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Life gets busy. We often find ourselves over overworked, over-scheduled and over-stressed. It’s only natural that some things get forgotten about, or just pushed down the list of priorities. These 11 quick cleaning tips will help you find a balance between your busy life and a clean home!
When you’ve worked an 8+ hour day, come home, fed the kids, helped with homework, dealt with bills and emails, the last thing you then want to do is clean!
If you want ideas to get your kids to help with the chores, check out – 10 EASY Ways to Get Kids to Do Chores
I get it, I’m the exact same way! But I also feel extra stressed when my house is messy or dirty. I can take any day-to-day stress in my stride, but if my house is dirty I completely lose it! It’s almost like the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Our homes are meant to be places that we can relax, unwind and reset. I can’t relax if my house is messy. I will try to relax because I just don’t have the energy to clean the toilet or vacuum the floors. But I don’t truly relax until my house is clean. It’s then a vicious cycle.
I have a busy life between work and my kids. I love spending down time with my kids and doing fun activities (like the wonderfully smooth Butter Slime we made last week!). But I also need a clean house or I get too stressed out. Many years ago I had to come up with a solution to this problem. I’ve developed quite a few cleaning hacks, that make my life easier and make it quicker to clean!
Below are a few of the quick cleaning tips that I use EVERY day to keep my house clean and tidy (without spending hours cleaning!).
11 Quick Cleaning Tips for Busy People
These quick cleaning tips are things that I’ve found make my life easier. They might be different for you. But hopefully, they will get you thinking about how to streamline your cleaning routine so you CAN have a clean house while working full time with a family!
1. What Are Your Cleaning Triggers
First of all, you need to set some priorities about what is important to you in a clean home. Do you have to have clean bathrooms or your skin will crawl? Are your dusty shelves making you feel like a slob? Does your kitchen need to be spotless before you go to bed? We all have different trigger points.
Mine are my floors – I just don’t feel like my house is clean if my floors are dirty. Carpet or hard floors – it needs to look clean for me to feel like I have a clean house. So that’s my priority. Dishes in the sink don’t bug me as much as crumbs on the floor. So sweeping or vacuuming quickly each day is a must for me.
Your “Clean Trigger” will be different. You might not even realize what it is. But it’s that one (or 2) tasks that make you roll your eyes and huff and puff when you see it. That’s the thing that you need to figure out a quick and easy way to clean!
2. Find an All-Purpose Cleaner That You Love
If I do have the energy to clean a room or two, then I want to make sure I always have the right cleaning product on hand.
I remember when I was a child, my mother had a giant caddy filled with a dozen different cleaning products. One thing for each task. She would spend hours each day cleaning the house and always used the exact right cleaner. But then again my mother could have given Martha Stewart a run for her money!
I don’t have the time (or money) to use 10 different products just to clean my bathroom. That takes too long! I want one cleaner that I can use for EVERYTHING (or nearly everything!). There’s plenty of great multi-surface cleaners out there. Try a few until you find the one you like.
I love Method Pink Grapefruit All Surface Cleaner (in fact my 9-year-old daughter loves the smell of it so much she BEGS me to allow her to clean the kitchen! Bonus!), the fresh smell makes my kitchen smell clean as well as look clean. I also love Method products because they don’t have the harsh chemicals that dry my hands and make me cough!
If I’m feeling particularly frugal (which I am most of the time!), then I like to make my own multi-surface cleaner. It’s super easy to make and can be used on just about anything (except granite or marble).
All the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store and each bottle will only cost you a few cents!
Vinegar Multi-Surface Spray
- 1 Part Rubbing Alcohol
- 2 Parts White Vinegar
- 1 Part Water
- 3-4 drops of Dish Soap
- Optional: 10-15 drops of Essential Oil (I like Lemon or Orange Essential Oils for a fresh smell)
Combine all the ingredients in a reusable spray bottle (Dollar Tree sells nice big ones) and give it a gentle shake.
You can use this mixture to clean counters, toilets, bath tubs and showers, windows, mirrors, even floors! (Do not use on granite, marble or other natural stones)
Just spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth! Easy!
3. A Good Door Mat
Did you know that a good doormat at each of the entrances to your home can cut down on the dust and dirt getting into your home by up to 75 %?
At each of my doors (front door, door to the garage, sliding patio door) I have 2 mats, one on the outside and one on the inside.
The outside ones tend to be heavy duty door mats that can stand up to the weather as well as scrap the majority of the mud and dirt off our shoes.
I also ask everyone to take their shoes off as they enter the house so that the dirty isn’t tracked all over the house. The kids and I have a basket in the garage where we take off our shoes before we even step foot in the house (it also means the shoes are out of reach of a chewing-monster puppy!)
