The Rules of Speed Cleaning: Rule #12

Welcome back! If you are just joining us in our Speed Cleaning series, we're glad you're here!

You're not too late, but be sure to read over the previous rules before you move on to Rule #12.

Speed Cleaning Rule #12: Use both hands.

Your work force is half idle if one hand is doing all the work. Finish one step with one hand and start the next step with the other. Or, wipe with one hand while the other steadies the object. I promise that using both hands will be faster and more efficient. If you don't believe me, try it. Go ahead. Try cleaning your home with one hand behind your back. How did that work out for you? Now try cleaning your home with both hands, making sure that they both have something to do the whole time. Now, how did that work out for you? It was a lot easier and faster, wasn't it?

When cleaning Cupboards and counters you will generally be using two cloths (and two hands). Carry the drier cloth over your shoulder so it’s easy to reach. When that cloth gets too damp for streakless cleaning (chrome fixtures, glass, etc.) but is still usable for general wiping, hang it out of an apron pocket between uses, and sling a fresh dry cloth from your apron supply over your shoulder.

Spray and wipe the countertop area in front of you. (Pick up your carryall tray, spray and wipe the counter underneath it, and replace the tray.) Work from back to front, moving items to clean beneath and behind them. The “items” we’re talking about are the sugar, flour, and tea canisters, the toaster, the food processor, and so forth. The spice rack may get moved to dust behind it, but that’s all. Dealing with those individual containers is not Maintenance Cleaning, so just hit at the spice containers with your duster.

When moving items on the counter, move them straight forward just far enough to wipe the counter behind them. Before you move these items back into place, now is the time to dust or wipe them. Dust them if that is all they need since that is the faster option. Now move them back, wipe the counter where they were and continue on down to the drawers below.

The drawer knobs or the cabinet handles are often easier to clean by using your toothbrush in the tight areas rather than by trying to fit your cleaning cloth into a small or awkward place. The toothbrush is in your apron and is perfect for corners and other areas difficult to clean with a cloth alone. Use the toothbrush and your Red Juice, and then wipe dry. After you’ve cleaned them with the toothbrush, a quick wipe with a cloth will suffice for many future cleanings. As you work your way around the kitchen, you will do a lot of spraying and wiping, spraying and wiping. Usually you can do this with the spray bottle in one hand and a cloth in the other.

Question of the week: Are there times when you feel like two hands aren't enough and you need three?

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