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If you take a good look at my house, it may seem like a big, organized, fancy mansion, but the inside is anything but fancy and organized. Most people say that my house is a mess, but to me, that's just an understatement.

My house isn't just a mess. It's like a gigantic pigpen. Sure, it may look lovely and pristine on the outside, but all of the rooms in it are sloppy, cluttered, and not very well organized. Piles and piles of stuff are stacked everywhere, recklessly perched off one another. Cooking tools and cookbooks are stuffed into a huge clutter in the kitchen. In my bedroom closet, the clothes aren't hung very well. The bathroom suffers from an excess amount of towels and toiletries. The reason why my house is such a mess is that I can be quite a packrat and careless about the messes I leave behind, and I tend to squirrel away from every tangible scrap in my life. I like collecting stuff, but I don't really put things I collect in proper places. I can also be pretty lazy, because I don't really clean up after myself after I leave a mess behind.

But, despite being a lazy, careless packrat, I knew that something had to be done about the huge messes that I made.

My friend was coming over to my house on Saturday, and I realized that my house was a mess. I usually don't like cleaning up after myself, but I didn't want my friend to see my messy house and think I was a total slob, so I decided that it was time to start cleaning. Cleaning the house from top to bottom seemed like a fairly self-explanatory task, but I didn't know where I should start. And how the heck was I supposed to clean a toilet, anyway? After a few minutes of thinking, I decided that the best bet was to work it down into a streamlined process that seemed simple enough to tackle and instantly gratifying. Once I started, I wouldn't stop until the whole house was spick and span.

I made myself a checklist and a plan, so it would make cleaning the house easier. After I wrote down the checklist, I knew I was in for a long afternoon of cleaning my entire house. So, as I got some cleaning supplies ready and put on my rubber cleaning gloves, I went to work.

I started off by cleaning the bathroom. To me, cleaning the toilet is one of the worst tasks, soI knew it was best to get it over with as soon as possible. I was wearing rubber gloves to keep my hands away from the grime and bacteria. Using a sponge soaked in hot water, I gently scrubbed the toilet to loosen up the grime. After that, I squirted toilet cleaner into the inside of the bowl and around the rim. After letting it soak for a minute, I scrubbed the bowl with a toilet brush and gave it a flush. After I was done with the bowl, I went back to cleaning the outside surfaces. I sprayed them down with a disinfectant spray and wiped them dry with one of my best paper towels.

Now it was time to clean the bathtub. I knew that the shower was notorious for getting grimy quickly. Using a bristled brush and dish washing liquid, I got rid of the scum in the bottom of the tub. To make it stay cleaner, I used some car wax. Then I continued cleaning with antibacterial cleanser.

Then I started cleaning the sink. Cleaning the sink seems like a pretty heavy duty to me, but I had to get it done. I grabbed my cleanser and sprayed the surface down. I waited for a minute while the cleanser ate away the bacteria and mildew, and then I scrubbed it down with some elbow grease and a sturdy sponge. Some of the stains were pretty stubborn, so I used a wire-bristled brush to dig into them and loosen them up. Once the sink was sparkly and fresh, I rinsed it out with warm water and wiped it dry with a clean cloth.

The last thing I needed to clean in the bathroom were the glass mirrors. I wanted them to be nice and sparkly, not just clean. First, I washed the glass with a solution of warm water and dish soap with a sponge. I used powdered no-scratch cleaner because it works fantastic for cleaning mirrors, because it scrubs off hard water residue without scratching the surface. After I was done with cleaning the bathroom, I scratched it off my list.

The next room to clean was the kitchen. The first thing to do was wash the dishes. Doing the dishes saved a lot of work. I didn't need to soak anything or scrub hard because the food juices weren't going to dry and harden. I just wet my sponge with hot water, squirted on some dish soap, wiped each dish, and rinsed throughly with hot water. Using a dish towel, I dried off the dishes before placing them in the drying rack.

