As we move out of fall into the winter months it is time to find the dust we have accumulated over the busy summer and deal with it. Today I am talking about the blinds an area I try so hard to forget. What a hassle! All of those slats seem to be dust, and fly magnates(there little spots, I won’t say what it is yuck). For those of us on the Oregon Coast that especially means the South and West sides of our homes. There are several ways to approach this challenging task, and I have attempted most. Some more successful than others. And one in particular simply a vision in the future. So let’s get started. My first attempt at cleaning blinds consisted up using wipes. I went after each slat individually without first dusting. I found that the wipes created excess moisture quickly turned a brown drippy solution that was heading towards the carpet and window sills (not too efficient). On that particular occasion I ended up wiping off the excess as quickly as possible and switching to a damp cotton cloth free of frizzies. It still took forever and was terribly timeconsuming. The next time I attempted this task I was more successful. I prepped the blinds with my Swiffer removing as much dust as possible while the blinds were still dry. I then mixed dishwasher liquid soap, about a tablespoon with about a gallon of warm water in a small bucket that was somewhat spillproof (heavier on the bottom). I used an old cotton napkin without frayed edges as my wet rag and then dried with another napkin. I had a few dry napkins on hand an changed my water relatively often. I put a towel on the floor under my bucket, and some paper towels on the window sill to protect the wood. Instead of doing each slat individually I gently, but firmly press the blinds against the window and then wiped across the blinds cover a group rather than individually. I washed until the water was clear, and the blinds free of fly spots, and streaks. I then dried them the same way and addressed any problem areas individually when I was basically finished. After I was done with the blinds I then did the windows. The blinds looked great when I was finished. It was a rewarding day I must say. My best friend who is also mad about housekeeping dips her blinds. She has used a product called TSP. She buys it at the hardward store and then mixes it with warm water and then she dips them in the bathtub and then lets them hang to dry. It is probably the most efficient but sounds like a huge project and might get messy. If you have any tips on cleaning blinds I would love to hear them.
Yesterday I worked in a house that is around 3000sq/ft, all white, white trim. When I originally took the job this was one of the owners complaints about the previous housekeeper, the place just looked dusty. It was no wonder as all of that trim was coated with dust. The amazing thing about trim is it is so easy to clean. Start with a hand vacuum or swiffer. If that is not enough turn to a wipe, squat down and just hit the trim as you get near completion in each room. I am a trim freak, because it makes such a difference when it is clean. Any tricks for doing the trim are welcome!
I believe I am like many other housekeepers in that I get a great sense of pleasure from cleaning homes. For some of us we do our homes, and other houses. for many people your focus is your home. My history as a housekeeper actually began in the mid 1970′s in a small town on the Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach. When I was in High School I worked as a housekeeper for a local hotel called the Tolovana Inn. I was only there for 3 months but enjoyed cleaning hotel rooms. I immediately loved the idea that everything had it’s place. I adored the paperstips that we wrapped the seat of the toilet in once they were sparkling and smudge free. And then to have the linen folded to perfection. The snowy white towels layered with face cloth, and hand towel. And then the final moment when you placed those perfect little soaps out!
It would be many years before I returned to work as a professional housekeeper. In my early twenties I got a job that would shape my cleaning techniques for the rest of my life. I worked at a wonderful bed and breakfast in Seaside, a town close by. The bed and breakfast was run by a couple. The wife did all of the baking and the husband was the Owner/Senior housekeeper. I can’t remember his name but I am forever grateful for the information he imparted to me while I worked for him. He taught me to always work from top to bottom. In addition, he emphasised making things look neat, taking pride in the way you place your pillows on the bed, and how the towels are folded in the bathroom. He assured me that a place cleaned with care and attention was worth it’s weight in gold, a belief I carry today.
Now I am the proud owner of a housekeeping buisness, bellacasacleaningandstagingllc.com or Bella Casa for short. That is not to say I don’t have bad days, or to be politically correct, challenging days. No I am not super maid and my own home is not always perfect. But I love people who have all their ducks in a row when it comes to cleaning. I Love the idea of a housekeeping blog where housekeepers of all types can join together and share our ideas,stories, and tips. Hope to see you soon.