If there’s one thing that most of us can agree on, it’s that cleaning isn’t the most fun way to spend your spare time. Believe me, I know this. And yet, when I spend time to really get ‘down and dirty’ with my home, I tend to fall in love with it all over again. Getting on some kind of regular schedule is always key because if you let it go for too long, we all know it just piles up (literally and figuratively) and then we REALLY don’t want to do it.
Moving from a 3 bed to a 4 bedroom house has been great – I have more room, the cats are getting along a little better and I have plenty of plans to spruce up every single new space we have. But I’ve also noticed it takes me longer to clean (whomp whomp). So I have had to get a bit more practical about my cleaning schedule and incorporate a few new ways to keep on top of everything. I find that if I am running around doing 10 different things at once, everything takes me twice as long!!
So if you find cleaning a total waste of your valuable time, then it might just be that you aren’t using your time wisely. So here are my tips for making sure your home gets cleaned quickly and efficiently so you can spend more time on the more important things in life!
Start with a tidy up
The first thing I do before I even pick up the hoover or glass cleaner is have a massive tidy-up. I go through any post that’s piled up in the hallway or dining room table and create 3 stacks – one to action, one for recycling and one for filing. Doing this every single week means paperwork doesn’t get lost, I’m not looking at a growing pile day to day and things get paid on time or actioned as they need to be.
I will also run around with a basket and throw anything in it that needs to be taken upstairs (or downstairs depending where I am). This means I’m not going up and down stairs and zig-zagging through my house just to sort everything out.
I will also perform two other tasks during the tidy-up phase – I’ll make my bed and I’ll do the dishes. Once the house is tidy, things have been put away and the bed is made and dishes done, I can start the actual cleaning process.
If you are looking for more tips on tidying up, I’ve shared my 8 Secrets for a Tidy Home here!
Focus on One Room at a Time
I normally start at the rooms at the front of my house and work my way towards the other and then upstairs, I start the process again. It’s much more motivating to know at least a few rooms are at their best rather than be cleaning for over an hour and realise not one room is yet presentable. Concentrate and focus on each room in turns and your hallway in between.
Gather any cleaning products into a basket or bucket, too, so you aren’t running back and forth for each product you’ll need. For me, this usually means a couple of microfibre cloths, a feather duster (for ceilings or light fixtures), a glass cleaner, furniture polish, a disinfectant cleaner and a damp sponge cloth.
Work from Top to Bottom
My first task in any room is the dusting. I’ll run around with my microfibre cloth, furniture polish as well as glass cleaner to get rid of the settled dust everywhere in the room. There’s no point in dusting after you vacuum because all that dust is just going to settle on to the floor so start at the top of the room (picture rails, ceiling) and work your way down. This work-your-way-down method also applies to shelving so always start at the top shelf and clean from top to bottom.
Shake out any rugs, fluff cushions and hoover your curtains if necessary during this step as well and finally, run a cloth around your skirting boards and the legs of your furniture.
Finish with Floors
Once all the tidying and dusting and glass cleaning is done, then I hoover the whole room. My last step is always to do a quick mop on any wood floors to remove any remaining dust or dirt, starting from the point furthest from the door. I’ll work my way to the doorway, shutting the door once I’m finished which means the room is off-limits to people and pets until the floor is dry!
My only exception to this order is in the bathroom. Here, I start with toilet bowl cleaner so it can do it’s thing while I get on with the rest. I then clear the room of bottles, plants, decor etc so I have cleared surfaces to clean. I then hoover to pick up any stray hairs (I shed like crazy with my long hair so it’s everywhere) and then work on the biggest areas first – the tub and walls of the shower. I then clean the mirrors or any glass and polish the taps. Then I clean the toilet and then the sink. I then clean any bottles, dust off any decor etc and put everything back. And then I mop the floor, closing the door once I’m finished for everything to dry.
One last thing – don’t think you have to tackle all this on your own! Rope in the family to help and make sure everyone is clear on the tasks they need to do. For Wayne and I, one of us will usually take the bathroom and the other the kitchen and one will take on the dusting/polishing and one will do the hoovering. It makes the whole job so much quicker and we can get the whole house done top to bottom in a couple of hours. Also, for us, it’s most convenient to do this on a Saturday morning because we are both home but choose a day where you know everyone will be able to get stuck in.
What are your own tips for cleaning that you’ve found helped you be more efficient? Do share in the comments!