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How to Spend Less Time Cleaning Your Home

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How to Spend Less Time Cleaning Your Home

Who doesn't love the fresh, clean feeling of a spotless home? But getting there is another story.

If you’re like most people, you spend around 6 hours a week or nearly 24 hours a month on housework. Wouldn't it be great to spend less time cleaning so you can have more quality time with family and friends? You can, if you work smarter. 

So we’ve rounded up these top cleaning tips and tricks to help get your house whipped into shape faster — and keep it that way!

1. Get organized

First, the most effective way to reign in cleaning is to organize your supplies. There's no need to waste precious time hunting down a duster or toilet bowl cleaner. Use buckets and bins to group supplies so you can grab and go.

A caddy with a handle does the trick. Stock up on supplies in bulk so you've got plenty at the ready:

  • Sponge
  • Rags or washcloths
  • Paper towels
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Countertop cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Furniture polish
  • Rubber gloves
  • Glass cleaner
  • Duster

You’ll also need a good vacuum and mop to suction up stray dust at the end. Those obviously won't fit in your caddy, so you can leave them in one spot for when you're ready to finish up your cleaning job and vacuum all at once.

Pro tip: Invest in an efficient vacuum. Time is money, right? Shop for a version that sucks up dust and dirt with no problem, the first time, so you can avoid stress and repeat cleanings.

When it comes to cleaning, buying the right tools can make a world of difference time-wise. Opt for a microfiber duster instead of a feather one to grab more dust.

Another key part of getting organized? Setting a cleaning time and sticking to the schedule. Like any other job, you want to do well, stay focused, and ignore distractions. Dedicate a certain day and time each week to cleaning so you can stay on task.

2. Start running things

If you need to wash dishes, clothes, or towels, get those moving before you start other time-consuming tasks so they’re in process. Start wash cycles and then dive into more hands-on stuff. That way you can finish bigger jobs and transfer washes in between.

Another double-duty tactic? Get rid of clutter first so you can focus on cleaning vs. putting things away. Move all your knickknacks to one area so you can clear space. It'll be easier to dust your treasures all at once, as well as clean the surfaces they’re sitting on.

3. Clean by task

Shave time off your cleaning schedule by divvying up your home into cleaning tasks. Many cleaning pros consider this the most efficient way to clean house. 

Use your duster to dust all the surfaces first. Use all the same sanitizing supplies to tackle all showers and bathtubs in one sweep. Then get out your wipes and paper towels for surfaces like bathroom and kitchen counters.

Try to go in this order to get the cleanest surfaces and avoid re-contaminating ones you’ve already cleaned.

  • Dust
  • Clean furniture
  • Wipe down windows, glass, and mirrors
  • Wipe down surfaces
  • Spray cleaner on tubs, sinks, and toilets. Scrub bathrooms and wipe down the kitchen
  • Vacuum
  • Mop or scrub floors

Task-based cleaning keeps you moving on to the next task. It also helps you avoid getting too into the weeds in one room and tuckering yourself out before you get to the rest.

Ensure you get all the spots in each room clean with this simple strategy: top to bottom, left to right. As you dust, you’ll avoid getting dust on surfaces you already cleaned. 

4. Operate like a pro

Did you know? The pros swear you can clean most houses in 4 hours or less, flat.

One former cleaning professional says it’s typically quicker to clean someone else’s home compared to your own because you’re not distracted. Your mission is to clean. You’re not personally attached to the mess or the contents.

Approach cleaning your own home like a job. The time you gain in efficiency can make it feel like less of a chore when it goes by so quickly.

5. Mix in deep cleaning tasks

Some cleaning to-dos are OK to tackle less frequently. Stagger these jobs as needed:

  • Empty everything out of the refrigerator and wipe it down
  • Clean inside the oven
  • Remove all dishware and clean inside the kitchen cabinets
  • Move heavy furniture to clean underneath
  • Dust books on shelves
  • Wax furniture

For more labor- or time-intensive tasks like these, spread them out over your cleaning schedule. Do one or two a week so they take less time than a deep clean, but you’re still getting to them frequently enough.

6. Give yourself a break

In reality, a quick swipe can be just as effective for dusting a surface than a professional polish. Clean swiftly and with purpose. You’ll probably do just as well while saving yourself extra time.

Cleaning regularly also means an overall cleaner house — and less to do when it is cleaning time. If you missed vacuuming the rugs this week, you’ll nab it the next.

The key is to create a regular, consistent cleaning schedule. Waiting for deep cleans means a messier house overall, and a much more time catching up. 

Enlist some help to save even more time

If you live with a roommate, spouse, or family members, make cleaning a group activity! Assign someone to take on a certain task or room. Or, clean together, for what we’ll call a unique family bonding activity.