No one likes to spend all day cleaning. But a clean house feels SO good! Most of us don't have the time or energy to spend all day cleaning. We know it is something that must get done and here are the main types of cleaners:
- Procrastinate and waste a bunch of time and then start cleaning.
- Run around at the last minute scrambling to tidy up before guests arrive.
- Spend an entire weekend meticulously cleaning every inch of your home and then feeling resentful that the weekend is over.
- Do the bare minimum and never achieve a deep clean.
Do any of these sound like you? Life is busy and cleaning gets pushed down the list of priorities. Research shows that when our spaces are tidy and clean, we function better as humans. We are more calm and more organized- and who doesn't want that?
Since we literally are All About Tidy, we put together a strategy that anyone can use to maintain a clean house in under two hours each week. We are assuming that the average house is less than 2000 square feet, so if your house is bigger, it may take a bit longer, but the same principles apply. Having a plan and executing it can lead to a clean home with a minimum time investment.
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Related: 7 Steps to Tidy a Messy Kitchen
Step One: Strip the Beds and Load the Washer (12 Minutes)
Fresh, clean sheets feel so great at the end of the day. The Sleep Foundation recommends that sheets be changed weekly for good hygiene practices and better sleep patterns. The average person spends 50+ hours per week sleeping in our beds, giving our sheets ample time to collect dirt, sweat, and oils.
Brooklinen is our favorite brand of sheets and we keep 3-4 sets on hand to make frequent changing easy. After throwing your dirty sheets in the wash, make the beds with a clean set of sheets. While you progress through the rest of the steps, your sheets will be washing and drying.
Step Two: Remove the Clutter (10 Minutes)
Move through your house room by room with a laundry basket and toss in every object that needs to be put away. I use this collapsible hamper solely for the decluttering step. Once I am finished, it neatly collapses for simple storage until next week's cleaning session.
Once you have all surfaces cleared of things that don't belong, go back through each room and put all of the stray objects in their proper places. Now that the surfaces are clear, the cleaning can begin.
Step Three: Wipe All Surfaces (20 Minutes)
Keep all of your basic cleaning supplies in a cleaning caddy that you can carry with you throughout the house during this step. Start in one room and wipe all surfaces. Your cleaning caddy will guarantee that you have every product you need to clean each type of surface.
My cleaning caddy is stocked with the following:
I use the duster to reach top door sills and the tops of ceiling fans and tall furniture. The cleaning cloths are to wipe down surfaces. I use one with the multi-surface cleaner and a different one with the wood cleaner. Every surface is cleaned including windowsills, shelves, baseboards, etc. When you go room by room and have all of the tools with you in a caddy, it goes pretty quickly.
Step Four: Clean the Kitchen (15 Minutes)
The kitchen is the most used room in the home. It is where meals are prepared with love and where families gather. It is also one of the dirtiest rooms because there is so much activity in the kitchen. Before you get started, place a bowl of vinegar and lemon juice in the microwave and turn it on for 2 minutes. It will loosen up any grime in the microwave while you clean elsewhere. Use the same cleaning caddy and wipe down every counter and cabinet surface. Don't forget to wipe down the back splash.
Now move onto the appliances. Wipe down the surfaces and use the appropriate cleaner depending on your appliance surface. Wipe down dishwasher seals and refrigerator handles. Now move onto the microwave. After the vinegar and lemon juice, it should only take a quick wipe for food grime to wipe away.
Step Five: Clean the Bathrooms (15 Minutes)
First, spray the shower surfaces with a shower cleaner. I use a bleach spray for this weekly clean and let it sit. We use Method Daily Shower after each shower to prevent grime build up and make shower cleaning a breeze. With a bathroom cleaner, wipe all counter and cabinet surfaces. Clean the mirrors. Disinfect and clean the toilets. Now move onto the shower and scrub as needed. The bleach cleaner should have taken care of most of it. Rinse and give a quick spray of Method Daily Shower.
Step Six: Clean the Floors (30 Minutes)
Investing in a high quality vacuum cleaner makes this step easy and even fun. We love our Kirby Vacuum and have found that it is the best vacuum we have used. It is super powerful and doesn't spray the dust all around like many of the less expensive vacuums.
Here is the process we use to vacuum:
- Use the crevice attachment to clean the edges of your room first.
- Vacuum horizontally across the room and then go back over it vertically.
- Start vacuuming from the furthest corner in the room and make your way out of the room.
- If you struggle with carpet odors, add a few drops of essential oils to your vacuum bag or sprinkle some carpet neutralizer over carpet before vacuuming.
Put away your vacuum cleaner and move on to mopping.
The O-Cedar Easy Wring Microfiber mop and bucket is the best we have found. The microfiber pads are machine washable, the design allows you to reach into corners, and it works on all hard surfaces. Here is how I use it:
- Add my floor cleaner into a spray bottle.
- Fill the O-Cedar bucket with very hot water.
- Wet the mop with clean water.
- Spray the cleaner directly on the floor.
- Mop a few passes.
- Rinse the mop and repeat.
Always mop in an overlapping pattern back and forth.
Pro Tip: Windows and Mirrors
If you hate cleaning mirrors and windows, but LOVE the look of crystal clear windows and spotless mirrors, use the Karcher WV Window Vacuum. It is amazing!
Cleaning your house in under 2 hours is simple to do with the right tools and a solid plan. Keep moving through the steps without getting distracted and you will have a clean smelling, spotless home in less than 2 hours. Now you have the whole day to do whatever!