10 Tips to Spring Clean Your House Quickly
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This Tuesday marked the first day of spring. The change in seasons makes me excited for the months ahead. I can’t wait for street fairs and hikes on sunny days. But before those happen, I have to clean the house. Ugh! The start of spring always calls for a thorough house cleaning.
As I much as I love a clean house, I don’t like cleaning because I always feel I can do something better with my time. Two hours of cleaning could otherwise be spent on fun activities like an outing with my husband or just relaxing at home. When I have to clean the house, I do it as fast as I can while still doing a good job. So today I want to share some tips for cleaning the house quickly and efficiently. Because who wants to spend more of their life cleaning?
Delegate the cleaning
This is the number one way to get cleaning done faster. If you live with someone such as a partner or your children, get them on board cleaning with you. Children who are old enough can take responsibility for tidying up their rooms. A spouse or roommate can split the cleaning 50/50 so you get twice as much done in the same amount of time.
Set a timer
It’s amazing how much you can get done when you have a timer running. Depending on the size of your house, set how much time you think you need to get it cleaned. My place is small so if my husband and I share the cleaning, we can easily get it done in an hour.
Once you set the timer, clean quickly without any distractions. Think about moving rapidly through every chore and every room. One activity leads right into the next one. You want to finish everything before the timer goes off. And if you find part of the way through that you’re moving too slowly, pick up the pace. The last thing you want is to spend even more of your limited time cleaning house. By the time I’m done cleaning my place, I’ve worked up a sweat and gotten a mini-workout.
Dust before you sweep
Start by dusting items and surfaces up high. Start with those high up ceiling fans and blinds if you have them. Then move on to lower items like the sofa and baseboards. If you’re dusting a cluttered area like a covered table top, move everything to the side so that you can do a quick dusting of the table. I like to use these cleaning cloths and a long-reaching duster for hard to reach places. And while you’re dusting, don’t bother trying to clean up the dust. Let it all fall to the floor because you’ll clean the floor later.
Finish the floors
Once the dusting is finished, go at the floor with a vacuum. I run through each room with this full-size vacuum and a hand vacuum wherever I need it. This vacuum is great because it picks up long-hair off any surface including the carpet. You vacuum may have some attachments that help to reach corners and nooks. Just be sure to start vacuuming at the farthest end of the room and work your way out of it in a methodical fashion so that you cover each area only once.
Once I’m done vacuuming, I mop uncarpeted areas with a dry mop and/or a wet mop depending on the floor material and how much time I have left on the timer. Finally, I spray the hardwood floor with this hardwood floor cleaner to keep the floor looking shiny.
Clear the clutter
Instead of trying to handle clutter while you’re doing your major house cleaning, put all of it to one side and tackle it later. Try grabbing a basket or box and putting everything in it as you move through the house. Targeting your larger living space first will make more of an impact aesthetically. Clutter isn’t as apparent when it’s stored in a nice box or tucked away in a closet or drawer. Sorting clutter also takes a lot of time and you don’t want anything to slow you down.
I’m the worst when it comes to clutter. No matter how hard I try, I end up with piles of paper all around my house. They all go in a pile or into a drawer in another room while I clean. I take a look at them later when I have more time. By then, a lot of the stuff that I kept because it seemed important at the time isn’t so interesting or important anymore and I can toss it.
Tackle the bathroom
Many of the above tips apply to cleaning bathrooms too. First, remove everything out of the bathroom. You’ll have a clearer workspace by removing the garbage can on the floor and anything on the countertops. You also won’t have to worry about getting cleaner on your toothbrushes and towels.
Then I spray the shower walls and pour cleaner in the tub to let them soak for a while. While they soak, I start cleaning at the top and work my way down. I dust the walls and ceiling corners with the long-handle duster. Next, I wipe down the fixtures including a quick scrub of the toilet and sink and a wipe down of the mirror. Then I head back to shower/tub and scrub away. By then, a lot of the soap residue and dirt have come off due to soaking for a few minutes, saving my arm from having to do some hard scrubbing.
The final thing to do is vacuum or sweep of the bathroom floor. If you want to mop, start from the farthest corner and move backwards until you’re out of the bathroom. That way you’re not stuck in the middle of the wet bathroom floor without a way out (done that before!). If I move quickly, I can clean my entire bathroom in less than 15 minutes.
Clean the kitchen
The kitchen is my personal beast! My kitchen gets dirty because I cook frequently, and I hate getting the grease off the cabinets and stovetop. In order to clean the kitchen quickly, I remove everything from the countertops. Similar to above, I clear all the clutter by either tossing it in the trash or putting it into a drawer or basket to look at later. Then I wipe down everything including the cabinets and walls using a mixture of hot water and soap (my favorite is Dawn). I sometimes use a stronger cleaner or Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove stains anywhere I find them.
Once the kitchen surfaces are clean, I move down to the floor level sweeping and mopping, again working from one side to the other and doing it only once. They I do a little hooray that I’ve tackled my cleaning beast.
Put everything back in its place
If you have extra time, do a run through the house putting things back in their correct place. Clothes go back in the closet or into the laundry pile. Cooking spices and dry dishes go back in their drawers. Maybe you’ll also find that it eases your mind to know that everything is in its correct place.
Keep your place tidy as you go
Second to sharing the cleaning, the easiest way to clean a place is to keep the place tidy as you go. It’s tough to clean your house thoroughly in an hour or two if you only clean once or twice a year. If you clean regularly though, it’s easier because there’s just not as much dirt, dust, and clutter around. Some ways to keep the place tidy on a regular basis:
- Put away the clothes you wore that day before you go to bed each night. Throw it in the laundry if it’s dirty, but don’t leave it out hanging off a chair or on the floor.
- Wipe down the shower walls with a towel or squeegee after each use to prevent mildew from growing. You can use a spray like this one that you don’t even have to wash off.
- Clear your countertops of clutter each night before you go to bed. If you took out something that day, put it away that night.
- Keep boxes or baskets around as the designated spot for clutter.
- Wipe your kitchen table, countertop, and stove when washing up each night after dinner. This will prevent a lot of oil and debris buildup.
Set aside anything you want to get rid of
If while cleaning you come across things you don’t want anymore, put them to the side to look at later. Don’t let them distract you from finishing cleaning. But when you have time, take a look at that pile. Do you have home décor items that someone else might like? Do you have children’s toys and games around that your children don’t play with anymore? Why not try selling them?
Be sure to sign up for the 7-day Closet to Cash online listing challenge from 4/15 to 4/21. Even if these dates don't work for you, you can use the info anytime. So join me in putting your items up for sale and putting cash back into your pocket!
I know all this talk about cleaning sounds like a lot of work, but it is possible to clean your place relatively quickly and efficiently. Was every corner and crevice of my place sparkly clean in an hour? Probably not. Still, it was good enough for me to feel that my house was clean, I could host friends for dinner that weekend, and let me move on with my life. So until that magical day in the future when I splurge to hire a house cleaner, I’ll be doing the cleaning myself and trying to get it done as quickly as I can.
How do you handle cleaning in your house? Do you have any tips for making the cleaning go faster? Would you ever hire someone to get out of cleaning your house yourself?