Authors: Jeff Campbell
There’s a catch to using this book.
The Clean Team has timed and tested every sequence, technique, and product. They know what works. They tell you what to do. And they are The Boss.
They teach you a simple system for the whole house. They give you diagrams that help. They lead you step-by-step. They threaten you if you do it wrong!
The result is a sparkling clean home in under half the time you used to take. Very clean. Very fast. Very easy.
What’s the catch? You do it their way. No arguments. No discussions. No compromises.
Why? Because it works!
FOR THOSE WHO WOULD RATHER BE DOING PRACTICALLY ANYTHING ELSE
“MAYBE YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO CLEAN: IF SO, YOU CAN [STILL] PICK UP A FEW TIPS AND LEARN HOW TO WORK A LOT FASTER.”
—The Village Voice
“THE MOST WORTHWHILE BOOK I’VE READ SINCE
THE JOY OF SEX.
—L.G., Pepper Pike, Ohio
“Week 1 took me just over two hours. Week 2 took about an hour and 15 minutes. Week 3 took 56 minutes. Week 4 took 46 minutes. I’m sold.”
—Michele Fagin, Vermont
“YOU MAY HAVE SAVED MY LIFE!”
—K.B.E., Minneapolis, Minn.
“I’m an industrial engineer and I have always felt my cleaning technique was efficient until I read yours. It really is amazing.”
—B.M., Fairless Hills, Penn.
TELLS TRADE SECRETS THAT … WILL HELP ANYONE WORK FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENTLY.”
“MY HUSBAND CAN’T BELIEVE I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT CLEANING HOUSE.”
—S.B., Fort Worth, Texas
“CAMPBELL OFFERS MUCH EDUCATION IN THIS BOOK.”
—Rocky Mountain News
“The first believable housecleaning book I have ever seen.”
—M.V.B., Loma Linda, Calif.
“I THOUGHT IT WAS TERRIFIC! MY HUSBAND AND I BOTH WORK FULL TIME—I STAND BEHIND THE CLEAN TEAM SYSTEM 100 PERCENT.”
—S. Brown, Illinois
“I LOVE YOUR BOOK!!! I HAVEN’T BEEN THIS EXCITED IN YEARS AND CERTAINLY
ABOUT CLEANING.… I LOOK FORWARD TO CLEANING YOUR WAY. THANKS!”
—L. Sorg., Alexandria, Va.
“I HAVE NEVER READ SUCH AN ENLIGHTENING BOOK ON A SUBJECT THAT HAS MYSTIFIED MILLIONS OF WOMEN [AND MEN] SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. BLESS YOU.”
—B. McG., Madison, Wis.
a division of
Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
New York, New York 10036
A first edition of this book was self-published by the author.
Copyright © 1985, 1987, 1991 by Jeff Campbell
Illustrations copyright © 1987, 1991 by Axelle Fortier, Berkeley, Calif.
Introduction copyright © 1997 by Jeff Campbell
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law.
The trademarks Dell
and The Clean Team
are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
was first published in 1987. More than ten years later, and just like the well-known batteries, it’s still going strong.
I’ve been told that a book’s average shelf life is only three weeks or so. That means
has endured approximately 173 times longer than average. Why? I believe it’s because it makes such good sense in today’s busy world. It will teach you how to do housecleaning in the very best way possible and in the most efficient way possible. And not by working harder. Just smarter! The result? You will reclaim that spare time that has vanished from your life.
was and is the first comprehensive solution to the housecleaning chores that each of us copes with and must find time for virtually every week of our lives.
finally paid attention to the fact that almost no one in our culture is actually taught how to do this. We seem to assume that if you drop someone in the middle of a dirty house, she (or he) would instinctively know how to go about getting it clean: sort of a cleaning gene at work. However, for those of us who arrived without the magic gene,
provides the very first step-by-step set of instructions on housecleaning. It’s a proven method that furnishes even the most profoundly cleaning impaired the wherewithal to clean in the smartest way possible.