Inside each door, I have a softer utility mat that is washable and generally a nice color/pattern that matches my decor. There are so many choices of color and texture that you are bound to find one that you love! I normally get mine from Target, but Amazon has some amazing (and cheaper!) ones too.
4. Right Vacuum for the Job
I have a mild obsession with vacuum cleaners! OK, it’s a pretty big obsession. At its peak, I had seven… yes, SEVEN different electric floor cleaning devices (and that doesn’t include mops and brooms)!
Over the years I’ve pared down my collection and now I have the following 3 vacuums.
I could talk for hours about how great my Dyson is. Yes, I know they are expensive and there are some great alternatives out there. But I’ve had my Dyson for over 10 years and it’s never given me any problems. I recently serviced it myself for the FIRST TIME… yikes, there was a lot of crud built up! But even though it had been sadly neglected, it still cleaned wonderfully (I’ve never had a vac that has cleaned so well).
Spare parts are easy to find on Amazon or eBay and there are dozens of YouTube videos showing you how to replace them. I fully intend to have my Dyson for another 10+ years! Well worth the initial investment!
Cordless Stick Vac
Cordless vacuums come in all shapes, size, and prices. I’ve tried dozens of them over the years and the one thing that I’ve discovered is price really does make a difference. You want to look for one with a good sized battery. If the battery power is too low, then your vacuum just won’t have the power to do a good job.
I’ve never had much luck with the 2-in-1 cordless vacuums (a stick vac that lifts off and becomes a handheld one), they just don’t seem to have the same level of power. And remember we’re trying to find quick cleaning tips, so chasing the same piece of lint for 5 minutes isn’t going to help us!
One day I’d love to get the cordless Dyson, but because I have a full-sized Dyson, it seems a bit of an extravagance to have a cordless one too. However, the cordless vac that I’ve been happiest with is the Eufy Cordless Stick Vac. It has great cleaning power and makes short work of even the biggest messes (it’s great are picking up cat litter). The battery life is awesome and I’m able to clean pretty much all my carpets on one charge (and I have a lot of carpets!).
Edited to Add: I’ve had this stick-vac for over a year now – by far the longest any of the stick-vacs I’ve owned have lasted. I am still so impressed with it. My kids use it to clean their rooms as it’s so lightweight and easy to steer. I HIGHLY recommend it!
And last, but certainly not least… a robot vacuum! I would love to have a Rosie The Maid robot, like The Jetsons had (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s an old cartoon! Google it!), but that’s still a way off. BUT I can have a robot that vacuums my floor!
I’ve had a few different types of robot vacuums (I told you I was obsessed!) and they all have their benefits and detriments. Going over the different types could be an entire article just on its own! However, I’ll cut to the chase. My favorite one (value for money vs. ease of use) is the Eufy RoboVac. It has a good battery life and dirty bin capacity. It’s not as fussy as the iRobot Roombas and cheaper than the Roombas and the Neatos.
Robot vacuums really do make life easier. You just press a button and let it do its thing! They do take longer to vacuum a room than you would… but you’re not doing it, so it doesn’t really matter! It can take a little bit of trial and error to “robot-proof” a room, but once you’ve done it, you don’t need to do it again. Simple things, like hiding loose wires so it doesn’t get caught on them (things you’d need to do for a regular vacuum anyway).
Edited to Add: I’m still obsessed with my robot vac. I actually have 2 of them now – one for upstairs and one for downstairs! Yes, that seems a bit extravagant, but clean floors are my cleaning trigger! I have 3 dogs and 4 cats, so my floors have to be cleaned every day! I run them every day – I just hit the “run” button as I’m leaving the house for the day and I come how to clean floors!
5. Microfiber Cloths For Quick Cleaning
While on the subject of having the right tool for the job, we should talk about another useful time-saver – Microfiber Cloths!
For a long time, I used paper towels to wipe down surfaces while I was cleaning. But this isn’t very environmentally friendly and it can end up costing a fortune!
I converted to microfiber cloths for all my cleaning a few years ago. I have a pretty good stash of them now, so once I’m done cleaning I just throw it in the laundry. Quick and easy… but also effective!
I like the car detailing cloths as they tend to be bigger, thicker and cheaper than the household ones! You can buy them in bulk from Amazon. I normally buy 20-30 cloths, so I have lots of spares, so I don’t have to do laundry too often! I also like getting multiple colors, so I know the blue ones are for the kitchen, the green ones for the bathroom and so on.
The Zwipes Microfiber cloths work out to be about 50 cents each! Sooo much cheaper than paper towels and much better for the environment!
6. Furniture Polish for Stainless Steel
Now I love my multi-surface cleaners, but there is one place that they don’t always do a great job – stainless steel.
When I moved into my new house I decided I wanted stainless steel appliances. I love the modern look and they aren’t as expensive as they used to be.
