#CleanSlate2016 · Blissful Homes

Blissful Homes: Tips on General House Cleaning

One thing I am excited about a year ending and a new one starting is the family general cleaning of the whole household. I have a mild case of OC (obsessive-compulsive). There are nights when I could not sleep thinking of endless house chores. I can’t concentrate in being productive in a dirty and messy room. I find it hard to focus in a chaotic environment. That’s me. A house general cleaning need not be done on year-end or at the start of the year. You guys can do it any time of the year, whenever you see fit. In our case, it has been a long family tradition, way back in my childhood! A tradition I value and wish to instill in my children and their future families because I truly believe in its importance and beauty.

Why is it necessary to do a general cleaning? For me, it’s because cleanliness is next to Godliness. Cleaning is a way to improve the quality not only of our homes but of our lifestyles too. Who thinks it’s a fun family bonding activity? I do. In general cleaning, I see tons of stuff I have not seen for a long time. Stuff I don’t even know I have and some I don’t even remember buying! It’s an opportunity to tune-up life, free-up some space necessary for new blessings to come in and to start the new year in a clean slate, at least physically. It’s also our chance to declutter our home, make donations, give new life to old stuff, recycle, re-use and throw away excess baggage which only bring back sad memories.

I believe in the need and power to clean. We clean our souls through confession. We clean our internal organs through detoxification. We clean our bodies through washing and bathing. We clean our hearts through forgiving. Clean living makes us healthier. Clean hands make delicious and safe food. Clean guitar fretboard makes better music. Clean minds think better. Clean machines work more efficiently and effectively. Clean lens makes good photos. That is the power in being clean!

Our first broom!
The cleaning weapons.
I miss our first home.

Let me share to you some tips on how to do a house general cleaning. I’m not an expert nor a professional cleaner. I’m not a domestic diva either but these tips are derived from my years of experience.

Prepare for the general cleaning day. Schedule it on a day when every member (or, at least, most) of the family is at home to help out. Arrange the cleaning tools and agents you’ll need. A pail, cleaning detergents, rags, broom, broomstick, dust-pan, boxes for sorting and organizing, large garbage bags and don’t forget face masks.

Start from the top to floor area. Dust-off first the ceilings and walls. That way, every dirt that will fall off will not be missed by your sweep.

Set different days for cleaning, sorting, purging and organizing. They are different tasks with different purposes. All quite hard and time-consuming. Usually, I clean first then I sort things out. From sorting, I’ll know what to purge and everything that’s left will be organized.

When sorting and organizing, compartmentalize! Never put everything out. I tell you, stuff when out in their boxes/closets can be too overwhelming. The mere sight of clutter can suck up all your energy. Try what I do, I choose what to deal with first. Will it be my bags or my clothes? Will it be the kitchen or the bathroom? The garage or the storage room? The kids’ toys or the husband’s work-area? You plan it. You schedule them one by one. Little by little you can do this! After finishing one or two groups, take a break and resume after that.

Take a quick break to recharge your batteries. Eat to restore energy and drink lots of water to hydrate. Don’t rest for too long though because you may feel lazy to return to work. A quick power nap (just like in the office) will do.

Use safe and environmentally approved cleaning products. Go for organic or natural products as much as possible and practicable. I personally like using vinegar, lemon, toothpaste and baking soda as my cleaning agents. Next time, I’ll share how I use them as cleaning agents. What’s the use of cleaning when your home won’t be safe with hazardous chemicals right after?

Play some music. Not the hard metallic type which I think will only tire you more. Not the mellow ones because it might make you sleepy. Pop, jazz and alternatives are I think great choices for background music while cleaning.

Make it fun, especially when there are kids around. Let them deal with their own room and stuff. That way you’ll be giving them the liberty and responsibility for their stuff. Teach them why it’s necessary to clean, organize and let go of their belongings.

I hope those tips help, friends! Personally, I like setting the general house cleaning at year-end. I love the feeling of starting the year light, right and mighty clean! I always love the idea of welcoming the New Year with not just new goals but with better life vision too – and a clean sanctuary may help achieve just that. Cleaning the house for me is like respecting and protecting its sacredness. Why it’s sacred? Because it’s where beautiful memories are privately made. It’s not just a shelter but a sanctuary, the one which provides perfect rest to our family. It’s a place for prayer and worship. It’s where my family and I share meals and stories. In my case, it’s where young minds are formed and characters are founded. That’s how highly I value our home. A blissful home to me is one with people living together in a safe, organized and clean house, with so much love, respect and harmony among each other and call themselves as a family.

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