Living Room & Dining Room: Kickstart Your Cleaning

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Welcome to your living room and dining room cleaning video. You can either 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!

While this space isn’t one where we spend hours in, it is a beautiful space that can ranges from formal to casual. If you eat in this space, you want it to feel peaceful and welcoming – no one wants to eat in a cluttered space; it makes for a very agitating meal and I find I eat faster just to get out of there…which is never a good thing. If you spend tons of time relaxing in the living room with your family, then you’ll also want the space to be clean, so you can truly unwind. You want to be able to take it easy and not feel mess stress. We’ll get there, don’t you worry!

I tend to clean these two rooms together since in my house, they’re linked and it is just easier. What gets me in this space are crumbs, dust and pet hair. Since I eat in my dining room daily, we’ve got to stay on top of the crumbs, on the table but also on the chairs and the floor. Dust, debris and pet hair gathers on occasional items and furniture, too.

OK, let’s do this. Head over to your living room / dining room space now. Have a look around and think about your MIAs or most important areas. This is the first step of the Maker Method and I’ve got a little quiz you can fill out on page 7 of the book to help you quickly identify what they are. To help you get a sense of your MIAs, just stand in the center of the room and look around. What makes you feel uneasy? Bingo. That sensation is a key indicator that you’ve just looked at an MIA. Take a minute to do this – it’s important. Great. Now that you’ve done it, you know what you need to focus on in these spaces. Make a mental note of this and work on these areas specifically while cleaning.

Now, close your eyes just for a moment, and imagine what your space would look like ideally, if it were cleaned to your liking. If you can see this in your mind’s eye, you’re well on your way because you’re setting your intention. Having a clear picture of what your space looks like – only as clean as you want it to be – is half the work. What does the table and buffet area look like? Your chairs, the rug perhaps? How about your sofa or any seating areas? How are they looking once they’ve been cleaned? In your mind’s eye, look up, around the ceiling and corners, light fixture, and down at the floor. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Great. You’ve locked in your vision, and that’s the goal you are going to work toward.

Ok, let’s move on to the second step of the Maker Method, PTTs, or products, tools and techniques. Do you need anything special here – silver polish, chandelier cleaner, a buffing soft cloth? I cover all of that off in the book…product recommendations, tool suggestions, recipes and all. Reference page 15 for the products, and page 28 for the tools. Load up your caddy with all of the appropriate items and move into that space. I always keep a lint roller handy for these spaces too – it’s great for dealing with pet hair, and you can even find a cleaning expert secret use for lint rollers on page 77. Set a ‘coaster’ down for your cleaning caddy so that you don’t get anything stained. If you have the book, flip to page 69 and have a look through to secure your strategy. Everything you’ll need to do in this space is laid out for you, step by step. Having this plan in place will help you clean better and faster.

A quick tip here, you might find it easier to prepare the space for cleaning by moving dining room chairs and small furniture pieces out of the space before you start cleaning to a space that hasn’t been cleaned yet, like the kitchen. Clean these items in the kitchen before replacing them in the clean space. This can be helpful in allowing you to get a detailed cleaning done, because you can really move around.

To get yourself in the mood, consider playing music or a podcast and lighting a candle or diffusing essential oils. This always helps me get moving. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably, have hit the bathroom already, have a drink and have everything distracting turned off. Right before you begin, take a deep breath, smile, even look in the mirror if you can and tell yourself that for the next 20-30 minutes, you are going to focus on cleaning this space and making it look just the way you want it to. You are making future you proud and investing time in your wellbeing!

Now, start at your starting point and begin your cleaning. Keep in mind the artwork and décor pieces that you may normally look over, they’ll need some love too. Is there anything in there that you don’t use or enjoy anymore? Are you willing to give any of it away? Are there any special projects you need to tackle in this space, like cleaning a chandelier, replacing light bulbs, fixing a dent or nick on your furniture? Do you need to dedicate some extra time to deculttering – the dining room table can oftentimes turn into a makeshift office. When was the last time you cleaned your upholstery or treated your leather? What about your area rugs and that scary secret spot around the rug that no one ever thinks about? Check out page 80 to learn how it’s done. Make sure the floor is clean; either vacuumed beautifully or streak-free. A lot of crumbs fall here and it is crucial to stay on top of them.

Remember as you’re working to take a moment and remind yourself how proud you are for dedicating this time to cleaning your living room and dining room. This space, when clean, will help you feel calmer when eating and help you ease in to your downtime. The efforts you are making now will pay off and help you feel prouder of your space.

As you wind down cleaning this area, clear away the items you’ve used to clean, replace any furniture that has been moved and put the final finishes on your space. Alright! Now, stand back and observe what you’ve done. Smile, ear-to-ear, pat yourself on the back, let out a little spirited woo-hoo, 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 living room and dining room looks noticeably better now, and all because of you!

These spaces are simple to keep clean with a bit of ongoing maintenance woven in to your day. There are several ‘occasional’ tasks that can be done in these spaces too, which you’ll be able to pull from your MIA quiz, and that’s where scheduling them in comes in handy. Look around and think about anything that needs doing a couple of times a year and plug it in to your calendar. Scheduling and routines is the third step of the Maker Method. My detailed scheduling tool is available on page 274 and onward.

You’ve done it! I am so thrilled that you got through the living room and dining room and made it look beautiful. Great work, I can’t wait to take you into the kitchen!

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. You work from top to bottom, you vacuumed the sofa accent pillows and placed them on the dirty, not-yet-vacuumed floor. Any dust and dust bunnies that were on the floor are now stuck to the sofa pillows which now have to be vacuumed again lest you want to snuggle with dust bunnies on the sofa and its pillows.

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