The task of cleaning a neglected house can be much more than a regular tidy-up, especially if it’s a property that hasn’t been lived in for a long time. It requires a significant amount of time, effort, and effective strategy to convert the space from disregarded to delightful.
1. Preliminary Inspection
Before starting the actual process, it’s important to conduct an initial walkthrough of the house to evaluate the state of each room. This phase will provide a holistic picture of the project and thus, help you develop a detailed cleaning plan. You may want to make a note of areas that require extensive work, be it deep cleaning, repairs, or decluttering.
2. Gather Your Equipment
Next, it’s time to gather the tools and materials you’ll need. Basic cleaning supplies include:
- Heavy-duty rubbish bags
- Clean cloths and sponges
- Duster and dust mop
- Bucket and mop
- Different types of cleaning agents (disinfectant, degreaser, window cleaner, etc.)
In case the house is in a severe state of neglect, you might need personal protective equipment like gloves, goggles, and masks to protect yourself against dust, mold, and other potential hazards.
3. Start with De-Cluttering
The first step of the process should be clearing out any clutter, old furniture, or unwanted items. Start with one room at a time and sort everything into categories: retain, donate, recycle or trash. This step will give you more room and clarity to work with.
4. Deep Clean Room by Room
Once you’ve cleared away the clutter, start with deep cleaning. It’s often advised to follow a specific order: begin at the top and move down. Dust off the ceiling, light fixtures, and clean the walls before tackling items at a lower height, finally cleaning the floor. This helps prevent repeating the cleaning process and keep things efficient.
Also, pay attention to windows. They can significantly improve the atmosphere and brightness of the room when they are sparkly clean. A solution of white vinegar and water can be a great natural cleaner for windows.
Don’t forget about appliances if you have any. Empty, defrost, and clean the refrigerator. Deep clean the oven, dishwasher, washing machine, and other appliances as well.
5. Attend to the Bathroom(s) and Kitchen
These rooms usually require special attention. Scrub the sinks, bathtub, and toilet with a good disinfectant. Also, remember to clean the cabinets and countertops. In the kitchen, pay attention to cleaning appliances, kitchen counters, and other surfaces.
6. Deal with Any Odors
After the visual aspects are dealt with, focus on tackling unpleasant odors. Often airing out the space can help. Baking soda is a great odor absorber and can be used on carpets and in the fridge or other zones where a stubborn smell lingers.
7. Regular Maintenance
Once the house is clean, regular maintenance can prevent it from becoming neglected again. A regular cleaning schedule will make sure your newly tidied house continues to sparkle and shine.
The key to cleaning a neglected house is patience, perseverance, and a systematic approach. It’s no small endeavor, but the results can be extremely rewarding. A house, neglected or not, carries immense potential, and giving it a good deep clean can significantly enhance its charm, livability, and appeal.
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.