There are a couple keys to clean regardless of the size of home: knowledge and an eye-for-detail. One acquires a lot of knowledge working around homes for 25-years. Groundwork Construction Cleaning (GWCC), the parent company of Hammerhead Squeegee, has cleaned everything from cozy condos to 10,000 square foot homes.

We faced every imaginable circumstance when it comes to cleaning homes.  The practicality and effectiveness of the Hammerhead Squeegee emerged after cleaning literally thousands and thousands of windows. The numbers are similarly mind boggling after cleaning every room, appliance and fixture in thousands of homes. We also witnessed some of the best, worst and most comical examples of how to move-in or out of a home. All that experience in all those homes over 25-years equals a lot of know-how.

This page offers a treasure trove of tips and hacks whether you are cleaning or moving home – please bookmark and share.


5 Cleaning Tips That Would Make McGyver Smile

1. Clean Your Ceiling Fan

You will need:
• A pillowcase
• A ladder
• Dusting spray (optional) 
Directions: Spray the inside of your pillowcase with dusting spray (this will help clean the blades AND help repel more dust from accumulating), climb ladder, and cover fan blade with pillowcase. Then, gather the top of the case together and slide it off of the blade, taking all the dirt and grime with you. Repeat on all fan blades. This chore used to take lots of time, effort, and paper towels. Not anymore. Have pillowcase, will clean!
  

2. Clean and Freshen Your Mattress 

While it’s impossible to wash your mattress, this cleaning trick will have it smelling and feeling fresh in no time!
You will need:
• Baking soda
• Essential oil (optional)
• Vacuum cleaner with furniture attachment
Directions: Strip the mattress of all bedding. Put a cup of baking soda into a container with a tight-fitting lid, add 4-5 drops of your favorite essential oil (I love lavender!), replace the lid, and shake!

Now sprinkle the mattress liberally with the baking soda mixture. Allow the baking soda to sit on the bed for an hour or two. This allows the baking soda time to soak up any body oils. Then, use the vacuum’s furniture cleaning attachment to vacuum up the baking soda. Go over it several times, in different directions, to ensure optimal results. 
Your mattress is refreshed, and the lingering smell of the lavender essential oil will ensure a good night’s sleep!

3. Tub & Shower Cleaner 

How many hours have you spent scrubbing the soap scum on your tub or shower without success? I began to accept that soap scum was just something I had to live with until I tried this: I call it my Tub & Shower Soap Scum Buster.

You will need:
• A spray bottle
• 2 parts white distilled vinegar
• 1 part dishwashing liquid (I used Sunlight)
Measure out the vinegar. For a 24 ounce bottle, use 16 ounces vinegar and 8 ounces Dawn. Heat the vinegar in the microwave until it is hot, then pour into the spray bottle. Add the Sunlight and gently shake to mix. 
Next, spray your shower down and walk way. The longer it sits, the less actual scrubbing you need to do. I usually let it sit for an hour or two and then go back with a scrub brush and lightly scrub the scum away! 
Note: A little goes a long way! The first time I used this, I used too much and spent a lot of time and water rinsing the suds away. Make sure the area is well-ventilated, or if it’s a small bathroom without a window, turn on the fan.

 

 

4. How to Clean Your Dishwasher 

First, pull the bottom rack out and examine the drain area; make sure there are no hard chunks that can plug the drain, cause damage to the pump, or scratch dishes. You’d be surprised at what dishwasher repair people find….bones, crab shells, chips of glass, even pieces of gravel!
Second, place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using the hottest water possible, run the dishwasher through an entire cycle. Except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be completely empty. The vinegar will help wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitize, and remove odors.
Finally, after using the vinegar to sanitize the inside of your dishwasher, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and run it through a short but complete cycle, once again using the hottest water. The baking soda will remove any odors, and remove any stains.
Optional: If you have problems with mold and mildew, add 1/2 to 1 cup bleach in the bottom of the dishwasher and run another full cycle. (DO NOT use bleach if you have a stainless steel interior.)
Follow these three easy steps and your dishwasher will be squeaky clean!

