A guest post by Tanya Plattner of Tidy Life Happy Wife
Are you missing out on family time because the kitchen’s a mess and there’s still another load of laundry to do? Do you wish there was an easier way? Here are some tips to simplify cleaning and take back your precious time.
According to the cleaning institute, American’s spend an average of 6 hours a week cleaning their homes.
That’s a lot of time cleaning and you defiantly have better things to do. That being said, you don’t want a a messy house either. What’s a girl to do?
Well, there’s actually a lot you can to do simplify your housekeeping process and save yourself a ton of time.
How to Simplify Cleaning
These 11 tips will help you to simplify cleaning in your home and save you more time. If you are like me and you don’t enjoy cleaning your home, these ideas will help!
1. Define YOUR Level of Clean
Decide what CLEAN means to you and what level of clean you’re comfortable with in your home. It varies quite a bit from person to person and can make a huge difference in how complicated and time consuming your cleaning routine is.
I like my house to be fairly clean but if I don’t see dirty finger smudges on my refrigerator door, I don’t worry about cleaning the entire thing. I wipe the handle with a little disinfectant and call it good.
What about the laundry? Do you wash your clothes after wearing for a short period of time, or do you hang them on a designated side of the closet and wear them again?
Look at each cleaning task to see if the there is any way to simplify it and save a little time.
Determine if the time you’re spending on each cleaning task is worth the result you’re getting. Then figure out if you would still be satisfied with the result that a little less time and effort would produce.
2. Spot Clean
Simplify your cleaning process by spot cleaning visibly dirty spots instead of cleaning an entire area.
The refrigerator is a good place for spot cleaning, besides the door handle I mentioned above, you can spot clean the interior too. Just wipe up any visible spills in between deep cleanings.
Cabinet and pantry doors are also good candidates for spot cleaning. A Quick wipe of the knobs and the area around the knobs should be sufficient for most weekly cleaning.
There’s no need to complicate your process and waste time cleaning areas that aren’t dirty.
3. Clear the Clutter
We can’t talk about simplifying your cleaning process or the time it takes without talking about the impact of clutter.
Clutter’s so visually distracting that it can make a clean house look dirty. On top of that, it can add a ton of time to your cleaning process.
Every single piece of paper, item of clothing, decorative basket, dirty dish, or extra throw pillow presents one more surface for dust, dirt, and allergens to settle and collect on.
That means one more thing you have to clean, and one more thing you have to pick up to clean underneath. Each time you touch another item, it’s adding time to your cleaning process.
I’m not saying you need to get rid of everything you own and keep all of your flat surfaces completely empty, just be aware that every object adds time to your cleaning session.
For a little perspective, imagine that you’re cleaning the bathroom and the counter’s covered with your cosmetics, hair accessories, oral care supplies and husbands grooming supplies.
How long do you think it’s going to take to wipe that counter down compared to the time it would take if all of that stuff was already put away in a drawer or cabinet?
What about vacuuming the bedroom floor? Imaging the time that you could save if the shoes and dirty laundry weren’t thrown all over the place.
Keep your flat surfaces and floors as clutter free as possible to simplify and speed up your cleaning routine.
4. Get a Robot Vacuum
Another huge time saver, in my opinion, is a robot vacuum. BEST purchase I ever made! It’s definitely a product that helps simplify your life.
It won’t get into all of the tight corners, nooks, and crannies, but regardless what type of flooring you have, a robot vacuum will definitely keep the main parts of your floor clean and save you a ton of time because you won’t have to do the vacuuming very often.
Set it to run during a time that all or most of the family will be out of your house, then all you have to do is empty the collection chamber when you return so it’s ready for the next day.
You’ll be shocked how much time you save when the bulk of the floor cleaning is taken care of by the robot vacuum on a daily basis.
It also gives you a really good excuse to make the rest of the family keep their floor cleared. If their floors are cluttered, they’ll have to do their own vacuuming.
Word of Caution: If you have a pet that has accidents, don’t run the vacuum when you’re not home! I’m pretty sure you can imagine what kind of a mess you might come home to.
5. Get Everybody Involved
Every person in your household contributes to the mess, so they should also be contributing to the cleanup. There’s no reason you can’t simplify your cleaning by delegating some of it to some of the mess makers.
The best way I’ve found to get help around the house is to find out what chore each person hates doing, then start bartering!
If your daughter hates cleaning the bathroom, find out what cleaning tasks she doesn’t mind doing and have her do those instead.
You might not love cleaning the bathroom either, but if you can get your daughter to clean the kitchen and do the dishes, you’ll save a ton of time as opposed to doing all of it yourself.
6. Simplify Larger Tasks
If you’re anything like most women today, you probably can’t set aside a large chunk of time for cleaning, but you can manage a few uninterrupted 10 to 15 minute sessions throughout the day.
Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks that can be done when you have time.
