Speed-Clean a Big Bookcase Checklist

Want to be decluttered and dusted in 15 minutes or less? Here’s what you’ll need: an apron with pockets, an old sheet, silica-gel packets, a Swiffer duster with an extendable handle, an Alvin dry-cleaning pad, a hair dryer, an extension cord, and a step stool.

  1. Check Minute 1:

    Put on an apron with pockets, and lay an old sheet around the base of the bookcase.

  2. Check Minute 2:

    Scan your books. If you see any you’ve been meaning to get rid of, toss them in a pile for donation.

  3. Check Minute 3:

    Load your apron pockets with a few Swiffer sheets, about a dozen silica-gel packets, and the dry-cleaning pad. Grab the extendable duster and swipe the top of the bookshelf.

  4. Check Minutes 4 to 5:

    Plug in a hair dryer and climb a step stool to the highest shelf. Turn the dryer on a high-cold setting and blow dust off the tops and spines of books, working your way down the bookcase.

  5. Check Minutes 6 to 9:

    Head back to the top. Pull books halfway out, four or five at a time, and reach back with a Swiffer sheet to pick up the dust that you just blew off. If you see any dirt on cloth spines or covers, gently dab it away with the dry-cleaning pad.

  6. Check Minutes 10 to 12:

    Push books all the way back and use a Swiffer sheet to clean the area in front.

  7. Check Minute 13:

    Wipe the frame of the bookcase with a Swiffer sheet or the extendable duster.

  8. Check Minute 14:

    Reposition books a couple of inches from the edge of each shelf. Toss a few silica-gel packets behind each row.

  9. Check Minute 15:

    Roll up the sheet and shake the dust from it outdoors. Now peruse your pristine library and find the right title to read (or reread) next.