Do you have spaces in your house that aren't really rooms? And do those spaces tend to get overlooked when you're cleaning? I can't tell if it's just an issue at my house. This space is the prime example--it's in between the kitchen and the family room, with the sliding door to the deck and the door to the garage. It kinds of seems like a place to put a kitchen table, but the dining room is only five paces away, so that seemed redundant. So, for us, it serves as a mud room/entry/pass through. And it doesn't get cleaned. If I'm cleaning the kitchen, I think of it as part of the living room, and if I'm cleaning the living room, it's definitely kitchen. And it gets dirty--it's the first place we come in from outside, so the floor is the worst in the house. It's pretty uncluttered, simply because we've had a big effort to keep furniture out of it, but it's never really all that clean.
Today, I took it on.
Beforehand, it looked like this:
From the kitchen:
From the living room:
The first thing I did was pull all the "furniture," i.e. the bench and the bookshelf, out of the room. Then I removed everything from the bench and the bookshelf. After I washed the furniture down, I polished it up with Method Wood for Good almond surface cleaner. At this point, let me assure you that nobody sponsors this project--if I recommend a product, it's because I dig it. And I dig this one. It smells great, it's easy to use, and my wood looks great.
Once the furniture was done, I started at the top, dusting the doorframes and corners and light fixture, then washing the sliding glass door and (horrible, awful) vertical blinds. I washed the fingerprints off the door and made sure the picture frames were dusted.
Before I replaced the furniture, I repeated my bathroom experiment and swept and scrubbed the floor. Hands and knees, Mrs. Meyers and hot water, trim and everything. I'm not going to say it was fun, but I am beginning to see the good in it. After I dried the floor, I replaced the furniture. Then, I reorganized the books on the bookshelf. When I went to put the bench back together, I realized that I had thirteen pairs of shoes in the basket drawers. Ridiculous. I took ten of them upstairs. Then I cursed Mark for insisting on the cushions we have, which aren't machine washable. I did the best I could to remove the layer of cat hair on them with a roller, replaced them, and declared myself finished.
This project took 35 minutes. These were the results:
Honestly, unless you look pretty close, there isn't a huge difference. But it's clean--I know it's clean. I know the dust has been removed and the furniture polished. And I know that to many women that would mean something. I'm still trying to figure out if it means anything to me.