How many times have you looked at that space in your home or office and thought, one day I am going to clean this place thoroughly, in and out! And never done it?
You're not alone. We all do this. The sheer thought of cleaning a whole cabinet or cupboard or room overwhelms us. I used to postpone cleaning quite a bit because of this. However, over the years, I have found simple ways to clean quickly, effectively and without any stress. In the process, I have become way more efficient and organized and it makes it easy for me to find and maintain things :)
Yes, I mention men and women here - because these are basic life skills!
I am sharing a beginner's guide so it is easy for everyone to learn. Let me share the tricks with you here!
1. The Golden Ten-Minute Rule
Decide to spend 10 mins cleaning every day. Just 10 mins. Choose the space - one drawer or one shelf or one box - got the point? Thinking of cleaning one whole space makes it too tedious and we end up procrastinating endlessly and also getting too tired when we finally do. So just do it small. If you do one drawer each day and one shelf each day, your cupboard will be spic and span by the end of the week! It is that simple - try it!
2. Keep a Basket or Big Carry Bag Ready
That is it - keep any basket or big carry bag or box next to you to dispose of items a) that are worn out and should be discarded, or
b) you do not use, or will never use for whatever reason.
I cannot highlight this point enough. Most of the time our cupboards are always full because they're filled with items we don't need and end up getting irritated every time we look at that space. So keep a container ready, otherwise, you will either put back those items as it is and make the area cluttered again or get irritated and give up on cleaning.
3. Basic Cleaning Tools - Easily available at home
Microfiber cleaning cloth and some dishwashing liquid (or call it liquid soap) are the basic things you need to clean.
Some optional items can be
a) Old Newspaper/anti-slip mats to spread on the shelves/in the drawers.
b) Old toothbrush to clean narrow areas or stains
c) Earbuds to clean crevices thoroughly
d) Naphthalene balls or camphor (kapoor) to keep in enclosed spaces to avoid pests and foul smells
4. How do I clean?
a) The simplest way is to fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to it. Mix it gently (because you don't want soapy suds blocking the spray already).
b) Empty the contents of the area you want to clean - one small space at a time. Spray on the mixture we just made on whatever you want to clean (wood/marble/ply/laminate).
c) Wipe this nicely with a microfiber cloth (no, they are not overrated. Tried and tested!) and allow it to dry for a few minutes.
d) Meanwhile, look at the items you just removed and wipe them all thoroughly with a clean wet/dry cloth depending on the material. Remember to put aside the things you want to get rid of in the basket/box you had kept ready.
e) Now organise all the remaining items back in the space. You can organise them in different smaller boxes/baskets of categories and also go one step further and label them (There is no need of fancy labels either. Just write it down on a piece of paper and tape it! If you want to be creative, go right ahead, nothing is stopping you. But don't let this distract you from the original purpose of cleaning the space!).
f) Celebrate - You did it!
5. Sounds too much to do?
I know - this sounds too much. It took me a long time to think and type as well. But that's because I take too many breaks (:D). Trust me once you have the spray bottle and cloth, it doesn't take too long to actually clean. And just 10 mins a day - try it and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve. If you take the effort to organize things into categories, you'll be very glad about making your day-to-day life much easier. You'll never go back to your old ways again.
6. Want to Indulge in Advanced Cleaning?
If you have tried this and now you are highly motivated to do some deep cleaning, ask me for part two of this article :)!
Credits: These ideas are learnt over years of cleaning and learning from the Youtube channels Clean My Space, Simplify Your Space and Home hashtag life by Jaya. You can check out their videos for more cleaning expertise. Of course, my first cleaning teachers remain my mother and mother-in-law :).