For most of us, cleaning is not one our favorite pastimes. We want a clean house, we just don't want to spend a great deal of time getting it.
So, here are some speed cleaning shortcuts to help you get the chores done faster and more easily. Most involve a few minutes of cleaning as you go while doing tasks each day. This will save you hours of heavy cleaning when you do decide it simply has to be done.
Tackle Oven Spills Quickly
If you have a pie or casserole boil over in the oven, it will be much easier to clean up the mess if you place an oven-proof bowl of water in the still hot oven. Turn the temperature to 400 degrees F. and allow to cook for 20 minutes and then turn off the oven. The water will boil and the steam will help loosen any food or grease. When the oven is cool, simply wipe down the oven with a sponge or paper towels.
Wipe Down Shower Walls
Soap scum happens in shower stalls and on shower doors. However, it will be much lighter and build-up much slower if everyone gives the shower or bathtub a quick wipe-down with a towel or squeegee once they have finished. Thirty seconds daily beats 30 minutes of scrubbing later.
Skip the Ironing Board
Put that shower to work for you by hanging wrinkled clothes in the bathroom while you shower. The steam will help wrinkles fall out of most fabrics and save you time in front of the ironing board.
Change Where You Store Garbage Bags
Where do you store garbage bags? Why waste time heading to a cabinet? Store new bags in the bottom of the garbage can. Each time you empty the trash, a new bag is at your fingertips.
Declutter Every Room
The more stuff you have, the longer it takes to clean it up. Take a few minutes each week to declutter one room and get rid of things you don't use.
If you can't part with your treasures, at least box them up and move them out of your living space so you don't have to dust around them.
Make Your Bed Before You Get Up
Making the bed immediately makes a room look neater. Take one minute to make the bed before you get out of it. Sit with your back against the headboard and pull the sheets and comforter evenly up to your waist. Slide out of the side and finish smoothing the pillows and linens.
Add a Donation Box in Every Closet
Place a donation box or bag in every closet. As you try on clothes and discover they don't fit or you don't like them any longer, instead of hanging them back up, place them in the donation box. When the box is full, give it to the charity of your choice.
Put Your Appliances to Work
You have several cleaning machines right at your fingertips. Put them to work:
- There are dozens of items that can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning. Pay attention to water temperature and you can save lots of time.
- The dishwasher is perfect for most knick-knacks, bath toys, and even sports equipment
- Invest in a robotic vacuum. It doesn't do a perfect job, but it makes a whole house cleaning easier.
- Let your blender clean itself. After each use, fill with a warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid and hit blend. Empty and rinse well.
- Heating water in the microwave for tea? Take advantage of the steam each time and give the interior walls a wipe down. No scrubbing needed!
Make Laundry Day Easier
Tackling laundry a little bit at a time is much less overwhelming than trying to do everything as one massive task. Keep baskets labeled whites, colored, and delicates so that loads are presorted. Start a load of laundry every morning before you head to work or begin other tasks. Stop folding laundry. Hang clothes as they come out of the dryer.
Learn to Multitask
Again, just a few minutes of cleaning can make a huge impact on how our homes look. While we all need some time to just chill, there are plenty of tasks you can do at the same time:
- While you are watching the little ones in the bathtub or waiting for the tub to fill, use that time to wipe down the sink, clean the countertops, sort through bathroom drawers, or even scrub the toilet.
- While the oven preheats, load or unload the dishwasher; sweep the kitchen floor; wipe down counters; toss out leftovers in the refrigerator.
- If you live in a two-story home, never go up or down the stairs without something in your hands that belongs in another spot.
- Dust a room while you chat on the phone.
- Sort mail clutter while you marathon binge-watch your favorite show.