Clean With Purpose

Even the glamour of the most expertly designed home can’t shine with dust bunnies lurking in the corners or the daily clutter that quickly piles up in a home. Two local experts provide their favorite tips to help keep a home neat and tidy.

Getting started is most of the battle, says Tracie Bennett, founder of Clean Freaks of Tulsa. Even with 12 years of professional cleaning experience, Bennett says that after a long day, she has to find that “push” to help her tackle her chores at home. “I need to be inspired,” she confesses. “I think about how I can get a good workout while I clean my house. Then, I fill the sink with some nice smelling soap.”

Not many want to spend hours cleaning their home. Speed the process with a well-organized home.

“It is important that everything goes to a specified location. Make it easy to put things away,” says Amy Bates, owner of Merry Maids in Tulsa. “Then, you aren’t wasting time constantly reorganizing. It’s a lot quicker to clean in a clutter-free room.”

It’s also important to limit the amount of stuff in your home. Bennett recommends a yearly clean out.

Having the right tools handy is almost as important as organization. With a well-organized caddy, you can make quick work of any room.

“We can clean a whole lot faster since we aren’t running around gathering supplies,” explains Bates. “It’s easy to get distracted that way. Have a dry kit for rooms without water and a kit for the bathroom.”

Stock the kit with multi-purpose products. “I love using vinegar,” says Bates. “Most people stay away because of the odor, but it dissipates almost immediately. Vinegar can clean almost anything. Heat it to clean heavy soap scum. Use it to deodorize smelly socks and musty towels. Clean windows and counter tops without the harsh chemicals.

“Do not use vinegar on marble or unsealed natural stone,” she cautions.

Pair multi-purpose products with the perfect tools. “Microfiber cloths are great,” says Bates. “They pick up everything.” But, don’t add fabric softener or dryer sheets when washing them, or you remove their pick-up power.

Bennett’s go-to tool is a good vacuum.  You can quickly undo your efforts if your vacuum isn’t doing its job. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money,” says Bennett. “There are some great options under $500.”

Now you are ready to plan your attack. Find a routine that works for your schedule and personality.

“Having a system that works is very critical,” advises Bates.

Bennett tackles high-traffic areas like the living room, bathroom and kitchen, daily. “Then, I add in one special project like cleaning the blinds,” she says.

Bates’ approach is slightly different. “Your daily task should be your high traffic areas,” agrees Bates. “Wipe counters, sinks and glass doors. Vacuum weekly, maybe more if you have kids and pets.”

Then, she tackles one room a month, giving it a deep, thorough cleaning.