Amazing tip for Cleaning - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... but only for fellow messies like me. So all this time I thought you were supposed to 'clean from the top down'. Whenever I'd start straightening/ tidying a room, I'd do surfaces (like the kitchen table, the coffee table, top of the piano, etc) and work down to the floor. Well of course half the time the floor never got done, or not till the next day or whatever.

Now that I have a crawling baby, I have to keep the floor clear of any clutter, and vacuumed/ mopped, so that it's not hazardous to him. And what do you know, it's so much better-- if you have to clean only part of a room-- to start with the floor! I think partly because it's the biggest area of any room, so when it's clean, the space looks clean. For example my living room looks tidier if the coffee table is a bit of a mess but the floor is clear and vacuumed, then if the table is shiny clean and there's clutter on the floor. It's also very practical; no tripping or kicking random things out of the way, stepping on sharp pebble that came from who-knows-where, etc.

Obviously those neat tidy folks out there are going to think, "What? Why not clean both!" or "How messy would this room have to be before it would even matter?!" but other neatness-challenged mamas might understand. Just wanted to share this lightbulb moment.

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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#2 of 31 Old 04-01-2010, 10:31 PM
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#3 of 31 Old 04-02-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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I definitely agree with you especially on the living room floor being clean making the whole room clean.

I have a weird way of cleaning that goes against the only touch each item you are picking up once rule and that is to put anything that doesn't belong in that room on the dining room table till I am done with the whole house. Then I put all that stuff away.

Sometimes It does stay on the table longer than I would like but it makes cleaning FEEL like it is going to much faster lol!

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#4 of 31 Old 04-02-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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I always start with the floor. Just having it vacuumed makes me feel better instantly.

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#5 of 31 Old 04-03-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I find the same thing with the kitchen. The whole house could be cluttered, but if the kitchen is clean then the house seems ok. However, if the whole house is pretty good, but the kitchen is a mess, then it's hard to enjoy the clean parts. Lol.
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#6 of 31 Old 04-05-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsMike View Post
I always start with the floor. Just having it vacuumed makes me feel better instantly.


i do this too!!

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#7 of 31 Old 04-05-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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I agree with you. if the floor looks ok I think the rest looks better by association.

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#8 of 31 Old 04-05-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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I recently discovered this also, but it took a flea infestation to figure it out! We have pretty much gotten rid of the fleas (from a previous tenant), but now it is so easy to tell the kids to get everything off the floor (even if it gets piled onto the coffee table) than to tell them to take their stuff upstairs and put it away. It does seem so much cleaner when the floors are cleaned! In their bedrooms, their beds have a lot of toys on them but before you could not take a step without stepping on a toy. We are still working on our storage situation.
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#9 of 31 Old 04-05-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Amber Lily View Post
I find the same thing with the kitchen. The whole house could be cluttered, but if the kitchen is clean then the house seems ok. However, if the whole house is pretty good, but the kitchen is a mess, then it's hard to enjoy the clean parts. Lol.

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#10 of 31 Old 04-05-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Katie T View Post
I definitely agree with you especially on the living room floor being clean making the whole room clean.

I have a weird way of cleaning that goes against the only touch each item you are picking up once rule and that is to put anything that doesn't belong in that room on the dining room table till I am done with the whole house. Then I put all that stuff away.

Sometimes It does stay on the table longer than I would like but it makes cleaning FEEL like it is going to much faster lol!
I don't think that is weird at all. I do it all the time. If I were to touch each item at a time and put it away I would be making mutliple trips to the same location, which would get tiring. I just pile things on the table or chair and then deal with them after the floor is clear and vacuum..It also may take me longer to get to it put the place will still look cleaner.
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#11 of 31 Old 04-10-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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I had to smile at this. Exept for the kitchen I always do the floor first.
Even if the floor is cluttered, I sweep up toys and all, and the kids have to rescue their stuff out of the pile. What's left is a pile of trash and dust.
I'm sure anyone else watching would pass out, but I got tired of having to go around and pick everything up, or ask the kids to pick up a room only to find that they cleared the first 5 steps into the room. With all of their stuff piling up in one spot made it easier for all of us to get a room clean!

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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#12 of 31 Old 04-13-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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Yes, Yes! I can't stand dirty floors. I really don't mind if the rest of the house is a little mesy but dirty floors gross me out. I usually walk barefoot inside and I hate it when crumbs and stuff stick to my feet.

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#13 of 31 Old 04-13-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I just have to say that I am thanking God my dh got me a roomba for our anniversary this year!

I will say that now I can tidy up in 10...I wipe the counters, table, and whatever else is a crumby mess to the floor. Then I clean out the sink, pick up the big things, and go over and push the clean button on Roobie (the boys named him the day he came home ).

Then I get a drink, and sit on my keester while he vacuums my entire house. I have had constant clean floors since February and my house hasn't felt cluttered and crazy since either.

So I agree clean floors does make a house seems very clean!

Proud Momma of 2 boys R(6) L(4) & finally a GIRL (5/29/10)
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#14 of 31 Old 04-13-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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I agree about the clean floors.
I'm definitely neatness-challenged, as OP put it! But one of the few chores I enjoy is vaccuuming and mopping.
It makes a big difference to the room!

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#15 of 31 Old 04-14-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I did this yesterday - it's true! Thanks for the tip.
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#16 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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The only touch thing once would never work for me. I put two laundry baskets and a trash bag on the dining room table when I clean downstairs. There is an upstairs basket,downstairs baskeyt and trash. As I clean everything that needs to be relocated goes into one of those three places and at the end I walk around with the baskets and put it all away.

