Organize & Clean

Clever Tips & Tricks That Will Change The Way You Clean

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Precious few people actually enjoy housekeeping. It’s dull, mindless, and takes forever. You can either keep cleaning in the same way you’ve always done it, or you can economize your efforts, and dramatically cut down the amount of time it takes to do your chores. Read these tips and start using these tricks to free up your days.

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(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)
  1. Use Both Hands: You have two hands, and you’re already using one of them, so you may as well use the other one as well. (It’s not like you can leave while the one does all the work.) You’ll cover more territory in the same amount of time. There’s a reason one of your biceps is probably larger than the other.
  2. Start At The Top and Work Down: Don’t bother cleaning the floors before you clean the counters. It is one of those unassailable truths that — much like s*!t flows downstream — crumbs and dirt fall down.
  3. Create a Cleaning Routine: Save yourself time by making sure you have everything you need at the outset, and that every thing has its own place. In other words, try not to put your rag down in a random spot, only to have to search for it later. Stash it in your apron instead. Or, try using a bin or bucket to stash your supplies as you go along.
  4. Time Yourself: This is a little mental trick to keep you aware of what you’re doing, and keep it snappy. Bonus: If you keep track of your times — and you are the competitive sort — it just might motivate yourself to improve over time (hey, it could happen).
  5. If It’s Not Dirty, Don’t Clean It: This is kind of like making a to do list, then adding an already complete task just to be able to immediately cross it off. Sure it might make you feel better to mindlessly wipe the fridge door, just to feel like you’ve accomplished something, but why waste the time if it really doesn’t need it? Move on to the stuff that really is dirty, even if it’s a harder task.
  6. Work With a Partner: Not only does this cut down on the amount of time you yourself have to clean (duh. of course), but it also makes it somewhat fun as you chat. You’ll also avoid all those squabbles about who does what in the home. So, suddenly you find four hands cleaning instead of your original one lonely hand. That’s a lot more hands. And those hands are working in total harmony – a well-oiled machine – as you clean your house. Your day opens up before you, which is not too shabby.