I Tried the “1-Hour” Method and It’s 100x More Effective Than a Typical Kitchen Deep-Clean

published Apr 12, 2024
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Rear view of woman at kitchen sink in front of window doing dishes
Credit: Leren Lu/Getty Images

I enjoy cleaning, but that definitely doesn’t mean my house is clean all the time, or that I don’t struggle with getting up the gumption to do particularly arduous tasks like cleaning out the attic (sob), or spending yet another weekend tackling the garage. That’s why I love approaches to cleaning and organizing that apply mindset shifts and attitude adjustments — especially when they apply bite-sized parameters to tasks that feel overwhelming. For example, I love the “5×5” method, which involves spending five minutes picking up five different spaces in the house — it’s astounding how much of a difference this makes, and it takes less than half an hour! I also recently tried (and loved) the “6/10” method, which defines six daily tasks and 10 weekly tasks for maintaining a clean home. And, yes, a new number-based cleaning method popped up in my feed, and you’re about to hear all about how it worked for my family of seven.

When the “one-hour” method recently took social media by storm — spending an hour cleaning one particular part of the home, then full-stopping at the 60-minute mark — I appreciated this simple but immensely effective strategy for diving into even a massive project (like decluttering your entire home) and recognized once again the power of setting a time limit on a project that isn’t exactly fun. It takes the sting out of starting, and once that initial step is taken, momentum keeps you going through the rest. 

While I typically prefer to attack my daily chores either by room, task, or tool (and I don’t usually have an uninterrupted hour to devote to cleaning daily; I break up my tasks into smaller bits of time, worked in between other responsibilities throughout the day), I did try the one-hour method for an issue I’ve been having when cleaning the kitchen. 

Shutting down the kitchen every night is non-negotiable in our house, and my oldest two children have taken on the responsibility most nights. But deep-cleaning the kitchen is my job on Saturday mornings, while the rest of the family does their chores. Here’s the problem: Deep-cleaning the kitchen can drag on for far too long, until I feel like I cleaned it “enough” — I want to enjoy the weekend with my kids, too! I wanted to put the one-hour method to use not only to lessen dread at drawn-out weekly chores, but also to give myself permission to check the checkbox once an hour had passed. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

How the “One-Hour” Cleaning Method Works in the Kitchen

I tried this kitchen power hour over the past weekend, and it was a total game-changer. Going into my kitchen deep-cleaning session felt lighter because I wasn’t bogged down by all the things that needed to get done. I knew I would only be doing everything that I could fit into the one hour — just as the one-hour method teaches. This thought, in turn, spurred me to work as fast as I could, almost as if I was challenging myself. Every task I did was completed efficiently, and it made it easer to prioritize what needed to get done right away.  

What I Managed to Accomplish with the “One-Hour” Cleaning Method

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

What I Didn’t Get to (That I’ll Do Over the Coming Weeks)

Ultimately, applying the one-hour method to my weekly kitchen deep-clean meant that I didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning but still cleaned my kitchen really well. I felt satisfied with what I had done instead of disappointed with what I hadn’t because I’d done exactly what I set out to do — no less and, equally as important, no more! Whatever got done got done, and whatever didn’t get done will get done another time — perhaps next weekend when I implement the method again. Rather than “deep-cleaning the kitchen,” left open-ended, my responsibility became “deep-clean the kitchen for one hour.” And I’m definitely keeping it this way. 

Have you tried the one-hour cleaning method? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below!

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: I Tried the “1-Hour” Method and It’s 100x More Effective Than a Typical Kitchen Deep-Clean