How to save time cleaning house
Save time cleaning house with these simple tips to get your home pristine fastThere’s a scene in the 1988 movie Pippi Longstocking in which the plucky ginger and friends zip around an old dusty house with soapy scrub brushes strapped to their feet. They sing “Scrubbing Day is a holiday…” and in no time the place is spick and span. A good time is had by all.
Unfortunately, Pippi’s methods don’t quite work in a real house, but there are plenty of tricks to keep chores from swallowing your whole day. Learning to save time cleaning house doesn’t mean we’re about to sweep it all under the rug either. These tips will help you get the job done. Well, most of it.
Multi-tasking cleaning tools
There’s no need to take all the work on yourself, not with the right cleaning supplies. Handy cleaning items, like an electro-static broom and a disinfecting scour sponge, will drastically reduce the amount of effort required on your part. Investing in things like an automatic toilet bowl cleaner knocks things off of the to-do list almost permanently.
The quick one-room dust
Friends are on their way and dinner is roasting, but the living room is looking extremely lived in. What to do? Real Simple recommends taking the duster over low surfaces only – tables, window sills, shelves – and save the higher out-of-sight surfaces for later. This takes care of appearances when time is tight and breaks the chore into two quick halves.
Deodorizing the fridge
Baking soda is slow and steady at keeping the fridge from smelling bad, but once forgotten leftovers begin to reek, you need something faster acting. First, toss the smelly culprit. Second, empty used coffee grinds (or fresh, but why waste them?) into a small bowl and set it in the fridge. Better to recognize the soothing smell of morning comfort than last week's take out every time you open the fridge.
The daily touch up
Make a habit of going over faucets, toilet seats and sinks with a disinfectant wipe. This tip to save time cleaning house will prevent scum from building up so you can concentrate on bigger projects later. Do the same with the tub every few days, one of the most germy spots in the house.
Set your alarm
Because cleaning is so physical the mind naturally drifts to other things. Before you know it an hour has passed and the kitchen is full of missed spots. Set a timer or alarm clock in 20 minute increments and see how much you can complete before it goes off. You’ll work way faster and be done that much sooner.
Replace paper towels with a squeegee
Not only will the environment thank you for reducing paper waste, but using a squeegee to clean windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces is far more efficient. Dilute your cleaning solutions with equal parts water since most are more concentrated than necessary. Dip the squeegee in the bucket and those streaks will be gone in a flash.
Make a list of the areas that draw the messes and assign these areas to your family or roomies.Create a basic chore chart to be completed every week. Distributing the house work not only cuts down on your cleaning time, but holding the people accountable for their own mess reduces their tendency to make them in the first place.
If you live alone, break the tasks up into time slots. For instance, clean the bathroom while the clothes are in the laundry so that half hour or so between washing and drying is productive.
There are countless ways to save time cleaning house. The beauty of these tips is that they’re extremely simple to implement and maintain. Make general cleaning a regular habit and those occasional, but dreaded cleaning days will be a thing of the past.