Time is money, which is why you don’t want to waste precious time cleaning your home. Did you know a clean house will make you look and feel richer? Plus, statistics suggest that dirty homes cause stress.
An Apartment Guide survey found, “66 percent of Americans say a dirty home makes them feel stressed or anxious” [source]. So, it’s worth it to spend some time cleaning your home regularly (rather than just a massive spring cleaning).
Fortunately, you can clean your home in less than an hour if you learn a few tricks. Even better – as you embrace these clever ways to clean your home, you’ll discover that it is easier to maintain a clean house.
1. Deal with Clutter First
Decluttering must come before cleaning. If not, you will waste a huge chunk of time cleaning things that belong in the donation bin or trash. Think about it: How many times have you stashed something in a drawer while cleaning when you really should have gotten rid of it? This isn’t cleaning. This is hiding your clutter.
Start by dealing with the clutter. If you’re cleaning your office, throw away all the unnecessary papers and put all the paperwork you need to hold onto inside a file folder. Then, put that file folder where it belongs – not on top of your desk.
If your entryway tends to become a giant mess of all the stuff you bring in your home every day, it is a dangerous clutter zone.
Deal with the issue by investing in an entryway bench organizer. This entryway organizer is designed to hold your shoes on the bottom with a top rack that includes hangers for coats, purses, keys, and more. Plus, you can add a basket for your mail. Having a designated space for the things you bring in and out of your home every day will go a long way in minimizing clutter. And when you have less clutter, you spend less time cleaning.
2. Listen to a Book or Podcast While Cleaning
Cleaning is called a chore for a reason.
Dictionary.com defines a chore as “a hard or unpleasant task.” If you dread cleaning, it’s time to start looking for ways to make it more enjoyable.
Use cleaning time as the time when you catch up on your reading or podcast episodes. This is an excellent way to do two different things at the same time that improve your overall well-being.
The next time you need to clean in a hurry, download an audiobook from Audible, and listen while you work. If you choose the right audiobook or podcast (be sure to check out Audible Originals), you won’t even notice the time flying by. Trust me, the addition of audio makes cleaning your toilets much more enjoyable. Who knows, you might even start to look forward to your regular cleaning time!
3. Clean by Category, Not Room by Room
Too often, we make the mistake of cleaning room by room. For Marie Kondo, author of the uber-popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this is the opposite of how we should be cleaning.
Kondo argues that people should clean by category: clothes, books, papers, komono (aka miscellaneous items), and sentimental items. Decluttering by category helps prevent moving clutter from one room to another. Let’s be honest – we’ve all been there and done that.
Say goodbye to the things that don’t bring you joy to make your space quick and easy to clean.
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4. Maximize Efficiency When Cleaning
If you want to learn how to clean up quickly, you need to find ways to maximize your efficiency. Are you using your cleaning time wisely, or are you wasting time?
This is what I mean: When you put something in the microwave, do you stand by the kitchen counter and play on your phone? Or do you use these few minutes to wipe your counters and stove top?
A restaurant manager used to tell his staff, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” Look for those opportunities where you can be more efficient with cleaning your house.
Maximize your cleaning efficiency. Wipe down your shower door while you shower. Wipe down the counter while the microwave is running. While you run a load of laundry, you can clean the bathroom.
Pro tip: Carry a laundry basket with you as you move through your house cleaning. As you notice misplaced items, put them in the laundry basket. When you enter the room where misplaced items belong, put them away.
- Related: 9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks for Your Car
5. Engage Your Family
In general, one person in the household cleans more than everyone else living under the same roof. Let’s instead engage the family when cleaning. Sit down as a couple and discuss who wants to take which chores. In my house, I take bathrooms, and my spouse takes dishes. Decide who does what together.
For couples with children, get them started cleaning sooner rather than later. Even your toddler can help pick up her toys in the playroom. Don’t make cleaning feel like a chore. We clean because there is peace and joy in keeping a clean home. Help your child recognize this.
To keep everyone on board with the plan, invest in a White Board Calendar & Chore Chart – Magnetic Family Command Center. This set includes a calendar where you can write all your family’s important events, as well as a separate chore chart where you can designate cleaning chores for each member of the family. Put it front and center on the refrigerator so every member of the family has to see it each time they get something to drink.
Want More Life Hacks? Check these out…
- 21 Cleaning Hacks for that Deep Clean
- Stay Healthy by Avoiding Getting Sick, Our 7 Top Hacks
- The 10 Laundry Hacks You Need in Your Life
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Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.