Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Set aside a specific time to get your chores done. “Nobody hires a cleaning service that promises to arrive some random Saturday when nothing else is happening,” Cynthia Townley Ewer, author ofHouseworks, says, “Take a tip from the pros and set up a regular cleaning schedule. Pros don’t quit until the job is done. Schedule the job and stick to it to get the work done in record time.”
Find a Motivator
Cynthia suggests using motivators to prevent distraction and head off boredom. “Play your favorite upbeat music. Listen to a book on tape so you’ll feel as if you’re accomplishing two tasks at once.”
Dress for Success
Professional cleaners dress in comfortable, washable clothing designed for work. Supportive shoes and kneepads spare their bodies. Goggles and gloves protect against chemicals. Throw out the bleach-stained sweatshirts, and create a cleaning uniform that includes shoes, gloves and eye protection.
“There’s a reason the pros can tote all the products they need in one tray,” Cynthia explains “They’ve simplified their cleaning products down to four basic supplies:
Powdered abrasive cleanser
Tile and bathroom cleaner
Heavy-duty degreasing cleaner
Light-duty evaporating cleaner (glass cleaner or multi-surface cleaner)
That’s it! No soap scum remover, no special counter spray, no single-use products designed to clean only blinds or fans or walls. The professionals know that with these four simple products they’ll be able to handle any ordinary cleaning chore.”
Tote Your Tools
For efficiency sake, professional cleaners tote all their tools with them. All their tools — cleansers, brushes and rags — are right there in the tote tray. Vacuum, mop and mini-vac wait in the doorway. A plastic bag for trash is tucked into a pocket, next to the waving lamb’s wool duster. That’s why the pro has finished the entire bathroom before our amateur makes it back up the stairs with the powdered cleanser.
Pick It Up Before You Clean
“Professional cleaners come to clean, not to tidy counters, furniture, appliances and floors. They can’t do the job if each horizontal surface in the home is covered with papers, toys, dirty dishes and just plain clutter,” Cynthia explains. “Pretend that you’ve hired a high-priced cleaning crew. You wouldn’t make them relocate the clutter just to be able to do their job. Give yourself the same head start — pick up before you clean.”
Two Hands Are Better Than One
“The pros don’t work as if one arm is in a sling and neither should you. Get in the habit of using both hands to attack cleaning tasks,” advises Cynthia.
“Spray a mirror with one hand; wipe it down with the other. Scrub counters with two sponges or cleaning cloths. Dusting goes twice as fast when a lamb’s wool duster in one hand cleans nooks and crannies while the cleaning cloth in the other skims flat surfaces.”