If you are just joining us in our Speed Cleaning series, welcome!
You're not too late. Be sure to read over the previous rules before you move on to Rule #3.
Speed Cleaning Rule #3: Work from top to bottom. Always. Period. Don't argue.
Have you ever cleaned your counters, dusted the tops of your cabinets and cleaned your counters again?
Dirt follows the laws of gravity just like anything else. When you start at the top and work to the bottom, you won’t be constantly re-cleaning surfaces with dirt from above. Applying Rule #3 will ensure that you won't have to clean the counters twice in one cleaning session.
The places that often don't need cleaning are the vertical surfaces of the kitchen (the front of the cabinets, for example). The horizontal surfaces like the flat top of the counter will need cleaning every time. We have Newton to thank for this principle, plus his falling apple, gravity, and such.
We are not proposing an excuse to be lazy or to skip things that need to be cleaned. Rather, the idea is to learn to be fast and efficient and aware of what you are doing. That includes not cleaning clean areas.
Keeping Rule #3 in mind, we're going to transition to dusting. No matter where you are dusting in the house, always work high to low. Dust follows a relentless gravitational path downward, diverted only temporarily by air currents. Unless you have a healthy respect for this physical reality, you will find yourself redoing your work constantly.
You will have an understandable human impulse first to dust what's right in front of you or what's interesting or what's easy to reach. Instead, train yourself to look upward toward molding, tops of picture frames, and light fixtures first, always checking for cobwebs. Look all the way to the ceiling each time you advance to check for cobwebs. Spiders like corners. When you see a cobweb, grab your feather duster from your back pocket, mow down the cobweb, replace the duster and proceed.
If you use proper technique with the feather duster, you will move most dust quickly from wherever it was to the floor, where it will be vacuumed away. Poor technique will throw a lot of dust into the air and contribute to the poor reputation unjustly suffered by feather dusters. Most dusting motions are fast, steady motions over the surface being dusted “ a picture frame, for example. At the end of the dusting motion (i.e., at the end of the picture frame), bring the duster to a dead stop. Don't let the feathers flip into the air at the end of a stroke, thereby throwing all the dust into the air, where it will stay until you ™ve finished cleaning and then settle back on all the furniture you ™ve just finished cleaning.
Now that you know Rule #3 and the proper way to dust, grab your feather duster and get your dusting on!
Question of the week: What is your favorite room in the house to clean?