Leave the Dust at the Door

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broom1Most of us can relate to the never-ending tasks of cleaning the house. With the shorter days and colder nights of winter, spending more time indoors is certain. Why not get an early start this year with spring-cleaning so that the time you are indoors can be spent enjoying a clean and organized house.

Have you ever thought about what’s in the dust in your house or where it comes from? Some particles, such as dirt, may contain insect fragments, pesticides, fungal spores, animal dander, pollen and hair.

These are deposited on the floor, where they are ground into smaller particles. Airborne particles can cause breathing problems, especially to young children and those who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

Since 30 to 40 percent of the contaminants inside your home are brought in from outdoors, follow these simple steps to reduce dirt from entering your house.

Place a grate-like doormat by every exterior door to make removal of dirt from the bottom of shoes easy. Just brush your shoes across the matt before going into the house.

glovesAs an added measure of resistance, place a highly absorbent doormat just inside the door to trap water and soil. By wiping the feet twice before entering the house, it’s an easy way to leave the dirt at the door. Also, you can leave your shoes by the door and switch to “inside” shoes.

Now, that we’ve eliminated some of the dirt from entering the house, it’s time to get organized. The continuous cycle of household cleaning becomes easier if the house is organized and if we follow a simple cleaning plan. The following information will hopefully make it easier when you decide to spring clean.

  • Don’t procrastinate … get started.
  • Clean one room at a time.
  • De-clutter your home with items you no longer need or use by either recycling it, throwing/giving it away or selling it (consider taking items to a local consignment shop).
  • Less clutter gives you more time, money and energy.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in a bucket or carry all (this eliminates running back and forth).
  • Complete the hardest chore first.
  • Work one area at a time.
  • Clean from top to bottom.
  • Do each room in the same order – windows, dusting, floors.
  • Put things in order before going to bed.
  • Use micro-fiber mops and dusting cloths.
  • Use a two-chamber mop bucket (this is designed to prevent soil and dirt from recontaminating cleaned surfaces).

Planning ahead is made easy by using this simple timeline:

Every day:

  • Wash dishes
  • Wipe countertop surfaces
  • Empty trash
  • Sweep or damp mop floors (especially in high-traffic areas)
  • Make the beds
  • Put away clothes

soapbucketOnce a week:

  • Check refrigerator and throw out bad food
  • Clean refrigerator
  • Clean floors and rugs (mop or vacuum)
  • Wash and rinse trash can
  • Dust the furniture
  • Clean toilet bowl
  • Wipe surfaces
  • Clean mirrors
  • Change sheets and pillow cases

As needed:

  • Wash cupboards
  • Wash walls, woodwork and ceilings
  • Wash curtains, mattress covers and bedspread
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Clean oven
  • Defrost refrigerator
  • Clean window sill, frame and glass
  • Move and clean under furniture
  • Clean and organize dresser drawers and closets

Housekeeping doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take regular effort. As you become more organized, you will notice you have more time to relax while at home.

Sources:
Utah State University Cooperative Extension
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Agricultural Extension Service
The University of Tennessee