There are lots of reasons a clean house is important to me, but the biggest is probably simply that my brain works better when my house is clean. Over the years I’ve had lots of people ask how I keep things tidy most of the time. So–at the risk of having you all think I am completely crazy–I thought today I’d share my little “speed cleaning” routine. I probably spend, on average, about 45 minutes to an hour each morning making my house sparkle. This means I spend about 5-7 hours a week cleaning. That is still a significant amount of time!

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However, to me it is well worth spending 5-7 hours a week cleaning in order to have a house that is pretty darn neat & tidy most of the time. The trick is staying on top of it.

I am a list kind-of girl, so I actually have a daily checklist that I use each day. It is located on my “control center” wall where I have a dry-erase monthly calendar and where there is also a spot for a weekly meal plan and important phone numbers. Since it is all in one place, I can easily check the calendar for any pressing activities or appointments. This helps me prioritize my cleaning activities and to cut things out or add things as necessary.

My “Control Center:”

I keep my speed cleaning checklist right in my family control center along with our calendar and other important notes.

I don’t use a wide variety of cleaning supplies, and I have never been that picky about brands. I used to use a lot of commercial products, including the disposable wipes, but I have slowly transitioned to using mainly these homemade green & thrifty cleaning products. They are cheaper, they smell better, and require me to keep far fewer bottles of stuff lying around! The two commercial items I do use frequently are my Swiffer Wet Jet and my Swiffer dusters. What a great invention! It makes mopping so much faster & easier.

Natural cleaners are wonderful! Try Meyer's, vinegar, Ivory soap, essential oils, baking soda, borax, salt, olive oil and fresh lemons!

Here is my system:

General Guidelines:

  • Start at one end of the house. (I start in our Master Bedroom and work my way through the living room and kitchen to the girls’ room and bathroom.)
  • Cleaning is much easier when everything has a home. Work on creating organized storage for all of the things that end up being scattered around the house, like papers, mail, shoes, & toys.
  • Use a large laundry basket to collect items such as toys or clothing that need to be returned to a different room. If you have multiple offenders, use multiple baskets. After you have finished tidying every room, take 5 minutes to put away the collected items.
  • Save sweeping/mopping and vacuuming until the end, then do it all at once. We have mostly hard surface floors, so I use an industrial dry mop to wipe the floors each day. It takes only a couple minutes to run it over all the floors and then shake it off outside. About once a week, I do a really thorough sweep and then use a Swiffer WetJet to mop. I vacuum the rugs about 3 times a week.
  • Likewise, save the glass cleaning for the end as well. Once the house is completely clean, I will grab my windex and rag and run around doing spot checks on the glass doors and windows. I wipe the bathroom mirrors as well as the fixtures and sink.
  • Keep daily shower cleaner in the bath/shower and spray down after each use.
  • Store your toilet brush in a container of bleach; replace the bleach once a week.
Bedroom(s) (5-10 minutes each, depending on how much to pick up):
  • Always make the bed. Even if there are other things laying around, the room will look much, much cleaner.
  • Quickly pick up any clothes, toys, or dishes that are lying around.
  • Use a duster or dry rag to quickly dust all surfaces, including the headboard and footboard.
Bathroom(s) (5 minutes each):
  • Squirt toilet bowl cleaner around the rim; let sit.
  • Use disinfectant wipes or a wet rag and disinfectant spray to quickly wipe down the sinks, tub, and shower.
  • Use toilet brush to quickly scrub toilet, rim, and seat.
  • Use disinfectant wipes or a wet rag and disinfectant spray to wipe down toilet seat & surrounding floor.
Living Room/Dining/Home Office Areas (10-15 minutes):
  • Quickly pick up any shoes, dishes, toys, or other items laying around. (Put them in basket to put away later.)
  • Use duster to quickly dust all surfaces.
  • Use damp cloth to wipe down furniture (if leather), table(s), and dining chairs.
  • Tidy desk area and make sure all paperwork & mail is filed & sorted in its proper spots.
Kitchen (10-15 minutes, depending on how many dishes):
  • Quickly pick up any items that don’t belong in kitchen and place them in basket(s). Gather any dirty dishes and put them next to sink.
  • Quickly unload (if necessary) then load diswasher.
  • Hand wash dishes/pots/pans as needed
  • Spray all counters with disinfectant spray, then use soapy water and wet sponge to wipe them all down.
  • Wipe down stovetop.
  • Dry and put away any hand-washed dishes, then drain and rinse sink–the secret to a truly clean-looking kitchen is clutter-free counters and a nice clean sink.
Finishing Up:
  • Use a dry mop to clean hard floors. Spot clean with a sponge if necessary.
  • Vacuum rugs/carpet.
  • Clean glass surfaces & mirrors as needed with glass cleaner and a lint-free rag. Don’t forget to spray & wipe the bathroom fixtures for extra shine!
  • Put away items collected in baskets while cleaning.

It may take a little getting used to, but once you are in the habit of speed cleaning each morning, you will be done in no time and free to enjoy a clean house for the rest of the day!

Happy cleaning!

Speed Cleaning: How to Keep Your House Tidy in Just Minutes a Day!