Make a clean sweep

Housework is something most people don’t like thinking about. Take the advice of the late Phyllis Diller, who would joke during her comedic routine: “Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

Well, those taking a chance usually discover that a clean home has its benefits. When a home is clean and organized, there are fewer distractions. Clean space allows the mind to relax and be more creative.

Keeping a home clean and sanitized keeps the family healthy. And there is nothing more relaxing than jumping into a bed with clean sheets and saying good night to an orderly house.

Kimberly Mazzone, who owns Kimberly’s Kleaning Service with her husband Gary, has been cleaning homes since 1994. Her “20 point check system” can apply to anyone who wants to clean his or her home, apartment or townhouse.

It includes such tasks as dusting furniture and walls; sweeping, mopping and vacuuming; cleaning the bathroom and kitchen; and emptying trash. Add a few more tasks by dusting baseboards, cleaning light fixtures and kitchen appliances, and polishing furniture. And don’t forget that clean windows add to the fresh look of a clean home.

“No two homes are alike,” Mazzone said. “A home with a family of six is different than a home with just two or three people living in it. Some homes need attention daily and others once a week, meaning just doing the laundry or cleaning the bathrooms. Paying attention to these chores can make the bigger job of cleaning the entire home that much easier.”

Mazzone has several suggestions to keep a house together.

“Maintain the kitchen and bathroom daily, as they are the two most used areas in a home. They are easier to clean when the big clean comes later in the month. And when the cleaning begins, make it a regular routine, meaning start in the same location each time and work through a prearranged route,” she said.

“Once you do it several times, you’ll know exactly what to do and how much time it’s going to take. The first time may take longer, but the second time is a little shorter and it’s even quicker the next time.”

As would be expected in Southern Nevada, dust is the biggest problem in keeping a home clean. Dust the table on Tuesday and it needs dusting again on Wednesday.

The best advice is to wipe off the dust before applying a polish or spay. Using a duster only scatters it to the floor or onto a chair.

While doing this, turn off the television and telephone. The quickest cleaning is accomplished without any distractions. However, listening to your favorite radio station or music is not a distraction.

Mazzone said a major housecleaning is an opportune time to remove items not used on a regular basis. It’s also a good time to give rooms a new look.

“We tend to collect or hoard way too much,” she said. “Less clutter makes dusting and cleaning easier, and it gives the house a more relaxed environment and makes rooms and closets look larger.

“When it’s time to clean, set a date and let the family know. Kids can pick up clothes and toys the night before, which also teaches them organization. Move furniture aside for sweeping and vacuuming. Gather all your cleaning supplies and set them aside. Then when it’s time to begin, you’re ready and so is the house.”

Another suggestion is to look around and rethink the room (or rooms) when it’s time to put everything back. Maybe a chair fits better in another corner or another room, or a framed family photo looks better on a different table. The idea is to be creative while cleaning, which can give the home a new look.

Mazzone has found that husbands or boyfriends looking for a special gift for their wives or significant other might consider a housecleaning gift certificate. It may not sound that romantic, but it is thoughtful.

“You would be surprised how many women really appreciate and enjoy this gift,” she said. “My advice is to let the company know exactly what level of cleaning you want, from just several rooms to a complete housecleaning that might include doing the laundry.

“Also, make sure the company has workers compensation and general liability. Some companies hire subcontractors and are not liable for any accidents.”

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