If your home has been let go for a while, chances are what you need is a complete overhaul. Yeah you could do a little at a time every day, but if your husband is clocked in somewhere then you should be too. Let's spend the week getting our homes in order.
MONDAY or DAY ONE
We'll make this Kitchen Day. Most of the traffic in the house filters through this room. Start by going through the entire house hunting for dirty dishes. (Don't forget to check under the kids' beds. Don't worry. They won't mind as long as you don't mention it.) Bring all those dusty, crusty goodies to the sink. Fill that bad boy with hot, soapy water and let the worst of the dishes soak.
Meanwhile, go around your kitchen top to bottom and take everything off the walls and counters. Put all this stuff on the dining room table or the couch or the hallway floor. Get them all out of the kitchen. Now grab a bucket or big bowl and fill it with soapy water and go to work scrubbing the outsides of your cabinets. By the time you are through with that check on your dishes. If they're ready to be washed, then wash them all up one by one til you're done. If you have a dishwasher then I'm jealous and you can skip this step altogether.
At this point you might start bemoaning your station in life. I recommend turning on the radio as loud as your neighbors will bear and pop in a stick of gum. Let's keep working.
Take the grates or whatnot off the stove top and grab a plastic scrubbie or something that is going to get all that crap off the surface. Get your hot soapy water ready and let's go to town. Throw the oven knobs in the bowl of soapy water. Wash the grates in the sink doing the very best you can with them. Now scrub the whole outside of the stove including the front and hood. Wash the back-splash too. Part of doing your supper dishes from here on out will be to wipe down your stove.
Now wipe down the walls and outside of the fridge with fresh soapy water. Don't forget the light switches. It might be a good idea to clean the light cover also. If only your husband could see you now! I'm sure he would think you are one hot Mamma!
Hey, you're getting close to being done! Now for the counters. Put your clean dishes away and take the dish rack out of the sink. This next part requires a little faith. I recommend Clorox Toilet Bowl cleaner. Yes, it must be Clorox, not Lysol. Just squirt that gel evenly over the walls of the sink and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. Now grab a scrubber and wet it. Scrub that toilet bowl cleaner all over your sink envisioning a deep down clean and not what your mother-in-law would say if she knew you were using toilet bowl cleaner on your sink. Scrub and scrub for 4-5 minutes. Don't stop! You're going to be looking at a brand new sink soon. Once you are done scrubbing, rinse it really well with hot water. You will probably see some dingy spots. Squirt a little cleaner on those spots and do just as before. Let that gel sit, then scrub, and rinse. Once you are amazed at how beautiful your sink is, put some of that toilet bowl cleaner in your well-used bowl with some water. Now take a rag and slosh it over your kitchen counters. Let it sit for 5 minutes then sop it all up. Keep doing that until you are satisfied they are as clean as your sink. If you have a dishwasher now is a good time to run it empty and get it super clean.
Now, I want you to fill a glass with ice and water. Go sit on the couch and drink the whole thing. Don't get sidetracked. You are just sitting there drinking your ice water. Okay, are you ready?
Back in the kitchen and wow! Just look at what you have created! Grab all that junk you took off your counters and wipe them down. Only put back what truly adds to the room. Throw out anything else or find another place for it.
Grab some glass cleaner and clean the windows. I'm sure you have noticed you've been walking on toast crumbs and who knows what else. Sweep the floor really good and mop it or you could take a bucket of soapy water and scrub brush and scrub it good.
What a beautiful thing, ladies. It was work but tell me it wasn't worth it and don't you feel good about your kitchen? Take a minute and self-assess and see how you feel about yourself. Pretty good, huh? And I'll bet it didn't take nearly as long as you thought it would when you started looking over this article. Well done. See you tomorrow when you scroll down and move on to the next room.
TUESDAY - or DAY TWO
All rested and ready to work some magic on the next room? The next room is the bathrooms. Both if you have two.
First pull everything movable out including shampoo and conditioner bottles and such out of the shower. Get the trash can out, too. If you have a shower curtain, throw it in the washer by itself on the cold, gentle cycle. (Maybe it's time for a new one anyway.) Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner will do it's job in here as well, so have it ready.
