Earlier this year I wrote the Lazy Person's Guide to a Happy Home, full of cleaning tips for people who hate cleaning. Many of you read it, and commented, and added cleaning tips of your own, and your ideas were so good that I couldn't help re-sharing them. Read on for cleaning tips from some very wise people, aka: you.
Make cleaning easier by doing a serious purge.
misterrious: One day, I just decided I had too much crap in my house. So I started getting rid of stuff, following the quote about only having things in your house that were useful and beautiful. Previously it would have taken me days to thoroughly clean my main floor, and now it takes me maybe 2 hours. That includes scrubbing the floors.
Having only what I love in my home and having a place for everything has made life so much easier because I HATE cleaning, Just don't look in my basement. That's next on the list to purge. :-)
Break it up into little bits.
whippet walker: When a TV commercial comes on I jump up and do some cleaning until my program comes back on. Broken up into small bits the job gets done.
Clean your house in 20 minutes a day.
Leroi_de_larue: Apartment Therapy's Clean your House in 20 Minutes a Day post changed my cleaning life. I don't exactly stick to the 20 minute rule (it's usually more like 30-45; maybe I need that timer!), but it's just a small part of my day, and the payoff is huge. I never, ever have to do a cleaning frenzy when guests are coming over, and my house is 10 times cleaner than it's ever been (even when I had a housekeeper). Love it!
Listen to the radio!
sogalitno: My new routine (a few months now) is to tune into one of my favorite shows (they are typically 30 or 45 mins) RIGHT when I get home and then deal with the day's detritus including mail, containers from lunch and whatever other stuff has accumulated around the house, start laundry if needed, deal with the cats (litter, food, etc), then pick a room and sweep and dust and declutter.
I usually end up listening to two episodes — the time flies by.
I have also found that if I sit down and "just check my email " or anything at a computer device, that's it — I am sunk — so I immediately turn on the radio and get moving.
...Or an audiobook.
anuskaparker: I use audiobooks now to keep my mind happy while cleaning :)
Designate separate times for cleaning and tidying.
Xarcady: Don't confuse tidying up and cleaning. Tidying is putting stuff back where it belongs. Cleaning is removing dirt. Doing both at the same time, if you don't have designated homes for all your stuff, is going to take forever.
Clean by task, instead of by room.
Mike_in_Hawaii: I use the Woman's Day method: clean by task, not by room. Pick one task, like dusting, and go thru each room, dusting, top to bottom, left to right. Attack next room. You move faster because you're not constantly switching tasks and equipment and more importantly, not getting sidetracked.
Clean while you wait.
Xarcady: Use your waiting time to clean or tidy up. Waiting for the microwave to beep or the toast to pop up? Start emptying the dishwasher or wash whatever's in the sink. You don't have to finish the task, just work on it while waiting. Same thing with commercials in TV shows—get up and dust the living room or tidy stuff away. While your curling iron heats up, swipe down the sink and counter top in the bathroom.
MelTown: Baskets. I can't stay on top of extreme organization, no matter how much I wish I could, but baskets are a godsend! Toys all over the living room? Throw them in a basket! Toiletries all over the bathroom counter? Basket! They're the only thing that help me control clutter.
Save energy by cleaning as you go.
BellaB: To make big cleaning jobs less frequent, I use the "clean as I go" method. When I wash my hands, I always wash the faucet with my wet soapy hands and the sink too. I make sure the counter surrounding the sink is dry before I leave the bathroom. While I am walking from room to room, if I see a piece of lint on the floor, I pick it up right away, etc. Generally, I put things back where they belong after using them. Using this method leaves my apartment looking clean all the time and I don't have to be embarrassed when the doorbell rings unexpectedly! Try it...it works!
Re-edited from a post originally published 9.8.14-NT