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Best cleaning hacks for lazy people (like me)

How do you clean when you are lazy, especially if you hate cleaning? I’ve been asking myself that question all of my life.  Although I love having a clean house, I like to expend as little effort as possible to get it that way. That’s why I’ve spent a lifetime curating these best cleaning hacks for lazy people.

I used to get overwhelmed just thinking about cleaning. There are so many other things I would rather be spending my time on but, unfortunately, houses don’t clean themselves and I have to figure out how to motivate myself to clean. 

These cleaning hacks really work and have been tested by me. They really do minimize the overwhelm and make cleaning easier! 

Some of these easy cleaning tips can be incorporated into your everyday routine. Others only have to be done periodically. In any case, these easy house cleaning hacks are guaranteed to minimize the time you spend cleaning your home and give you more time to do the things you want to do.

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General house cleaning hacks that work

Cleaning gloves

The first thing you need when you’re about to clean your house is those silly housewife dish cleaning gloves. If you hate touching dirty, yucky stuff you’ll find yourself much more likely to thoroughly clean with gloves on to protect your hands. You won’t have to worry about cobwebs or gross stuff behind (or in) the toilet.

Never leave a room empty handed

Get into the habit of looking around the room you’re in before leaving it. See if there’s anything that needs to be thrown away or that belongs somewhere else and take it with you to either dump in the trash or put where it belongs.

When you come across balls of fur or other debris on the floor, pick it up and throw it in the garbage on your way to the next room.

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If it takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it now

When you see something that needs to be picked up, or wiped, or put away, or folded, or thrown away (you get the idea), just do it! It’s so much easier to just get it done right away, rather than waiting until there’s a dozen (or more) little things that need to be done that become overwhelming and will take much longer.

RELATED POST: How to stop procrastinating and clean your house

Empty trash and recycling bins first

Before you spend any time cleaning, make sure you empty your garbage and recycling cans before you begin. This way, you can throw out whatever trash you accumulate as you go without wasting time (and momentum) having to stop and switch bags halfway through.

I like to line the bottom of my garbage cans with newspaper to help keep them clean. I also place a roll of trash bags in the bottom of the can so that when I empty the garbage, a new bag is already there and I don’t have to hunt for them. This works for recycling too.

A trash can in each room

Multiple trash cans strategically placed throughout the house help with hot spots. Put one anywhere you’re constantly picking up wrappers, tissues, etc. I even have one in the living room for the TV watchers/snackers.

Start at the top and work your way down

If you’re cleaning a room, start with cleaning the ceiling and ceiling fans (use a pillowcase to clean the blades – it holds in the dirt) before working at waist or floor level. Gravity will ensure that the dirt from the top makes its way down to the bottom and you won’t have to duplicate your cleaning efforts.

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Keep a lint roller on hand

Use a lint roller for dusting lamp shades, comforters, throw pillows and other upholstered surfaces. It’s also great for removing pet fur and hair.

Clean floors last

It’s not efficient to be cleaning tabletops, countertops or dusting furniture while trying to clean your floors. Make sure all room surfaces have been cleaned and all items have been removed from the floor and put where they belong before starting on the floors.

I absolutely hate sweeping and mopping floors. I’ve had back surgery so I need to minimize bending. One of my favorite lazy cleaning hacks is using the best floor cleaning machines to do the sweeping and mopping for me. I love that the work is done for me and it saves my back. 

RELATED POST: The best floor cleaning machines to always have clean floors

Develop a routine

Every morning, I make my bed, bring any dirty laundry downstairs with me to throw in the washer and start the coffee. While I’m waiting for the coffee to brew, I empty the dishwasher, start the washing machine and load any dirty dishes into the dishwasher. It  takes 15 minutes and provides a sense of accomplishment while you relax and drink your coffee.

In the evening before bed, I quickly tidy up the kitchen and wipe down counters and appliances. Then I start the dishwasher, grab the laundry basket with clean and folded laundry, and bring it upstairs with me to put away or leave with its owner.

Developing a quick morning and evening cleaning routine keeps things under control and makes dedicated house cleaning days so much easier and less overwhelming.

RELATED POST: How to get motivated to clean when you’re overwhelmed by the mess

Make future you happy: Clean as you go

As with getting into a morning or evening routine, cleaning as you go can eliminate a lot of cleaning overwhelm. I wipe down the bathroom sink and counter every day after I brush my teeth. I’m there anyway, and it only takes 2 minutes.

When I’ve finished my shower, I spray it down with a mixture of water and citric acid. We are on a well and have very hard water that leaves iron rust stains and mineral deposits. Daily spraying helps to minimize iron rust stains on the bathtub and walls.

RELATED POST: How to remove rust stains from bathtubs, sinks and toilets

Wash any dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher as you cook your meal, even if you’re just microwaving something. You’re standing there anyway waiting for the food to cook, so you may as well multi-task and get that out of the way. You could also clear off your countertops and wipe them down while waiting.

