Cleaning and stuff

Okay, so maybe I’m just chronically disorganized but house cleaning routines are totally alien to me.
My mom tried her best to do right by me and teach me this stuff. And I did a bunch of house cleaning chores growing up, but I never figured out how to keep my bedroom floor clean.
For real.
So here I am, an adult, married with children, and I still don’t know how to keep a house clean, but I’m trying to get it. And I’d really like to start with my carpet.
I’ve done some research and want to share my newfound knowledge with my cleaning-challenged soul sisters. It turns out that a lot of it comes down to –you guessed it – routines.
1. Vacuum on a regular basis.
This doesn’t mean “when I notice that there are dust balls on the carpet.” Once a week is a good goal, but the carpet police aren’t going to arrest you if you vacuum once every two weeks instead. Just pay special attention to high traffic areas, which get a lot more wear and more dirt tracked over them.
Dirt, even the dirt you can’t see is the bad guy here – it can actually damage your carpet. You know how older carpet can look matted or fuzzed out and just not springy anymore? It’s not just people walking on it that causes that – it is caused by people walking on dirty carpet, grinding the dirt into the carpet fibers and wearing them out.
2. Wipe your shoes at the door. Better yet, take them off!
The hard part is getting your family to do this each and every time. Your house will stay cleaner though if the dirt and mud from outside don’t come in and onto your carpet.
3. Clean up spills promptly.
You know how the old saying goes “a stitch in time saves nine?” Well, cleaning up spills saves heartache over carpet stains. Get the spills up and maybe there won’t be a stain.
Pop quiz – what’s the best way to clean up a spill?
If you said blotting, you get a gold star. And if you said scrub and rub until it comes out, just put down your scrub brush right now. Rubbing can destroy the carpet, spread the stuff to a bigger area, and make it sink in deeper and really become a bad stain. Been there, done that. It’s not pretty.
4. Banish household cleaners from your stain-fighting arsenal.
So you blotted up the spill, but you can still see discoloration there. Don’t reach for whatever all-purpose cleanser you’ve got under the sink. You don’t know what it will do to your carpet. It could bleach it out and make it look even worse! Or actually set the stain in so it can’t be removed. And whatever you put on it can leave a residue, which can interact really badly with other cleaning products when it’s time to get your carpet cleaned. If you’ve got to try something, test it in an unseen area first. But if you really want to make sure it comes out, see number 5!
5. Get your carpets professionally cleaned.
I’m all for saving money, but I’m just not interested in renting a carpet cleaning machine and cleaning my own carpets. My vacuum cleaner is pretty good, but professionals have better equipment even for vacuuming, let alone washing out all the dust and dirt. And how do I know what’s the best stain remover for tomato sauce? Or grape juice? In my opinion, it’s worth the extra bucks to make sure it’s done right.