Saturday, August 27, 2011

Speed cleaning

If you want to clean up your living room, you'd probably have to start by putting away clutter.  Speed Cleaning (the book) is not at all about that kind of cleaning, sorry.  But if somehow all the toys and books and newspapers were miraculously gone,  you might want to dust and vacuum and get those fingerprints off the light switches and the smears off the mirror.  And if you have energy after the living room is done, you might want to tackle the bathroom quickly.   Or the kitchen.  Or all three.  Speed Cleaning is now the book for you.  This book helped save both time and money on cleaning my home.  What  a great combination!

Jeff Campbell and the the "Clean Team" wrote this book after a bunch of years of experience cleaning other people's homes.  His technique incorporates a few up-front organizational ideas (for example, an apron with a bunch of pockets holding important cleaning tools:  cloths, scrubbing pad, tooth brush, trash bag, and cleaning "juice").  It also has some guiding principles on what to do with all that stuff.  Here are some of my favorites guidelines.
  • Use both hands (for example, hold the squirt bottle in one hand and the rag in another).
  • Move from top to bottom (sounds obvious, but how often do I forget and then drop a cobweb on the floor I just swept?)
  • Don't rinse or wipe a surface before it's clean (when you scrub something scuzzy, keep scrubbing until you "feel" there's no more scuzz.  Don't scrub, rinse, scrub, rinse, scrub, rinse . . .) .
  • If it's not dirty, don't clean it (in other words, you don't have to squirt the clean parts of the mirror just because one corner is smudged).
  • Make every move count (have all your tools at hand, so you don't have to keep walking back and forth to get them).
  • No, really, make every move count.  (I touched on this in an earlier post when I wrote about using lots of rags, switching to a new clean one frequently instead of rinsing/wringing them out).
This book helped me to clean most of my spaces faster -- I can deep-clean a bathroom in 5 minutes or less now.  Some rooms I actually spend MORE time cleaning now (like my kitchen) because the book convinced me to clean things that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of . . . but I'm really glad to be more professional about the process.

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