Saturday, January 9, 2010

HOW CLEAN IS YOUR HOUSE? (warning - long read)

Have you ever seen this show on BBC America?
The show's fiesty hosts and professional cleaners Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie take their viewers into some of the most filthy homes imaginable. With eye-opening diagnoses on the filth growing in their homes and great cleaning tips, they help the owners get their homes livable again while trying to instill good cleaning habits. They even take swabs of different areas around the homes and send them off to a lab for analysis. It's amazingly shocking what horrible things can be growing on your kitchen countertops and bathroom sinks if you're not diligent about keeping those areas clean.

People frequently ask how I keep my house so clean. First, my house is not always clean . . . well, I guess I try to keep the important areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, floors clean . . . but my house is not always totally clean. You know what I mean, right? For instance, I'm pretty sure I could be writing this post in the dust on my bedroom dresser right now, but I do plan to take care of that later today! ;o)

I do try to keep the house "picked up" as much as possible. For me, it's a daily thing. Not much unlike keeping up with one-self's daily grooming. Like, you wouldn't leave the house in the morning without brushing your teeth, don't leave the house without taking the extra minutes to make your bed and wipe down and straighten up the kitchen. Same with before bed in the evening. Take those extra minutes to make sure the kitchen and bathroom is wiped down and straightened before climbing into bed. Isn't it so much nicer to wake up to a clean kitchen? I think it helps in getting a good mentally-positive start to the day.

I like to keep my dish soap, hand soap, hand lotion and little handmade pottery bowl holding sponge and mini scrapper corralled on a small thrifted plater. I also like to cut my scrubby sponges in half. Don't need a whole one, really. And because we should replace our sponges very often, I hate to be wasteful and throw away whole sponges.

I really don't have a designated "cleaning day". Being a "professional cleaner" - hehe - who spends hours cleaning other's homes, I certainly don't want to spend five straight hours on my day off cleaning my own! If something needs to be cleaned, I clean it. If the hamper is full, I throw in a load of laundry. Did you know that it takes little time for spills on the kitchen counter to start growing bacteria? Same with the bathroom.

Oh, the bathroom. I live in a house with 4 men, so you can imagine how bad our toilets could get. I know, gross, but true. That's why I keep cleaning supplies in every bathroom - right down to paper towels. When I see the bathroom's getting a bit
dicy-looking, I take the literally 10 minutes needed to clean it. You see, if you keep everything relatively clean and picked up as go day-by-day, it doesn't take all day to clean your house. Clean as you go!

There are some great sites out there to keep you scheduled and motivated in keeping your house clean and as organized as possible. Here are just a few:

Below are some great places to check out too:

Having a clean and organized home is so important. Not just for aesthetics, but it really helps in our physical and mental health. Studies have proven that a clean home can really keep you healthier, less sickly. Also, a clean home keeps stress down. Not having to constantly look for things like important papers, car keys, etc. I always feel like at least a neat pile, is better than stuff strewn about all over.

Keeping your bedroom clean and as dust free and uncluttered as possible and vacuumed regularly, can absolutely aide in a better night's sleep. Turning down that properly made bed as opposed to climbing into a disheveled hump of linens can greatly improve one's slumber.

Vacuuming your floors very often greatly reduces the amount of dust in the air. Don't forget to look up when your vacuuming for cobwebs and dust on the walls and ceiling fans. No kidding! I do, from time-to-time, vacuum my walls.

It's really not fair that dust will cling to vertical surfaces!
Especially if you have pets, vacuuming often is a must. While that brush attachment is on, take a swipe down along the baseboards too.

Also, if my furniture has gotten quite dusty - which seems to happen up in our bedrooms more - I'll use the brush attachment and actually vacuum the dust off the furniture before I wipe it down with furniture cleaner. Oh, don't forget to vacuum your lampshades at least every couple weeks or even more frequently (don't forget to dust/wipe off the light bulbs too!).

I like to think of my home as literally an extension of my personal self when it comes to keeping it clean. There are daily things I need to do for myself in terms of "up-keep" - and the list gets longer as I get older! -
as is with my home.

