The Deep Clean: Round Two
Photos: This Brit
We are officially a week into the start of Autumn, but lets be honest, the weather has been in full autumn swing for quite a few weeks. Its around this time of year which I like to change over my wardrobe and sort out my home ready for the cooler months. Autumn is the time of the most movement in my apartment, I love to decorate for Halloween and once that is over its almost immediately time to start to preparing for Christmas, on top of all of this, this is the time of year where I entertain at home the most; starting with a clean base is important to start the season.
This weekend has been particularly busy as I’m coming up to the end of my first year in this apartment, therefore its time to renew my lease, evaluate my bills and just do some general maintenance of my finances, on top of the deep clean. Most people like to do a deep clean in Spring – which I’ve talked about in previous posts, however the Autumn clean is just as important in my books, and makes the Spring clean a lot easier.
The easiest way for me to stay motivated is to organise my day by room and ensure I have lots of snack and water breaks in between tasks. I like to keep myself and my skin hydrated when I’m working with lots of different chemicals to ensure I don’t feel dried up and exhausted by the end.
My kitchen is one of my favourite places in my house. I love the overall style of ash wooden surfaces against high gloss white doors, as well as the simple fact that it’s so easy to maintain. I’m not one for elaborate kitchen gadgets or difficult meals, I would much rather throw everything into one pan or into the oven and leave it for 20 minutes rather than spending hours preparing or cooking complex dishes. This means the food and equipment in my kitchen is rather limited, and I have much more space than I need for everything. Maybe that’s why a deep clean only takes me 20 minutes max.
The top items on my to do list are:
- Check all food is in-date
- Wipe cupboard shelves and doors
- Reorganise cupboard space
- Clean equipment that hasn’t been used in a while
- Sharpen knives
- Clean oven
- Clean washing machine
My apartment like most modern builds these days is open plan, so my kitchen is built into one wall of my living room. I love the open plan style because I’m living on my own, so for now its perfect and compact. My living room is where I spend most of my time when I’m home. I’m sure that the living room is the most used space in most people’s homes unless you’re a wiz in the kitchen etc. however most of my day is spent staring out of my windows and people watching. Every single day I look out from my windows and remind myself how lucky I really am to live where I do and do the things that I do. Not many 22 year old’s can say they live completely by themselves, and have almost complete financial freedom.
The deep clean thus entails:
- Scrubbing the floor (I really mean hands and knees scrubbing)
- Wiping windowsills and skirting boards
- Cleaning curtain poles (one day I may actually get curtains to hang on the poles)
- Window cleaning
- Washing cushion covers on the sofa
- Washing the sofa
The biggest concern of mine is the bathroom here, it’s small, has no storage, no windows, and the fan doesn’t work – much to the bafflement of the many maintenance men tasked with curing it. This little room doesn’t need an additional deep clean because it gets one every weekend because of my minor hatred for this space.
My main tasks are:
- Bleaching the toilet
- Wiping all the tiles (floor to ceiling)
- Bleaching the bath and the sink
- Cleaning the drains
- Scrubbing the floors
- Washing the innards of the washing basket and bin
I made a bit of an overestimation when I bought the bed for my master bedroom, and I unfortunately assumed the room was bigger than it is. Therefore the king-sized bed I plonked in the middle takes up almost all of the floor space, and I’ve twisted and turned this bed trying to make the room bigger, unfortunately to no good end. Some day I will organise the sale of this bed and purchase a smaller, more suitable one for the space, alongside some other furniture, such as a chest of drawers to replace the cardboard box which currently houses my pyjamas. Due to having such a large bed, cleaning is rather easy, a quick hoover, dust the skirting boards and one bedside table (I couldn’t find another) and that’s about it.
Additional deep cleaning tasks are:
- Air the mattress by standing it up and opening the windows
- Air the pillows and duvet by hanging them on my balcony (on a clear day)
Much to the surprise of almost every guest (and myself when I first viewed the apartment), the airing cupboard/ coat closet is absolutely huge and could be a little room in itself. This is essentially my storage unit for everything non-clothes related. I have my filing cabinet in here full of paperwork for clients, manuals, finance statements such as bills and tenancy agreements, as well as contracts etc. for work. The cupboard also houses my coat, scarf and hat collection – believe me this is large and every growing, as well as my shoe addiction.
Due to the room being barely used, a quick dust and hoover usually suffices, but on deep clean day, a lot more work has to go in:
- Waterproofing suede and canvas shoes
- Cleaning leather shoes
- Throwing out broken and worn shoes if they cannot be repaired
- Repairing and re-heeling shoes which can be
- Rotating and airing coats and winter accessories
- Deep clean of existing paperwork
I’ve tried to make my hallway as welcoming and minimal as possible. I already know how I want to update it when I finally redecorate and return all of the items I’ve borrowed and acquired from family and friends. My favourite part of my hallway is my front door, it’s heavy duty and just looks so luxe, I was very pleased when I saw it for the first time.
A deep clean usually involves:
- Treating and repairing the antique furniture to preserve the quality
- Updating picture frames with new photos and artwork
- Decluttering bookshelves
- Painting the walls
- Scrubbing the floors and washing the runner
This is without a doubt my favourite room to clean, mainly because this room houses my walk in wardrobe. As autumn is my favourite time of year, for fashion and home accessories, it’s always extremely exciting being able to pull out all of my favourite pieces to kick the season off with. When designing how to set up my apartment, although I wanted a guest room for the rare occasion I have guests stay, I also wanted to make sure none of the space was wasted, and due to my huge mishap with my bed, I decided that a sofa bed in here with a selection of rails and drawers was the best way forward. I also decided to use my old desk as a vanity table/ work space to maximise the use of the room.
Areas I focus on in multipurpose rooms such as this are:
- Throwing old or empty products away
- Making a list of holes in both hair and makeup routine products (due to throwing away old ones)
- Charity/ throw away summer clothes which won’t make it through to next summer
- Air out autumn/ winter wardrobe
- Air out and clean sofa bed and it’s soft furnishings
- Clear out the items stored here for the tip
This is the one area of my apartment which I’m really struggling to style. I currently have plants on it, which mind you are all dead because I can’t keep them alive to save my life (the photos are from back in summer when they were all alive) , and I have some lino down as I wasn’t a fan of the concrete. My new idea is to go back to the concrete and add some seating, faux plants and hang a selection of lighting above next summer, but for now the easiest thing for me to do is to rip the plants out and just have a plain balcony for the winter months.
I guess this year there will be no deep cleaning for the balcony, but for the sake of completing this article, here is what I would do if I’d finished my balcony:
- Wash faux plants
- Treat wood or metal seating area to ensure waterproof
- Wash outside fabrics
- Check light-bulbs and change any that have blown
- Wash the balcony floor, metal caging and windows/ door
- Treat metal caging and check brickwork
If you’ve got any tips for preparing your home for Autumn, whether it’s recommendations on places to buy autumnal accessories such as rugs and blankets or ways to get that extra clean feeling, let me know in the comments!