The amount of cleaning a professional can get done in a short space of time may seem amazing. When we try to clean our own homes we often get bogged down in trivial tasks, such as sorting out the kitchen drawers or organising old magazines. Add to this the constant distractions of phone calls, visitors knocking at the door, or seeing to the needs of our family, and it’s hard to see how we manage to get anything done at all. A professional cleaner doesn’t suffer from any of these hindrances, which is why they can work so well. Here are our top tips to help you clean like a pro.
1. Draw up a to-do list
The night before your big clean, think about what you want to accomplish. Write a list of tasks for the next day before you go to bed. According to research by psychologists, writing such a to-do list makes it significantly more likely that the jobs will get done.
2. Don’t get side-tracked
Stick to your list; distractions are your biggest enemy. Don’t allow yourself to start sorting out drawers, cupboards or magazine stands when there are bigger jobs on your list still to be done. If a job isn’t on your list, don’t do it.
3. Ditch the kids
It doesn’t matter how you manage it – get their dad to take them to the park, drop them off at granny’s house, hire a child minder for a few hours, or set up a play date at a friend’s house – just find a way to get the little people out from under your feet while you clean.
4. Straighten things out before you start
Before a professional cleaner comes round, you would usually clear things out of the way and get the house set up for them to clean easily. Do yourself the same favour. Tidy things away the evening before, and set out all the cleaning supplies you will need. This way, you can get straight to work when you are ready in the morning.
5. Keep your equipment at hand
Bringing your supplies with you as you go from room to room can make a big difference in terms of efficiency. No matter what the clever marketing campaigns tell you, you don’t need a lot of expensive cleaners for every different surface. Most rooms can be cleaned using soapy water, or a mixture of water and white vinegar. Carry your supplies in a bucket, so you don’t have to keep running back and forth to the cleaning cupboard.
6. Don’t break up your routine
Give your cleaning your full attention. If you break from your routine it wastes time. You will become disorganised, and chances are, you will leave tasks half done. Always finish the task you have started before moving on to anything else – and try not to do anything other than the jobs on your list. If necessary, unplug the phone and switch of your mobile while you clean.
7. Set yourself a time frame
Real professionals have a time limit. They are paid for a set amount of time, so they must have the job completed by then in order to build a good reputation and avoid working unpaid overtime. Set yourself a time limit for each task and work to this as strictly as possible. This will keep you motivated. Do remember to schedule a short 10 minute break in the middle of your ‘shift’ though.
8. Give yourself a reward
Of course, professional cleaners get paid. Money is a powerful motivating factor. No one is going to pay you for cleaning your own home, but you can reward yourself with a special treat for a job well done. You might even think about rewarding yourself by hiring a professional once a month, so you can take the day off and pamper yourself.