The major culprits in bedrooms are dust, tracked-in dirt and clutter.
- Clockwise cleaning
Move clockwise around each room, putting away clutter and mislaid items. Stash any stuff that doesn’t belong in the room outside the door to sort and put away later.
- Dedicated dusting
Dust shelves, windowsills, blinds, lamps, tables, bureaus and TV/computer screens with a clean, damp cloth. (Dusting with a dry cloth can eventually scratch or dull the finish.) Rinse the rag regularly.
- Mirror magic
Make your mirrors and windows shine using a vinegar-and-water glass cleaner solution and a squeegee.
- Vacuum voraciously
Finish each room with a quick, surface vacuuming of upholstered chairs and sofas as well as floors. Spend a few extra seconds vacuuming near the doorways to lift out tracked-in sand and dirt. Before winter weather sets in, have your rugs and carpets professionally deep cleaned. Consider a topical soil retardant treatment to help keep those heavily used areas clean longer.
- Wipe down woods
For shiny hardwood surfaces, stay away from fancy or expensive over-the-counter cleaners. In fact, they often leave a residue that will attract even more dust. Instead, use a soft cotton or terry cloth, a 100 percent cotton diaper or a cleaning cloth. Lightly moisten the cloth with water and gently buff the surface along the grain to remove spills and fingerprints.
- Flip Your Mattress
Avoid a buildup of dust and mites by flipping your mattress twice a year: once in the spring and once at the end of summer. Vacuum the surface of the mattress and box spring before flipping it to keep it fresh and free of allergens. Clean your mattress pads and cover frequently. Once a year consider having the mattress professionally cleaned to get out odors, stains and allergens.
- Clean the Air Conditioner
Your air conditioner is probably working hard during the summer, and it’s important to maintain it by cleaning or replacing the filter, as well as cleaning the coils and vents to help it more effectively keep your home cool and remove allergens. You’ll keep it from working harder and save yourself some cash on your electricity bill.
- Swap out bedding and window treatments
Freshen the room with new or seasonally appropriate weight bed coverings. Have blankets, comforters and heavyweight window treatments professionally cleaned.