So Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix really got to you. After binge-watching the entire season, you spent the first month of the year organizing your closets, cupboards, and drawers, and donating anything that didn’t spark joy. Now your home is decluttered, your clothes are neatly folded, and everything has a place. But alas, the work is not complete. Your next (and final) step is to get rid of dust, dirt, and potential allergens. I'm talking about a deep clean.
Deep cleaning is actually nowhere near as intense as the name makes it sound, especially once you break it down into manageable steps. If you can stay even vaguely organized and follow this step-by-step guide, the whole process is actually pretty painless. Here's a full rundown on how to make deep cleaning way easier—and how to conquer two particularly stressful chores without breaking a sweat.
Get organized with a checklist
Simple as it sounds, creating a checklist will make the whole process so much easier. If you’re a visual person like me, take a stroll through your home and jot down everything that could use a good clean. This will range from large appliances like your oven and refrigerator, to furnishings like your carpets, upholstered furniture, and countertops. Once you have that list, group everything together by task type. For example: laundry (cleaning your shower curtain, bath mat, and kitchen towels); wipe-downs (for cabinets, surfaces, and stovetops); scrubbing (toilets, sinks, and shower walls); and vacuuming (carpets, tiled floors, under the bed, and baseboards).
Make a schedule that works for you
Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s easy to slot them into your schedule—even if that means tackling just a couple of items per day. Because I live in a one-bedroom apartment, it’s easy to knock out an entire task group in one afternoon because the whole thing takes just an hour or two. If you have a bigger home, deep cleaning will probably take a bit longer, so you might want to split up the tasks by room or by floor over the span of a couple of weeks.
Assemble your cleaning kit
Having a checklist also makes it much easier to understand what you need to get the job done. A basic cleaning kit should include gloves, an all-purpose cleaner, a special cleaner for mirrors and glass, disinfectant (like a spray or wipes), furniture polish (if you have wooden furniture), microfiber cleaning cloths, sponges, paper towels, a mop, and a good vacuum with attachments—I find a dust brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool (which is great for hard-to-reach places like in between furniture, window tracks, or the lint vent in your washing machine) to be the most useful for deep cleaning.
Rent equipment for major cleaning projects
Local hardware stores, home improvement stores, and even some grocery stores rent out large cleaning appliances by the hour or day. You can rent a floor polisher, furniture steamer, or pressure washer for situations where elbow grease just won’t do the trick.
Clean upholstery by yourself (yes, you can!)
Think that cleaning your upholstered furniture is a task for the professionals? Think again—the process is super straightforward. Step one: Take any cushions off your furniture and use your vacuum's upholstery attachment to suck up crumbs, dust, and pet hair. Then check the tag on your furniture (or look it up on the internet) to see if there are any specific care instructions.
If the care tag says steam is okay, move on to step two: Use a professional steamer (a handheld clothing steamer also works) to kill bacteria and lift smells from the fabric. Steam an inconspicuous corner first to do a spot check (in case something weird happens), then simply hover your steamer about six inches from the fabric and eject steam as you move the tool over the furniture (move as if you were vacuuming). Once you’re done, let everything dry for at least one hour.
Don’t forget about the window treatments
Curtains and blinds can get very dusty, so it’s really in your best interest to clean them regularly (you don’t want to breathe in all that grime!). You can easily dust blinds using a tube sock, tongs with socks on the ends, or—the easiest—a vacuum with a dust brush attachment (you can also vacuum shades using this attachment). If your curtains are machine washable, wash them on a cold cycle, and lay them flat or hang them on a line to dry. And if the idea of taking down your curtains is just too much (I feel you), try vacuuming them with an upholstery attachment to get rid of dust, followed by a quick steam to lift bacteria.
Looking for a vacuum that works well for all types of floors? Check out the Miele HomeCare Collection to find the vacuum that is best suited for your needs.