Deal with mail when it comes in

To avoid the paper pile on your entrance or dining room table, sort your mail as soon as it comes into the house. Don’t touch it more than once if you can help it. Junk mail can go right in the recycling bin or can be shredded if it contains any personal information.

Bills can be placed in a dedicated spot to be paid on your regular bill payment date. Once paid, you can file or discard as you like. An even better tip is to subscribe to online billing for everything to minimize the paper mail coming to your house in the first place.

RELATED POST: The complete list of things to declutter in your home (plus checklist!)

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Lazy laundry cleaning hacks

Eliminate sorting

I learned a long time ago that if you wash everything in cold water, you don’t need to sort your laundry. Clothing is less likely to shrink or fade or otherwise get ruined when washed in cold water.

When I do laundry, the only sorting I do is sheets and towels, which sometimes are washed together if there’s not much. Otherwise, everyone gets their own load or two, as necessary.

Collect the fur

If you have pets and constantly find your laundry full of fur, try throwing a Scotch scouring pad in the washer along with your load. It will collect the fur for you and keep it out of your dryer lint trap. Be careful with delicate or wool items.

Set an alarm

Whenever I put a load of laundry in, I set a timer to remind me to switch it to or take it out of the dryer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to rewash a musty load because I completely forgot about it, or had to toss in a wet towel and restart the dryer to get rid of wrinkles. That hasn’t happened since I started using the alarm and I get a lot more laundry done.

Hang it up

I hang as many of our clothes as possible right out of the dryer. It’s faster, easier and neater than folding. I gather the empty hangers from the closets as I get the loads together and keep them in the laundry basket so they’re readily available when unloading the dryer. The clothes go straight on hangers and then to the closet where they live.

Use one set of sheets for each bed

I haven’t folded sheets in a few years. Save yourself the work (and frustration) of folding and use one set per bed. Wash, dry, and put the same set back on the bed. Washing your sheets first leaves you plenty of time to get them back on the bed. It’s a good idea, however, to have backup bedding available in case of emergency.

Harness the power of the sun

Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant. It’s so powerful that you can make water safe for drinking by leaving it in direct sunlight for a period of time. Keep your large duvets and comforters fresh and clean by hanging them outside on a sunny day. Be sure to flip them after an hour or two to expose the other side to the sun as well. 

Sunlight can also freshen up and remove stains from clothing, shoes, pillows, mattresses, stuffed animals, dingy whites, moldy items and even tomato stained plastic containers. If you have mold or mildew on your patio furniture, lots of time in the sun will thoroughly dry out the items and kill any bacteria, mold, or fungus that has developed and even bleach any stains that have formed. Add lemon juice for extra bleaching power.

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Remove stains with Dawn or hydrogen peroxide

If you don’t have access to the sun, Dawn dishwashing soap or hydrogen peroxide may just be the thing you need to remove stains from your laundry.

Hydrogen peroxide is the product of choice when dealing with any biological staining such as blood or anything else that originates in the body. Saturate the stain and let it bubble then place in cold water for 15 minutes. Put it in the washing machine and the stain should be gone by the time the cycle is complete.

Any other stains such as grease, food, etc. can usually be treated with Dawn dish soap. Cover the affected area with Dawn and soak in cold water for as long as you can – overnight if possible. This should remove enough of the stain that your washing machine will take care of any remaining stain during a regular cycle.

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Remove wrinkles

If you left your load in the dryer for too long, you can throw in a damp towel and run the dryer again for 20 minutes or so. The steam from the damp towel will release the wrinkles in your clothing.

Another way to remove wrinkles from your clothing is to hang it off the shower curtain rail while you have a hot, steamy shower. The steam from your shower should nicely release those wrinkles while your skin gets its glow on without a trip to the spa.

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Lazy kitchen cleaning hacks

Keep shelves clean

Use plastic wrap or parchment paper to line your cupboards or fridge shelves and on top of them. No more dusting or greasy cleaning – just remove and replace. This also helps to keep your fridge shelves from getting scratched up.

Empty your fridge the day before trash day

Not only does this regular routine keep your fridge clean, it also helps to reduce the amount of waste in your trash bags until it’s time for it to go out. Remove old containers, throw out leftovers and replace fridge liners if needed at the same time.

Easy blender cleaning hack

Once you’re done blending your smoothie, pour some hot water and a squirt of dishwashing soap into the blender and run it. The agitated soapy water will clean the blender right up for you!

Clean your oven

Put a half-cup of ammonia in a bowl, place into your cold oven, and let it sit overnight. The fumes will work their magic and allow you to easily wipe everything away the next day.

For shiny clean oven racks and drip pans, place oven racks and drip pans in a heavy duty trash bag with a cup of ammonia and seal it. Leave it outside or in the bathtub overnight. In the morning, remove them from the bag and rinse.  

Remove burnt on residue from glass stove top

Are you wondering how to remove cloudiness from your glass top stove? Are you battling with burnt on residue and grease splatters? Baking soda, Dawn dishwashing soap and a citric acid solution is a cheap and easy way to keep it shiny and clean – no special products or tools required.

