Most people spring clean. Not me. I was a million months pregnant. I had teh stupid gall bladder and teh diabetes. Spring cleaning? Not gonna happen. And, to be honest, spring is just spring. I mean, it’s great but nothing about it screams to me that it’s time to clean the house from top to bottom.
However, the start of the school year feels more like New Year than Janurary 1st and I decided that this year, I’m going to fall clean the crap out of this place. I even hired a temporary rubbish bin from skiphirecomparison.co.uk which they’ll haul away with the rubbish once I’m done.
I’m a messy. Seriously. House cleaning just isn’t what I do and it’s not what I like. I do it because I don’t want anyone to take my kids away because the house is filthy. Otherwise, I’d live in semi-squallor. There’s a post here waiting to be written about how my inability to quickly clean is due to a case of raging perfectionism. It’s like if you give a pig a pancake (if you clean up the toys, you’ll notice that the toy bin needs to be purged and organized. While you’re doing that, you’ll find a winter hat and realize you need to have the kids try on the selection of winter clothes to make sure you’re not cramping the winter clothes bin with unneeded things. While you’re doing that, you’ll notice that the books in the bookcase are messy and need to be reodered. You’ll start straightening them when you remember a pile of wayward books on the end table. When you get there, you’ll notice that the end table needs to be dusted. You get the picture, right?)
But this is about using my own “special” kind of perfectionism to fall clean and I’m starting with the foyer. Why? Well, for starters it’s the first room you walk into and if my house is anything like YOUR house, my foyer becomes a catch all for the things we carry into the house with us. We can pile a bookcase up feet high. And don’t get me started on the coat closet.
So, here’s my list of how to fall clean your foyer.
Make like Eminem and clean out your closet
We have a teensy tiny coat closet. It matches the rest of our teensy tiny house. It’s imperative that we keep it as neat and tidy as possible. But, you know how kids are. They don’t put things away, hang up the coats all half assed, etc, etc. We have a shoe organizer, but the shoes don’t always make their way in.
Stuff also ends up in our closet that doesn’t belong. I removed an atlas, two keyboards and a Communion dress.
This is also a good time to get your winter coats that need to be dry cleaned from last season into the cleaners. Plenty of time to have them cleaned and returned by cold weather.
I remove everything from the closet and sweep it out. I also re-hang all the coats/snowpants/snow suits and make sure I button the collars to keep them on their hangers. I nestle the matched shoes into their cubbies and only return things to the shelf that it makes sense to return there; our hip hammock, the dog’s leashes and extra collars, etc.
If it doesn’t fit you must….toss it.
Or if it’s in bad shape and you won’t wear it or just flat out don’t need it, move it along. I make sure to clean out my hat and glove bin. I removed a few too small hats (donate), two unmatched gloves (tossed) I took out a couple of outgrown coats that will be packed away until Baby Bee is big enough to wear them.
Return things to their home
Meaning, if it doesn’t belong in your foyer, it needs to get out of there. My foyer is pretty tiny, my storage space is very limited. I can’t really have extraneous things hanging out in there. We LOVE to dump things in our foyer, particularly on the book case.
I know you’re thinking holy shit! What a mess. That was everything purged from the closet and book case that didn’t belong.
Sort and Purge and clean any furniture
We do keep things in the foyer. On the bookcase. I blogged about it. It’s a great piece and fits our needs. I removed everything, wiped off every shelf and sorted and purged the books. A few that I could donate, a few in very, very poor repair that were taking up space and couldn’t be repaired enough to be useful again. My small storage vase for cords and keys was holding a few extra things as well, so I removed them to a more fitting place.
If it doesn’t move, clean it.
Yeah, clean it all. Wipe down the doors. They’re probably filthy unless you wipe them off regularly. Wipe off your doorknobs, switch plates and outlet covers too. Dust and dirt accumulates on them. If you have art on the wall, pull it off and wipe it down too, dust frames and remove cob webs.
Clean off your threshold too. Ours was pretty dirty and your probably is as well unless you regularly clean it. Windex the glass and use a toothbrush if you need to do clean off any grime in small places. We have textured molding on our sidelights and the dirt cakes in there. An old, spare toothbrush and a little bit of pine-sol and things are squeaky clean.
Make sure to wash any rugs or runners as well. They’re bound to be dirty even if you do wash them frequently. Consider wiping off your lighting fixtures,too. You could even turn estimating the amount of accumulated bugs into a fun family activity. ;) We have a cold air intake and a register vent in our foyer too and a good cleaning is necessary for them as well. You can even use your vaccum or a shop-vac to vacuum out any dust/dirt/hair/change/etc that has accumulated inside your vent as well. We always have a small assortment of fun goodies lurking down there.
Get on your knees
This is the worst part. I don’t like it, but it’s necessary. It’s time to scrub the foyer floor. On your hands and knees. I use a bucket with pine-sol and a dish rag. I get along the baseboards and use my finger (or you could use a tooth brush) to make sure to dig out any built up or caked on dirt or hair. Wipe down the baseboards at this time too. Make sure to get along room thresholds and along stairs if you have any.
Make a repair/replace list
This might not be the time to do any major repairs, but if you notice things that need to be addressed, this is the time to make a list. I have a couple of burned out lightbulbs that we’ll replace when we have the ladder out to clean the light fixtures. We also need to either paint or replace our front door and that goes onto the list too for consideration (you never know when something you can’t pass up will show up on craigslist).
As a note to messies, unless you’re foyer is huge it really won’t take much time to do this. Split out over the course of a few days or even a week means it can be done in just a few minutes a day. Here’s my squeaky clean foyer. You can still see that the floor is still wet from the hands and knees scrubbing.
Up next? The Powder Room