How to Cut Your Cleaning Time In Half

How to Cut Your Cleaning Time In HalfCleaning — it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. But if you’re that someone, cleaning your home doesn’t have to take up as much of your time as it currently does. In fact, we’re going to share a few professional secrets that will help you cut your cleaning time in half.

It All Starts With a System

Our daily routines are generally something we could do in our sleep. So when you take cleaning chores and turn them into habits, they’ll quickly become part of your normal routine and you won’t even have to think about doing it. You just will. And it will get done a whole lot faster.

Sit down and create a plan of attack. You’ll clean your house room by room in the same order every time. You’ll start and finish at the same spot in each room, which will save time because you won’t be running back and forth as a newly discovered mess distracts you.

Being consistent with your cleaning routine means you’ll methodically move through your home instead of rushing to get everything done.

Plan Ahead

When you have a system in place, you’ll be able to gather all the tools and cleaning supplies you need before you start. This way you won’t waste time stopping and searching the cabinet under the sink for the item you need.

Collect everything in a cleaning caddy, wear an apron with pockets or use a carpenter’s tool belt to hold all of your tools. Instead of carrying around large bottles of cleaner, take the time to pour them into smaller bottles that are lighter and easier to carry.

One must-have product for your cleaning caddy is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. These babies get stains off surfaces like nothing else. If you find that you’re having a hard time scrubbing something away, pull out your eraser and let it work its magic. This product is ideal for cleaning walls and most floor surfaces including laminate, wood and tile.

Be Proactive

The best way to keep your home clean and your cleaning time to a minimum is to stop messes before they begin. Have your kids turn toy cleanup into part of their before-bedtime ritual. Invest in the kind of shower cleaner you spray on the shower walls after each shower and rinse off. No wiping necessary!

Top to Bottom, Left to Right

This is probably the biggest, most helpful secret. Most of us pick something to clean at random. Then we look up and see something else to clean, and the dirt falls down on the thing you just finished cleaning.

Start at the top of the room. Dust the ceiling fan and clean cobwebs out of corners. Move to the next level down and clean windows, high shelves, the fireplace mantel, etc. Then move down another level and clean the TV stand, lower shelves, the couch, end tables, etc. Sweep, mop or vacuum the floor last.

Going left to right around the room will ensure that you clean the entire room without darting from place to place and spreading muck onto things you’ve already cleaned.

When you follow this pattern, you’ll eliminate redundant work, be more efficient and get done faster.

Invest in a Quality Squeegee

When it comes to cleaning windows, nothing is more irritating than seeing streaks after you put in all that elbow grease. If Windex and paper towels aren’t giving you the shine you want, use a professional window squeegee.

All you need to do is put a drop of dish soap in a gallon of water, generously apply it to your windows with a clean cloth and then squeegee it off. Follow the same top-to-bottom, left-to-right pattern you do when cleaning a room. Wipe the squeegee blade off after each swipe for a truly streak-free shine.

If you hate the squeegee idea, you can also use glass cleaner and microfiber cloth. Use horizontal strokes and go in an “S” shape pattern as you move from top to bottom. Never rub in circles because that will definitely leave streaks. Never use newspaper or paper towels either as they both leave a residue.

Get Rid of Your Feather Duster

You don’t need this anymore. It doesn’t remove dust. It just lets it go airborne, but eventually the dust will settle back over everything you’ve cleaned. Instead, invest in some quality microfiber cloths to dust. They trap every piece of lint and don’t let go. Over time, you’ll notice less dust accumulating around your home. This goes hand-in-hand with replacing your air filters on a regular basis.

Prevent Mold in the Shower

When you’re finished showering, simply squeegee the shower walls and run an exhaust fan to eliminate the warm, moist atmosphere that mold loves. This will keep your bathroom a whole lot cleaner and prevent you endlessly scrubbing mold and mildew.

Use Vinegar on Water Spots

You shouldn’t have to spend time scrubbing water spots away from your faucets. Lightly dampen a rag with vinegar and run it over the surface for a quick, effortless sparkle.

Mineral Oil on Stainless Steel

It takes time to remove fingerprints, smudges and watermarks from stainless steel surfaces. Dab a bit of mineral oil onto a cloth and wipe down your stainless steel sinks and appliances a couple times a month.

The oil naturally repels water, which reduces hard water stains, prevents toothpaste and other crud from sticking to the sink and gives your stainless steel surfaces added shine.

Cleaning them in the future will be a quick and easy wipe-down. Just don’t overdo it on the oil, as it can have the opposite effect of what you want to accomplish.

Heat a Cup of Plain Water in the Microwave

Having a tough time cleaning the splattered spaghetti sauce of your microwave? Don’t waste time scrubbing! Fill a coffee mug with water and heat it until it’s boiling. It will create moisture that loosens up dried crud on the ceiling, floor and sides of your microwave. You should only need a damp cloth to wipe the inside of the microwave clean.

Vacuum in a Straight Line

Instead of zooming all over the place quickly, start in the furthest corner of the room and walk backward in a straight line. The slower you go, the most grit your vacuum will pick up, since it has more power on a backward pull. Then move to the next row, push it to the furthest part of the room and pull backward. You should end near the room’s exit.

Not only will this go a lot faster since you’re not going over the same areas and fighting the cord, it will also look beautiful when you’re done. If you can, do it once a week to keep your carpets clean, fluffy and delicious.

Clean More Often

Trying to tackle the whole house over the weekend is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you become inefficient as you tire out, you’ll also waste your whole weekend cleaning.

Give your home one really good deep clean and then get in the habit of cleaning smaller, messier areas of your home more often. You’ll avoid doing several months’ cleaning at one time and switch from “I gotta catch up to this mess” cleaning to the more time-friendly “maintenance” cleaning.

Do you have other tips for cutting down on cleaning time? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

First Class Cleaning is NYC-based cleaning service that works with homeowners, office managers and commercial property owners to create clean, healthy, livable spaces. Contact us today for service and pricing information.

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