Your 10-minute spring cleaning guide

Mar 5, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Ten minutes a day to a cleaner home? Yes, please! Trust us, it's possible. Even with busy work schedules, messy children and a husband to take care of, we all have a spare 10 minutes per day to devote to cleaning.

Woman cleaning home

Imagine this scenario: A friend calls on a Wednesday evening saying she's in the neighborhood and would love to stop by and chat for a bit. You say "Sure!" but on the inside are freaking out. She'll be here in about 10 minutes and your house is a disaster. Quickly, you hang up the phone and enter panic-cleaning mode. The 10 minutes are up, you hear a knock at your door and take a look around your place, beyond impressed with your abilities to make your house look spick-and-span in a matter of minutes. This has happened to us all, right? For a clean house at all times — not just minutes before someone's coming over — we've created a 10-minute spring cleaning guide just for you. Bonus: You get the weekends off!

Before we begin, we recommend setting a timer for 10 minutes before beginning each task. When the time's up, you can decide to either be done or continue cleaning. It's up to you and your schedule for the day.

Monday: Bathrooms

We can probably all agree that cleaning bathrooms is the worst, so let's get it over with first thing. Spend 10 minutes clearing off the countertops, cleaning the mirrors, scrubbing the toilets and polishing the sinks. We understand that if you have more than one bathroom it could be difficult to complete all this times three, so don't stress. If time runs out and you want to clean them all, go for it. If not, clean a different bathroom next week.

Tuesday: Kitchen

Tip: If the kitchen is already pretty clean, clean out a junk drawer!

We're assuming you keep up with dishes on a semi-daily basis, right? So for this 10-minute cleanup, we're going to go a little deeper. Scrub the countertops, sweep and mop the floor, clean the outside of the refrigerator, and scrub the sink and oven top.

Wednesday: Living room

Tip: If the room's already clean, vacuum the couch or steam clean the carpets.

This is most likely going to be the messiest and most-used room in the house, so organization is key! Anything that doesn't belong in the living room should be placed in a box for later. If you go from room to room putting things away, your 10 minutes will be up before you even begin. Next, dust the blinds, television, end tables, coffee table and bookshelves, including photo frames and miscellaneous knickknacks. Brush off the couch, fluff all cushions and straighten any pillows or blankets. Finally, do a quick vacuum of the room.

Thursday: Master bedroom

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so we want to do a good job of keeping this room clean. Start by throwing the sheets and pillowcases in the washer. Spend the next few minutes hanging up or folding any clothing that's out of place. Quickly vacuum the carpet (three minutes) and dust furniture and bookshelves (two minutes). Once the sheets have been washed and dried, make the bed as neatly as possible, including fluffing the throw pillows and placing them on their appropriate spots on the bed. There's nothing like crawling into a freshly made and washed bed at the end of a long day.

Kid in messy bedroomFriday: Kids' rooms

Since these rooms are consistently a mess, we saved them for last. Now, since it's Friday, we recommend having the kids do this so you can relax with your husband in peace for a few moments. Make it fun for them by setting the timer and having them clean their rooms as best as they can in 10 minutes. Celebrate by having their favorite dinner or watching their favorite movie that night. Kids are more inclined to clean if it's a race against the clock (and if there's a reward at the end)!

Your 10-minute spring cleaning checklist

cleaning supplies

Monday: Bathrooms

  • Clear off countertops
  • Clean mirrors
  • Scrub toilets
  • Polish sinks

Tuesday: Kitchen

  • Scrub countertops
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Clean outside of refrigerator
  • Scrub sink and oven top

Wednesday: Living room

  • Place items that don't belong in the room in a box
  • Dust blinds, end tables, coffee table, television and bookshelves
  • Straighten up the couch
  • Vacuum

Thursday: Master bedroom

  • Wash sheets and pillowcases
  • Put away clothing that's out of place
  • Vacuum
  • Dust furniture and bookshelves
  • Make the bed as neatly as possible

Friday: Kids' rooms

  • Set the timer
  • Put the kids to work
  • Reward the kids with a favorite dinner or movie
  • Enjoy 10 minutes of peace!

More on spring cleaning

Working mom 3.0: Spring clean for clarity
Tips to help you spring clean your kitchen
Spring cleaning is always in season