14 Tricks to Help You Speed-Clean Your Home
A clean home starts with clutter-free rooms. Sarah Brunette, brand director of the house cleaning service Molly Maid, suggests taking a few minutes at the end of each day to pick up the toys and other miscellaneous items that may have been left around the house. Use a small basket or a spare laundry bin to quickly collect clutter that you can deal with when you have more time.
Tackle multiple chores at once to maximize your cleaning time. Consider what other tasks you could start on while dirty dishes are soaking in the kitchen sink, for example. Wipe down countertops, disinfect faucet handles, or polish stainless-steel appliances during the soak time to get the most out of your cleaning minutes.
Skip the Scrubbing
Cross scrubbing inside the toilet off your chore checklist with this simple speed-cleaning hack. Sarah Brunette of Molly Maid suggests ditching the scrub brush and using denture cleaning tablets instead. Drop one tablet into the water, let it fizz for a few minutes, and then flush to get rid of toilet bowl stains and rust.
Tote Your Tools
Keep everything you use to clean your home ready to go in one cleaning tote, caddy, or bucket. You won't waste time gathering up cleaning products and tools before you start or as you move throughout the house. Just bring the tote with you from room to room. If your home is large, consider creating two, one for each story of your house.
Expert Secrets for Speed-Cleaning Your Home
Say Goodbye to the Broom
Extend Your Reach
Save yourself a few steps to help vacuuming go by faster. Invest in a 50-foot extension cord for your vacuum, suggests Matthew Ricketts, president of Better Life Maids. "Plug in once, in the center of the floor, and you'll be able to vacuum even a large home without wasting time un- and re-plugging," he says. Or opt for a cordless stick vacuum to prevent tangles and wasted time.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
That beautifully curated shelf display probably doesn't need a complete wipedown every single week. Save time by giving yourself the OK to skip the little stuff and instead focus on the big picture. Treating knickknacks and other small items to a good dusting once a month is just fine.
Stick to a System
Establishing a routine is one cleaning secret that can consistently shave time off cleaning day. Experts recommend starting each room to the left of the doorway, at the top, and moving clockwise and down. Once you get the hang of your system, you'll clean speedily on autopilot—and never waste time backtracking.
Cleaning goes much more quickly if you don't have to declutter along the way. Make sure each family member has a catchall spot for personal items. Cubbies, tote bags, and small laundry baskets all work well, and they should be emptied regularly. Make a rule: If it's full, its owner needs to trash, donate, or find a permanent home for all contents.
To save time on cleaning day, tidy up as you go whenever possible. Stash a few key cleaning supplies in each room or on each level of your home, says Teresa Ward, owner of Teresa's Family Cleaning. When messes happen, it's a cinch to swoop in, swipe, and move on.
Squeegee the Shower
Use a squeegee on the shower walls and door after every use, says Molly Maid president Meg Roberts. This quick, immediate act saves you from having to battle soap scum and water spots later. Bonus tip: Keep the shower door slightly open after use to promote airflow and prevent mildew buildup.
Focus on the Cleaning Task at Hand
If you truly want to speed-clean, you'll have to put the phone down or, better yet, tuck it out of sight. It's also best to keep the TV off and limit other distractions. When you can focus solely on the task at hand, it's easier to get your cleaning done quickly and move on.
"Cleaning should not be one person's responsibility," says Meg Roberts of Molly Maid. Shorten cleaning time by assigning tasks to family members. Even young kids can pick up, make the bed, and change out hand towels. Make your expectations clear, and delegate jobs to each person.