Do you hate cleaning but love a clean house? Does a messy house stress you out? Are you ready to let go of perfection and embrace good enough? If so, you’re in the right place!
Why do we hate cleaning?
Cleaning is a never-ending cycle. So much time is wasted cleaning all the things only to have them dirty again a week later. It’s a Sisyphean exercise in futility – no wonder we hate cleaning!
It also feels overwhelming. You have to do this before you can do that and it seems you have to think of all the steps before you even start. I get exhausted just thinking about it!
I hate cleaning so much that I’ve spent a lifetime perfecting the easiest ways to get my house cleaning done in the least amount of time possible. I’ve discovered so many time-saving cleaning hacks that I wanted to share them to help make your life easier too!
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Time-saving cleaning hacks for people who hate cleaning
These time-saving cleaning hacks make cleaning so easy for those of us who hate cleaning. Follow these tips and you will find you have more time to do what you love instead of spending (what feels like) all of your time cleaning.
This may seem like an overwhelming list of things that need to be done. The truth is, you have to create a foundation for a clean home before it gets easier. Once you’ve conquered the clutter and organized your storage spaces, cleaning becomes so much easier and a breeze to keep clean. Let’s get started!
Create the foundation of a clean home
Eliminate the clutter
If your messy house constantly stresses you out, the first thing you need to do is declutter your home. Once this is done, you won’t have to spend as much time moving, sorting, organizing, maintaining or cleaning around stuff that you don’t have. This is essential if you hate cleaning.
Decluttering is the process of making room in your home for the things that matter and getting rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. If you haven’t used it in the past two years, get rid of it.
If you find you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, 1800-GOT-JUNK? makes it easy to make your junk disappear. All you have to do is point and the stuff you don’t want will be gone!
Once you have pared down your possessions to a more manageable level, you’ll get to enjoy the freedom of all the space you’ve reclaimed, leading to less stress. You will also have less things to move and put away when cleaning.
Once you’ve purged your home of all the things you don’t need, it’s time to organize what’s left and make sure everything has its own place to live. The first step would be determining and clearing storage space for the rooms you use most often. This way, you have somewhere to put everything while you’re organizing it.
There are so many storage solutions to choose from for every room of your house that will make it easier to have space for everything. When everything has a place, you always know where it goes and you spend less time trying to figure out where to put things. This leads to less stress in your life.
If you’re like me and you find the whole process overwhelming, you might want to check out The Organized Home Course by Hilary from Pulling Curls. Her very reasonably priced course taught me how to finally tackle my clutter issues and create effective organization solutions for my home. The course even includes a Facebook group where you can receive tailored advice to keep an organized home that functions well – even with kids.
The right tools are a time-saving essential for those of us who hate cleaning. Thanks to technology, there’s an automated tool for almost every household job. Leave the grunt work to these gadgets while you focus on the finer details of keeping your house clean.
You can schedule your robot vacuum to vacuum your carpet while you scrub your kitchen or bathroom. Then you can vacuum and mop your floors at the same time while this nifty gadget cleans your windows for you. Having the right tools makes all the difference and saves tons of time!
It’s time to clean!
Collect all trash and laundry
Do an initial walk through the entire house with a trash bag and throw away anything that is garbage or not needed. Put it in the trash can.
Do the same thing with a laundry basket. Walk through the house and collect all the dirty laundry that is lying around. Don’t forget towels that are hanging, shower mats and facecloths in the bathroom(s) and kitchen towels and cloths. Once you have enough for a load, throw it in the washing machine.
Clear floors and other surfaces and put things where they belong
Do another walk through the entire house and pick things up off the floor and put them where they belong. If you come across items that don’t have a home but you need them, follow your organizational plan and make appropriate space for them.
If there are clean clothes piled up on the table or couch, or other items on catch-all surfaces like entry tables, dining tables or shelves, put them in their assigned spaces. If you have a desk that is stacked with papers or other items, make sure it is clear before proceeding.
Finally, gather all floor mats. Take them outside and shake them. If they are washable and need to be washed, put them in a basket and bring to the laundry room for washing. If not, leave them outside while you clean.
