Weekly Reset: Historic Home Edition

We all love a weekly reset, and at our brownstone, we’ve boiled it down to a science! 

What’s a weekly reset? For us, it’s a thorough yet speedy cleaning routine that keeps us organized throughout the week. Instead of letting the clutter pile up, we use this checklist system to ensure our home remains consistently tidy(ish).

However, our weekly reset looks a little different because we live in a 130 year-old historic home. So, some of the floors, surfaces, and details are more delicate and take extra care to clean properly.

Whether you live in a mid century modern ranch or a restored victorian or a Brooklyn brownstone, it’s essential to use products and methods that preserve the antique details and finishes of your space. 

So, we’re breaking down the steps of our basic reset and how we take special care to preserve the restored parts of our house. 

Tools & Supplies:

Note: It’s best to avoid cleaning tools and products that are overly abrasive or harsh. While they may give you that spotless shine, they can also damage delicate materials like porcelain or wood. 

Cleaning Woodwork

Whether the woodwork in your home is original or a new-to-you antique, it’s important to keep it in good condition to avoid cracks and warping. Part of this maintenance is regular dusting and cleaning! 

We recommend dusting with a microfiber cloth or an old-fashioned feather duster. Both are quite gentle but still effective at picking up all those dust bunnies. 

Once your banister or mantel or window frame is dust free, grab your oil soap and combine with warm water. 

You can use this mixture on a soft cloth to wipe down your surfaces, starting at the top and working your way down to avoid any excess water drips. Then, dry it off with a clean cloth. 

Caring for Marble Surfaces

We love seeing marble in historic spaces, especially in antique fireplaces. Increasingly, we’re also seeing marble throughout the home in kitchens, bathrooms, and even on coffee tables and side tables. 

Our first tip for cleaning your marble is more of a pre-clean tip: CLEAN UP THOSE SPILLS! Your future cleaning self will definitely thank you! 

Marble is porous, so when it comes in contact with any liquid, it will absorb. Wiping up those messes when they happen will prevent staining and make your clean a whole lot easier. 

During your weekly reset, it’s important to use the right cleaning materials to avoid etching (a.k.a. erosion of the stone). So, that means no vinegar, lemon, or chemicals with an acidic PH! You can keep it simple with a little bit of dish soap and warm water. 

We like to wipe down our countertops with a damp–not drenched–cloth and then go over them with a dry towel. 

Maintaining Hardwood Floors

Our home has a combination of original and newly installed hardwood floors throughout the space. We want both to last a very long time, so we do our best to keep them in ship-shape. 

During our weekly reset, we run our robot vacuum to pick up dirt and debris. We love using an automatic vacuum system on our historic floors because it’s not as heavy as a traditional vacuum cleaner and doesn’t have a beater bar, so we’re worried about scratches on the hardwood. 

Quick tip: be sure your vacuum is made for hardwood floors! 

Next, time permitting, give your hardwood floors a good mop. We try to avoid the harsher cleaners that can damage floors over time. Our go to wood cleaner is Supernatural Wood + Floor.

These are just a few of the things we do to keep the historic parts of our house clean and well-preserved. Tackling a few key areas of our home once a week really helps us stay on top of maintenance and clutter. 

Be sure to check out our official Reset Checklist to help guide your own Weekly Reset! 

Our Reset Checklist:

Kitchen

  • Clear countertops
  • Wipe countertops
  • Wash dishes or load dishwasher
  • Sanitize sink 
  • Take out kitchen trash and recycling

Living Room

  • Dust
  • Use a lint roller on couch
  • Vacuum 
  • Wipe down coffee and side tables 

Dining Room

  • Clear away any clutter: mail, wrappers, boxes, etc. 
  • Wipe off table
  • Reposition chairs
  • Light a fresh candle

Bedroom

  • Make the bed
  • Put away any clothes and accessories
  • Vacuum 
  • Clear off side tables and wipe down

Bathroom

  • Take out any trash
  • Spray tub and toilet with cleaner
  • Wipe each from top down
  • Clear off and wipe down countertop
  • Spray and wipe mirror 

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