5. Kitchen Cabinet Gunk Remover 

My kitchen cabinets often accumulate a considerable layer of grime on them, especially near the handles.  It may seem contradictory, but sometimes the best way to fight oil build-up is with more oil. 
To combat this pesky layer of gunk, you need:
• 1 part vegetable oil
• 2 parts baking soda
Mix the ingredients together in a small container with a spoon. Then, using your fingers (my method), or a cloth or sponge, work the fine grains of the baking soda into the surface. Use a toothbrush in the nooks and crannies around the hardware. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Kid's Room Checklist

 

WORK TOGETHER THE FIRST TIME

Here’s the deal: you can’t just hand your child a cleaning checklist and expect them to get it right the first time. Guess how I know?

Yep, our first attempt at using a cleaning checklist for kids rooms led to more frustration.

Then I listened to what my kids were saying. They were willing to clean their rooms (especially if that kept me out of their space) but they didn’t understand what was involved.

So, my advice is to go over the instructions below with your child step-by-step, then tackle the task together the first time as we did. After that, depending on your kids’ ages, they can use the checklist to clean their rooms independently while you do something else — or even nothing at all.

START HERE

Equipment needed:
Two bags or boxes
Cleaning cloths
Furniture polish (here’s a homemade one)
Glass cleaner (here’s a homemade one)
Fresh bed sheets and pillowcases
Vacuum cleaner with attachments

 

1. Prepare to sort stuff: Mark one box/bag “Trash” and the other “Return.”

2. Pick up all trash: Start at the door and work to your right. Pick up all trash and put it in the “Trash” bag/box. Open drawers as you work and look for trash that should be thrown away. Close each drawer afterward. Once you’ve worked your way around the room, look under your bed and gather all trash. Look in your closet for trash, too. Now, set the full bag outside your bedroom door.

3. Find everything that belongs in another room. Do this just as you did with the trash, starting at the door and working toward the right, then under your bed and in your closet. Things that belong elsewhere include dishes, water glasses, and towels. Put these in the bag marked “Return.” When you’re finished gathering these things, put this bag outside your bedroom door, too.

4. Put away things that are on the floor. Toys left on the floor look messy. Put them in the toy box, on shelves, or wherever they are supposed to be stored. Pick up dirty clothes from the floor and put them in the hamper. Clean clothes should be hung up or folded and put away in the dresser. Shoes should be neatly placed on the closet floor.

5. Put away the things on your desk, dresser and nightstand. Put away toys left on the dresser. If you like to keep homework or books out where you can find them, arrange them in stacks. Things look much cleaner when stacked nicely instead of sprawled all over. Continue working until all of the flat surfaces in your room are neat and tidy.

6. Start dusting. Get one cleaning cloth very lightly wet. It should not be dripping water everywhere! Use this cloth to clean up dust. Start at the room’s door room and work to the right wiping off the top of each piece of furniture (desk, dresser, shelves, nightstand, etc.). Pick things up as you work and wipe the surface underneath them. Wipe the windowsills, too!

7. Clean the glass. Spray the mirror with a little of the glass cleaner. Use a dry, fresh cleaning cloth to wipe the mirror from top to bottom until all smudges and streaks are gone.

8. Change the sheets. Pull the bedspread and sheets off of your bed. Don’t pull off the mattress pad! Take the pillowcase off the pillow. Now, put the new sheets and pillowcase on and make your bed. Smooth the bedspread with your hands so it’s not bunched up and messy. Put the dirty sheets outside your bedroom door.

9. Start vacuuming. By now there should be nothing on the floor that doesn’t belong there, so it’s time to vacuum. Remember: never use the vacuum to pick up coins, puzzle pieces, Lego or other objects. It’s only for dirt, dust and pet hair. Begin vacuuming at the door and work your way around your room from right to left.

10. Time to finish up! Wrap the vacuum’s electric cord back on the prongs neatly. Put it outside of the door. Take dirty sheets to the laundry room. Take the Trash bag to the garbage can. Go through the bag marked “Return” and take each item to the place where it ought to go. Don’t just toss the thing in there — put it where it belongs!

The first time may seem like a lot of work, but things will go much faster every time you clean. Use the checklist below once a week to stay on track and enjoy that tidy room!

The Most Sensible How-to-Move List, EVER!

1. Be thrifty, find free moving boxes

Save a little cash and acquire all the boxes you need for free. Best places: the ‘free’ section on Craigslist, grocery and clothing stores, and warehouse style stores.