Gather your cleaning products and keep them with you
It’s a good idea to carry the tools you need in every room with you, but I like to keep it light. It’s a good idea to keep specific cleaning products in the same room that you use them, such as the bathroom or kitchen. Carrying your multi-room products with you saves time moving room to room.
My suggested cleaning products to carry with you are:
- Microfiber dusters and extendable pole – to dust picture frames, ceiling, ceiling fans, blinds, window sills, baseboards, cobwebs, spider webs & more
- Swiffer sweeper – for sweeping floors as you go and washing walls and ceilings, if necessary. Can also be used to wash hard floors
- Microfiber cloths – used to clean tables, countertops, windows and floors – can be used wet or dry on Swiffer sweeper to reduce waste. Have lots on hand (wet and dry) to reduce the need to rinse
- Magic erasers – can be used as a surface cleaner, wall cleaner, bathtub cleaner to erase dirt and marks
- Multipurpose cleaner – or a spray bottle filled with hot water, ¼ cup vinegar and a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent; or filled with your favorite DIY cleaning solution
- Window cleaner – or a spray bottle filled with a solution of half hot water to half vinegar. For really dirty windows, you may have to wash with hot, soapy water first and rinse. Then you can spray your window cleaner
- Lint roller – to remove pet hair from furniture and bedding; and to dust lamp shades and window coverings
- Cleaning caddy – to hold all your cleaning supplies and make it easy to carry
Work from top to bottom; left to right
Starting at the top, or ceiling, helps to reduce the amount of work you have to redo. If you dust the dust webs from the ceiling and clean your ceiling fan first, the dirt will fall to the floor. If you clean your walls and anything hanging on them next, any dust or dirt gathered will also fall to the floor. The same applies to any surfaces that need to be dusted or disinfected so you won’t have to clean anything twice.
Working left to right (or right to left if you prefer) ensures that you don’t miss any corner or section of the room. This is important because it’s easy to lose track of where you’ve already cleaned if you’re just doing it haphazardly. The goal is to make sure everything gets cleaned.
Next, it’s time to apply your preferred cleaning products to disinfect surfaces and to clean toilets, bathtubs, shower tiles or other fixtures. Apply enough to ensure that the surface is covered. These products need some time to do their work, so let it sit while you move on to other things.
Work your way from room to room
Start by dusting all surfaces in the room – from top to bottom; left to right. If there is stubborn dirt on your walls or ceilings (like splatted mosquitos or flies), use the Swiffer sweeper with a wet microfiber cloth to remove it. Magic erasers are great for those harder to remove stains or scuffs, for removing grease buildup on kitchen cabinets and for scrubbing tubs and showers. Don’t forget the baseboards!
Wipe furniture surfaces down with a damp microfiber cloth. Buff with furniture polish if you like. Don’t forget to wipe down electronic screens with a dry microfiber cloth. If you must, dampen the cloth with water – not the screen – to avoid damage.
Give the windows and mirrors in the room a quick spray with window cleaner and wipe them down with a microfiber cloth (or newspaper for a streak-free shine). Or you can invest in this robot window cleaner that can clean the windows for you while you’re working on something else.
If you’ve already gone through the house removing trash and laundry and putting all the things in their place, this step shouldn’t take too long in each room because you don’t need to move anything or put it away.
Focus on the floors
Once the ceilings, walls and furniture have been cleaned, it’s time to sweep the hard floors with your Swiffer sweeper and a dry microfiber cloth. Use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe up any remaining dirt that doesn’t stick to the dry cloth.
Then it’s time to wash your floors.There are many options to wash your floors:
- Swiffer wet jet – this is an easy option that doesn’t involve getting on your hands and knees or wringing, although it may not be the best choice for more thorough cleaning. You can use microfiber cloths soaked in hot soapy water and wrung out for a more eco-friendly option. They will stick to the velcro on the bottom of the wet jet.
- Wring mop – this mop requires that you have the bucket with built-in wringer, but cleans a little better than the wet jet.
- Hands and knees – this method requires a bucket of hot, soapy water and manual scrubbing with your microfiber cloths for maximum clean
- If you really want to make your life easier and save time cleaning, use this All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop for Hard Floors to sweep and mop at the same time!
If you have carpeting, wait until all rooms are cleaned to vacuum the floors to minimize effort and so they all get done at once, but be careful of tracking any dirt between floor surfaces.