But… oh…. the fingerprints! This is probably my second “cleaning trigger” after floors! I don’t understand how my stainless steel appliances can get some many fingerprints and greasy marks on them in such a short space of time.
I’ve tried the fancy stainless steel cleaners and I just haven’t been that impressed. They tend to leave a film on the surface or leave streaks and they are really expensive!
One thing I have found that works wonders is Pledge Multi-Surface furniture spray. Not only is Pledge great on wood, granite, and glass (yes, the multi-surface version works on glass), but it is AWESOME on stainless steel! It gives a nice shiny, streak-free finish.
The other secret to shiny stainless steel is microfiber cloths (again)! Using a clean microfiber cloth with furniture polish will not leave it streaky!
7. Clean Shower After Use
I hate cleaning the shower. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because it seems like it should be such a quick and easy thing to clean, but it always seems to take forever. The dreaded soap scum!
So to save yourself time in the long run, one of my favorite quick cleaning tips is to clean your shower every day after you use it.
There’s plenty of different Daily Shower Spray products to pick from or you can make your own with a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. I like the Method Daily Shower cleaner – again it smells gorgeous and isn’t full of harsh chemicals.
OR… if you’re uber-lazy like me and you don’t want to have to mess around spraying down the shower every day (because that does take at least 30 seconds… who has that kind of time?!), then you can spray Rain-X on your shower walls and door once you’ve cleaned it. It will then work, much like it does on your car and the water/soap just runs off the walls and door without leaving a residue, keeping your shower cleaner for longer!
8. Cleaner in Toilet Brush Holder
This is another simple way to make your cleaning routine easier and your house smell better.
Pour a small amount of disinfecting cleaner into the bottom of your toilet brush holder. It not only keeps the brush clean and sweet smelling but also if you want to give your toilet bowl a quick swish, then you already have the brush loaded up with cleaner.
I like to use Fabuloso (you can get it at Dollar Tree) but you can also use Pine-Sol or similar cleaners.
Another quick cleaning tip is to swish out your toilet bowl every day. It takes seconds (especially if you have the cleaner already in the holder) and it cuts down on build-up that might take more time and effort to clean at a later date.
9. Line Pans with Foil
This quick cleaning tip will save you SOOOOO much time at the end of the day when you need to clean up after cooking dinner.
Before I cook anything, I always line the baking sheet or pan with foil. You can spray the foil with cooking spray so that your food doesn’t stick.
Once you’re done the cooking, all you need to do is carefully remove the foil and throw it away. The pan is clean and doesn’t even need to be washed!
You can use budget foil from a dollar store, but I find that can be too thin and tears easily. So I prefer to get the heavy duty foil at the grocery store.
10. Quick Hard Floor Cleaning with a Spray & Mop
So we’re back to my floor obsession! Vacuums are great for cleaning up dust and dirty (I vacuum hard floors with the beater-bar turned off), but sometimes hard floors just need to be mopped.
Ugh! So now you need to drag out the bucket and mop, fill it with soapy water and drag it around. Or you could use those expensive disposable mop heads. Nope and nope!
I LOVE the O-Cedar Microfiber Mop. It’s double sided – one side is great for “dusting” the floors and the other side for mopping.
To quickly give your hard floors a bit of a clean, just spray some cleaner (I use my vinegar multi-surface cleaner of course!) on the floor, and then wipe over it with the microfiber mop.
I hook the spray bottle in the waistband of my pants – spray, swish, spray, swish. I can do my whole kitchen in a minute or two. And once I’m done I just throw the mop head into the laundry!
Easy, quick and environmentally friendly!
11. Make Your Bed
This last quick cleaning tip is in honor of my mother. She really was a domestic goddess and always had an immaculate home. And the one thing she swore by (not that she ever swore, of course!) was to ALWAYS MAKE YOUR BED!
Every morning without fail she would make her bed. I have to say it does make a lot of sense. An untidy bedroom can look neater with a made bed, but even the tidiest room will look messy if the bed is unmade. It’s also wonderful to get into a made bed at the end of each day. Ah, bliss!
So now I have the same habit as my mother. When I wake up I kick back the covers to “air” the bed a little, while I shower and get dressed. Before leaving the bedroom though, I always straighten the covers and fluff the pillows. It literally takes about a minute but it means I always have an inviting bed to come home to at the end of a stressful day.
Even my children are slowly picking up the habit. I’ll keep reminding them until it becomes second nature to them too! (Check out my post about Getting Kids to Do Their Chores for more tips!)
What’s Your Favorite Quick Cleaning Tip?
So there you have it! 11 tips to help you breeze through cleaning without using too much effort or time.
Now you get a chance to tell me your quick cleaning tips! What advice do you have for an uber-lazy perfectionist that has to have a clean house but no time or energy to do it?!