The 1 Simple Trick That Makes Cleaning So Much Easier

Some people enjoy cleaning their homes — but most people don’t.

Even if you find satisfaction in the physical act of cleaning your space, chances are you spend too much time on the task. It doesn’t have to be this way. With a few clever tricks, you can significantly cut your time spent cleaning without sacrificing quality. And the less time you spend cleaning, the more you can devote to learning how to play the harmonica (or whatever else you’re into).

Ahead, discover some of the most ingenious and simple ways to thoroughly clean your house in the most efficient way possible.

1. Rethink where you store your cleaning supplies

Cleaning supplies

Keep your cleaning supplies where you’ll use them.| Jevtic/iStock/Getty Images

The most revolutionary yet underused cleaning tip is so simple: keep your cleaning supplies in the place where you plan to use them.

How many times have you seen a streak on the bathroom mirror but neglected to wipe it because the cleaner was stored under the kitchen sink with all the other cleaning supplies?

Maximize your efficiency when you create small baskets of cleaning supplies for each room. Stash tile cleaner, microfiber cloths, and glass cleaner in the bathroom and keep a few dust cloths handy in just about every room. That way you can quickly wipe down each surface whenever you notice that it’s dirty. Common sense cleaning supply storage also makes it easier on your “big cleaning days” since you won’t need to lug a giant bucket of supplies all over the house.

2. Tackle one task at a time

Work by task, not by room. | DGLimages/ iStock / Getty Images

Take a cue from professional cleaners and focus on cleaning by task, not by room. Start by dusting everything in the whole house, then emptying all the trash cans, etc. This works especially well when you’re cleaning with a partner — divvy up the tasks evenly and then tackle each one in a predetermined order.

3. Set a timer

Red Kitchen Egg Timer

Time yourself for best results. | Devenorr/iStock/Getty Images

The best way to cut down on time spent cleaning is to literally time yourself.

Setting a timer for each task works for several reasons. First, it keeps you accountable, so you’ll be less tempted to take a little Facebook break when you’re supposed to be scrubbing grout. A timer also lets you challenge yourself and forces you to mentally prioritize the tasks ahead.

Figure out how much time you want to spend cleaning and then divide up necessary tasks to fit within those parameters. Make a game out of it — see if you can “beat the clock” and finish your job early.

4. Start high and work down

Cleaning tools on parquet floor

That means do the floors last. | tommaso79/iStock/Getty Images

Professional home cleaners don’t have time to mess around when they’re at work — especially when they’ve got multiple jobs lined up for the day. One trick that they universally recommend is starting at the top and working down to avoid cleaning the same spot twice.

Think about it this way — if you clean the floors before you dust, then you’ll have to redo the spots where dust falls, doubling the amount of time you spend on one task. Instead, start with fans and lights fixtures and move around the room counter-clockwise dusting and wiping. Always clean your floors last.

5. Don’t scrub

Man cleaning tile wall

Let the cleaner do its job. | Di_photo/iStock/Getty Images

This trick comes directly from a veteran house cleaner. She recommends spraying down surfaces such as tile with the proper cleaner and then walking away and letting them soak while you work on something else. After a suggested amount of time has passed (read the bottle to find out how long to let it soak), go back and wipe it down.

You might still have to scrub to get the area clean, but you won’t need to use as much muscle if you allow time for soaking.

6. Clean a little every day

Work on one task a day. | iStock/Getty Images

No one wants to spend six hours every Saturday focused on home cleaning. Instead of reserving all your cleaning for one day, split tasks up throughout the week so it doesn’t feel so daunting.

Make Monday bathroom day, wash sheets on Wednesdays, vacuum every Friday, or whatever works for you. Then if you have company coming on the weekend, you’ll just need to do some light freshening up before they arrive rather than a full-scale scouring.

7. Find your motivation

Woman doing houswork

Listen to or watch something that will make time fly. | diego_cervo/iStock/Getty Iamges

Maybe it’s your favorite workout soundtrack. Maybe it’s a podcast. Find the motivator that will make your work feel more fun and will help the time fly by. Because nothing is worse than scrubbing toilets in silence.

Read more: Common Cleaning Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Home

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