A task like cleaning the kitchen could be broken down into 1) do the dishes, 2) wipe down the cabinets and counters, 3) tidy the pantry, 4) clean the appliances, and 5) clean the floors.
You might not be able spend one full hour cleaning the entire kitchen, but you could probably complete spend 10 minutes doing the dishes, the wipe the counters and cabinets later, and so on.
By the end of the day, all of the tasks would be complete and the kitchen would be clean.
7. Do a Little Each Day
Separate your cleaning tasks into sections or stages spread throughout your week. Don’t spend your whole weekend cleaning your entire house in one shot.
Spreading it out gives you a little flexibility and prevents the overwhelm that comes from trying to fit it all into one or two days.
Besides, your weekends are for rest, and family time.
My cleaning schedule is set up to cover a different room each day of the week Monday through Friday, with Saturday reserved for seasonal outdoor tasks, and Sunday for family. It works really well for me.
You can get my weekly cleaning checklist here. It will help keep you on track with cleaning your home.
Some people like a task-based schedule better, so if one room a day doesn’t work for you, try one task a day. Use one day to clear all flat surfaces, one day to dust, one day to change linens and do laundry, one day to clean your floors, etc.
8. Simplify Your Cleaning Supplies
If you’re the type to try every new cleaner on the market, I’ll bet you have a closet full of cleaning supplies. I’ll even take it one step further and say that you probably only use a few of your favorites.
Am I right? Not judging, I’ve been there too. I don’t like to scrub and spend hours cleaning, so I’m always looking for something that does a specific job, quicker, easier, and better.
All of that trial and error can lead to a ton of stocked up cleaning supplies which just add to the clutter and make it harder to tackle your cleaning tasks.
Shopping for cleaning supplies is a time suck all on its own. Some stores offer so many different cleaning supplies they can’t even fit them all on one aisle.
Simplify your cleaning supplies by picking a favorite multipurpose cleaner and one or two other task specific favorites. Better yet, use some of your household items to DIY your cleaning supplies.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used for several cleaning and disinfecting applications. Make some natural DIY solutions by adding a little Dawn dishwashing liquid, baking soda, hot water, or a combination. You can replace pretty much all of your cleaning products with stuff you already have around your home.
Plus, imagine the time and decision paralysis you’ll avoid by not walking those cleaning supply aisles, not to mention the money you’ll save!
9. Keep Mini Cleaning Kits in Other Rooms
Do you have some form of a cleaning closet? That one place you store all of your cleaning supplies?
Most people do. It allows them to store their supplies all in one place and quickly see what they have or might be running out of.
It’s very efficient for knowing what you’re running low on, but how efficient is it when you’re cleaning house? Do you ever forget something and spend half of your time running back and forth for supplies?
Try keeping a small kit of supplies in your bathrooms and under the kitchen sink. It’ll save you time by not having to go get the cleaners, plus it’ll make it much easier to clean up smaller messes since the supplies are right there.
A small kit could consist of a multipurpose cleaner and a few microfiber cloths. I also keep disinfectant wipes under each sink so I can grab one and wipe down the light switches and door handles periodically.
Added Bonus: Other family members have been caught cleaning up their own messes because the supplies were handy!
10. Simplify Your Laundry
Laundry can be very time consuming, especially if you have a large family and a specific day when you do all of the laundry.
One way to simplify your laundry is to do one load of laundry each day as needed. Saving it all for one day creates a daunting pile that’s hard to face. Doing one load a day makes it manageable because you can sneak it in around the rest of your day.
Another way is to have separate laundry hampers for each type of load you wash so everything is pre-sorted when it’s time to do laundry.
Depending on the types of clothing you have, you could use one hamper for colors, one for whites, and one for towels and linens. When the hamper is full, it’s time to do that load of laundry, no more sorting.
Simplifying your wardrobe can ease the laundry mess too. Try putting together a capsule wardrobe and reducing the overall amount of clothing you own.
Even better, make sure the pieces in your capsule wardrobe have similar laundering instructions so you can throw them all together in one load.
Once you get to that point, you can simplify your laundry even more by placing a hamper in each person’s room, and when that hamper is full, that load gets washed, dried, and put away. No sorting before washing, and no sorting after drying because the entire load goes back to that person’s room.
11. Hire a Housekeeper
Hands down the easiest way to simplify cleaning is to just hire a good housekeeper to do it all for you, how much simpler could it be.
I couldn’t finish this list without at least including the option even though it’s by far the most expensive!
Enjoy Your Simplified Cleaning Routine and Extra Time
As you can see, there are many ways to simplify cleaning and free up extra time.
Even if you only implement one or two of the suggestions above, I’m confident you’ll enjoy an easier cleaning routine and benefit from the extra time you have in the end.
Tanya Plattner is the founder of tidylifehappywife.com where she helping women clean, declutter and organize their way to a stress-free home and life.
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Love all of your articles!
Thank you, Barbara! I’m glad you’re finding them helpful.