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#17 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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It's even better to have higher tables in a room to pile the stuff you've picked up off the floor. Then the baby/toddler can't reach it to spread it around, and as you walk around and around and around and around....and...around and around the house after them you can grab a couple items off the tables in passing and move them to the room the belong in.
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#18 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I've noticed that people tend to focus either on "clean" or "decluttered." My DH, for instance, is a "clean" guy. If the floor is swept/mopped/vacuumed and the counters wiped down and the dishes washed, he feels satisfied. He does not mind the clutter on the counters or the dining room table etc. as much. I, on the other hand, am a "declutter" girl. If I walk into the kitchen and the counters are clear, I feel happier than if I walk in and the counters are cluttered but the floor mopped and the visible counter wiped.

Obviously we both agree that having BOTH done is the IDEAL! But anyway, I suspect folks on this thread are "clean" folks. I'm not. So I still leave the floors till last, and it doesn't bother me TOO much if I don't get to them! (Obviously, crawling baby is a factor that must be considered).

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The only touch thing once would never work for me. I put two laundry baskets and a trash bag on the dining room table when I clean downstairs. There is an upstairs basket,downstairs baskeyt and trash. As I clean everything that needs to be relocated goes into one of those three places and at the end I walk around with the baskets and put it all away.
My mom is a "touch everything once" kind of person and she can't STAND how I clean. I admit I'm all over the place, I am not as effecient. But I am damn thorough (when I do clean). If I had to touch everything only once, I'd never get anything done because I'd always be wandering around, running up and down the stairs, and getting distracted.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#19 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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I'm a declutter girl too. I have GOT to have clutter free surfaces, even if it's not sparkling clean. For me,

clutter free spaces = quiet mind


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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I've noticed that people tend to focus either on "clean" or "decluttered." My DH, for instance, is a "clean" guy. If the floor is swept/mopped/vacuumed and the counters wiped down and the dishes washed, he feels satisfied. He does not mind the clutter on the counters or the dining room table etc. as much. I, on the other hand, am a "declutter" girl. If I walk into the kitchen and the counters are clear, I feel happier than if I walk in and the counters are cluttered but the floor mopped and the visible counter wiped.

Obviously we both agree that having BOTH done is the IDEAL! But anyway, I suspect folks on this thread are "clean" folks. I'm not. So I still leave the floors till last, and it doesn't bother me TOO much if I don't get to them! (Obviously, crawling baby is a factor that must be considered).



My mom is a "touch everything once" kind of person and she can't STAND how I clean. I admit I'm all over the place, I am not as effecient. But I am damn thorough (when I do clean). If I had to touch everything only once, I'd never get anything done because I'd always be wandering around, running up and down the stairs, and getting distracted.

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#20 of 31 Old 04-16-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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clutter free spaces = quiet mind
exactly!

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#21 of 31 Old 04-16-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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The only time I think the "start high and work your way to the floor" applies is if you *know* for certain that you'll be cleaning everything. That's because you usually knock dust and crumbs off of higher surfaces and it falls to the next level down. If you know that you'll finish 1 room but not the whole house, you can do the "start high and work to the floor" routine just for that room/part of the room. I do that in the kitchen but jump to floors first for the living room where there's less sweepable stuff from up high. Clean floor with toys all over the furniture is MUCH more pleasant than the reverse!

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#22 of 31 Old 04-16-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I'm sooooo bad about clutter, but I can't stand having a messy floor.

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#23 of 31 Old 04-18-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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I do top-down if I'm doing a serious cleaning, but in between (and I can go a loooong time in between), a quick sweep of the floor works wonders. De-cluttering is also important to me, but hard to do around here (multi-generational household, lots of stuff that isn't mine to tidy away!).
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#24 of 31 Old 04-18-2010, 01:22 PM
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Off on a small tangent, but I find that in bedrooms--once you make the bed and pick the laundry off the floor, the room looks good. Even if the rest isn't done. Making the bed is a wonder!

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
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#25 of 31 Old 04-18-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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For sure! I make the beds every morning for just this reason.

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Off on a small tangent, but I find that in bedrooms--once you make the bed and pick the laundry off the floor, the room looks good. Even if the rest isn't done. Making the bed is a wonder!

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#26 of 31 Old 04-20-2010, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Off on a small tangent, but I find that in bedrooms--once you make the bed and pick the laundry off the floor, the room looks good. Even if the rest isn't done. Making the bed is a wonder!
LOL, in my bedroom, that plus vacuuming and it's done! Well I guess occasionally I dust the ceiling fan or something, but usually if I get the laundry done, the bedroom is tidy by default.

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#27 of 31 Old 05-10-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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I'm going to try this today! I've been going through a bit of flu and depression and am just now starting to feel better, so it is time to tackle the messy house.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#28 of 31 Old 05-11-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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I have never even heard of the 'start high and work down' rule...luckily for me, as I have always done it the way you suggest, started with the floors. It just seems logical.

SAHM to three
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#29 of 31 Old 05-22-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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The real advantage to clearing the floors and getting all the clutter into one area to clear your surfaces for cleaning, is that you then have all your clutter in one area. Easier to see what needs a better home, what should be tossed, what should be given away, whether the missing part of this other thing is part of the group.

And it's easier to work with processing out clutter when you have a clean space.
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#30 of 31 Old 05-22-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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I agree about the clean floors thing.. I'm always doing the floors first... but I never make it to the table tops because I have all hardwood/tile and I swear you can't get that clean. I'll finish sweeping the kitchen and as soon as I set the broom down, I am stepping on crumbs again. It doesn't matter how I sweep/mop, how long it takes, if I do it TWICE.. my whole house still has gross floors. Its an evil never ending battle and I miss carpet. Its not as clean technically but gosh it can sure feel cleaner when you aren't stepping on all the ickies under the carpet that the vacuum can't get!

My houes is in a constant state of mess and chaos... the toddler can only take so much of the blame haha
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