2. Purge your stuff

Now that you’re sorting through all your things, it’s a perfect time to see what can be donated or chucked altogether! Make an effort to pare down your possessions so your move will be a little easier and your new home will be a bit less cluttered.

3. Create a schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. Otherwise, it’ll be pretty stinky and leaky!

4. Take pictures of your electronics before you unplug

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a picture on your phone or camera of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go! This will save you a ton of time when you set it up again.

5. Put hanging clothes in garbage bags

Keep your clothes on the hanger, but wrapped up. When you get to your new abode, simply take off the garbage bags. Don’t forget to label so you know whose stuff is whose!

6. Pack a first-night box

Most people don’t think to do this, and end up rummaging through several boxes on moving day to get their pajamas or the coffee maker. Pack yourself a “first night” box with all your toiletries, some clothes, and anything you’ll need the following morning such as dishes and silverware or your hair-dryer. You can even buy this cute IKEA box if you’re tired of seeing your own handwriting:

7. Safely pack your plates

Since they’re already plate-shaped, foam disposable plates are awesome for packing your real plates. Put them in between each plate in your stack before you pack it all up. Plus, you can totally class up the cheap comfort food you’ll want to get after you’ve finally unpacked your last box some day. Here’s an example from TheFrugalGirls.com:

8. Plastic Wrap Your Drawers — With Everything Inside

Use plastic wrap to keep dressers drawers shut when the moving truck jostles them about, or for trays of items that would be just fine staying in the trays as long as they didn’t fall out. Plus, you can leave its contents in there, since the drawers no longer have a risk of sliding open!

9. Use Wine Cases For Your Glassware

There’s bound to be a local bar, winery, or even some grocery stores that have empty wine cases you can snag. Keeps your glasses organized and it’s easy to stuff some newspaper and such in each compartment so there’s some padding to protect them.

10. Don’t Mix Items From Different Rooms

Keep items from one room in boxes separate from the others, it’ll save you a lot of sanity when you finally unpack.

11. Make A Packing Supplies Basket

Save yourself from losing packing supplies or running around your house/apartment because you left the scissors in one room and the tape in the other. Get a box or a basket for supplies that you can carry with you from room to room, that way you’ll have all of it with you as you switch tasks and don’t have to spend time retrieving supplies you left in another room.

12. How To Pack Jewelry

Use egg cartons to easily transport your jewelry. Tape them shut so nothing falls out! Also, use toilet paper rolls for packing necklaces or loose bracelets. Just put one end through the roll and fasten the clasp.

13. Keep Screws & Bolts Organized

If you have to dismantle any furniture for your move, don’t forget to keep all the loose screws and bolts organized! Put them in plastic baggies and label them so you know which piece of furniture they’r for and don’t lose any.

14. Cut holes in sides of boxes for easy lifting

Use a box-cutter to cut triangle-shaped holes on either side of your heavier boxes to give you makeshift handles for easier lifting!

15. Use Storage Bins For Seasonal Items

If you don’t already store your seasonal/holiday items in plastic bins, now’s the time. That way, once you’re moved in, you can simply transfer the plastic bins to your closet or basement without having to unpack their contents.

16. Use Soft Items For Padding

You don’t need as much packaging material as you think! All sorts of soft items around your home can be used to safely and efficiently pack other items. Towels, socks, sheets, and other soft or cushy things make great and free packing material. Environmentally friendly, too!

17. Color-code Your Labels

Black and white labels are hard to distinguish when you want to start unpacking at a non-glacial pace. Use colorful labels instead — you can handwrite them, or simply print some out — and devise a color-coding system for your boxes to easily keep track of what is where.

18. Use a Rubber Band to Keep Your Front Door Unlocked

When actually moving your boxes into your truck or van, you’ll be going in and out of the house a lot. Wrap a rubber band around one doorknob and stretch it around your door to wrap the other end on the opposite knob. This will keep your door from accidentally getting shut and locking you out in case someone forgets to keep it unlocked!

19. Keep ALL your liquids separate

Cleaning supplies, dish-washing supplies, whatever it is, if it’s liquid put it in a separate plastic bin. If it falls or spills during the move and you’ve left it in another box, it’ll soak everything. Ew.

20. Pack With a Guide

Look up visual guides for packing your moving vehicle, like this one. Advice may differ if you have a van or a truck.