Cleaning can be a daunting task. However, there are a few things you can do to make cleaning go faster! Here are 14 tips for effective speed cleaning to make your life a little less hectic.
As much as I wish I was, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born with any disposition to want to clean. Thankfully, I have a husband who doesn’t mind cleaning, and he is better at getting it done than I am. Sometimes I’ll look at the dishes, just feel totally overwhelmed, and I walk away. Ha!
However, even though I don’t like cleaning, I do enjoy having a clean house — or, at least, the appearance of one. Because of this, I’ve come up with a few ways to make cleaning a little easier and faster. I’m still not the best at cleaning (especially under a time crunch), but I have found that these tips have helped our home become a little bit cleaner, on a more regular basis.
1) Stay Focused
If I don’t set out with a specific goal in mind, I get distracted very easily. Instead of thinking, “Oh I think I’ll clean the entire house right now,” I find one specific place to focus on, and I don’t stop until I’m done there. I don’t stop in the middle of cleaning that section, and I just get it done. In order to do this, I remove all distractions (like my phone) and just push the pedal to the metal! One fun tip is to set a timer — whenever there’s a timer going for anything, it definitely motivates me.
2) Use a Daily Shower Cleaner
This is a tip my mom gave me awhile back to help keep a shower looking better with less work. Just buy a basic shower spray (such as this Fresh Daily Shower Cleaner), and after every shower or bath, just do a quick spray in the area and the shower liner. It helps prevent mildew from building up, and it just leaves the shower seeming cleaner. By doing this, you will also save time when you do a deep cleaning of the shower, because it won’t be as dirty (and you hopefully won’t have any mildew to clean up — which can be SO time consuming.)
3) Shut the curtains in the shower
So, it may be tempting to leave the shower curtains all bunched up, or you might not even think about it, but by shutting the curtains (I don’t know if that’s the right way to phrase it) you air them out, so they don’t get mildew-y (if you can’t tell, I hate mildew), and it just makes the bathroom look nicer. Maybe I’m just weird, but I hate walking into our bathroom and seeing the curtains all bunched up, and I feel like the room looks SO much cleaner when they are shut — maybe the room just looks more put together, or just less cluttered (since the curtains hide the bazillion bath toys and bottles of shampoo and conditioner.)
4) Make Your Bed
Again, not something I’m great at, but it’s kind of amazing how much of a difference having a neatly made bed makes. Even if the floor has clothes all over it, a made bed just looks nice and improves the appearance. Plus, it’s so much nicer just going to bed and having all the sheets and blankets there, rather than having to search around for pillows and blankets that had been thrown off the bed at night (or that a certain little two-year-old decided would be fun to hide.)
Or you can make making a bed even FASTER by using Zipit Bedding. I saw this on Shark Tank, and it’s genius. One of those ideas I wish I had thought of first.
5) Clearing Clutter with Laundry Basket
For those times when you really just need to get the room clean (like, when you have guests announce they’ll be arriving — unexpectedly or not — in ten minutes, and there are tons of toys on the ground), if you just grab a laundry basket and put everything that’s just “clutter” in it, you can get a room de-cluttered pretty quickly. While you should still go and sort through the laundry basket later, this is a great way to get a room cleaned up fast! Using THIS laundry basket will make this even faster!
6) Know where your cleaning supplies are
Being organized is key! If all your cleaning supplies are in one central location, it will make speed (and regular) cleaning a lot quicker because you don’t have to spend 20 minutes finding that one bottle of spray that you need. I find that storing my cleaning supplies in something like this is particularly helpful.
7) Start with the least favorite room
It is easy to get burnt out while cleaning, especially if you are needing to get it done quickly. So, start with your least favorite room first, or your least favorite chore! That way, you aren’t totally dreading it the whole time you are cleaning. I’ve found that when I put off my least favorite chore until last, I’m far less likely to actually do it at the end.
8) Clean dry to wet
This may be pretty obvious, but when you are cleaning, do the “dry” chores first — dusting, picking up toys, etc. For instance, if you are cleaning the bathroom, and the first thing you do is clean the floor, it will probably end up getting dirty again while you do other chores (cleaning the toilet, the bath tub, etc.), and you may end up doing extra work when you don’t have to.
9) Clean up as you go
If I had to choose one piece of cleaning/cooking advice my mom has given me over the years, it is this — clean up as you go. While I’m not always the best at implementing this, it surely does make a difference! Cleaning up as you go makes it so less mess piles up, and it makes it easier to have quick cleaning sessions. This can be applied to every area of the house and cleaning as well!
10) Sweep/mop/vacuum at the end
Similar to the dry to wet tip, if you are doing a lot of cleaning, sweeping/mopping/vacuuming is somewhat counterproductive. Consider these chores your finishing touch and do them last! It will save you from having to do it again at the end of your cleaning adventure. We love our Bissell Symphony that lets us mop AND vacuum with the same machine. No need to get out your bucket!
11) Have storage ready to go
Believe me — if you don’t have a place for things to go, it really makes cleaning up a lot harder. During one of those times when you aren’t speed cleaning, take some time to find storage bins, label containers and shelves, and just determine where everything is supposed to go. Instead of shoving all the toys behind the couch, have boxes set up, and maybe even make yourself a toy storage bag! Canvas cube storage is awesome.
12) Disinfectant wipes for quick cleaning
We love using Clorox Disinfectant Wipes — they are great for cleaning up messes and also for cleaning the bathroom or kitchen quickly. I don’t recommend using them for deep cleaning, but when you are looking to give a room a little lift, these are your best friends!
13) Spray things all at once (that have to sit)
I feel like in cleaning (especially in the bathroom), there’s always a million products that just have to sit for 10 minutes before you can give them a good scrubbin’. So, instead of spraying one area, waiting ten minutes, cleaning it, and then repeating with the next area, spray them all at once (or maybe one to two minutes apart, since you won’t be able to clean them all at once!), and it will make the cleaning process go a lot faster.
14) Focus on one area at a time
These leads back to my first tip about focusing. Don’t worry about anything but the room or area you are cleaning. If you are trying to pick up the family time at the same time that you cook dinner, and do the dishes, you aren’t going to be as productive. By focusing on one area at a time, you’ll get it done a lot quicker, and it will probably be done better, too.
Use Air Fresheners
It’s amazing how much a scent can affect your thoughts and feelings — good or bad. We love using air fresheners in our house, and we seriously have quite the variety in every room. It makes a room feel more inviting and a home more welcoming. You can buy these for less than a dollar sometimes!
I jokingly told Forrest that these are great air fresheners for people who want people to *think* they are great housekeepers.
- Putting the Cinnabon one in the kitchen makes your kitchen constantly smell like there are fresh baked goods cooking (beware — this will make you hungry!) This is definitely my favorite scent.
- The Snuggle one is great for any area that needs a little freshening up, such as an entry way, mud room, or your teenager’s bedroom. It makes it smell like freshly folded laundry is there!
- And the Baby Magic one….is perfect for the nursery. Despite our best efforts, Jack’s room doesn’t always smell the greatest, but since we’ve started putting the Baby Magic Air Wick Freshener in there, it has made the room smell so much better — more like a freshly clothed and bathed baby and less like diapers!
We’ve been using all these scents in Air Wick Freshmatic Automatic Air Freshener dispensers, and they are so cool! They let out a little spray of the scent every few minutes (you can change the frequency). I’ll admit, whenever the spray goes off, it kind of startles me, but the smell makes up for that.
What tips do you have for speed cleaning?
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.