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Clean like a maid!

Let's talk about cleaning. Cleaning is a drag. I hear there are people out there that actually like to clean, but I am not one of them, even though I used to work as a housecleaner. The good thing about having that job is, I learned to clean very quickly and efficiently. Now, I pass that knowledge along to you, Curbly readers!

The mantra of the company I worked for was top to bottom, left to right. This way you could easily walk into any room and know exactly where to get started. The work was divided into"wet rooms" (bathrooms and kitchens) and "dry rooms" (living room, dining room, bedrooms). If we were lucky and weren't understaffed, we'd go out with a partner and one person would do the "wet rooms" and the other person would do the "dry rooms". One "wet room" and one "dry room" would be "deep cleaned" each cleaning.

I still clean my house in the same manner. I try to clean on a weekly schedule, and "deep clean" on a rotating basis. I start with the "wet rooms" first, as I hate cleaning them the most. Getting it out of the way means it's all downhill work from that point on.

On cleaning "wet rooms":

Maid's Tip: Keep all your cleaning supplies in a tray you can easily carry from room to room. You'll need a blue shop rag, some white rags (I use cloth diapers), an all purpose spray cleaner (I like Formula 409), a glass cleaner, a heavy-duty all-purpose cleaner (such as Simple Green), a floor cleaner (I typically use Mop N Glo), a good toilet bowl cleaner, and a duster.

In bathrooms, I start first with putting the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet to let it sit while I'm doing everything else. Then (in any room) knock down cobwebs and dust light fixtures. Spray counters, tubs, and sinks. Spray the dirtiest parts first, then move around the room wiping everything down from left to right. Only bother to wipe down the mirror if it's smeary. If you want your fixturesto really shine, use glass cleaner on them. Run your duster along the baseboards and cabinet fronts, then swish the toilet. Sweep the floor. Toss down some Mop N Glo, wipe it up, and you're finished.

This is probably obvious, but make sure you don't use the same rag in the kitchen as you do in the bathroom. E. coli is a bad, bad thing.

Maid's Tip: Cleaning your microwave is easy peasy. Put a bowl of vinegar and water in the microwave, and cook on high for 3 minutes. Then just wipe out the microwave with a rag. The vinegar will take care of that funky popcorn/bacon smell combo most everyone's microwave has, and the steam will soften even the most funky funk that's in your microwave.

On cleaning "dry rooms":

Dry rooms are a breeze. Knock down cobwebs, dust light fixtures. Dust all other furniture and picture frames, moving from left to right. (Our bosses at the maid service would occasionally come behind us and check our work- the place they got us most was by doing the "white glove" test on the tops of picture frames. Don't forget the picture frames!) Change the sheets if you're in a bedroom. Run your duster along the baseboards, then vacuum.

Maid's Tip: There is no good, fast way to dust an area that has lots of knickknacks and tchotchkes on it.My personal design aesthetic keeps me from having those kinds of little items, but if you must have them, only bother to dust those suckers when you're "deep" cleaning. Trust me on this one. ;)

By using this method and making sure you keep up with it weekly, you can clean extremely quickly. I can clean my entire 1200 square foot house in about 45 minutes this way.