6 Smart Ideas for Cleaning Your Living Room and Bedroom

These spaces have a lot in common: soft, comfy furniture, plush carpeting, and personal clutter. They also share the cleaning challenges of upholstery stains, dirty carpeting, and dust.

1. "I spray Nature's Miracle on most upholstery stains. It gets anything out: frosting, ink, snot, salsa ..." Valerie Nolan, mom of one; Winchester, MA

father on cleaning
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2. Kerr suggests stashing oversize lint rollers ($5; evercare.com for stores) in side-table drawers for pet-hair and general fuzz removal from upholstery and bedspreads.

3. Clean mirrors and picture-frame glass by spraying glass cleaner on the rag (not on the glass), to prevent cleaner buildup in frame corners or droplets on walls, Kerr says.

  • Encourage your kids to help out with our Easy Chore Chart.

4. Take a cue from Geneva Vaughan, director of housekeeping at Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center, near Atlanta: vacuum after dusting, so you'll get up any dust that's settled to the ground. Start with the corner opposite the door so you won't track dirt back into your freshly groomed wall-to-wall.

  • At what age should your child maker her own bed? Use our age-by-age chore chart to find out.

5. If you have pets, spray an antistatic spray, like Static Guard, lightly on your carpet or furniture a few minutes before vacuuming so fur comes up more easily, Smallin says.

6. Orphaned socks are handy for dusting tricky shapes like window blinds and baseboards, says Smallin. Get your kids involved by giving them each a sock and challenging them to see who can make their "puppet" the dirtiest.

Originally published in the April issue of Parents Magazine

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