also takes very, very seriously the amount of time that housecleaning consumes and the limited amount of time in which we have to do it. It’s about time someone respected all those hours you spend scrubbing, dusting, and vacuuming. Whatever housecleaning skills most of us have were handed down by our mothers or grandmothers, who were able to do the work on a full-time basis. Given how our society has changed—now that so many women in America are working, commuting,
keeping house—those full-time cleaning methods no longer work. Full-time techniques won’t fit into a weekend. Besides, not many of us look forward to spending precious weekends cleaning house. It’s like going from one job to another.
teaches new skills. Learning how to clean (or do anything else) the very best possible way can change how you feel about the activity. As you get better and better at a task, you move closer to the cutting edge of your attention. (Just watch a kid play a computer game.) As you get closer to that edge, it’s nearly impossible to dislike what you’re doing. When you learn how to shave off unnecessary steps, motions, and repetitions, you’ll move closer and closer to full attention. You’ll become a pure cleaning machine—a Ninja warrior of cleaning, if you wish.
If you already enjoy cleaning, the payoff is that you’ll have a thoroughly clean house in as short a period of time as possible. It you
enjoy cleaning, that’s still not a problem. You’ll get the same clean house, the same extra time for other activities, and you’ll dislike it less.
I used to work for the telephone company. My work efforts were forwarded to various departments in paper form, and several weeks or months later a phone system would be installed—an event I might not even know about unless something went wrong. At its very best, I had precious little feedback for my efforts. By contrast, housecleaning offers a much more direct payoff. First the house was dirty and now it’s clean, and whoever did it gets all the credit. Most of us don’t stop to gloat over every item that gets cleaned, but each new bit of cleanliness provides a dose of straightforward positive feedback—the kind that’s becoming increasingly rare.
Becoming an expert at what you do makes the activity itself easier. It’s much easier to use a computer the 100th time or to change the oil in the lawn tractor the second or third time. When it comes to cleaning, it also turns out to be easier to work clockwise around a room once, cleaning from top to bottom and from back to front as you go, than it is to make fitful stops and starts and countless trips back and forth and up and down.
Being an expert is also a morale booster. It’s downright depressing to have a dirty house and not have the time to clean it. An almost universal lament in America has
become: “I love a clean house, but I just don’t have the time.” In this situation, you either (a) give up and get depressed or (b) keep trying to catch up, but never do, so you’re robbed of any satisfaction for your efforts.
allows you to do the cleaning well and to do it as quickly as humanly possible.
It will give you back your weekends.
You can reclaim time for other things that are fun, relaxing, or otherwise rewarding. And you can enjoy a clean house in the meantime.
methods have stood the test of time, cleaning products change, are invented, and are improved continually. When
was first published, I started receiving letters (by the thousands!) from readers demanding to know: “So where’s this fancy
of yours?” and “I want to try some of that
you’re so proud of.” The Clean Team Catalog was created to satisfy those readers and to make professionally tested cleaning products available to consumers everywhere. The catalog has grown over the years, and we now test products from around the world to be able to offer the best homecare products available. If you would like to receive a free copy, please call us at 800-717-CLEAN (that’s 717-2532), and we’ll be happy to oblige. That telephone number is also a cleaning hot-line, so whenever you have a housecleaning question of any kind, call and we’ll do our best to answer it.
Our method was developed by The Clean Team—San Francisco’s preeminent housecleaning service. For over eighteen years we’ve kept records of every visit to thousands
of households in San Francisco. We used time-and-motion analysis and an endless comparison of cleaning products and equipment to develop a method that would save every step and every moment possible. The result is a thoroughly tested system of cleaning without a wasted motion. Besides being fast, we’re very, very good: Our waiting list has, at times, been six months long.
is a weekly cleaning system for areas that need attention every week or two: a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and bathrooms, including washing the floors in those rooms and dusting and vacuuming throughout the house. Our second book,
covers the jobs that you don’t tackle every time you clean but that you shouldn’t ignore forever, either: jobs like washing windows and waxing floors. Daily cleaning tasks and household organization is the subject of our third book,
It provides instruction on organizing cupboards, drawers, closets, magazines, and much more. Book four,
answers the 157 most frequently asked cleaning questions we’ve collected over the last ten years.
Because of our professional experience, we get to be The Boss for the time being. Maybe you’ll develop your own system someday or customize ours for your own situation, but for now we’re going to relieve you of the burden of making decisions. No arguments. No discussions. No compromises.