5 House Cleaning Tips to Save You Time and Energy

Decluttered kitchen countertop ready for cleaning
Declutter every space before sanitizing and disinfecting it. (DepositPhotos)

3. Declutter.

Don’t lift a broom or grab a mop before you do one important thing: declutter the room. This house-cleaning tip is important for two reasons.

First, you need to prioritize home maintenance tasks. For example, it doesn’t make sense to scrub a countertop covered with mail, books and groceries. You need to clear that countertop to properly clean and disinfect it.

Second, it’s good to get in the habit of organizing your home so nothing gets out of place — which makes the room harder to maintain and reduces your motivation to clean it.

Here’s the game plan: First, remove any trash or debris — anything you can quickly pick up and throw away — and discard it right away. Next, identify everything in the room that’s out of place and relocate it. So, mail? Filed away in the office. Shoes? In the mudroom. Groceries? In the pantry. Reusable grocery bags? Ditto.

Once you’ve removed everything that doesn’t belong and cleared spaces you know will need scrubbing, it will make it that much easier to clean.

After all, you’re halfway there — the space will look less daunting to maintain, and all you’ll just need to add the finishing touches, like sweeping, vacuuming, mopping and then sanitizing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.


Scrubbing a butcher block countertop with a gloved hand and a sponge
Work from the top down — cabinets, countertops, alliances, and then finish with the floor. (DepositPhotos)

4. Work Smart.

When it comes to cleaning each room, the same expression with which we started this list: “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”

To that end, here’s a house-cleaning tip to ensure success every time — and prevent headaches down the line: work smart. In other words, think about each space’s needs and how every action you take in the room will impact another area of that room.

The simplest thing is to think “top to bottom.”

For instance, think about cleaning the kitchen. If you sweep the floors before you brush off the countertops and range, you’ll inevitably have to do double-work as you pick up any crumbs and dust that fall to the floor after tackling those areas.

Newton’s third law of motion — “What goes up must come down” — applies, and that’s why it’s important to start at the top and work your way down in each room.

First, clean out the cabinets and dust them, because anything your duster doesn’t catch will fall to the countertops. Then clean your countertops, because any debris will inevitably fall to the floor. Then sweep and mop your floor because that’s the most logical place to end things!

Of course, your space’s needs will vary. But if you work with the same top-down strategy — to include windows, doors and appliances — you’ll save yourself plenty of time and prevent double work.


Attractive couple vacuuming and scrubbing their apartment
Make cleaning a team activity — feel free to mix in some friendly competition! (DepositPhotos)

5. Delegate Work.

The poet John Donne said, “No man is an island.” That’s true whether you’re a woman or a child, too, and it’s especially apparent when you’re cleaning the house.

For this final house-cleaning tip, remember one word: teamwork.

Cleaning a house is not a one-person job — not if you have family members under the same roof who can help. Tell your family: We’re all in this together, and everyone should do their fair share, whether it’s washing the dishes, sweeping the porches or cleaning the bathrooms.

To that end, go ahead and delegate some tasks. Get the family involved, and you’ll be surprised by how much time you can save when house cleaning becomes a group activity.

For instance, no one likes washing the windows. But that’ll change when you have a partner clean the outside of one window while you clean the same window from the inside. Take it window by window, and you’ll cut this tedious chore’s time in half! (You can even have fun with this chore because while you’re both washing the same window, you can make funny faces at each other!)

You can even delegate this list of house-cleaning tips! For instance, one person can stock the cleaning caddies while the other person declutters the space and preps the room for maintenance. One person can tackle upstairs chores while the other person can tackle downstairs chores.

There’s no wrong way to delegate these tasks — just figure out the combination that works for you, your family and your home’s needs.

These are some of our favorite time-saving house-cleaning tips. What are yours?

Share them in the comments below!


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