Decluttering a Popular Cleaning Myth :: Clean Like a Pro Series

Dining/Crafting Area

Clean Like a Pro Series – Week 1

I missed posting another entry in this series last week. If anyone is miffed, I completely blame Jane Austen and her addictive works.

If you're just joining us, I'm sharing a series of techniques you can easily implement to streamline your cleaning process and become more efficient at cleaning.

Without delay, here is the first in a series of Aha! moments I had while observing the Pros clean my house.

This particular tip I learned even before the Pros showed up.

1. Decluttering is not the same as cleaning!

While decluttering is insanely important to the process of cleaning, it is simply the preparation for real cleaning.

Prior to my "enlightenment" I made valiant efforts to clean but got bogged down- frustrated by my lack of progress, as much of my allotted time was spent returning things to their homes and clearing surfaces.

By the time the toys were put back, the laundry collected in one place, the bits and pieces picked up off the floor, the dishwasher loaded, the general clutter of life tamed- I didn’t have much time or energy left to scrub, wipe and polish.

The reason I could rarely get past the decluttering stage is because I confused it with actual cleaning.

Then I an aha! moment. Decluttering is something you do before the cleaning person comes! It makes sense then, that I would do the same before cleaning the house myself.

I've heard many people remark that they've never "cleaned" better (or gotten a better workout) than the night before the cleaners arrived.

Tip 1: Declutter the house the night before "cleaning day."

If you do that, you can actually focus on cleaning instead of getting stuck managing "stuff."


The night before you're planning to do a big cleaning, run from room to room and do the following:
  • Pick up laundry and toys off the floor. Put them in their place or in a laundry basket out of the way for now.
  • Clear counters and shelves of anything you would normally move to clean. Tuck items in drawers, cabinets, baskets, etc.
  • Think of anything you wouldn't want to pay someone to spend time moving. Move it.
  • Think of anything you'd be embarrassed for a stranger to have to touch. Move those things as well.

There! You've successfully decluttered your house. Now it's ready for cleaning!

Helpful Ideas for Decluttering:
  • Get the family involved. (If four people made the mess, four people could help clean it up- right?)
  • Employ catch-alls for clutter that can easily be whisked away prior to cleaning day.
  • Make a habit of decluttering for 10-15 minutes each night before bed.  

Clean Like a Pro Series:

1. Clean Like a Pro :: My Secret
2. Tip 1 :: Declutter the night before!

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

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