You will need:
- Bags or boxes for items that belong elsewhere
- Garbage bag
- Cleaning cloths
- Furniture polish (make your own if you like)
- Window or glass cleaner (another you can make yourself)
- Long-handled duster (see notes below)
- Lint brush
- Vacuum cleaner with upholstery, floor and crevice attachments
- (Optional: Homemade air freshener spray or gel)
- First, perform the tasks for a daily bedroom tidy, but don’t bother making the bed.
- Collect all items that don’t belong in the bedroom and put them in one bag/box to discard.
- Gather up any knickknacks or other items you no longer want to keep. Put them in a second bag/box to donate.
- Pick up all trash, including any under the bed, nightstand or dresser, and put it in the garbage bag. Discard.
- Remove the drapes or curtains, which gather a frightening amount of dust over a year. Take them to the laundry room if they’re washable (check the label), or to your car if they need dry-cleaning. Alternatively, shake them outside to dislodge dust and hang in a non-sunny spot to air out.
- Strip the bed of all linens, including pillows, but not the mattress cover. Take to laundry room or dry cleaner, based on the label’s instructions.
- Dust the ceiling fan using a long-handled duster. I bought a multi-head cleaning kit with 8-foot extension pole that I just love for this purpose; it has a bristled head that slips right over fan blades. Alternatively, you can slide a pillow case over the blades and run the edge back and forth — the dust will fall right into the case. Just shake it outside when you’re done.
- Remove any pictures from the walls and place them on the bed.
- Dust in order from top to bottom, left to right, starting at the door: ceiling, window moldings, around windows, walls, corners, then baseboards.
- Using a dry cloth, dust the picture frames. Spray glass cleaner onto a clean, dry cloth and wipe the fronts of the pictures. Rehang.
- Clean the inside of the windows, then any other glass surfaces in the room.
- Strip the mattress cover from the bed and take it to the laundry room.
- Dust all remaining knickknacks, lamps and pictures.
- Remove the shade from lamps and wipe down the light bulb with glass cleaner. (Just be sure the bulb is cool first. Run the lint brush over the inside and outside of the lamp shade and return.
- Remove any sticky buildup on your wood furniture. Now is a good time to cover any scratches in your wood furniture, too.
- Using the upholstery tool for your vacuum’s hose attachment, vacuum the top of the mattress. Flip and rotate the mattress, then vacuum the top again.
- Using the floor attachment, vacuum beneath your bed and other furniture. (If you can move them, do so. Be sure to dust the wall behind them before you vacuum, too.
- Using the crevice attachment, vacuum around the base of the walls to remove dust buildup.
- Vacuum the floor.
- Treat any stains on the carpeting and let dry, then vacuum again.
- Return dried drapes or curtains to the windows.
- Empty the trash can and wash it outside using 1 cup hot water, 1/2 cup white vinegar and a stiff scrub brush. Rinse well and let dry. (Keep your trashcan clean by lining it with a plastic grocery bag, or by placing a paper towel on the bottom.)
- Spray the room with air freshener or set out a gel air freshener with your favorite scent.
- Wash your linens according to the label instructions. Return them to your bed when they’re completely dry.
- Return all items that belong in other rooms, and you’re done!
Sleep tight now, you’ve earned it.
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