Discover the two key elements to keeping your house cleaner with minimal time investment

House Cleaning Time Savers

by Robin Carpenter

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To me, house cleaning is like doing laundry-necessary but not a whole lot of fun. Over the years, I have picked up hints and techniques which have helped me save a lot of time while cleaning. I hope this information will help you too! I have found the 2 most important things to remember when cleaning your house are organization and simplicity. I have basically divided the tips between the 2 categories. Let's start with simplicity.

When I got married, we lived in an apartment and I cleaned every week. Then, we bought our first house and had 2 children. I started to clean every 2 weeks. Today, we are in our second house, which is larger than the first and live out in the country. We spend more time commuting to our jobs, shopping, etc. My husband works overtime so I can work part-time and be home more with the kids. I now only clean once a month. I'd much rather spend my free time with my husband and kids than kill myself trying to keep the house immaculate. I have found that little things, like wiping the kitchen counters and stove top off nightly and keeping the sink area in the bathrooms wiped up, as well as running the vacuum weekly and swabbing toilets help extend my cleaning schedule.

Since I only do a heavy duty cleaning once a month, my cleaning supplies tend to last for a while. I have tried to use homemade cleaners but have found that products from the store seem to do a better job. I use coupons and buy generic whenever possible. I also keep my cleaning supplies down to a few items. The next time you go shopping, take a good look at all the different types of cleaning supplies on the shelves. It is mind boggling!! I use a general purpose cleaner for the kitchen and bathroom, glass cleaner, cleanser for toilet bowls and sinks, furniture polish, soap scum remover and an invisible liquid shield product on my shower stall door to cut down on soap scum build-up. I use Simple Green diluted with some water as a floor cleaner as well as a stain and spot remover for the laundry. A little bit goes a long way. I keep my cleaning equipment simple as well. A vacuum cleaner, wet floor mop, rubber gloves, feather duster, rags and sponges and a broom wrapped with a rag for high ceiling cobwebs. Now that we've simplified cleaning let's get organized! I keep all my cleaning products, as well as a good supply of rags, sponges, rubber gloves and feather duster in one large bucket. When it's time to clean, I just pick up the bucket and go. I also have an old laundry basket which I take with me. As I clean, anything that doesn't belong in that particular room goes in the basket. When I am totally done, I walk through the house and empty the basket putting the "lost items" back where they belong. When I start to clean a room, I pick a corner or side and follow the perimeter of the room until I get back to where I started. Furniture in the middle of the room is done last. Also, I start where the ceiling and walls connect and work down from there. It doesn't make sense to dust a table first and then dust the picture hanging above the table-guess where the picture dust goes?

I find it helps to play music while I clean. It really keeps me motivated. I also mentally plan the order of the rooms I have to clean-again it keeps me motivated. I never put the television on when cleaning-it tends to be too distracting and slows me down. My children are aged 12 and 6 and they both clean their bedrooms. It helps me out a lot and I think it's a good way to teach kids responsibility. They also do odd jobs during the week such as empty trash cans and sweep up around the cat food bowl and litter box. Every little bit helps to keep the house looking nice.

I do have 2 other hints that might help you save time when cleaning. First, I have found that light colored furniture doesn't show the dust as easily as darker colored furniture does. If you are in the market for furniture, I would advise lighter colors-they definitely help extend the time between cleanings. Also, we lived in an apartment while our current home was being built. I packed everything but necessities away and put it into storage. Consequently, when we first moved into our new home I only had a few knickknacks out and about on the furniture. I realized that the more knickknacks I had out, the longer my cleaning time would be- remember each one has to be dusted and moved. I decided to keep only the items I truly liked and sold the rest at a thrift shop. I think the house looks less cluttered because there are less "things" scattered about. It definitely has helped to improve my cleaning time.

I hope these tips help you save time when you clean. They have really helped me!

I am married, have 2 children, recently moved to rural Southeastern Pennsylvania, became a serious tightwadder after seeing Amy Dacyczyn on TV several years ago, work part-time but would like to start a home based business.

Take the Next Step

  • Don't miss these two dozen uses for baking soda.
  • An organized home can save you quite a bit. The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to an Organized Home can help you save both time and money getting organized and staying organized.
  • Never overspend for store-bought cleaners again. Use The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Homemade Cleaners to find frugal, effective recipes for keeping your entire house and laundry clean and fresh.
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