Hallways, Staircases & Other Passageways: Kickstart Your Cleaning

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Welcome to your hallways, staircases and other passageways cleaning video. Feel free to play this and listen to my voice while you clean, listen and pause as you work through your tasks, or watch this video through and then clean. Whatever suits you best!

These spaces are those that affect the flow of your home; how easy is it to get from point A to point B? How does it feel when you travel from place to place? Do you notice clutter and dirt as you go, stressing you out? Or, does it feel neat and welcoming and one space flows calmly and seamlessly into the next? These spaces might feel like a side dish, are actually important because they set the stage for the rooms in your home. If the hallways are cluttered up, even if you walk into a clean room, the remnants of the messy passageway are right there with you. These are extraordinarily simple spaces to clean, and you’ll see that with only a few minutes spent on each space, your home will feel so much cleaner.

I find the MIAs in these spaces for me are the floors, since things can pile up. I fall into the habit of using these floors to leave items that I’ll take somewhere else – say the kitchen or the donation bin – at a later time. So for me, keeping the flow of stuff moving and making sure the floors are clear is my MIA. Other people might find that ceiling corners are their MIAs, noticing all the cobwebs there. Or, perhaps, the staircase gets cluttered up in your home so that’s your MIA. Just think about it for a minute; how simple are these little areas to clean? I told you – cleaning these areas is one of the easiest jobs in the whole house!

Head over to your main staircase or hallway now. Have a look around and think about your MIAs or most important areas in here. What makes you annoyed, stressed out, frustrated or irritated in terms of the mess? Walk the other hallways or staircases in your space and do the same thing. The MIA quiz on page 7 will help you focus in on what is most important to you, or your MIAs. You’ll likely notice a trend in all of the spaces in terms of what matters most to you and where the mess lies – we tend to have the same habits no matter where we are. OK, now that you’ve done it, consider your hallways and staircases cleaning plan of action: What are you going to focus on? What are the products, tools, and techniques you need to use in this space? What are you going to schedule for another time, perhaps for an annual cleaning task? Doing this planning work now will save you so much time in the long run, especially for a lightning fast job to begin with. You’ll breeze through this!

Take a moment now to set your intention for the cleaning by visualizing your clean space. Take a moment here to focus on what you want these passageways to look like – space by space – as you do this you are helping yourself to achieve these results. Go stand in your main passageway and close your eyes just for a moment and imagine what your space would look like ideally, if it were cleaned to your liking. Imagine the hallways and staircases – in your mind’s eye – very clearly – exactly how you want it to look. Having a clear picture of what your space looks like – only as clean as you want it to be – is half the work. How do you want your staircases, light fixtures, hallways and floors to look? Look up, around the ceiling and corners, vent, light fixture, down the stairs, all the way down to the floors and baseboards. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Great. You’ve set your goal, and that’s what you’re going to work toward.

Now we’ll move onto the second step of the Maker Method, PTTs, or products, tools and techniques. We’ve got some high dusting and cobwebs to deal with in these spaces for sure. Do you need to get any special vacuum attachments for dealing with dust? Any special tools? Visit page 197 to learn about my exact recommendations for both carpeted and hardwood stair cleaning. How about light fixtures? While these spaces are quite simple to clean, planning your products, tools and techniques will most definitely save you time. If you have a copy of the book, skim the office section before you get started, you can find that on page 191.

To get yourself in the mood, consider playing music or a podcast – perhaps with a portable speaker or using headphones since you’ll be moving around. You can also open a window or diffuse some essential oils around the house. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably, have used the washroom, have a drink prepared and have everything distracting turned off. Right before you begin, look at these passageways and just remind yourself that in about 10-20 minutes, depending on how much work you’re going to put in, these are going to beautiful, clean spaces that bridges you to other beautiful, clean spaces around your home!

In the book, I explain where to start this cleaning if you are in a multi-level space. You can see starting point rules on page 193. So head over to your starting point, wherever that is, and begin your cleaning. Focus on wave 1, and get rid of clutter as well as tidy these spaces. Next, move on to wave two and think about your MIAs and what needs attention today, or what can wait until another day or a bigger cleaning, which you can work out a little later on. How do your light fixtures and corners look? Dusty? Cobwebs? Is today the day? I cover off how to clean super high-up corners or chandeliers on page 194. How’s your staircase looking? When was the last time you gave the spindles, baseboard and hand rails any attention? I go over how to clean stairs in great detail starting on page 197. As you clean, be on the lookout for any superfluous items that just hang out without really serving a purpose anymore – anything that’s just there for the sake of being there. Can you get rid of it today? A clean passageway can only be a good thing, when passageways are clogged up….well, there are too many metaphors here, and I’m not going there, but you catch my drift.

As you’re working, pause for a moment, and just remind yourself how proud you are for dedicating this time to cleaning these easily forgettable spaces. You’re working to improve the flow of your home and it’s easy to do.

As you wind down cleaning these spaces, remove the items you’ve used to clean, replace any items you’ve removed and put the final finishes on your space. The floors are the last to be done, and you can either vacuum, or vacuum then mop. Smile, ear-to-ear, pat yourself on the back, let out a little spirited cheer, or do a quick dance. Whatever you need to do, you deserve to congratulate yourself and ride the feel-good vibes of your efforts. Your office is ready for you to get to work in!

These passageways barely need regular cleaning outside of light dusting and floor cleaning, but do require bigger jobs to be done a couple of times throughout the year. With a bit of scheduling, you can ensure both the big and small jobs get done and as you can see, it’s all quite simple to do. The third step of the Maker Method is scheduling and routines, and the cleaning of these areas can be easily planned and scheduled. Daily, just make sure the space isn’t being cluttered up by items that aren’t placed right where they belong. Regular cleans involve focusing on your MIAs, so consider what matters most to you in these spaces and focus on those areas regularly during your more frequent cleans, for example vacuuming and dusting and cleaning marks and fingerprints off the walls. Finally, consider those bigger jobs which can be scheduled in less frequently, like handling cobwebs and light fixtures, and to do this have a look at your scheduling chart on page 274 to see what you want to include in your monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning schedule for these passageways. Scheduling and routines is the third step of the Maker Method – what gets scheduled gets done.

You’ve done it! You’ve finished cleaning the hallways, staircases and other passageways and I’m thrilled with your efforts, amazing job! Next up, we’re going to storage spaces!

Please share your journey with me by using #KickstartCMS and tagging me on Instagram and Twitter using @CleanMySpace and @MelissaMaker, share your photos on Facebook, or send me an email to info {@} cleanmyspace.com . I’d love to know how this is helping you!

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Melissa!

    I miss the old you – the funny, quirky, makes cleaning fun, you!! I’m sorry, but I’m just not liking the
    new serious, sophisticated you that is currently doing the cleaning videos related to your book.

    Please come back!!

    Sue 🙂

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