5 Ways to Save Time on Clean-up after Renovation
After weeks or months of building and renovating your home, the last thing you want to do is spend just as long on the cleanup afterwards. Follow these tips to save time and effort on the least fun part of a renovation project!
1. If you’re not already in the middle of renovating, this is almost the most important step to take. It is the prep work. Take just a little extra time at the beginning to drape drop clothes over furniture you cannot move, or on flooring you’re not replacing. Use plastic or newspaper and painter’s tape to tape off windows, baseboards, or anything else you don’t want touched by your renovating. You will still need to clean these areas, but it will not take nearly the time or effort it would if the prep work was left undone.
2. Once you’ve started your project, clean as you go. At the end of each day, gather your tools into one area and do a fast sweep of the floors to get the majority of the dust and debris. If you notice a glob of spackle or paint where it shouldn’t be, wipe it up while it is still relatively easy to clean before it has the chance to harden. This isn’t the time for deep cleaning, but staying organized and mostly tidy will save loads of time in cleaning time after your project is done.
3. After your project is done and all the tools and equipment are put away, it’s time to take down any prep work you did. Move from the top of the room down, so that the last thing you clean are the drop cloths on the floor. Carefully move them so that you do not spill the dust and debris, and shake it out into the trash before putting it away. Clean top down as well—start with any ceiling light fixtures or crown molding, wipe down the walls, and wash the windows before cleaning the floors. It will save you from re-cleaning the floors after dust from the ceiling fan or windows falls on it.
4. Use the right cleaning tools! There are many vacuums, mops, dusters, and cleaners available, but different types are meant for different things. Some are more abrasive and shouldn’t be used on newly painted walls or finished floors, and some dusters are not meant for heavy duty dusting. There are pros and cons to each product—the wrong product will add stress and time to your cleaning job!
5. After vacuuming and mopping to get the majority of the dust and dirt, go back the next day with a fabric softener sheet. They are cheaper than electrostatic cloths and do just as well, especially after going through a dryer cycle once. Run the sheet along baseboards, window sills, or any other surface with a stubborn layer of dust.
Any type of renovation will create dirt and dust that will get caught in your air filters. Normal filter changing schedules differ depending on climate—San Diego will be different from Vancouver—but furnace filters do need replaced after a renovation project, no matter where you live so that they can continue cleaning the air you breathe every day.
Use a carpet cleaner or steam mop after using your regular mop and vacuum to deep clean the floors and catch any imbedded dust and dirt.
For greasy spots, put your slightly damp sponge in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and then use it with the cleaner of your choice to lift up the grease without tiring you out.
Use a damp rag to wipe down wood or metal furniture, and any other knickknacks that were exposed to the renovation dust. You can also use this method to wipe down your walls, but if they were recently painted avoid using too damp of a cloth because it will damage the paint.
Keep excess stress away by making your clean-up as easy as possible, so you can enjoy your newly-renovated space as soon as possible!
Candice Harding enjoys writing about the great products and technology she finds online. When she’s away from the computer, she loves riding her bike and exploring the outdoors. For more information check out Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating.
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