Some of my cleaning daily habits:

Laundry - I'll sort some of the clothes not only by colors, but by "wrinkleness". I'll throw the non-wrinklies in the washer in the morning after I've made coffee. Then, before I run out the door for work, I'll throw them in the dryer not worrying about having to get them out right away so they don't get wrinkled. I do at least a couple loads of laundry 2 or 3 times a week. Who wants to spend all day folding clothes???

Our newly revamped laundry "closet" - not a closet anymore with doors gone! The new washer and dryer was a tad too big not allowing the doors to close.

Bathrooms - Before I leave in the morning, I'll do a quick inspection of the bathroom sinks. If they look really bad, I'll wipe them out with a disinfecting wipe. Same with the toilets if needed.

Kitchen - Never leave a mess in the kitchen. Ever. Always wipe up spills as they occur. That includes inside the micro and the frig.

Family Room - Fold any blankets/Snuggies (we all got Snuggies for C'mas!) neatly. Make sure no dishes are left anywhere they're not supposed to be - KIDS!

So there you have it! My philosophies on house cleaning. I'm sure this was probably pretty boring to quite a few of you, but having a clean home is extremely important to me. Hope maybe I've helped inspire just a few of you who may be wondering just how to keep up with it all. Don't forget to check out those links up there.
There's some great organizational tips to help get you on track if needed.

Now, time for me to practice what I've been preaching and go clean my bedroom and master bath!

Thanks for visiting!

Leave a comment so I can get to know you.


Hopemore Studio said...

Carla,I keep joking with Bob that I need someone to come in and clean up behind us because I do such a bad job of it.

So tell me this - since your boys are older than my kids, how do you house train the kiddos??? I can have the whole house spotless and two days later it is overrun again, it really frustrates me to the point I let the house go too long between cleanings.

Oh and guess I should admit that I am a slob, have been my whole life..just ask mom... (can't even show you my workroom), so inherently are they doomed too...LOL

Oh and just so you know I cut my sponges in half too! Fugal-istas Unite!


Darlene said...

I enjoyed reading this post so much. I have to admit when my hubby and I first were married, many moons ago, housekeeping wasn't a priority. Now, as I am older and wiser I definitely feel so much better with a clean home and "things" picked up and kept where they belong. I still struggle from time to time with keeping it all done but, I ALWAYS try to keep my front areas picked up and clean so that if someone just stops by, I can open my door wide and let them in without that frantic feeling of "does my home look okay"? It always does now.♥

Paula said...

Oh Carla, now I'm exhausted! LOL:)
How clean is my house? ...hmmm. topic is usually closed for discussion! You do a good job of inspiring me though, and for that I thank you:)
And also!! THANKYOU for placing my button on here, you are a doll!
Have a great Sunday:)

Carla said...

Hey Angie! I'm sure it's not as bad as you say! ;o)
And let me tell you, I still don't have my boys trained. I just nag, nag, nag and hope that one day they'll "get it"! I just stay on them. I'm bad, though, cause a lot of times I just pick up after them as I'm yelling for them to do it. You know . . . if you want something done right . . .

I'm a bit of a slob with certain things and in certain areas too! Like our walk-in closet and the unfinished side of the basement. They're disaster areas!

I've come to realize it's a never-ending battle - especially with kids in the house!

Carla said...

Darlene, glad you enjoyed this post! I've been planning it out in my head for a while. There was a lot more I wanted to share, but the post would have been 4 times as long!

I'm like you, I always try to keep the "public" areas more picked up and clean. Not that we have drop-in guests often, but it's just nice to know if we do, I don't have scramble while they're at the door, or wonder what nasty shape the powder room might be in! LOL

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Oh how I wish I had the energy and desire to have a more "polished" house! It is never ending and the only way I get a deep down clean is to entertain....then some how the pressure of having people over motivates me I manage to get it done. But everyday cleaning....there is always something more fun to do.

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Check out some of my tips at

Nina Athena said...

Thank you for sharing such valuable and helpful information and knowledge. This can give us more insights! Keep it up. I would love to see your next update.

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