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Spring is finally here, it’s just too bad the weather forecast hasn’t gotten the memo.

With the conditions still feeling a little cool and breezy, it’s the perfect time to get your spring cleaning regimen out of the way. After all, once things heat up, there’s no way you’ll be wanting to stay in and sweep.

Now there’s few people who know more about spring cleaning than the folks who do it for a living. That’s why, to help make sure your routine is as efficient and painless as possible this year, we got in touch with Kim Dunn from Molly Maid. A franchise owner herself, she’s the one who trains maids on how to handle some of the most serious messes you can possibly imagine. But she was also kind enough to share some of her insider secrets with us. So, without further adieu, here’s how to clean like a pro:

Step 1: De-clutter

De-clutter

It might seem obvious, but you can’t clean with all that junk in the way, so find somewhere you can store it and get moving. “De-clutter each room. Get rid of papers. Organize,” Dunn said. A lot of the time this process just involves putting things back into their respective drawers or cabinets. But for everything else, Dunn recommends using something like a laundry basket to collect them. “It’s disposable. It’s out of the way,” she said.

Step 2: Arm yourself for the job

Colbert

Before they start cleaning any rooms, Dunn’s staff all make sure to come equipped with a maid’s bucket containing a glass cleaner, a multi-purpose cleaner, a floor cleaner and a tub and tile cleaner. Having all of those things with you at the outset will save a lot of time in the long run. Microfibre cloths are also highly recommended, because they dry streak free and don’t leave any lint behind.

Step 3: Apply the magic formula

The formula

Now we’re ready to get started. No matter what room is being cleaned, all of Dunn’s maids follow a golden formula: Top to bottom, left to right. “Everything will fall down,” Dunn said. So look up at the ceiling first. Do you see any dust webs in the corners? Get rid of them. That light that’s been collecting dirt and bugs all winter? Unscew it. Make sure you start at a specific corner of the room, and work your way to the right until you come back full circle. Then you want to clean things closer to eye level. Dresser need a scrubbing? Break out the multi-purpose cleaner. Continue working your way to the right, dusting items, washing your blinds and getting into the grooves of some of your ornate furniture. Once you reach full circle, turn your attention to the floor.

Step 4: Don’t be afraid of your vacuum’s attachments

Attachments

Dunn literally yelled this into my ear. Do not, under any circumstance, neglect your vacuum’s attachments. They literally save lives, er, living spaces. So first things first, put away the broom; professional cleaners typically don’t use them. Instead, vacuum all the floors that you can, whether they’re carpeted or not. Once finished, use the edging attachment and go around the perimeter of the room again. This will prevent dirt and dust from pressing itself into the wedges near your baseboards. And you know those hard-to-reach places you could never clean before? Use your vacuum’s crevice tool (it should be long and thin) to clear those tight spaces out for good.

Step 5: Let the cleaners do the work

Cleaners

This is especially for the bathroom. After you apply the cleaner to a surface, whether it’s a countertop or a toilet, WAIT. Just for a couple of minutes, but don’t immediately start scrubbing. The chemicals in most cleaners usually take some time to do their job, so you can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply letting the solutions sink in. And while you’re in the bathroom, take a look up at your vent (this should be one of the first things you do anyway, under the “top to bottom, left to right” method). Make sure to also clean your toothbrush holder, soap dispenser, and the area behind your toilet. And if your bathtub is coated in some serious grime, Dunn recommends a cream-based cleanser.

Other useful tips and tricks

Cleaning
  • If you’re changing your bedding, don’t forget to vacuum your mattress once the sheets have been stripped. Especially if you tend to have allergies in the morning.
  • If you really want to impress your guests, start by cleaning at the furthest part of your house, and every room you enter. This will prevent you from backtracking over carpets and areas you just cleaned. Maids literally clean their way out of a room.
  • Use eco-friendly cleaners in the kitchen, or just water and vinegar. Even though you’ll be rinsing them off, you don’t want to coat cooking surfaces with chemicals.
  • Since this is a spring cleaning, use the opportunity to clean out the areas you never get around to. Pull out your fridge and dust out the coils in the back. Change the filter in your range hood. And make good use of your vacuum’s crevice tool!

Or, you could just call Molly Maid and have the pros do it for you.

Happy spring cleaning!

The pros