How to clean and disinfect your home in a pandemic
If you’re like everyone else, you’re spending more time at home during the global pandemic. You’re home, which means your schedule allows time to clean and sanitize your home.
Because of the pandemic, you might be more cautious now about keeping your home clean and thoroughly sanitized. You’re used to the traditional checklist for spring cleaning, but it’s time to take things to a whole new level. Follow this simple guide to help combat the pandemic inside your own home.
Remember to clean AND disinfect
In this world, it’s not enough to just clean your home. You have to disinfect as well. Cleaning is removing grime and germs from surfaces, but it doesn’t kill viruses. All it does is lower their numbers. Start by cleaning every surface in your home with a combination of soap and water.
You also need to disinfect your house during this period. This involves using a specialized chemical that is known to kill germs upon impact. This is done after you clean, and it helps lower the risk of spreading germs and viruses inside your home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting specific areas of your home that have the most impact. This includes:
- Light switches
- Kitchen and bathroom counters
Luckily, it’s easy to make your own disinfectant at home. You can make a bleach combination, which includes a 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Or, you can combine four tablespoons of bleach per quart of water. To disinfect the area or product, you must allow the bleach to sit on the surface for one minute before you dry it completely.
You may also use other disinfectant products, including Lysol spray, Clorox Liquid Bleach, All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant, Multi-Surface Spray Cleaner, and many others. There are so many products on the market today for you to choose from to keep your house disinfected and smelling good during this dark period.
Make a checklist and actually stick to it
Before you begin spring cleaning, you need to make a checklist to follow. It should include every room and space in your home that needs to be cleaned. Come up with a calendar for wiping counters, vacuuming, dusting, washing sheets and curtains, cleaning the bathroom, etc. The typical schedule can work as followed:
- Monday: Dusting day.
- Tuesday: Vacuuming day.
- Wednesday: Bathroom day.
- Thursday: Laundry day with sheets, towels, curtains, etc.
- Friday: Floor mopping day.
- Saturday: Upkeep with cleaning and disinfecting.
- Sunday: Catch up on anything from the week that you might have missed.
Everyone will have their own schedule, but it’s important to make a checklist. Once you finish a task, you will feel accomplished and more motivated to continue cleaning.
Clean one room at a time
As the schedule demonstrates, you won’t have time to clean your house in one day. You probably wouldn’t even want to do that. It’s a lot of work, so simplify the spring-cleaning process. Dedicate one day (or a few days) to one specific room in your house.
For example, start with a bedroom. Wash your curtains and bedsheets. Vacuum ceiling fans, the tops of windows, and moldings. Empty all of your shelves and dust thoroughly. Clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, you probably won’t wear it ever again. Create cleaning piles of “discard, keep, and donate.” Take everything you’re going to donate or discard out of your house and don’t bring it back inside — or else it’ll stay in the house for another year.
Spend your entire day focusing on just one room. Then, move to the kitchen and clean out cupboards, sinks, drawers, etc. In a few weeks, you will have your whole home cleaned. You’ll feel healthier and happier.
Organize seasonal items
You’ll learn more about your home as you clean. You’ll notice things you probably haven’t seen in awhile, like where cobwebs like to gather and where you tend to discard old, dirty clothes. As you vacuum the floors, clean wooden furniture, wipe down the windows, and rearrange closets. Organize your house according to each individual season.
As you transition your house to spring and summer decorations and attire, you can put away the heavy winter clothes and lingering holiday decorations. Go through each room and put away the previous seasonal items into bins and store them in a designated area. Push the winter clothes to the back of your closet to make room for your light, airy spring and summer clothing.
As you organize your seasonal items, remember the wise words from Marie Kondo, “Discard everything that does not spark joy.” Yes, hold on to sentimental items. But, if you no longer wear a sweater or you don’t like a lamp, discard it or donate it. If it doesn’t spark joy, then it shouldn’t be in your home.
No matter how you decide to clean your house, remember to be calm. Don’t stress over these tasks. It’s tedious at times, especially after the changes brought by the pandemic. However, you don’t have to satisfy anyone’s needs. Work at your own pace. After all, it’s your home. Make your own decisions on what is best to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.