1.0 Introduction to the Easy Cleaning Guide
1.1 The Guide’s Purpose
We have deliberately not gone into endless detail on any one particular area, as the secret is making things nice and simple and firstly seeing all the issues you actually need to consider. However we do have helpful links to blog posts on our own site or others with more information and guidance on individual areas that do crop up.
We are keeping this ‘live’ on our Easy Cleaners’ website as this is an evolving resource that will be constantly updated. You can therefore always find it at http://www.easycleanersbirmingham.co.uk/guide for the latest edition.
Contact us if you would like more help.
1.2 Why Do We Need Cleaning?
Why cleaning is important – often easily missed or assumed by people, meaning
they soon lose focus and desire for good and longer-term cleaning. So here are 4 core reasons why it’s important - not an exhaustive list, but communicating the important aspects:
1. It Makes Things Hygienic
On many levels, we need cleaning to make things and areas habitable. In obvious areas like food preparation you need to ensure that all bacteria and germs are removed, and involve others aspects to cleaning such as disinfecting, cleansing, and sterilisation.
All areas need it as well, for example the family home, particularly with, say, young children around who tend to touch things and place objects in their mouth afterwards.
2. It Makes Things Look Nice
It’s obvious, but it counts. Things will look a whole lot better, whether for your own benefit or when you’re trying to sell or let a property. It also goes beyond just look, but involves smelling a whole lot better and sometimes even feeling better.
3. It Makes You Feel Better
Cleaning to relieve stress is actually more effective than you may think. Not only can you see definite achievable results from your actions, but the whole routine of manual work and even the smells of the substances can help you feel a whole lot better.
4. It Involves Others
On many levels it can help with others whether that’s friends and family benefiting from you cleaning for them, or even them becoming involved and a team-effort to clean the house. Even in the workplace, organized cleaning times and general tidy-ups can be an important team-building time, even through to community days and, say, cleaning up local parks and areas.
On the other side, by involving external cleaning companies to do all this, you will save often valuable time and effort that you can invest in other important things.
1.3 The Basic Process
How cleaning is done and knowing what different types of cleaning to start with often comes across as confusing if you’re not used to it. It can almost seem an impossible task that appears to be too much hard work, and also confusing if you simply don’t know the best products and ways to do it.
However its basics are actually really simple. It’s only when you get more complicated scenarios, or you want to improve how you do it, that things need to get more complicated. At the end of the day, its basically removing mess in whatever form from the area, which generations ago was easily done through simple things like water, cloths, and brushes.
Our DRIFT acronym is an easy way to summarise 5 main aspects to this, with a helpful blog post and video here. This breaks down to:
D for Dusting
Wiping away dust that settles, not only in obvious places like on tables and surfaces which can be through a spray and cloth, but hidden areas like skirting boards and ceiling corners with a longer duster.
R for Rubbish
Removing all kinds of rubbish, whether loose items around, and actual bins being emptied.
I for Items
So more de-cluttering and simply placing things away and in their correct place, not only improving the appearance but making this then easier to find and store afterwards.
F for Floors
Whether that’s a vacuum cleaner across a carpet, mopping hard surfaces, or sweeping outside areas, floors catch most of the mess that you naturally see as you walk around.
T for Touch-ups
The little extras that make a difference, whether that’s further wiping of surfaces and areas, or a simple scented spray at the end.
1.4 When Not To Clean
Believe it or not, there are times when cleaning is not a good thing for whatever reason. Often these are when people do ‘get it’ when it comes to cleaning and happily do it normally, but there are times when you just go too far. Some popular scenarios are:
1. Cleaning While Pregnant
You have to be so careful of what would be normal cleaning duties, but when you are pregnant, take special care to not overdo it and overstretch yourself. Also, watch out for thinking it will actually benefit you more, for example cleaning to induce labor, and being frustrated by the accumulation of mess and having a one-off stint at trying to clear.
2. Cleaning When You’re Ill
Whether it’s a common cold or more serious illness or injury, be careful not to launch into cleaning when you begin feeling better to only find that your body says otherwise and you in actual fact do more harm than good.
3. Cleaning Over and Beyond What’s Needed
For whatever reason, you simply don’t need to do it and it’s not worth going that extra mile. If you’re naturally into cleaning you can go too far and almost become obsessive with it, or if you’re trying to over impress others when it’s just not actually required.
4. Cleaning Instead of Others
There may be times when others should do it, whether that’s an external cleaning company that hasn’t done what you paid for them to do, or a family member or friend who is not pulling their weight and helping. It can be tempting to quickly do it yourself, but it doesn’t address the underlying issue of others not doing it.
1.5 Schedules & Checklists
It’s important to have a plan of action with cleaning, and in particular knowing when each item needs doing, and when they will be completed in the right order. This saves you forgetting and going off course, and can help you involve others in the process with clear achievable goals.
There are lots of these you can find online for whatever purpose you need, an example here from Good Housekeeping with what’s typically needed in your home every year as broken down on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Some are also cleaning to-do lists, printable versions that you can adapt, with various templates and checklists you can then simply add to.
Two words of caution though with such schedules. Firstly, make sure they make sense to you, for example only 3 items that you can actually understand and plan will work better for you than 23 of them that you plan just for the sake of it but never really appreciate and therefore follow through on.
Secondly, give a little room for being spontaneous, particularly for those who naturally prefer this than strict time frames and lists, as it can help bring enjoyment and freshness to it rather than thinking yet another routine clean in the same way as always.