Cleaning the microwave and oven wasn't a fun task, even though I didn't clean them very often, but it had to be done. The good thing was that my oven has a self-cleaning setting, so it could do the brunt of the work for me. I removed the wire racks to soak in soapy water, completed the self-cleaning cycle, and wiped out the ashes at the bottom and then washed it down with some cleaner and a wet rag. For the microwave, I used a bowl of vinegar, lemon, and water. I placed the bowl in the microwave, turned the microwave on for a few minutes, and then wiped it down with a rag. All that crusted gunk came off easily, leaving my microwave looking like new.

Now that I got the hard part out of the way, it was time for me to organize the cabinets. This part was actually up to me and what I felt made sense. I just came up with a system that was fairly intuitive and sensible. I decided that it was easier to just take everything back out and then put everything back in, rather than trying to work around everything and see what I could make work. When everything was out, I cleaned the inside of the cabinets. Once I to rid of all the dirt and dust, I put everything inside. I sorted out everything so I could remember which was which. I put the bowls in one side of the cabinet, the fine glasses in another side, and my baking supplies in a different cabinet, and so on. If something was out of place, I made sure to put it in the right cabinet.

Next on the list was the bedroom. My bedroom has always been in a shabby state, so I guess it was time to get everything clean and organized, starting from the top down. I started off by organizing all the clutter. There were papers I threw about, clothes on the floor, and candy bar wrappers next to my bed. I decided to get rid of them all. I picked up a trash bag and a laundry bag and went around the room picking up the garbage and unwashed clothing. I put all of the wrappers and paper wads in the garbage bag to throw out and put the clothing in the laundry bag so I could do the laundry later. Now it was time for me to really get to work.

To me, making the bed seemed pretty pointless, since I was just going to mess it up again at night, but making the bed actually made the room look and feel better, which is kind of strange. But it gave cleaning the rest of the room purpose, because it would look amazing once I was finished.

Everyone tells me that organizing the closet should really be something that I should do every day, but it's easy for me to get a little too carried away with organizing my clothes. So, in order to avoid getting too organized, I made a map of my closet in my head as I sorted my clothes out. Then I got to organizing, keeping all the shirts and pants in proper order.

After the bed and the closet were taken care of, I dusted, vacuumed, and sprayed a nice scent into the room. All those shelves and nooks and crannies were paradise for dust and dander, so it was a good thing I had dusting spray and disinfecting wipes to get the job done. Once everything was dusted, I was able to vacuum accordingly. I was almost finished with the bedroom. All I had to do now was top the whole thing off with a nice, fresh lavender scent.

Most of the rooms in my house seemed clean. Now I had to take care of the smaller things. I started off by cleaning the floors using my trusty vacuum and mop. Vacuuming was the most effective way to clean up all the dust and other loose junk that accumulated on carpeted floors. I used a dry dust mop in rooms where there were wood or tile floors.

Teeny invisible dust mites were everywhere, and they seemed to be invading my furniture. So, I took a damp cloth and a dusting mitt and carried them over the surfaces of the furniture. I went in a continual motion on every surface so I didn't miss any spots.

Then I polished the wood furniture. I made sure to read the label of the furniture polish carefully to see if it was made specifically for polishing wood. Next, I applied some of the furniture polish and wiped away according to the directions.

Now that I had all surfaces and floors clean, it was time to hit the even smaller stuff, because I was almost finished. I fluffed the pillows, straightened the blankets, oiled the door hinges, clean the walls, replaced the lightbulbs, raked up leaves, did my laundry, and organized everything in each room. I put some items in storage in labeled containers so I would remember where I put them. When I was done, I sprayed a last can of room spray and marveled at my hard work.

As I walked through the house, I made sure that I didn't miss a single spot and the house was as clean as a whistle. And to be honest with you, I did a very good job. I may be a bit of a slobby pack rat, but when I get everything cleaned up, all that hard work really pays off.

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