A clean home promotes relaxation and helps to keep you and your family healthy and organized. Despite the known benefits of a clean house, many of us would rather do almost anything else when it’s time to tidy up. Fortunately, cleaning doesn’t have to be the all-day chore many are used to. With a little preparation and consistency, it’s possible to keep a spotless home with just a little effort each day, leaving you free to spend the rest of your time relaxing in a clean environment. To help you speed up your house cleaning, follow these 7 tips.
1. Deep Clean the First Time
If you’re staring at a cluttered disaster and feel overwhelmed about how long it’s going to take to clean it, this is where you should begin. One of the biggest contributors to cleaning time is avoidance. You may find yourself starting with motivation, but eventually give up because it looks like you aren’t getting anywhere. However, deep cleaning your home first makes it that much easier to maintain once you’re done, saving you time in the long run. There are a few ways to maximize your impact, maintain your motivation and see real results.
Make a List
Before you begin, make a list of all the areas in your home that need to be cleaned. Go through each room and give every cluttered spot a label. Keep all cleaning tasks grouped together by room to keep you organized. Feel free to use a list app on your phone for this step, but remember: There’s something satisfying about crossing items off a paper list.
Tackle One Room at a Time
Even the biggest job can seem more manageable by breaking it up into smaller tasks. Once you’ve finished your list, choose the room that’s easiest to clean and start with the simplest task to build your momentum. Once you’ve knocked a few out, every task that follows will seem much easier. When you’ve finished the room, take a minute to appreciate the results of your hard work. Then choose the next room on your list, and do the same thing.
If cleaning your entire house all at once is too much, try tackling just one or two rooms a day. Begin by tidying the rooms you’ve already cleaned before tackling new ones. The last thing you want is to clean the final room on your list just to find out the first few are messy again. The more rooms you get clean, the more motivation you’ll have to continue. Before you know it, you’ll be down to one last task on your list. Once it’s done, give yourself the rest of the day off. You’ve earned it!
2. Control Clutter with Baskets
Clutter builds quickly and can make a clean home look messy and disorganized. Unfortunately, clutter is often the hardest thing to control because it’s not noticed until it’s fairly severe. Once it gets to that point, you’ll usually find several items that all belong in different areas of the house and some that don’t have a home yet. To keep this from happening, try using the basket method.
Keep a basket in the main living area of your home. While you’re cleaning, pick up anything that doesn’t belong and throw it in the basket. As you move throughout your home, take your basket to each room and put away the things that belong in that room. Continue until you’ve finished your cleaning and your basket is empty. This reduces your cleaning time by eliminating multiple trips to put away individual items.
3. Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning is a type of maintenance you can do throughout the day when you don’t have time to fully clean a room. For example, if someone tips a potted plant and soil gets on the carpet, it may feel like too much hassle to pull out the vacuum and clean the whole carpet. Instead, consider purchasing a hand vacuum to handle small carpet messes. Make sure to clean up all spills immediately, whether solid or liquid, to prevent difficult messes that take more time.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
It’s easy to get distracted by the big picture when you’re trying to get an area clean. You might find yourself pausing from gathering the laundry when you realize you need to take out the trash. Then leaving the trash by the door when you see there are toys to be picked up. You may stop picking up toys when you see the carpets need vacuuming… and so on, and so on. You can end up feeling like you spent the whole day cleaning, but nothing was actually finished.
Make sure you focus solely on the task in front of you by keeping a “grass-catcher” list. If you’re in the middle of a chore and see something else that needs to be done, write it on your list. This way you can focus on what you’re doing without worrying about other important tasks you’ve noticed along the way. When each cleaning job is seen through to completion, you waste less time redoing areas you haven’t finished.
5. Get Motivated
Time moves quickly when you’re enjoying yourself, and there’s no reason why you can’t use this concept when you clean. Put on some comfortable clothes, and start some fun music before dancing your way through your cleaning list. Choose fast-paced music that makes you feel upbeat and gets your heart pumping. As you shimmy and shake through your cleaning tasks, you’ll notice that you’re moving quickly and getting things done faster.
The exercise is good for your cardiovascular system, good music will keep a smile on your face and you’ll find yourself moving at a pace that matches its tempo. You’ll end up with a cleaner house, a little exercise and an improved mood. All in less time than it normally takes you to clean.
6. Enlist Help from the Family
If there are others in your household, don’t feel you have to be responsible for keeping the house clean alone. Enlist their help, and make cleaning a group effort. Things get done faster when more than one person is involved, and housework is no exception. Tackle individual tasks (like cleaning up after dinner) together as a family to reduce chore time. You can also assign certain jobs to others to free up the time you need to accomplish your own tasks. Whether you choose one of these options or both, multiple participants lighten the load for everyone and gets everything done faster.
7. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Whatever tips and tricks you choose, set up a cleaning schedule that fits your needs, and follow it consistently. The more often you spend time maintaining your clean home, the less mess you’ll have to clean. A few minutes spent each day picking up laundry, putting away clutter and doing the dishes prevents the build-up that forces you into another deep clean.
Determine which cleaning tasks must be done daily, weekly and monthly. Commit to completing the daily tasks each day, and choose a day of the week to regularly tackle the weekly chores. Schedule monthly tasks on the same date, or choose the first Saturday or Sunday of the month. If you have specific days dedicated to less frequent cleaning jobs, you don’t have to stress about them in the meantime. Sticking to your schedule keeps you organized, reducing the time it takes to get everything done.
Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a monumental task whenever the mess becomes too much to bare. With a little organization, the right mentality and these useful tips, cleaning can be reduced to small daily tasks instead of a mountain to be climbed. So, grab your basket, turn on your music and get ready to live a cleaner life.
Need a good vacuum to help speed up your next big clean? Be sure to check our reviews of the best handheld vacuums from top brands.