Speed Clean your Entire Home
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
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I wasn’t always the cleanest person. In fact, I used to be one of those people who would only clean and tidy up when someone was coming over.
I would hysterically run around my place hiding piles of clothes with a Swiffer duster in one hand a Clorox wipe in the other. In those 45 minutes before someone came over, I would get more done than I would in an entire month.
There is no greater incentive to clean than wanting to appear like you have your life together.
I wasn't proud of myself. So little by little I changed my habits. But, I am who I am, so my lazy girl self always found ways to work smarter and not harder. And while my present self cringes at the thought of how I used to live, I must admit it taught me some key things.
The main thing I learned is that having a tidy home had nothing to do with cleaning and everything to do with organizing and decluttering.
You can't speed clean a home that is chaotic, cluttered, and not efficiently set up. You have to get the chaos under control and then you can maintain it through speed cleaning.
The goal is to make your home easy to live in and especially easy to care for. The easier it is to care for your home the easier it will be to have more time and space for actually LIVING and enjoying it!
Check out my Cleaning Hacks below!
01. Get Organized
Ever since I organized and decluttered every space in my home cleaning has become easier and much less time-consuming. If you want to learn how to properly declutter your space like a professional organizer, check out my guide to decluttering here.
Need extra help getting organized?
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Related: Renter-Friendly Closet Makeover
02. Keep the items you use to clean a particular room, IN that room.
I realized I did a lot of back and forth from one room to another when trying to speed clean. So I started keeping everything I need to clean a room in that particular room.
This also helps you MAINTAIN your place because seeing your cleaning items reminds you to do a quick touch-up and having your tools handy makes that touch-up less of a hassle. If cleaning becomes less of a hassle you'll be more likely to clean and tidy up more often.
If you don't have the space to keep items in the room then try to use universal cleaners and bring them with you from room to room in an apron, a caddie, or tool belt.
I keep a Swiffer Duster and Febreeze in my bedroom. Every time I see it, I'm reminded to give the dressers in the bedroom a 1-minute dusting.
I keep a Swiffer Duster, Pledge Wipes, Windex, and a roll of Paper Towel in a living room drawer. Cleaning takes 2 minutes and everything I need to be able to do it is right there.
Keep all of your bathroom cleaning items in the bathroom. Every time you see something needs a touch up: Go for it!
Keep your kitchen cleaning items under the kitchen sink.
Learn how to maximize your under the sink space here.
03. Pre-sort your Laundry
What a game-changer. Cut down on laundry time by having a split-hamper or multiple hampers/baskets. Hampers that are made for sorting make laundry quicker and easier because they force everyone to sort their clothes as soon as they take them off.
The system I use includes 3 bins and 1 mesh bra bag.
Bin 1: Colors
Bin 2: Whites
Bin 3: Delicates
04. Not enough space for Pre-sorting?
Try Shout's Color Catcher and don't even worry about pre-sorting.
05. Clear your countertops of Clutter
Only keep the essential items on countertops. This way you can give it a quick wipe down without having to move other items around.
Need more help decluttering your countertops? Check out an entire post dedicated to this essential step: here.
06. Use a daily shower cleaner solution and a toilet bowl aid
Spray your shower daily so that when it comes time to clean not much will need to be done. Toilet bowl aids help keep your toilet fresher and cleaner for longer. If you're having trouble decluttering your bathroom check out my guide here.
07. Keep a floor cleaning solution in a spray bottle in your kitchen
There are always spills and accidents wherever food is involved. Having a small mopping solution in your kitchen will allow you to spray the mess quickly and conveniently without having to go into your broom closet.
08. Keep your garbage bags at the bottom of your garbage bin
As soon as you remove one you have another one right there to replace it. In other words, keep your refills where you will need them. Keep your toilet paper, shampoos, and soaps in the bathroom where they will be used.
- If you need to make space for items try to declutter or re-arrange:
For example, One thing I was doing wrong was keeping all my hair styling stuff in the bathroom. I like to do my hair in the bedroom. So even though it may not make sense for everyone to keep their hair stuff in a bedroom drawer it made the most sense for ME and also cleared up some valuable space in my bathroom.
09. Keep a "Donate" or "Sell" box in your closet
Make money while you declutter! I read this on a blog a few years ago and decided to try this out. So I set up an extra hamper and threw in all the items I rarely used, both clothing items and decorative items I no longer wanted!
*If you haven't tried Poshmark use code "TheFineRefine" for a $10 credit!
10. The more you own the more you have to dust
Small decorative items and knick-knacks are a hassle to clean. I realized that having ONE large decorative item has more design impact than having TEN little decorative items cluttering my surfaces.
If you find you're attached to some items and are struggling with decluttering check out my guide on decluttering here.
