Arm yourself with these essential tips and tricks to maximize your cleaning day.
Set a realistic goal that can be accomplished in the given time frame. If you only have 30 minutes; prioritize. Spend more time on the most dire spots in your home (see our Top 10 Touch Points and The Worst Kitchen Offenders) and on the next cleaning day, you can start with the spots you missed.
Keep a well-stocked bucket with all your essential cleaning-day supplies: rubber gloves, all-purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner, disinfectant wipes, cloths and paper towels. This will ensure you don’t waste any time looking for products. Keep an inventory of what you have in stock to ensure you don’t run out on cleaning day.
Start at the Top
Start on the top floor and work your way down, and clean each room from left to right to ensure you stay on track. Segment the work between wet rooms (kitchen and bathroom) and dry rooms (bedrooms and living rooms). In the kitchen, clean from the top down, wiping counters, tabletops and appliances, followed by sweeping or moping the floor. After you clean the counters, dust, and sweep, your final step before washing the floors should be vacuuming.
Clear the Clutter
Before you start cleaning your surfaces, you need to reveal them. Put away your clothes, clear the sink, tidy the office, family room and toy rooms before cleaning day, to capitalize on your productivity.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Stop wasting time on unnecessary chores such as re-organizing the junk drawer – it’s been there for a thousand years, and it’ll be there for a thousand more. Instead, focus on the important stuff and try to streamline your process down to a science, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.
Get a head start on your chores by applying a liquid cleaner on kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and a toilet bowl cleaner to the toilet. Allow the products to do their job while you tend to other tasks (laundry?). Then come back to give everything a final rinse.
Increase your speed and efficiency by using helpful multitasking gadgets and products such as disinfecting wipes. Quickly go over light switches, handles and doorknobs to remove dirt and bacteria. Instead of switching from one product to the next, use as many multi-surface cleaners to speed up the process.
Keep enough extra sets of clean bedding in the linen closet so that you have a fresh set every cleaning day. Changing the sheets is simple when you can strip the bed and remake it on the spot.
Storage is your BFF
The quickest way to clear a mess is to have a storage solution nearby. Place a basket, bin or tray in every room to ensure sundry items have a home. From cosmetics in the bathroom to plush toys in the kids’ rooms to your jewelry in the bedroom, find an appropriate décor solution that will look great and make tidying up easier.
Devil in the Details
Take a few tips from hotel housekeeping to pull off that guest-ready look: straighten the fringe on rugs, karate chop the pillows, fold a complementing throw over the arm of your sofa and fluff up the duvet. Add flowers whenever possible, place a few well-chosen magazines on the coffee table and wash a bowl of fruit for the kitchen island. These small details take seconds and make a room look perfectly finished.