1. Clean the whole house, not one room at a time
Cleaning is much more efficient if you pick one task (dusting, vacuuming, mopping) and do the same task in every room in the house, rather than cleaning the kitchen, the bathrooms, and then the bedrooms. Doing it that way prevents you from feeling like you’re in an endless cleaning cycle, starting the same task over and over again.
2. Gather all your cleaning tools in a caddy
Whether it’s a caddy, bucket, or tote, having everything you need to clean in one portable place makes it much easier to get the job done. You won’t waste time looking for tools while you clean, and don’t have to worry about gathering them before your next go around.
3. Clear the clutter
Before you even start cleaning, go from room to room and pick up the clutter. As you pick up each item – magazines, well-read paperbacks, old sneakers – consider whether you should put it away, toss it or donate it.
4. Dust and vacuum
Before you start dusting, make sure ceiling fans are turned off. Concentrate your dusting on the tops of furniture and the undersides of shelves, on handrails, picture frames, knickknacks and TV screens. For hard-to-reach areas, like blinds and upper shelves, tie a microfiber cloth to the end of a mop or broom. Change the sheets in the bedrooms before you vacuum.
5. Wipe mirrors and glass
Use one damp microfiber cloth, followed by one dry cloth in wiping clean all the mirrors and glass surfaces.
6. Disinfect countertops and surface areas
Go through your house and wipe down the hard surfaces – from countertops, appliances, and cabinets to doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, and telephones. You should disinfect some of those surfaces, particularly the ones that might deliver germs to people’s fingers and faces. Make a nontoxic disinfection solution by mixing one-fourth to a half cup of white or cider vinegar with a cup of water.
7. Focus on tubs, sinks, and toilets
Spray cleaner on the kitchen sink than on bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets. Let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaner has time to dissolve dirt and stains. Then return to the kitchen and start scrubbing. Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Clean toilets last.
While in the kitchen, you also want to make sure your garbage disposal is in tip-top shape. If you aren’t sure the best way to clean a garbage disposal, click here for some useful DIY garbage disposal cleaning tips.
8. Sweep, then mop
Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors. Start mopping from the farthest corner of the room and move back towards the doorway (that is, don’t mop yourself into a corner). Rinse the mop every time you complete a 4-by-4-foot area.
9. Keep moving when you vacuum
Don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny when you vacuum. Just keep moving through the house, running the vacuum in every carpeted room in one pass-through.
Some tasks don’t need to be done each week. These include waxing the furniture, cleaning the windows, and washing area rugs and bath mats. Inspect these accessories and use your own judgment.
10. Don’t forget to routinely wash your cleaning tools
An often overlooked part of cleaning the house is maintaining your cleaning tools. Using a dirty mop or a vacuum with a full bag is much less effective, and you’ll end up spending more time trying to clean.
11. Make cleaning a group activity
Making cleaning a team effort is one of the best ways to clean a house fast. Schedule a time in advance with your family, and assign tasks to each person. Working together can add some fun to cleaning, and your house will be sparkling in no time.
While you’re cleaning make sure to check on home maintenance items, such as a faulty sink that may cause water damage.