11. Keep your floors clear
Aside from furniture and rugs, try to keep your floors clear! This makes cleaning your floors much easier. Try to keep shoes in closets, cubbies, or get a nice bench with shoe storage underneath like the ones pictured below from Amazon.
If you're struggling with a small home or tiny apartment-living check out this adorable apartment and renter-friendly mudroom for shoe storage.
12. Floors are cleaned last
Clean every room from top to bottom and let crumbs, dust, and other trash fall on the floor while you wipe countertops and dust furniture. This way you don't have to go back and forth to the trash. After everything else is clean you can sweep, vacuum and mop your floors.
Related Reading: How to Organize your Bathroom in 15 steps
13. Carry a bag or laundry basket with you into every room
(I leave it in the doorway) I toss clothing, toys, trash, cups, and anything that doesn't belong in that room in the basket. When you're done cleaning, place those items back where they belong.
14. Let your microwave clean itself
To clean your microwave place 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. The mixture will create steam that will loosen the gunk all over the walls. Let the microwave stand for another 5 minutes and then wipe it down using your magic eraser.
15. Use your HANDS and FEET
Take it one room at a time and think of yourself as a machine. Use your hands AND your feet to do the cleaning.
Slip on a pair of old socks and as soon as you walk into a room walk around the room dusting, wiping, spraying, and using your feet to get into those hard to reach areas like the toilet base or odd corners where you don't want to bend down. Once you've reached the other side of the room everything should be clean (except for the floor).
Practical Beauty Tip: Put a little moisturizer (Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask works best) and vaseline on your feet before you slip on your old socks. This will leave your feet super soft!
As soon as everything is clean you can focus on the floors, vacuuming, sweeping, swiffering, mopping... whatever it is that you do. The last floor you should clean is the Master Bathroom so as soon as you're done mopping it you can just hop in the shower while the floors dry.
17. Roomba is Life
I live for the "work smarter, not harder" ideas in life. So when it comes to prolonging the time between cleanings and just generally making my life easier, I like to invest where it matters.
So, I bought an iRobot Roomba and let me tell you, as a dog mom, it has changed my life. If you have pets, you know how much dirt, dust, and hair your fur-child brings into your home and you know the hassle of having to swiffer or vacuum EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Well since I have the Roomba it does the floor cleaning FOR me. This little lady is worth every penny. I have had it for 3 years now and it still works perfectly.
The only downside to the Roomba: The Vacuum sound for 30-45 minutes. But my answer to this is simple: I let it run when I'm not there so I'm not bothered by the noise and I just come home to clean floors.
18. Use drill attachments to speed clean your tubs and showers
If you own any type of drill this is a MUST have for speed cleaning. There is nothing that will clean your showers and tubs faster than these drill brushes.
19. Make sure your furniture is easy to move
If you're going to really take the work out of housework you have to make sure your furniture is easily moveable so you can get into all the nooks and crannies. Invest in some furniture sliders and take care of your back.
20. Invest in easy-to-care-for furnishings and decorative items
One of the smartest ways to lighten the housework is to keep cleaning in mind when shopping for furniture and decorative items. Intricate knick-knacks and hard to clean furniture = more work and less time for actually living.
My shopping rule is: If it's a hassle to clean leave it at the store.
21. Put your dishwasher to work
In my humble opinion, the dishwasher is one of the most under-utilized appliances, mainly because it is marketed as a DISH-washer, but you can use it for SO much more. Start seeing it as a WASHER instead and put everything from toys, to dishwasher safe decorative items, to self-care items in it to make maintaining your home a breeze.
My favorite thing to put in the dishwasher? Personal care tools like mani-pedi tools, tweezers, and extractors! You just need a dishwasher safe cage to keep the small items from falling under the rack.
22. Use the right Products
Buy products that are meant to make cleaning easier. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite products here.
A few of my favorites:
With these dishwasher pods, you don't even have to rinse out foods that are stuck on to your dishes. These are reserved for our toughest messes.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
I don't know what kind of black magic is in these but they can tackle anything. Walls, Bathroom, Floors, and best of all just add water.
23. Remember that Speed Cleaning is NOT Deep Cleaning
I like to choose TWO to FOUR deep cleaning projects a month and schedule them. This makes cleaning a lot LESS overwhelming.
Some examples of my monthly projects:
Cleaning out the Fridge
Maintaining my organizing systems
Cleaning Shoes and Sports Equipment
Deep cleaning the shower grout and kitchen grout
24. Create an entryway system
The lazy girl habit that contributed MOST to my messy home was not having an established entryway sorting system.
As soon as I got home I would kick off my shoes near the door, drop my sunglasses on the table, my ke