In between rooms, remember to flip your laundry to the dryer and add another load to your washing machine, if required.
Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen has its own challenges. Not only do you have to work from top to bottom, but there are more surfaces that require attention, such as cabinets, fixtures and appliances. But, if everything has already been cleared and put away (as suggested earlier), it shouldn’t take too much extra time to clean everything following the room routine outlined above, as well as the following tips.
If you do a lot of cooking like I do, you may find that your cabinets have become a little sticky with grease. This kitchen degreaser makes removing grease, grime and baked on food so easy! Just spray on, wait a few minutes, and wipe off. It’s also safe for getting your counters and appliances grease-free. If you’re dealing with stubborn grease, a magic eraser can help remove it.
Place a cup of water in your microwave, with a wooden toothpick or skewer in it to dissipate the energy. Run the microwave for a minute or two until the water starts boiling. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let the steam do its work. Then you can easily wipe it out with a cloth.
I swear I tried every stainless steel cleaner out there and I still had streaks and fingerprints! Then I found this stainless steel cleaner that leaves my appliances super clean and streak-free. It also seems as though the product helps protect the appliances from water marks. Make sure you clean your appliances before cleaning the kitchen floor, as the spray can make your floors slippery!
If you have hard-water buildup or rust stains on your bathtubs, showers, sink, faucets or toilet, citric acid is what you need to remove them. Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits and helps dissolve the minerals that cause buildup. It works on stainless steel and porcelain sinks and doesn’t harm finishes.
For routine cleaning of bathroom sinks, bathtubs, showers and fixtures, I prefer the scent of a commercial bathroom cleaner. Wipe down the surfaces you sprayed earlier and rinse.
Don’t forget to sweep and mop your kitchen and bathroom floors once everything else in each room has been cleaned.
Once you’ve wiped all surfaces and hard floors, it’s time to throw all those cloths and towels you used into the laundry so they are ready for the next time. Don’t forget to fold and put away the laundry in the dryer!
Once everything else has been cleaned and shined, it’s time to vacuum any carpeted areas you have. This is the model I bought as it is affordable and its self-cleaning brush is great if you have pets. Remember to vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door, in even parallel lines, so that you finish out the door. Try to vacuum slowly to ensure all dirt is released from the carpet and sucked into the vacuum.
More time-saving cleaning hacks for people who hate cleaning
Once you get your house decluttered, organized and cleaned from top to bottom, here are some things you can do to keep it clean longer and minimize the time you spend cleaning:
Set a schedule
When you develop and stick to a cleaning schedule, your home will remain reasonably clean all the time. This is because you will regularly pay attention and nothing will get beyond control again!
Ensure that you incorporate the ‘big’ jobs, such as cleaning the fridge, freezer, stove, the stove hood and oven into this schedule as needed to maintain cleanliness as well. And don’t forget to pull out your appliances and furniture regularly to clean under/behind them.
Incorporate micro-cleaning into your daily routine
Here are 11 small things you can do as you go about your regular daily routine to make you hate cleaning just a little less:
- Make your bed every day as soon as you get up
- Spray your shower down with cleaner after every shower to reduce dirt buildup
- Wipe your bathroom sink every day after you brush your teeth
- Do a load of laundry every day to keep it from building up
- Fold laundry while you’re watching TV and put it away during commercials
- If you notice dirt or stains on surfaces, wash them right away
- Clean up after yourself as you cook – put dishes in the dishwasher or wash them and put them on a drainer to dry while food is cooking
- Clean up floor spills as soon as they happen
- Make sure kitchen counters are clear, surfaces are wiped and the sink is clean before you go to bed
- Swish your toilet(s) every day with a toilet brush
- Set a timer and spend 10 or 15 minutes daily picking up and putting away clutter
- Deal with mail as you get it – don’t let it pile up
- Put your purchases away as your bring them into the house
Once you have followed these steps to get your home under control, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that you won’t hate cleaning so much because it won’t be such an overwhelming prospect. It’s a lot of work to start with, but that work has many rewards.
You will be ready for those last-minute drop-ins and getting ready to entertain will be a breeze. The best part is you will no longer be stressing because you have to clean all the things!
Do you have any tips for people who hate to clean? Let us know in the comments.