in it. I’ve done that before because I’m a crazy cleaning person, and it will smell for a while…
Clean behind, in between, sides, and under...you go this!
Light Switches and Door Handles – every week, biweekly, or monthly (depends on home much you like germs)
This rental is over 100 years old with original handles, can only do so much :)
How many times a day do we touch these? I would say a lot, maybe 20. And so does everyone else who comes to your house, that’s a lot of bacteria on these items. I do this about once a week, but some have this on their list once a month. Before company, I would definitely suggest cleaning these.
Floors – at least once a week
Sweeping, every day. Swiffering, mopping, or Cinderella-style cleaning the floors, at least once a week, especially if you have little ones. This one became a priority in my house once I had kids. This leads me to say that if you are having company over with little ones, get on the floor and make sure there isn’t any little items on the floor. I can’t count how many times my kids have brought home sharp or dangerous items they find at other people’s house. In the other people’s defense, they aren’t little and that low to the ground as my kids are.
Throw blankets – once a week
I love throw blankets! We have 3 to 4 around my house at all times. I make sure to wash my throw blankets at least once a week. We wash our sheets once a week, but these blankets are around food (or at least ours are)! If you don’t eat when you have a throw blanket on you, then you either don’t live in the North or you aren’t living! Every time I have company over, I have someone ask to use the throw blanket (because my husband has some weird disorder where he is HOT all the time), and I gladly give them to them. But, unfortunately, I have stopped asking to use others, because I’ve had countless times where they smelled musty or had a bit of dry food on it. So wash those throw blankets or just keep a special one for guests and Febreze.
Aroma of Your Home - whenever you want your home to smell nice
The smell of your home is the first impression your guest will have. Whether it’s food you’re cooking or not, you need to make sure it smells good. You know when you were little and went to someone’s house and their “Family” had a certain smell? Well, I strive to not have one….yes, crazy I know. But I love going over someone’s house that smells nice and clean. Open the windows, clean your fabric furniture with baking soda, Febreze those curtains, and the let the company come.
Hope that this was enlightening and you are not judging me too much. I’ve gotten a lot better because life with kids makes it SO hard to keep up with a sparkling house. But you can bet when company comes, the boys are sent out with daddy for the day so I clean! 😊
Now for my aunt, she is a great woman and I don’t think she realized how much she influenced my cleaning habits. I am grateful for it! Because her cleaning methods set me up for success. No longer do my Saturdays include cleaning all day. It saves me time and lets me enjoy my family more.
So let’s recap on what my aunt has taught me.
Have a place for everything.
Put things away right away.
Clean up the mess you make every day.
Extra tidings each day will keep the Saturdays free.
"Cleanliness is next to godliness." (haha totally kidding...or am I ?)
If you implement the list above, it will improve your weekend cleaning, I promise!
From the creepy clean visitor,