How to speed clean your entire house in under an hour
Cleaning the house can take up an entire day if you let it. There is always something to wipe, dust, polish or sweep. The trick to speeding up the cleaning job is to stay focused on the task at hand. A speed clean is an ‘everyday’ sort of clean – a deep scrub, yes, of everything, no. There will be other times in your life for things like dusting the skirting boards or cleaning out under the fridge (must get around to that).
A speed clean focuses on particular tasks and doesn’t veer from them. So no, you are not allowed to get distracted putting the fridge magnets into alphabetical order or turning the cushion stripes all up the right way. Sorry, OCD cleaning is a completely separate topic. Speed cleaning is for getting the job done, not overdone.
How to speed clean your home
Start at one end of the house and clean room to room. If you have a double storey house, start upstairs and work down. The idea is not to have to return to any one room until the end. The room order below serves as a timer guideline, not necessarily the order that you will clean in.
Get your tools in order and bring them with you from room to room (your caddy and your laundry basket – see below).
Cleaning is helped immensely if you have an orderly house to begin with. Get your systems in place and try to stick with them day to day and then you’ll be able to spend your hour cleaning, not tidying.
Keep the sweeping, vacuuming and mopping of floors and any window cleaning until the end and do them in one go.
All the tools you need
First you want to put on a playlist that makes you want to dance. You need a good, strong rhythm to help keep your momentum going. Plus, music makes cleaning a little less boring.
Next, put on some old, comfy clothes and your trainers – did I mention this is going to be a workout and a clean house in one? To clean fast, you need to go hard and you really will be working up a sweat. Result!
Now you need to gather your supplies. The first thing you’ll need is a caddy that lets you cart your supplies with you wherever you need to go. You can buy a special cleaner’s caddy, or you can just use a bucket or even an old tote bag. Anything that fits your cleaning supplies, has handles for carrying and is light enough to lift.
Here’s what I keep in my caddy:
- Roll of disposable cleaning cloths (those blue check ones you get on a roll from Bunnings for under $10)
- 2 x micro-fibre clothes (one is green, used for food areas; the other is blue, used for non-food areas)
- 2 x soft cotton rags (may or may not be old pants)
- 1 x green ‘steel wool’
- 1 x old toothbrush
- 1 x old bottle brush
- Micro-fibre duster (mine is ENJO, but there are loads of them out there these days)
- Roll of paper towels
- Bottle of all-purpose cleaner
- Bottle of bathroom cleaner
- Bottle of window cleaner
- Bleach decanted 50/50 with water into a spray bottle
- Bottle of vinegar
- Box of bicarb soda
Your supplies will vary depending on what you use to clean your house.
You will also need a laundry basket to collect ‘items that don’t belong here’ as you go about your cleaning.
Set the timer
Now you need to set the oven timer to 60:00. Ready, set… hit “Start”!
The countdown is on!
60:00 – 50:00 Kitchen
Take a coffee cup and pour in about 1cm vinegar. Top with 1cm of water. Put into microwave and ‘cook’ on high for about 1 minute 30 seconds. Leave for now.
Pick up any items that don’t belong in the kitchen and put them into your laundry basket.
Load and turn on dishwasher and wash and put away any remaining dishes in the sink.
Spray the bench tops and draining board with all-purpose cleaner and wipe down.
Spray the stovetop with appropriate cleaning product (depends on your stove) and wipe down. I have an old-style stove and use all-purpose spray with a micro-fibre cloth and steel wool around the elements to clean off any built-up gunk. Remember to wipe the stove controls.
Take the cup out of the microwave, tip out the vinegar and wash and dry the mug. The vinegar steam will have lifted off any gunk in the microwave nicely, so now all you have to do is give it a wipe. Wash and dry the glass turntable.
Give the sink a quick wipe and polish.
49:59 – 42:00 Living / Dining
Grab your laundry basket and head to the living areas.
Put anything in your laundry basket that belongs in the living area away and then gather up anything that doesn’t belong in the living area and put it into the basket.
Give the whole room a dust – especially around the television and other electronics which gather dust faster than anything due to the static electricity they generate – then wipe down all surfaces. (I spray a little all-purpose spray onto a damp cloth and go for it.)
Head into the dining room and put everything into your laundry basket that needs to be re-homed.
Dust all surfaces and give the table a wipe down. You can give it a quick polish now if polishing is your thing.
41:59 – 40:00 Study
Grab your laundry basket and head to the study. Put anything that doesn’t belong in the study into the basket and take out and put away anything that does.
Sort paperwork scattered on desk into piles or for filing. Put pens and other stationery back where they go.
Give the whole room a quick dust (especially the computer) and wipe down with a damp cloth. Tip your keyboard upside down over a bin… erk.
39:59 – 30:00 Bedrooms
For each bedroom (work one bedroom at a time):
Take your laundry basket into the bedroom and put away anything that belongs there. Add anything that doesn’t to your basket.
Quickly pick up and reassign anything that is out of place. Remember to check under the bed/s!
Dust all surfaces and give them a quick wipe-down.
Spray mirrors with window cleaner, wipe with paper towels and polish with soft cloth.
Strip the bed, lift and turn the mattress (dust the bed base while mattress is lifted) remake the bed. Leave linen in a pile outside the bedroom until all bedrooms are completed. Once all bedrooms are done, gather all the linen and take to the laundry.
29:59 – 27:00 Laundry
Give the washing machine a quick once-over with a damp cloth and then put a load of bedlinen on to wash.
Put anything that doesn’t belong in the laundry into your basket and return anything that does (this has never happened… laundry stuff tends to stay in the laundry).
Empty dryer filter (but you do that every load, right?) and remove any excess fluff from around door and window.
26:59 – 15:00 Bathroom
Do for each bathroom:
Squirt toilet cleaner into the bowl and under the rim. Use toilet brush to give the bowl a good scrub and then sit the brush under the lid of the toilet so that any excess toilet water can drip back into the bowl. Leave the whole thing to sit.
Spray the shower with 50/50 bleach spray and let sit.
Lift the cover off the basin drain (if you can – skip this bit if you can’t) and use your bottle brush to thoroughly clean inside. Put cover back on.
Spray all surfaces with bathroom cleaner (or spray with vinegar and then sprinkle bicarb soda when you are ready to scrub). Use toothbrush to scrub around taps and spouts and then wipe down all surfaces. Rinse if necessary.
Thoroughly rinse bleach solution from shower and wipe down with bathroom cleaner (or see above for vinegar / bicarb).
Remove brush from lid of toilet bowl and return to canister. Add a splash of toilet cleaner to a wad of toilet paper and wipe down the top and outside of the toilet bowl. If you have little boys, wipe down the floors too.
Spray mirrors with window cleaner, wipe with paper towel and polish with soft cloth.
Change towels and bathmats and leave old ones at bathroom door.
14:59 – 00:00 Finishing up
Put any items still remaining in your laundry basket away. Return laundry basket to laundry along with the towels and bathmats.
Quickly spray and wipe any windows that are obviously dirty.
Give the whole house a quick vacuum – hard floors, carpet, the lot. Pay close attention to bedrooms, especially under and around the beds. Don’t forget the laundry.
Make yourself a cup of tea and leave sitting outside by your favourite chair along with a good book.
Mop all hard floors, finishing up at the back door and head out to enjoy your well-earned cuppa!
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This article was written by Maxabella for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz