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Room by room by Antoinette – Entrance Hall

Room by room by Antoinette – Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall in your home is often the first space that your guests will see. Taking time to ensure that this room is clean and clutter-free will enable both you and your guests to feel relaxed as soon as you come through the door.

With so many elements making up an Entrance Hall it is often overlooked as it can be tricky.

Here are my top tips on how to achieve the best for your Entrance Hall. It is the window into your home after all.

Order

  • When cleaning your home a common mistake can be doing the hallways last.  If the floors need mopping you need to think this through, as the worst thing is mopping and then having to walk back over your hard work.  Consider doing the downstairs hallway before you go upstairs or vice versa depending on what order you have cleaned the rest of your house.  This gives your floors time to dry.
  • Vacuuming rugs and moving them out of the way is essential for a thorough clean.  Expensive and delicate rugs should be vacuumed carefully and then placed safely somewhere to air.
  • Bookshelves are often housed in hallways and can give a lovely aesthetic to this space. This feature is often neglected and can get very dusty. By using a  Feather Duster you can easily eliminate the dust. The much maligned feather duster is great for getting to the tops of books and into the edges of the bookshelf. I highly recommend an annual prune and spring clean where all the books come completely off of the shelves to prevent any stubborn marking on your selves.
  • Every home has it! The ‘Tidy Disaster Zone’. You know that drop zone by the front door. Shoes, scarves, jackets, scooters, shopping bags, Abel and Cole boxes… and anything else that randomly gets dumped there. Is it time to throw away the broken umbrella that’s been lurking there for 3 years? YES!
  • Entrance Halls are also notorious for cobwebs. Staircases are often the highest ceilings of the house, so by using a Telescopic-Static-Duster, you can dust high-level cobwebs with ease.
  • Light fittings and their bulbs show dust off when illuminated. So take time to dust light fittings and chandeliers.  If you do have chandeliers in your home be very careful when dismantling.  Allow an hour for this task and take a photo before you start from all angles! They are like a jigsaw puzzle, you do not want to be left with a random piece once you have carefully reassembled it.
  • Carefully dust tops of pictures. Be careful of precious artwork. I find an old-fashioned feather duster comes in handy here.
  • Polish mirrors using a special glass microfibre cloth for a sparkly, streak-free finish.
  • Dust Dado Rails and Skirting Boards.
  • Dust tops of light switches, then anti-bac wipe and polish them for a hygienic and sparkling finish.
  • Dust tops of plug sockets, anti-bac wipe and polish them to ensure no dirt accumulates.
  • Dust between the balusters (I bet you didn’t know that term!) for us common folk, they are the spindles or banister supports on your staircase.  If they are really dirty, use the damp cloth to give them all a thorough clean.
  • Hard to reach windows can be difficult and potentially dangerous to clean effectively. You may need specialist window cleaners. Please feel free to contact us for our recommended window cleaning partners should you require this service.
  • Vacuum the whole area including the stairs.  Don’t forget to do edges first with the corner nozzle attachment and then use the large attachments for each step. Ensure that you adjust for the correct floor setting for carpet, hardwood or other surfaces to do the landing areas.
  • Mop, make sure you always mop your way towards the next room you will clean.

Enjoy

Now you can fling open your front door with pride and let your Entrance Hall welcome guests in.  Think how proud (and shame free ;-)) you will feel the next time friends and family visit. Until next time. Happy Cleaning! Antoinette.

Room by Room by Antoinette – Bedroom 


Is your bedroom a place for relaxation and rejuvenating sleep?

In order for your brain to ‘switch off’ this room should be clutter-free and look and smell fresh and clean. Here is a helpful insight into how your Helper ensures that this is our priority in your home, enabling you to spring out of bed ready to rock with whatever your day has in store.

Having the correct toolkit for any job is essential for getting great results. Here is a list of the key ingredients to making your boudoir beautiful. Next, of course, is the method in which the magic happens. Follow this simple, yet highly effective order and I know you will be impressed with the outcome:

Order

1. First strip the bed linen and place it in the washing machine. If you are anything like me, the idea of getting two jobs done in one time slot is intensely satisfying.
2. Vacuum any rugs thoroughly and remove them to the landing outside the bedroom.
3. Make the bed with clean linen (It’s really important to do this now so that lint and fluff doesn’t land on your newly dusted surfaces)
4. Dust all available surfaces going from high to low. Don’t forget your window ledges, blinds and radiators.
5. Use this opportunity to declutter your room and arrange high traffic areas such as dressing tables and bedside cabinets so that things are relevant and easily accessible. This is the time to let your artistic flair shine!
6. Vacuum the floor. If you are a shredder and don’t have a fabulous Miele Hoover with it’s special hair grabbing head, then try using the brush function to loosen any hairs from the carpet.
7. I would suggest, that once a month if you store your life under the bed, pull it out and make sure the vacuum gets into all those nooks and crannies. Once a quarter pull your bed away from the wall and make sure you get to these areas too. Grossly, it’s renowned for dead skin cells, hairs, runaway tissues and all the other clutter you have dropped down the side during your nightly Netflix binge.
8. It’s likely that you have ruffled the bed. Make sure that one of your last actions is to give it that hotel feel. Pull the edges of the duvet out and smooth the duvet down from the middle to the edges using the flat palm of your hands.
9. If you have special items such as silver, gold or brass trinkets, take them out to the hallway and treat them using specialist cleaning solutions. Watch this space for our future blog on ‘The Lost Art of Polishing including Silverware’.
10. Return any rugs.

Stand back and admire our handiwork, smug in the knowledge that you can look forward to a good night’s sleep in crisp fresh linen and a newly adjusted Feng Shui bedroom.

Rock a bye baby….

It’s worth noting that we would recommend minimal use of sprays and products in your baby’s bedroom. Dry dusting with microfibre cloths should be sufficient along with a good vacuum. At worst, an anti-bacterial spray could be used, though there is a school of thought that recommends no products so that your baby can build resilience to germs. I’ll leave that battle with you!  Don’t forget to do a regular dust between the struts of your baby’s cot too.

Sweet dreams, Antoinette.

Room by room by Antoinette: Living Rooms

Your living room should be an area of your home where you can relax and unwind.

In order for you to do this, it help’s if it is clean and tidy. Here are my tips on how to achieve a sparkling living room clean.

This is the time for me to rave on about one of my favourite topics – yes! Miele Vacuum cleaners. The ‘creme de la creme’ of vacuum cleaners, consistently number one in most Which? trials, and more importantly for us, most widely recommended by our Helpers. Miele cylinder vacuums come into their own when cleaning your carpeted rooms, and rooms where other fabric surfaces need attention such as your sofa, curtains, and pet beds.

It is really important to invest in a vacuum cleaner that has at least 3 attachments: The Corner crevice/Extension wand (long with a tapering thin end), the Upholstery tool; great for vacuuming sofas and curtains and your Dusting brush – great for leather sofas, and other dusty surfaces that your arms can’t easily reach with a cloth.

Most Miele models helpfully store the three main tools in it’s body so you need never have to scrabble at the bottom of your cleaning cupboard again.  With it’s helpful variable suction feature you can use your machine to vacuum a large variety of surfaces.  That said, your hand, a good cloth and some elbow grease are still the very best tools for most things.

Things that are commonly forgotten

Don’t forget to dust skirting boards using either the crevice tool, or a cloth. A great tip from my good friend Clair is to put a pair of fluffy socks on and use the edge of your foot to dust the skirting boards.  Genius! Lamps can be vacuumed with the vacuum dusting tool and the lightbulbs dusted by hand with a cloth. Blinds can get a quick dust with the long handled duster, or a more thorough clean with a cloth and one finger. We usually recommend this happens as a ‘Helpful Extra’ twice per year.

Other things to consider

Special items such as brass door knobs, silver ornaments and photo frames all need special polish and cloths. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is best to remove the items to the dining room or kitchen counter, covering the surface with newspaper to protect it.

Final touches
Mop your way out of the room, moving furniture back into place as you go.
Clean another room in the house and come back to replace the rugs and dustbins.

That’s it! I hope you find this useful for your living rooms. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy ‘Strictly’ in a dust-free and sane environment!

Micro Fibre Cloths

Cleaning cloths come in all shapes and sizes along with a gamet of price tags and promises.

It’s easy to just go for the cheapest or nearest option when choosing your cloths, or to fall back on the fail-safe: “If it worked for Mum it will work for me”.

Microfibre cloths have only really been on the market since the late 90’s, so it’s understandable if your Mum isn’t into them – but if she only knew the benefits, I’m sure she’d be all over them!

As technology has advanced, fibres have been able to get smaller and smaller so that the surface area is increased, working like lots of little Velcro hooks pulling up dirt, but small and soft enough that they do not scratch and damage surfaces. It’s a simple, effective system and when built out of polyester, lasts for years and years. It also means you only need to use water so it’s better for the environment.

There are plenty of own brand microfiber cloths, and plenty of pricey ones too. In my experience, they really just fall into two camps: hitchy fluff and well-woven. Even from before the first wash, the hitchy fluffy ones feel like they are not going to last – avoid these and pay an extra £3 to get something decent.

There are many other ways in which brands like Spontex and e-cloth have elaborated on the basic cloth, here’s a few with their benefits:

  • Waffle/3D textured: – more absorbent, particularly good for use in wet areas
  • Thin polishing cloths – very light weight, use to wipe dry glass, tiled and metal surfaces
  • Scrubbing bands – thicker strips of non-scratch scrubbing material for working on tougher stains like hob grease or bathroom watermarks

How to get the best out of your cloth:

  • Use one wet, but not dripping and polish after with a clean dry one
  • Wash them at 60 degrees to get rid of any lingering grease
  • Don’t use fabric softener as it clogs up the fibers
  • Do not iron or tumble dry them

Thanks for reading, we hope this brings you closer to a yellow duster and J-cloth free home

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