Speed Up Your Weekly Cleaning Routine

posted by Andrea | 04/27/2011
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I actually don’t mind cleaning {gasp} — and I certainly don’t mind the end results of a clean home! However, I’m not willing to spend long hours to get a clean house.

Can you relate?

I’m always looking for little ways to speed up my weekly cleaning routine, and here are a few that work well for me.

1. Declutter first.

I always take a few minutes to decluter a room before I clean it. This makes the cleaning process go so much quicker because I’m not moving all my clutter around. Plus the finished results look so much nicer.

2. Only clean what’s dirty.

I’m getting better at this one! I used to clean everything every week, even if it wasn’t really dirty. Now, I only clean what’s dirty…and sometimes I even let the dirty things wait until company comes over!

3. Set a deadline.

I usually try to do my cleaning on Friday afternoon so it’s done BEFORE the weekend…which always seems so nice on Saturday morning. I’ve also been knowns to set a timer on days when I really don’t feel like cleaning. It’s surprising what I can get done in just 15 or 20 minutes.

4. Use only a few supplies.

Don’t clog up your cleaning closet with tons of supplies. I completely decluttered my cleaning supplies a few months ago and now I only use a handful of my favorite products…which actually does speed up the process.

5. Call in the professionals.

OK, so I’ve never hired anyone to professionally clean our house, but I have thought about hiring someone to just come once a month and deep clean the showers, floors, windows, etc.

I have a friend who just got married and one of her gifts was 6 visits from a  professional cleaning service. She is spreading them out over a year and has the professionals come one full day every other month and do all the things she hates doing. What a great gift idea!

6. Use overnight hours.

I almost always set the dishwasher to run during the night so all the dishes are clean when we wake up. I also set the washing machine to run overnight so I can quickly throw everything in the dryer when I wake up {I use the delayed setting so the clothes aren’t  wet all night}

7. Do one activity at a time.

I used to clean one room from top to bottom and then move to the next room. Now I dust the entire house, then vacuum the entire house, etc. This seems to be faster for me as I can focus on one activity at a time. However, when company comes over, I’ll just focus on the main areas of the house and leave the rest until later!


These are a few things I do to speed up my weekly and monthly cleaning routines…

Do you have any other tips that work for you?

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  1. Martha Landon


    Hi, I just discovered a way to refill my automatic scrubbing bubbles shower spray cleaner with my home made shower cleaner. I had an old turkey baster in which the bulb has a tiny hole in and I was getting ready to toss it. I had also taken down an empty Scrubbing bubbles shower spray cleaner bottle and was trying to figure out how to unscrew the top so I could refill with vinegar and Dawn or vinegar and Simple Pine. I happened to have an “ah haa” moment. I took out a cup and poured some vinegar into it, picked up the vinegar into the turkey baster and placed over the hole in the screw on cap of the Scrubbing bubbles solution. I squezzed gently and lost very little vinegar. I then put some Simple Green into the cup and did the same thing when I had the bottle about 2/3 full I then added some water to fill the bottle and went to spray clean my bathroom walk in shower. It works better than the solution in the bottle originally in my opinion. Just thought I would share a turkey baster recycle reuse tip.


  2. Sarah Burnes Heiner


    I love your cleaning tips. I am excited to start implementing them into my daily routine.


  3. Annie


    We have laws in Qld Australia that require the installation of smoke detectors in all homes, which does provide some peace of mind. Apparantly the sense of smell is absent in most people during sleep.

    I run my washing machine at night, too, Andrea, and hang up in the morning.

    I have a rectangular bucket with a handle which I take from room-to-room with all of the required cleaning products.


  4. Amie


    I would not run the dishwasher or washing machine over night. I’ve had several friends with disaster stories….dishwasher overflowed and they had to rip up the floors, another friend had the washer never stop running water for several hours, they had to repair floors and walls, so much water damage, they had to live in a hotel with two toddlers for two months. NEVER leave those machines running unattended!


  5. Lori


    I have discovered Norwex cloths. They anti-bacterial and awesome. I clean my whole house with the enviro-cloth and the window cloth is amazing on windows, chrome,mirrors, etc. Only use water, no more chemicals. Actually enjoy cleaning now. Check out their website. Worth every penny!


  6. Living the Balanced Life


    Sometimes I think one of the hardest things is just to get started. If I can get started, I will usually keep going, but taking that first step can be the hardest! I do agree you need to declutter first, but if that will delay you actaully cleaning, then just start cleaning!
    The weekend edition of Living the Balanced Life


  7. Lauren


    scary note about running the dishwasher and dryer overnight…recently a reader of another blog sent in a picture of how her dishwasher caught fire overnight. thankfully she was up late but still a scary reminder that we probably should run these appliances overnight.


    Heather Reply:

    Very good reminder. My parents had the same problem. My mom had started the dishwasher first thing in the morning and went back to bed for a few minutes. When she got up an hour or so later, the hallways were filled with smoke and she found her dishwasher on fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt but there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house and the kitchen counter was scortched, had it happend in the middle of the night, it could have been much worse.


    Lacey Reply:

    I saw that on Young House Love too. I’m too paranoid to run it overnight now — but it sure was convenient!


    Andrea Reply:

    Yikes — you guys are freaking me out now!!

    I ALWAYS run my dishwasher over night and have never had a problem. Maybe I’ll have to be a little more careful now!


    Catherine Reply:

    I get my kids to help load the dishwasher (and straighten up the kitchen) immediately after dinner and run it then. That way the dishwasher is finished by the time I go to bed and I empty it in the morning as well. Well, on most days this happens…… :-)


    Patty Gardner Reply:

    I did an article on my blog about the dishwasher issue. There have been lots of reports of dishwashers catching fire – all brands. I used to run mine at night but I don’t anymore. I’m okay with running the washer except I don’t have a timer – but never the dishwasher.


  8. Kelly


    Sorry, I commented in the wrong place before! I have a question about your supplies pictured — what do you use the cornstarch and the alcohol for? Never seen those items in cleaning supplies, so I’m wondering what I’m missing! :)


    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Kelly, I use the cornstartch and rubbing alcohol for my homemade window cleaner — you can find the recipe here. Also, rubbing alcohol can work good as a disinfectant.


    Kelly Reply:

    Thanks, Andrea! I will give that a try. I have used rubbing alcohol for getting sticker residue off of mirrors (I have three girls that love putting stickers on their mirrors). So I’ll add these to my cleaning supplies. Thanks again!


  9. Heather


    Great ideas! I love streamlining my cleaning routine. I have 4 bathrooms, when I clean them, I clean all the toilets, then all the sinks, counters, etcs. I have found that it is much quicker than cleaning one bathroom top to bottom and then the next. I agree with the idea of only cleaning it if it is dirty. It seems that the toilets ALWAYS need to be cleaned, but the shower in the seldom used basement bathroom can be neglected for months at a time and still looks great!


    Kelly Reply:

    I have to admit I’ve never tried this approach. I always do each room and move on. I’ll have to give it a shot!