First sweep the floor. Then get a bowl of hot water and squirt a generous amount in there and stir it up. Slosh that magic juice everywhere. The shower walls, the sink, the floor, and yes...the toilet. Leave it for a few minutes perhaps doing the other bathroom at the same time. Then scrub and scrub and think about how much fat you are burning. Repeat until the Pope could come use your bathroom, then grab up your glass cleaner and clean the mirror and shower door if you have one. Mop up the floor and go have that glass of ice water and stare at your clean kitchen.
You're all done with this room. If you haven't already, do your dishes and wipe down your counters and stove. Make sure you keep up with the kitchen. It won't take but 10-15 minutes. See you tomorrow!
WEDNESDAY - or DAY THREE
By now you are either running out of motivation or are more motivated than you've ever been. Just keep at it. It's only a week out of your life and next week will be a breeze and a pleasure.
We're in the living and dining rooms today. Take everything small and movable out of this room and put it on your bed. If you can, remove the furniture from the room. Perhaps you've been wanting to rearrange anyway. If you can't get it all out of the room, then just move a piece at a time. Take your curtains down and wash them.
Begin with the entertainment center. Vacuum underneath it and where you want it to go. Move it there and dust it down. Then move the couch, take off the cushions and vacuum it, then vacuum where it was and where you want it to go. Move through the room moving furniture and vacuuming til the last piece in in it's place. I'm sure it looks great and your family will love their new living room.
It's the little things that make a difference so get to dusting. Get all the wood in the room including baseboards. Wipe down the walls with some soapy water. Clean the windows til they sparkle and you can see the sky's true color.
Put all the decorations and pictures back wiping each one down before deciding what really needs to stay in the living room and what needs to go. Put toys back in the kids' rooms and throw those old magazines away.
For the dining room, do pretty much the same thing. Yep, it's not rocket science. It's just cleaning house and you are getting good at this. Start from the top and work your way down, vacuuming last. Dust and sing and chew your gum. You're almost done!
Just after dinner use a scented melt or candle so the room smells inviting. I'll bet your husband wonders where his wife is. Cuddle up and remember to appreciate him and all the hard work he put in today.
THURSDAY - DAY FOUR
Alright, to the master bedroom we go. First thing's first. Pull the sheets and bedspread off. Wash them. Take everything small and movable out of the room including the pictures on the walls. Start by wiping down the walls and dusting the dresser and night stands.
Use glass cleaner on the windows and mirrors. If you have curtains, wash them.
The main thin in this room is manifesting a vision. Think bed and breakfast. Can you picture yourselves cuddled up on the bed with a platter of fruit and cheeses reading to each other? No? Why not?
Wipe down everything you put back and vacuum. Don't forget to get under the bed. Before you put fresh sheets on put a couple fabric softener sheets between the mattresses.
FRIDAY - DAY FIVE
The last day, ladies. Here we are in a house that is inviting and somehow more peaceful. Amazing what a little elbow grease can do. We've hit all the major areas of your house. Now you can work on your kids' rooms, but I would recommend teaching them this technique and letting them do it themselves on Saturday.
My recommendation is to take out something really special for dinner. Let's go outside on the porch or deck and take a look around. Does it need spiffed up? Get that bucket of soapy water and let's make this place somewhere we can have a cup of coffee with our husbands. Don't forget the front door! Bang that welcome mat good. Maybe you have some old furniture you could leave out here to distress and get to looking like antiques. Put some little ceramic figurines on them. Don't junk it up, just make it inviting.
Perhaps you could mow the grass or rake the leaves. Maybe you'd like to pick out a spot for next years garden.
This afternoon spend some time in the kitchen making something really special. After dinner, take your husband outside and have a cup of coffee with him.
Congratulations! You've fully completed the Overhaul and I'm proud of you! What a wonderful feeling of self-confidence and peace you must feel! Don't forget to do a little maintenance on it every day. Follow my schedule or customize one for yourself. Run through that schedule every week and you won't have to do the Overhaul ever again.