The 3-Word Cleaning Strategy that's a Shortcut to Spotless

The 3-Word Cleaning Strategy that's a Shortcut to Spotless

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Caroline Biggs
Oct 17, 2016

When it comes to housekeeping, few people know the ropes as well as Durk Johnson. In addition to serving as the executive director of Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP)—a national organization that specializes in housekeeping principles and procedures—he has over fifteen years experience in cleaning luxury rentals around the world. Recently, Johnson shared his simple but fail-safe approach to quick and quality housekeeping, and it all boils down to one straightforward step.

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Follow the Wall

The "Follow the Wall" strategy essentially suggests that by using your walls as a roadmap to guide your housekeeping—even touching the wall as you move from room to room—you'll ensure that every single part of your space is looked at in a systematic and streamlined way. This means all those easy-to-forget spots like under the bed, behind the sofa, and inside the hallway closet won't ever be ignored because you've implemented an orderly routine that guarantees you won't miss a single thing. Meanwhile, you'll be adhering to an expert process that makes cleaning so much more time-efficient and effective.

Read on for some insider scoop that will have you cleaning like a pro in no time:

1. Start from the top of the wall to bottom.

Basically, Johnson advises to start by scanning the top corner of each wall and continuing all the way down to the base board as a guide for working your way through every room. This way, all the furnishings you come into contact will be inspected and you won't have to worry about ignoring any spots.

2. Save the kitchen for last.

Johnson advises tackling your kitchen at the end of your cleaning routine because it's often the most arduous. This ensures the rest of your place will get a thorough evaluation before the finish line and help you figure out what hand to follow the wall with.

3. Use furnishings to forge "invisible walls."

To avoid missing any major furnishings that happen to be centrally located in your space, Johnson suggests making invisible walls between the surfaces of your furnishings—think: countertop edges, sofa arms, and changes in floor patterns—to create a continuum. Otherwise, you might end up overlooking your coffee table, center island, or any other furniture in the middle of a room.

4. Approach large pieces of furniture from the bottom-up.

According to Johnson, complicated furnishings like armoires, dressers, and china cabinets, are best tackled from the bottom up. By starting at the base of an oversized object and working your way up, you'll forge a steady flow that keeps you moving quickly but ensures you won't forget any drawers or surfaces while you're doing so.

5. Divide rooms into separate cleaning projects.

Treating each room of your home—or each floor if your house is multi-level—as its own individual project is an easy way to simplify the oft-overwhelming task of cleaning. Johnson suggests approaching each room independently, taking short breaks in between, to stay steady and focused with a finish line in sight.

→ You can check out Durk Johnson's full post on the Properly blog.

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