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How to speed clean your home like a pro

No time to clean? No problem. You can learn the art of speed cleaning and tackle the whole house in record time. We’re sharing some room-by-room tips for kicking your cleaning routine into high gear.

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Expert advice

clean smarter

No time to clean? No problem. You can learn the art of speed cleaning and tackle the whole house in record time. We’re sharing some room-by-room tips for kicking your cleaning routine into high gear.
We asked Maria Flores Shaw, author of Maid to Translate, for her best tips for cleaning your whole home more efficiently.

Housecleaning mistakes that waste time

You might think you’re being as efficient as possible when going about your chores, but you could be spending more time than you need to. First things first: Shaw warns against using too many cleaning brands. “By reducing the amount of cleaners, you’ll lug less around and save time,” she advises. It’s also important to set your priorities. The failure to identify cleaning priorities according to level of importance can waste time. “Many times we tend to gravitate toward cleaning areas that are less challenging over cleaning areas that require extra attention,” says Shaw. This means you’re likely wasting time and energy rather than getting to the larger tasks that just get bigger when you ignore them.

Need help getting on task? Shaw shares her top tips to keeping to a cleaning schedule.

Quick tip: Don’t just make a cleaning schedule — stick to it!
  • Schedule a reminder on your cell phone or write it on a white board.
  • Create a realistic cleaning list and check off items as they’re completed.
  • Avoid checking email while you clean — just stick to your task at hand.
  • Share and communicate your goals. Do you need the family to help out? Communicate how you will divide and conquer.
clean bedroom

In the bedroom

Turn on some upbeat music and get started. “The bedroom is a place where we spend countless hours, so routine cleaning, frequent vacuuming and dusting are essential.”

  1. Always make the bed first. “A made-up bed provides an immediate sense of neatness and organization to the room,” says Shaw.
  2. Collect and gather all clothing items hanging around, sort them according to storage location and put them away.
  3. Clear and gather unnecessary clutter off dressers and nightstands. Sort, put away or throw away items accordingly.
  4. Dust furniture.
  5. Throw away trash.
  6. Vacuum.

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Clean kitchen

In the kitchen

The kitchen is a high-traffic area where we prepare meals, eat, entertain or spend time with family, so it’s going to need regular upkeep. “Activity in this space tends to be high, so emphasizing the importance in cleaning this space on a daily basis is necessary in order to maintain a hygienic kitchen environment, as well as understanding the art of speed cleaning,” Shaw explains.

  1. Have towels, wipes and cleaning solutions handy.
  2. Tidy up before starting the cleaning process by clearing dishes off of the tabletop, countertops and stove area.
  3. Wipe down the stove top and microwave (disposable wipes are quick and convenient).
  4. Move chairs and bar stools to one corner of the room.
  5. Remove and shake off floor mats.
  6. Spray and wipe down all countertops at once.
  7. Wash dishes and put away large pots or pans.
  8. Scrub the kitchen sink.
  9. Empty the trash.
  10. Sweep floors.
  11. Return mats and chairs back to their original locations.
Living room

In the family room

The family room is one of the most-used spaces and often the most casual, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to get messy. “For some, it can be their place to sit and read the newspaper, to catch up on a favorite television show or to unwind at the end of a long day, but there is a good chance come morning time that you are left with a collection of random goods,” notes Shaw. “If this is typical of your lifestyle, speed cleaning is essential.”

  1. Stack papers, magazines and newspapers.
  2. Fold blankets.
  3. Straighten out pillows and cushions.
  4. Dust furniture (disposable dust wipes are quick and easy).
  5. Clean glass tops.
  6. Sweep and/or vacuum floors.

In the bathroom

So which room does Shaw hate cleaning the most? The bathroom. “Unfortunately, not everyone has mastered the art of proper bathroom etiquette. This small space can be a challenge if not maintained on a regular basis,” she explains. “Everyone enjoys visiting a clean, fresh bathroom, yet not everyone understands the unpleasant labor involved in cleaning this space. Make cleaning this room a little less of a chore by communicating bathroom etiquette tips within your household.”

Quick tip: Provide an accessible amount of supplies such as hand soap, toilet paper, room spray and guest towels in every bathroom and install a nightlight.
  1. Encourage wiping down the countertop or on and around the toilet area.
  2. Promote lifting the toilet lid when necessary.
  3. Teach your children how to properly flush.
  4. Place a toilet brush alongside the toilet and promote its purpose.
  5. Keep a small wastebasket in the room.
  6. Leave guest towels handy.

How to deep-clean your bathroom >>

More cleaning tips

Reasons to spring clean year round
7 Days to a cleaner home
Home science: How household cleaners work

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