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You spend all day cleaning your house, step back to admire the work and it still looks dirty.  Cue the tears and the tantrum.  Let’s take a look at the things that seem to be erasing all of your hard work and get you back on track.

#1. CLUTTER

Clutter, clutter, clutter. Even when your home is clean, clutter can make it look dirty. Clutter can be too much furniture, knick knacks on a shelf or counter, too many blankets and throws… you get the idea.  Straighten these areas and really take a look at what you use and what you love.  If it does not fit in one of those two categories…toss it out or donate it.

#2. CARPET STAINS

Carpet stains happen. Whether it’s from a child, a pet, or muddy shoes, it’s important to get the stains out.  You can rent machines if you don’t have one or call in the pros to knock it out in no time.  Brighter and fresher carpet will have your room looking clean in no time!

#3. DIRTY AND FADED CURTAINS

Check the label on how to wash or clean the curtains.  Most often they can be washed in a washing machine or vacuumed with hose attachments.  If that does not help, replace them!  Place the rod and hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as you can to give the illusion of taller ceilings and increase the height of the room.

#4. POOR LIGHTING

Natural light brightens any room.  If you have windows in the room, open the curtains or blinds.  Change your light bulbs to bright white and if necessary replace light shades to allow light to fill the room.

#5. DIRTY BASEBOARDS

Dirty baseboards in a clean room is like wearing worn out shoes with a pretty dress – it just doesn’t work.  Scrub the baseboards when you clean with an all purpose and a magic eraser.  Did you know baseboards should be repainted every couple of years?  Look at your baseboards and make any repairs with wood putty or caulk. Think of the beating they take day in and day out.

#6. DIRTY DOORS AND WALLS

Look at the high touch areas on your doors and walls – near light switches and door knobs, the places where people touch to open, close or pass through an area. Fingerprints and dirt on doors and walls can make your home look dirty. Wipe them clean with an all purpose cleaner or dish soap.  Zep also makes a GREAT wall cleaner that will not damage your paint.

#7. OLD/CHIPPED PAINT OR PEELING WALLPAPER

Painting a room is a very inexpensive way to brighten it up immediately.  If the room has been recently painted and has chips in the paint or wallpaper peeling, take the time to paint the area or re-adhere the paper.

#8. DIRTY WINDOWS

Look out your windows and you will see how dirty they can get.  Most of the time we are looking at something and not for dirt on the windows.  Cleaning the windows inside and out allows light in and keeps that dinginess to a minimum

#9. UNMADE BED

Always. Make.Your. Bed – not only does it makes the room look good but it makes you more productive and organized the rest of the day. 

#10. DIRTY GROUT

Dirty grout detracts from the overall clean look of a room.    You can use equal parts vinegar and water to spray on grout. Then use a toothbrush or a grout brush to scrub.  For tough spots a paste of baking soda and water works wonders!

#11. TOILET STAINS

A ring in the toilet can make the bathroom look dirty. Keep the cleaner tabs in the tank AFTER you have given it a good scrub. We use Bar keepers Friend and a wet pumice stone to scrub our clients’ toilets

#12. DIRTY LAUNDRY

Hampers with lids keep laundry in check.  If you are able to do laundry anytime you have enough for a full load and put it away as soon as it comes from the dryer, you can keep it from being overwhelming

#13. DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK

Dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter will make any kitchen look dirty.  It will be the first thing you see when you walk in even if you have scrubbed everything else.  Load the dishwasher and run it when its full.  Wash the dishes and put them away.

We would love to hear about any other things you notice that make a home look dirty.  Drop them in the comments! Also check out our featured article in Redfin Living Room Cleaning Checklist!

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