Cleaning for people who hate to clean

You might be thinking, “who in their right mind would want to spend time writing about cleaning?”  Well, the truth is that I’m pretty proud of all the tricks I have gained that decrease the time it takes to clean and buy me time in between cleaning.  I almost feel as though my house cleans itself!  Almost.

If you dread cleaning, but love a clean house, I wrote this for you.


Cleaning Schedule

As with everything else, if you don’t schedule a time for it, it won’t get done.   I stick to a regular cleaning schedule so that I never have to spend an entire afternoon catching up.  You can find the printable version of this schedule in the Schedules chapter (page) and on the thumb drive.  Here is the cleaning schedule that I recommend:

  • Daily
    • Clear clutter
    • Do dishes
  • Weekly
    • Sunday: Laundry including sheets, clean out refrigerator, take out trash
    • Monday: Clean all the floors – mop and vacuum
    • Tuesday: Clean bathrooms
    • Wednesday: Dust house, clean all glass
    • Thursday: Declutter
    • Friday: Laundry, clean bedrooms
    • Saturday: Any needed miscellaneous cleaning
  • Monthly
    • Week One: Clean out garage
    • Week Two: Clean furniture, base boards, windows, and window sills
    • Week Three: Clean and organize cabinets, clean oven
    • Week Four: Dust blinds and fans, wash windows, and wash curtains
  • Quarterly
    • Thorough decluttering
    • Thoroughly clean car, inside and out
  • Annually
    • Spring Cleaning
    • Go through and clean out attic and storage spaces

Products

Some cleaning products will buy you some time between cleanings.  For some people, this may not be worth the extra money.  However, if you’re short on time but have some extra money to spend, these products will keep your house looking cleaner.  If you’d rather use less expensive products that work well, see the end of this post for a chart of the best ways to clean specific areas of your home.

  • Blue toilet cleaning tablets: they give your toilet a “mini-cleaning” every time it’s flushed; you can also cut off the corner of an extra strength toilet cleaning sponge, let it soak in the toilet overnight, and then flush it in the morning
  • After-shower spray: they prevent grime from building up so that you have less to clean later; if you don’t want to buy one, you can use a dish cleaner and fill the handle with half dish soap and half vinegar.  Keep this in the shower and use it quickly a couple times per week.
  • Extra strength cleaning sponges, for the kitchen or bathroom – I keep these in the areas I need to use them, and will do a quick two minute cleaning if it’s needed
  • Microfiber cloths: they clean much deeper than paper towels and don’t leave streaks or scratches; they can also be washed and reused

Cleaning Tips

  • After sweeping, it’s always impossible to sweep all the leftover particles into the dust pan.  A wet paper towel will pick up everything that the broom can’t.
  • When using a sponge, heat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds beforehand.
  • Keep small amounts of cleaning supplies in the room in which they are used (out of the reach of children!).  I like to use just a small packet of disinfectant wipes or a few paper towels and bottle of cleaner in a freezer bag.  When you have an extra five minutes here or there, you can do a quick cleaning – these add up and make a big difference.  I’ll do a quick cleaning of my bathroom floor while my toddler is brushing her teeth or taking a bath.
  • When you’re able, hire a cleaning professional.  You can usually find good deals on services such as LivingSocial or Groupon, or you can hire a college student to help.
  • Keep a Dust Buster on each floor of the house so that you can quickly clean up the edges of rooms and halls, where it tends to collect dirt and pet hair more quickly
  • If your house has an odd smell, put 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract in a coffee cup and put it in the oven at 300 for one hour.
  • When cleaning the shower or bathtub, do a quick scrub, then spray very hot water all over, and do a thorough scrub.  The hot water will increase the effectiveness of the cleaner.

Printable Cleaning List

You can click on the chart below to pull up a printable version of it.  You can then print that and keep it handy in your house.  I love using these tricks – it has made cleaning so much easier!  Plus, just seeing it makes me want to start cleaning.