Whether you call it the living room or the family room, or have one of each like we do, something about sofas and lounging attract clutter, dust and dirt. Although a daily cleaning routine can keep these areas looking nice, it’s good to give them a thorough going-over once a year. Here’s how.
You will need:
- A long handled duster (I bought mine from Amazon because it has different attachments for different cleaning jobs.)
- Cleaning cloths
- Glass cleaner (or make your own)
- Furniture polish (or use a homemade mix)
- A clean broom
- Three bags or boxes marked “Elsewhere”, “Donate” and “Trash”)
- A vacuum with upholstery, dusting and crevice attachments
Let the light in:
- Remove the curtains or drapes. Take them to the laundry room if they’re washable, or to the car if they need a trip to the dry-cleaners.
Start with the small chunks.
- Pick up any items that belong in other rooms and place them in the “Elsewhere” bag/box. Set aside.
- Gather knickknacks, books, and other items you no longer want to keep and put them in the “Donate” box/bag. Set aside.
- Pick up all trash from surfaces as well as from under the sofa and other furniture. Set aside. Toss old magazines, or take them to your recycling bin.
Work top to bottom:
- Dust the ceiling fan. My long-handled duster has a bristle brush that slips right over the blades, making this easy. If yours doesn’t, use your duster or try slipping a pillow case over the blade and running it back and forth to catch the dust. Either way, shake the dust outside.
- Remove artwork from the walls.
- Dust, in order: the ceiling, corners, top of window frames, walls, window casings and sills, then baseboards.
- Using a clean cloth, dust the artwork. Polish glass picture fronts with a light spray. Return artwork to walls
Move on to soft furniture:
- Remove pillows and cushions from the sofa. Take them outside and give them a good beating with a clean broom. Let them air out while you return to work inside.
- Pull the furniture out from the wall. (Get help if you need it!) Dust the wall behind the furniture, including the baseboard.
- Using the vacuum’s upholstery attachment, vacuum the sofa and chairs. Be sure to get the back as well as the sides. Use the crevice attachment to get into any nooks and crannies, then run the vacuum on the floor where the chair/sofa was before returning it to its place.
- Return the sofa and chair cushions/pillows.
- Starting at the door and working to your left, remove every item from horizontal surfaces, then start dusting everything. Dust fronts, backs, sides of tables. Dust knickknacks before returning them to their place. Remove lampshades and dust them. Dust lightbulbs (and run a cloth sprayed lightly with glass cleaner over the bare bulb; just make sure it’s cool first.) Pick up electronics and dust beneath them. Dust their cords, too. (Now is a good time to organize the cords to prevent future dust accumulation.)
Pay extra attention to wood furniture.
- Now is a good time to remove sticky buildup from wood furniture.
- Check for, and fix scratches in your wood furniture, too.
Make it shine.
- Spray and clean the inside of your windows.
- Clean all other glass surfaces in the room, too.
Now for the vacuuming.
- Return the curtains to the shiny, clean windows.
- Straighten any remaining magazines, books, etc.
- Consider spraying the room with homemade air freshener or setting out a pot of homemade air freshener gel.
- Take items for donation to your car so you can drop them off with your favorite charity. (Get a receipt, and be sure to file it properly for next year’s taxes!)
- Put away items that belong in other rooms.
- Throw away the trash.
Now, enjoy your nice clean living and/or family room!