Why “Order of Operations” Matters When It Comes to Cleaning

published Jan 25, 2019
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(Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck)

The January Cure is all about refreshing and organizing your home for 2019. We tackle one assignment each weekday throughout the entire month. It’s not too late to sign up, and you can visit the Cure page to catch up with the assignments so far.

Work smarter, not harder. Cleaning and organizing a home is already such a labored process, there’s no reason to make it tougher on yourself—and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you clean out of order.

The best advice I have for what order you should clean your home is simple: Clean top to bottom. Start with the ceiling fan before you clean the dining room table. And clear the coffee table before you vacuum the rug. You see, dirt and dust are not exempt from the law of gravity. So unless you’ve found unicorn cleaning tools that manage to keep every molecule within their grasp (in which case, do tell), some filth will always trickle down to whatever’s below the item you’re cleaning.

In other words, if you do the floors first, you’ll just have to clean them again later, after you wipe crumbs off the counter and dust the light fixtures.

So I decided that this year’s Cure would end the same way your daily cleaning routine should: By tackling the floors last.

Yes, this is it! The final weekend assignment of the January Cure.

(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

Today’s Assignment: Clean the floors and treat yourself to flowers.

First, treat yourself to flowers.

Then, clean the floors throughout your home. Vacuum or beat your rugs and sweep and mop all the floors, moving things out of the way as needed as you go to get a truly thorough clean.

This could take a while, but trust me when I say it’ll make a huge difference in how clean your home feels (and actually IS). Turn on some music or a podcast, set your mind to it, and see how quickly you can get it done.

The last few days of the Cure are ahead next week. There’s one more (super satisfying) organizing project, then just a few things to do to reset your space before we close the month.

How are you feeling?

Download the printable PDF calendar: January Cure 2019

Share your progress on Instagram: #thejanuarycure