Hibernation mode is in full swing and so is probably the amount of dust, dirt, and clutter that has settled over your household throughout the past year.
Now that we're all being encouraged to self-isolate and stay indoors (and once you've finished all 10 seasons of Friends), there's really no excuse for your house to look like it should be featured on an episode of 'Hoarders'.
Don't worry if it does though (we've all been there), this blog will let you in on all the housekeeping secrets that'll have your living spaces looking spick & span, and if you stay till the end, we've included a homemade all-purpose surface cleaner if you don't like the idea of all those nasty chemicals being sprayed all over your house.
We admit it's not the most enticing prospect but your looming cleaning job can be made easier using the right products, so bring the gloves out, put your hair up, play the music and start getting your household in order.
1. Get Ready
- First things first, gather all your cleaning supplies. This could include products such the Skrubba Original Sponge or the Avanti 'Scrubber Sponge'.
- Secondly, complete normal, everyday cleaning tasks such as doing the dishes, drying them and putting them away, or because you live in the 21st Century, pop them in the dishwasher.
- Remove any unnecessary kitchen clutter or things that don't belong in the kitchen but are currently sitting on the kitchen bench.
- Put your dirty tea towels in the laundry (there's nothing worse than getting halfway through a big clean and realising you've been using dirty equipment the whole time).
- Set up a large box or bag for trash items.
- Set up another large box or bag for items to donate (one woman's trash can be another woman's treasure after all).
- Take out the trash, recycling and compost.
- Pull out all the items currently residing in your kitchen drawers. Make sure to do it one at a time though or you might drown in the number of broken pens, rubber bands, and dead batteries that will litter your countertop.
- Sort out the contents into three piles; keep, donate or trash.
- Wipe out the drawers thoroughly. The White Magic Eco Cloth Kitchen would be perfect for this task.
- *Side Note* Invest in some compartment cutlery trays from Madesmart if you want your draws looking all neat and tidy, and if you don't want to be rattling around the cutlery drawer at 12:30am, trying to find a fork for the late-night snack you've just ordered.
- Place your items back into the drawers neatly.
- Wipe down the drawer fronts and knobs.
- The same as with the drawers, pull out all the items in your kitchen cabinets.
- Again, sort into keep, donate or trash. Hint, now's the perfect time to throw away the chipped bowl you've been storing for a couple of months now.
- Wipe out the cabinets.
- Place items back in neatly with the knowledge that it won't stay that way when you're kids come home, run to the pantry and pull out the first piece of food they can get their hands on, before running to the cabinet that holds the tableware, rummaging their little hands over each and every piece before finally settling on what they need.
- Wipe down the cabinet fronts and knobs.
- You guessed it, pull out all items.
- Look on in disgust at the rice that was sitting right down the back, but now that it's been brought into the light, you can see it's crawling with weevils (if you don't know what they are, google it).
- Get RID of any expired, old, stale or inedible food.
- Donate any unopened food that you no longer want.
- Transfer any open items into jars. Kilner's range of food preservation containers are great for this or Maxwell & Williams range of canisters can change the way your pantry functions.
- Wipe down pantry shelves.
- Place items back into the pantry neatly.
- Wipe down the pantry door and handles/knobs.
- Empty out any utensil jars, sort, clean and replace utensils.
- Thoroughly wipe down any countertop small appliances including but not limited to toasters, kettles, coffee machines.
- Store any appliances that are used infrequently (now's a good time to put away the waffle maker that's been sitting on the bench since breakfast three weekends ago).
- Clean the microwave inside and out. No one likes looking at crusty remnants stuck to the walls while they're watching their food heat up. Try using the Davis & Waddell Angry Mama Microwave cleaner.
- Wipe down your knife block. Now's the time to sharpen your knives using the Global 'Minosharp Blade Sharpener'.
- Clean out your fruit bowl and make banana bread with the bananas that resemble black, squishy, undistinguishable items.
- Wipe down your countertops and backsplash.
6. Oven & Cooktop
- Clean the inside and outside of your oven door.
- Put your oven on a self-cleaning cycle (yes, finally something you don't have to clean).
- Remove all the knobs and grates and clean them thoroughly.
- Clean the cooktop, removing all the dirt and grease.
- Clean the inside and outside of the range hood.
7. Fridge & Freezer
- Pull out all the food from both compartments, including the jar of chutney that's been sitting in the fridge for longer than you've been alive.
- Check the expiry dates and trash any food that's gone bad or is inedible.
- Wipe down the shelves and wash the ice cube trays.
- Pull out the drawers and wash properly then replace them.
- Put the food back in neatly and marvel out how little food's left in there. Now after you finish cleaning, you can undertake your second favorite household chore - grocery shopping.
- Declutter the top of the fridge, get rid of the unnecessary magnets, dust and wipe clean.
- Recycle any old paper, photos, or kid's drawings (chances are they won't even notice it's gone) that you no longer want.
- Vacuum fridge coils.
8. Sink & Dishwasher
- Clean the drains and garbage disposal
- Scrub and polish the sink, faucet and knobs.
- Sort through your sponges and dish brushes, and remove the crusty ones that no longer work.
- Wash your dish drying rack (or if you don't have one, you can skip this step. Yay!)
- Empty the food trap of the dishwasher.
- Wipe down the inside and outside of the dishwasher.
- Run it empty and on a high-heat sanitising cycle.
9 Everything Else
- Wipe down stools, table, chairs and islands.
- Spot clean or wash any chair cushions.
- Wash the windows and wipe down the windowsills.
- Wipe down the switch plates, doors, knobs and walls.
- Dust and wipe down the light fixtures (time to remove those cobwebs).
- Sweep the floor. *Pro-tip*, pretend you're Cinderella so that if you sing sweetly enough you'll attract a bunch of animals who'll help you.
- Scrub any problem areas on the floor.
- Mop the floor.
- Clean the trash cans, recycling and compost bins.
10. You're all finished! It seems more manageable when it's broken up into sections doesn't it? We didn't think so either but if you keep telling yourself that you might just get through it. We can guarantee you one thing though, you'll feel a lot better once everything's clean and you can sit back with a glass of wine (you've earnt it) and marvel at your hard work....at least until you have to start tackling the rest of the house, room by room.
Homemade all-purpose surface cleaner recipe
Congrats you made it to the end! Now it's time for your prize, the all-purpose surface cleaner recipe (super exciting we know)!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Servings: 2 (16oz or 473ml)
- 2 cups distilled water
- 2 tbsp castille soap
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil (this can be any aroma you like)
1. Pour the water into a 473ml spray bottle (use a funnel if needed). Add the castille soap and essential oil.
2. Gently shake the cleaner and you're ready to go. This can be stored at room temperature.
3. Just make sure you always shake the bottle before using and wipe it off the desired surface with a DAMP cloth, otherwise, it will leave a soapy residue (not ideal unless you want to clean all your surfaces again).