5 House Cleaning Tips When You’re in a Time Crunch

A yellow cleaning in process sign on the orange floor.

There are many approaches to the time crunch issue. One approach is to get family members to help out even our feline friends if possible.  Another approach is to consider what type of house cleaning you are undertaking. Is this a spring cleaning, a one-time cleaning, a move in or out cleaning or a routine maintenance cleaning.

I suspect that when most people ask how to clean a house they are referring to a routine cleaning in their own home.  This still leaves several different approaches to consider, some more efficient than others.

One question to consider is to ask if the house is large, medium, or small in size.  How many floors will need cleaning and what are the various types of floors that prevail in the home?  Don’t forget your house cleaning checklist should include a list of all your cleaning supplies and tools necessary to do the job.

As you can see, there are many variables to consider when determining how to clean a house in the most effective manner.

For this article, I will share my approach to how to clean a house efficiently and effectively without wasting a lot of time and energy.  I will assume that the house cleaning will be undertaken in a medium size house with two levels that need cleaning.  I will also assume that the cleaning type will be a routine cleaning that is completed on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

Bathroom Blues Or Bliss — It’s Your Choice

For starters, I like to tackle the most physically demanding job first, when I have the most energy, which is usually the bathroom.  As a bonus, most full-sized bathrooms are on the second floor which aids in the top-down approach to house cleaning.  Using a carryall to carry your supplies around, you should first ensure that your carryall is fully stocked with everything you need to complete the job.

As you enter the bathroom, place your carryall next to the tub/shower area.  Next, remove all items on the floor to aid in mopping and vacuuming when the time comes.  All throw rugs are laid flat outside the bathroom for vacuuming later.

Begin by first cleaning the tub/shower area before moving to the vanity ensuring you clean the mirror above the vanity first if there is one.  Next, the commode is cleaned, but be sure to dust the storage closet above the commode, if there is one, before cleaning the commode.

Cleaning the commode last allows for using the same rag for the shower and sink before attacking the commode.  After the commode has been done, the rag should be tossed into a bucket for laundering.

Next, you can tackle all the dusting and spot wiping that remains in the bathroom.  Now is the perfect time to empty the trash can into the plastic bag that was included your carryall on the way to the second floor.

After the first bathroom is completed, except for the floor, you can then proceed to clean any other bathrooms on the second floor in the same manner.  Remember to keep the order the same.  Clean the shower/tub first, then the vanity, followed by the commode, and finally all the dusting and spot wiping last.

Better Ideas For Bedrooms

After all the bathrooms are completed, you can begin to dust each of the bedrooms.  Start anywhere in the room and work your way around the room always working from the top to the bottom paying close attention to all horizontal surfaces.  Most vertical surfaces do not get dusty.

You should use a dusting rag to dust all surfaces that you can comfortably reach with minimal bending and stretch which saves energy.  If you reach and bend when cleaning, you will burn extra calories which are good if you are looking to exercise.  All higher and lower surfaces needing to be dusted are dusted with a feather duster.

The goal is to complete the entire room, except for the floors, in one trip around the room.  Empty the trash on the way out of the room.  Complete each bedroom in the same manner.

As you leave and enter each room, dust the portion of the hallway you are in to save time and backtracking.  The hallway will be completed in sections as you complete each room and enter the next room.  By now the entire second floor should be completed if you have followed my routine.

Healthier Hallways And Second Floor Strategies

Take your carryall and trash bag with you as you dust your way down the stairs.  When you finish the steps, place your carryall in the bathroom or powder room that you plan on doing next.

This strategy on how to clean a house is logical if you think about it.  The entire second floor is completed except for vacuuming and mopping.

You have options at this point.  You can begin to work on the first floor or complete the second floor.  I like to finish up the second floor first.

To complete the second floor retrieve your mop, bucket(s), and vacuum.  Carry them up to the second floor and start vacuuming in the room that is the most distant from the steps.

Begin to vacuum your way out of each room toward the door.  If you have to mop where you just vacuumed, do it now so you do not carry dirt across a newly vacuumed carpet.  Don’t forget to put the trash can and throw rugs back in the rooms as you leave them.

Vacuum all rooms that are near each other and include the hallway as you leave each room.  Always work your way toward the steps as you vacuum and mop each room.

To finish, vacuum the steps down to the first floor and if possible carry your mop and buckets down at this time.  If not possible you will need to make one more trip up to the second floor to retrieve the mop and bucket.

Simple First Floor Strategies

Now that the second floor is completed go the room where you left your carryall after you brought it down from the second floor.  If the room is a bathroom or powder room clean it as before.  After all the bathrooms are completed on the first floor, you have the option of doing the kitchen or doing all the other rooms.

I generally do all the dusting in the other rooms, including the hallway, first.  Again the procedure is to start dusting as you enter a room, working from top to bottom while working your way around the room with the goal of completing the room in one trip and have everything cleaned, except the floors which you’ll go back to complete later.

Woman's hands cleaning kitchen top in purple rubber protective gloves

Quick Kitchen Cleaning And Finishing Up

At this time, if you have followed the cleaning pattern, the kitchen is the last area needing attention.  Nothing is mystical here, just pick a corner of the kitchen and as before, starting at the top and working down to the floor move around the room.  The goal once again is to complete the room in one trip around, except for the floors.

The two steps left to accomplish are to vacuum and mop the entire first floor.  You can select a corner of your home and vacuum out of each room then mop the room if needed.  I keep moving from room to room and include the hallway, if any, as I go.

The question of how to clean a house as the professionals do is best answered by following a common routine each time.  Generally, it’s best to work from the highest level down to the lowest level and try to circle around each room one time except for bathrooms which require two trips, with the goal of having each room completed except for vacuuming and mopping.   As the last step in each room, vacuum and mop the floors that have been previously cleaned.

For other cleaning tips, check out the rest of our articles. Please feel free to add your comments below and share this article. Thank you for reading.

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