Common Household Chore Shortcuts

Father and son doing laundry


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Speed up your cleaning routine with a few shortcuts for ten common household chores. These hacks will help you clean effectively and hopefully reduce the time and money it takes to do so.


Try dusting cloth lampshades with a lint roller. It works quickly and effectively without the hassle of a vacuum. An old sock is good for dusting hard surfaces. On horizontal surfaces, work from top to bottom to prevent dust settling where you have already wiped.

Windows and Mirrors 

Use old newspapers to clean mirrors and windows; they make a recyclable and disposable cleaning tool. Vinegar is an inexpensive, easy cleaner that can also be used on windows and mirrors to clean and shine surfaces. To prevent streaking and extra rubbing, wait for an overcast day to clean your mirrors and windows.


Bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave. The steam will help loosen dried on particles making it easier to remove them.


Put toilet cleaner in the toilet to soak while you wipe down the exterior of the toilet, as it will loosen dirt and stains. You can also buy a drop-in toilet cleaner dispenser or use a continuous-release gel to reduce cleaning frequency.


Each day, remove any spoiled food. Wipe down the interior with baking soda; it scrubs and eliminates odors without damaging surfaces.


On nights when you do not use your oven to cook, take a few moments and spray the inside of the oven with oven cleaner. After dinner or the next day, wipe dirt and grime from the oven. 


Most filing can be done with little thinking, so do it while watching television. Sort the papers into categories based on your file names. Don't forget to include a trash pile so you can get rid of unnecessary paper. 


Write and post some basic instructions in the laundry room. Make each person responsible for washing, drying, and putting away their clothing. Delegating will reduce the burden.

Dirty Dishes

When you begin cooking, run a sink of hot soapy water, and wash items as you go. Food on dishes won't have a chance to harden on the dishes, which will make for quicker cleaning. Keep disposable plates, flatware, and cups handy for hectic evenings to avoid dish build-up.


Organize time to make a pile of items you no longer use, then donate the items or throw them away. Use labeled bins to put away commonly used items.