Living Room and Bedroom Cleaning Routines–Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide to Easier Living, 1954


Going to be doing some deep cleaning around the house soon, and might try to increase the nonexistent fun factor by putting a vintage spin on things. Pro tip: clear the clutter first (take things straight out to the garbage or the car, in the case of donations), then do the deep cleaning. You can’t clean clutter!

Weekly Living Room and Bedroom Cleaning Routines

1. Bring in “cleaning” basket and two “catchall” baskets or trays (a cart would do for both), and a paper bag.

2. Open windows, turn down heat.

3. With wastebasket or paper bag in hand, and “catchall” basket, do a once-around-the-room pickup job, including rubbish removal and gathering up articles belonging elsewhere in the house; put these articles and wastebasket outside the door of the room.

4. Take to kitchen or bathroom (in basket, cart, or tray) any small articles that need washing or thorough polishing. Include plants for a soaking in the sink, to remove dust. (You can also wipe off leaves with damp tissues.)

15. Return with vacuum-cleaner and all necessary attachments. About the only other tools you need in your basket or cart are treated polishing cloths, a cellulose sponge or two, and a bottle or jar filled with rinseless detergent (see page 134).

6. Then, in a series of once-around-the-room routes, starting with the dust-brush attachment, vacuum-clean — as you come to them:

Window sills (inside and out) and window sash moldings. Venetian blinds or shades. Radiators (mainly where dust shows).

Walls where cobwebs and any dust show.

Exposed areas of bookshelves, including banked front of books. Exposed baseboard moldings. All furniture (except upholstered portions).

Books, magazines, larger decorative accessories, lamp bases and shades (lifting each object as it’s finished to dust underneath).

Ashtrays (no need to empty them first—let the vacuum do it).

Mantel and fireplace fixtures.

7. In a second trip around, with upholstery-cleaner attachment, go over:

Draperies and curtains; then shake them into position and line up.

Upholstered furniture; then plump pillows and straighten slip covers.

Hearth, vacuuming ashes from fireplace.

Small rugs.

8. On a third trip, with cleaning basket, sponge off and dry-polish all furnishings
that need it—including dry-polishing mirrors and picture glass. Sponge hearth
if necessary. Then remove cleaning basket.

9. Make a fourth trip around, with floor brush attachment, doing all exposed
floor areas (including those in closets).


9a. Or if you have a carpeted floor, clean now with rug-cleaner attachment—it’s
easier if your furniture is on rollers, so that large areas can be cleared for fast

10. Replace the furniture.

11. Polish or wipe accessories left to soak; bring them back to the room, along
with plants, and put all back in place. Remove basket used to carry them.

12. Empty vacuum bag, if necessary, and store tank and attachments.

When Necessary Tasks
(to be added to weekly routine as needed)

1. Thorough vacuuming of corners, walls, baseboards, doors, and floors. (Heavy
furniture should be on rollers, to be easily moved to center of room.)

42. Clean windows (see page 149).

3. Polish metal objects, andirons, lighting fixtures, etc.

4. Vacuum reverse side of rug, rug mat, and floor underneath.

5. Wax floors (see page 147).

6. Clean radiators (using the narrow-space vacuum attachment).

7. Remove cushions from chairs and sofa, and clean crevices with narrow-space
vacuum attachment.

8. Dust pictures and light bulbs.

Once-or-Twice-a-Year Cleaning
(not much oftener, we hope)

1. Shampoo rugs (see page 149) and upholstery (or have them done by professionals).

2. Remove draperies and curtains for professional cleaning or laundering; vacuum the wall and ceiling areas they hide.

3. Clean box spring and bed frame, and both sides of mattress (with upholstery-
cleaner vacuum attachment).

4. Thoroughly vacuum closets and storage areas, removing the contents first; sort
and rearrange the contents.

5. Remove the contents of desk and bureau drawers; vacuum with dust-brushing
attachment; sponge clean with hot water and detergent (without rinsing, if possible); sort out the contents, throwing away unnecessary items, and rearrange.

6. Wash walls (see page 148).


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