Quick microwave cleaning hack

Put a bowl of water in your microwave and set it to high for 5 minutes. The steam created by the hot water makes everything soft and easy to wipe off. If you like cutesy, the Angry Mom Microwave Cleaner can add a bit of cheer to the job. 

Easy scouring pad hack

If you don’t have a steel scouring pad on hand, take some aluminum foil and ball it up. With a drop of dish soap these DIY aluminum foil scrubbers work wonders on glass bakeware and they’re very effective on cast iron. Add some sea salt or kosher salt for more scrubbing power.

Eliminate fingerprints on stainless steel

Fingerprints can ruin the look of your stainless steel appliances, but if you have Windex you don’t need to buy a special stainless steel cleaner. Spray some Windex on a soft, clean cloth and rub it on your appliance with the grain. It easily removes fingerprints, spattered oil, and other greasy dirt.

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Try hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer wipes away dirt on sinks, faucets, countertops, and other surfaces. It evaporates quickly, so it’s even safe to use for cleaning computer keyboards and other surfaces that shouldn’t get wet, like laminate flooring. 

I also use hand sanitizer to remove greasy residue from my range hood and other appliances. It’s also useful for removing transferred ink on countertops from grocery or bread bags. You can use it to sanitize your phone too.

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Lazy bathroom cleaning hacks

Don’t use bar soap

Fats and oils in bar soaps contribute to the soap scum buildup on your shower and bath tiles. Use shower gel or body wash instead.

Clean while you’re in the shower

I keep an old toothbrush on the shelf so I can quickly scrub any dirt buildup I see during my shower. I also have a scrubbing sponge handy and use my feet to do the scrubbing.

When I’ve finished my shower, I spray it down with a mixture of water and citric acid to help prevent buildup of iron rust stains from our hard well water. Then I wipe down the sink, walls and mirror while everything is still steamy.

If you have a shower stall, you can squeegee the shower walls after each use. Another tip is to use Rain-X on your shower doors and walls to repel water and help prevent buildup.

RELATED POST: How to remove rust stains from bathtubs, sinks and toilets

Clean your exhaust fan

Get rid of all the crud on your bathroom exhaust fan with a can of compressed air. It’s an easy and effective way to reach the fan to blow the dust out.

Air dry your toilet brush

To minimize the buildup of liquids in your toilet brush holder, after you clean your toilet you can dry the brush by hanging it over the toilet and putting the toilet seat down on the brush handle. Leave it to dry for 20-30 minutes and then place it back into the holder.

Easy wall washing

Our bathroom walls sweat and leave staining that looks like the iron rust from the water. I simply use a lightweight Swiffer Sweeper with a clean microfibre cloth to easily remove the drips. The microfibre cloths are reusable, washable and cost less than the disposable Swiffer refills.

Swiffers are also a great tool for cleaning cobwebs and dust webs from ceilings without having to touch them.

Disinfectant wipes are your friends

I use disposable disinfectant wipes to clean my bathroom sink, counter, toilet and tub. Not only do they kill germs and bacteria, they are very handy for wiping down the bathroom. Just wipe and throw in the trash. No need to worry about cleaning hair from cloths. I love them! 

The most important cleaning hack for lazy slobs

A place for everything and everything in its place

Everything in your home should have somewhere to live. If it’s not being used, it should be in its home. And everyone in the house should know where everything lives.

This simple concept is the key to maintaining a clean house and is important to help prevent having a cluttered, messy house.

When you don’t have a place for everything, you can’t put it away when you’re done with it or find it quickly. And it makes cleaning much harder than it needs to be.

First you need to declutter your home, room by room, and get rid of anything that you don’t use. You can sell, donate or throw away the things you don’t don’t need or use.

The second step is to find homes for all the stuff you decide to keep. There are many creative storage solutions to choose from.

Finally, you (and those who live with you) need to commit to returning items to their place when you’re done using them. If you do this on a regular basis, cleaning should be a breeze!

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of decluttering and organizing your home, I highly recommend The Organized Home by Hilary at Pulling Curls. This course is a step by step guide to decluttering and creating organizing systems for your home. 

The Organized Home is a self-paced course that you can do from the comfort and privacy of your own home. It even offers a supportive Facebook group that offers a connection with others who are also struggling to organize their homes.

Decluttering and organizing your home will not only make it easier to clean, you will be able to effortlessly find things when you need them and you won’t have to worry or be embarrassed when you have last minute guests.

Build new habits to make cleaning easier

Instead of stopping a bad habit, which can set us up for failure, try to pick up one or two new good habits. Last year I committed to wiping down the bathroom sink and counter when I brush my teeth. This year I started cleaning the kitchen while I’m cooking, and wiping down the bathroom when I’m done showering. Now those habits are second nature.

If these cleaning hacks for lazy slobs helped you get your house cleaned, please share this post with anyone who can benefit from them!

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