Many paid cleaning services say that they have “mastered the art of speedy, efficient cleaning.” This may be true but you do pay them to clean so you expect fast service. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to shell out money for maid or cleaning services. So how do you do your own speed cleaning? Read on and try these tips in cleaning your home fast and efficiently.
Tip #1 Schedule each cleaning job. Set up a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal house cleaning schedule. Write each chore down. Include the time of the day that you will perform the chore. For daily and weekly chores, make a list of what you will do each day from Monday to Friday. Unless you work during the week (which means some chores have to be done during the weekends) keep Saturday and Sunday free. Post this list on the refrigerator or the message board. You will be using this list as your cleaning guide each week.
For monthly chores, it would be better to set up reminders or alarms in your electronic calendar or your cellular phone. Remind yourself of a monthly or seasonal chore a day or two before the actual chore has to be done. This way, you can still adjust the date if necessary.
Tip #2 Stick to your house cleaning schedule. Don’t put off your cleaning chores unless there is an emergency. Yes, you have to be flexible. But sometimes, when you start messing with your schedules, you tend to stop following it all together. If you have to postpone a chore, assign it a different day on the same week and make sure you accomplish it.
Tip #3 Limit all distractions. Leave the television off, put off your computer, let the answering machine pick up and leave your cellular phone on silent mode. You don’t want soap operas, cooking shows, phone calls, texts or e-mails to distract you from the tasks at hand. Otherwise, schedule your cleaning before or after your favorite show. You can, however, play music to get you into the groove.
Tip #4 Clean as a team. You don’t have to put the weight of speed cleaning all on your shoulders. Assign chores to different members of the household, including young children. Everyone should at the very least tidy up their room daily and manage their things.
Tip #5 Clean as you go. Clean up spills immediately. Wash dishes right immediately after meals. Hang clothes that can still be worn or place dirty ones in the hamper right after taking them off. Put away books, magazine, toys, vanity table/dresser items and toiletry items after each use. Junk mail and old news papers should immediately go into a bin solely for this type of clutter. And, make sure all members of the family do the same.
Tip #6 Place the right tools and supplies in a carrier. Your cleaning tools should be in separate plastic carriers depending on where they will be used: one for all living areas, one for the bathrooms and one for the kitchen. The toilet brush doesn’t need to find its way into the bedroom or the kitchen, right? Invest in good quality cleaning tools that can get the job done easily instead of cheap ones that easily get worn out, break or cannot absorb spills or attract dirt and dust. Go for all-purpose cleaners. You don’t really need fancy soap scum removers or single-use cleaning products. Opt for green cleaning products if you can. It’s better for the environment.
Tip #7 Invest in portable tools. A portable vacuum cleaner is easier to tote around. You can use this for quick vacuuming jobs like cleaning pet hair on pillows or lint and other small dirt that you find. A mini-dust pan and short broom can be of help as well.
Tip #8 Have a system. Clean from top to bottom. All the dust and dirt will travel downwards. Don’t vacuum or mop before you’ve had a chance to wipe and dust. Start at the top of shelves and cabinets, shake the dust off curtains or spot clean the ceiling. Then go down to the next level – vanity tables, nightstands, coffee tables, beds. Finally do the floors so you can get rid of all that dirt and dust. Aside from moving from top to bottom, move from left to right (or vice versa). Don’t crisscross to save time.
Tip #9 If it is not dirty, don’t clean. Why waste time cleaning something that isn’t dirty? For day to day cleaning, spot clean only where you find smudges, spots or dirt. Schedule deep cleaning whole areas or major appliances for a different day.
Tip #10 Time yourself. Take note of how much time you spend cleaning each room. As you get comfortable with your chores, you should be spending less time on each one. However, don’t let the quality of your cleaning suffer. Don’t clean haphazardly just to save on time. Otherwise, you’ll have more to do the next time around.
Tip #11 Hire professionals. For major cleaning jobs, you’ll definitely need to hire someone else to do the job. Air conditioners should be cleaned by a professional. If the carpet or upholstery is very dirty, have someone come in to clean it. No use spending a lot of time on a cleaning chore that you cannot do properly.
Speed cleaning is not exactly about cleaning your home in Roadrunner speed. It is about setting up and keeping a house cleaning schedule, cleaning systematically and using the right tools to accomplish the job. Follow the tips above and you will surely have a clean and fresh smelling home in no time. Beep! Beep!
Merilee Paige is a cleaning expert. For more great tips on speed cleaning a home, visit speed cleaning made easy.
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