How to Clean an Entire House Quickly

On your mark....get set....Clean!
On your mark....get set....Clean! | Source
Put in the ear buds and get moving! The house will be clean in no time!
Put in the ear buds and get moving! The house will be clean in no time! | Source
Take a few moments to stretch and catch your breath. You did it!
Take a few moments to stretch and catch your breath. You did it! | Source
Having the right equipment is essential to getting the job done well.
Having the right equipment is essential to getting the job done well. | Source
Allowing children and teens to make choices during the cleaning process helps them to be more willing to help.
Allowing children and teens to make choices during the cleaning process helps them to be more willing to help. | Source

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

The clock is ticking and you haven't much time. You need cleanliness and order fast. You throw on your stretch pants, tank top and tennis shoes, and you are ready to go! What do you do now? Where do you start? There is so much to be done! If you take time to come up with a plan, you've lost precious moments.

A person can easily spend hours each day cleaning, and never see an end to what has to be done. Is it possible to clean an entire house quickly? The answer is YES! In order to do so, you have to think outside the box, I mean room! Divide your house into tasks. Put those things together that require similar equipment and procedures. Use the following steps:

  1. Get rid of clutter
  2. Surface clean
  3. Disinfect
  4. Tackle the floors
  5. Dust and get rid of garbage

Get Rid of Clutter

Start with a large box or laundry hamper. Pick up anything that does not belong in the room and put in the box or hamper. Move to the next room. Put away items from the container that belong there, then add those that do not belong. Continue through each room until all are free of clutter and the container is empty.

Surface Clean

Start with a soft cloth or sponge, multipurpose spray cleaner, hand towel. Spray smudges and spots on counters, cupboards, appliances, furniture, sinks, fixtures, windows, mirrors, and other hard surfaces with multipurpose spray cleaner and wipe with soft cloth or sponge. Use paper towel or newspaper to wipe mirrors and windows in a circular motion to avoid streaking.

Disinfect

Start with a bucket of hot soapy disinfectant water, sponge, and soft cloth. Scrub sinks, tubs and showers, finishing in the bathroom with toilets, dumping the soiled water into the bowl and scrubbing with sponge or toilet brush. Get clean water as needed for the insides of refrigerators, stoves, and other kitchen appliances.

Tackle Those Floors

Start with a broom and dustpan. Sweep the surface of the floor, starting at the edges, and working toward the center of the room, gathering dirt and debris into a pile. Sweep pile into dustpan and discard in a garbage container. Get a spray bottle with multipurpose cleaner and soft cloth. Spot clean sticky spots from the floor, then wipe with a damp mop. Vacuum carpeted floors, plugging the cord in a central location with an extension cord. Then you don't have to keep moving the cord to a different outlet.

Dust and Empty Garbages

Start with a large garbage bag or trash can liner, disinfecting wet wipes, small trash can liners or bags, soft cloth, and dusting spray. Empty the small garbage cans into the larger bag or trash can liner. Wipe the container with the disinfecting wipe, then put in a fresh liner. Spray the soft cloth and wipe wood furniture, counters, window sills, and picture frames. Change the fold of the cloth as it becomes dusty and spray as needed.

Tips for Cleaning with Young Children

When it comes to cleaning with young children, there is a time and a place for everything. The best and worst times are listed in the chart below:

Task
Best Time
Worst Time
Sweeping the Floor
Right after a meal when everyone has left the table.
While young children are still at the table.
Mopping the Floor
After dishes or other wet activity. Let children put on swimming suites and help you scrub.
While children are playing outside. When they come in, they will get the floor dirty again!
Vacuuming
Right before allowing infants or toddlers to be on the floor playing. They will be safe from putting things in their mouths.
While children are playing on the floor. They may be frightened by the sound and air movement.
Dusting
When children are willing to help. Give them dusting mits and spritz them with a bit of water or dusting spray.
When windows are open for fresh air. Dust comes in as fast as you remove it.
Cleaning Bathrooms
While supervising children in the bathroom. Teach them to spray and wipe with disinfectant.
Right before everyone uses it to get ready for bed or is leaving for the day. It will seem like you never did anything.
Washing Windows
When the sun is shining on them and you see the fingerprints.
When it is dark. You won't be able to see the streaks.
Picking up Clutter
When you make a mess, clean it up. Teach your children to do the same.
When guests are already present.
Doing Dishes
Right after the meal. Teach family members to bring their dishes to the sink and wash them.
After they have sat on the counter for over a day.
Cleaning Appliances
While children are sleeping.
While small children are in the room.
Laundry
Do a couple of batches each day. Have children help gather, sort, and fold.
All by yourself.

How do you feel about having your family help with housecleaning chores?

See results without voting

Getting Pre-Teens and Teens to Clean

Pre-teens and Teens are not usually anxious to help with house-cleaning tasks. They would much rather be with their friends and doing their own thing. The trick is to get them to see the benefit of the task, and to do it when they are most ready and willing to help. Try the following:

  • Use housecleaning tasks as money-earning projects, or for earning technology minutes
  • Take advantage of commercial breaks during television viewing to have cleaning contests
  • Give them options such as music to listen to, which tools to use, and whether they prefer to work alone or with someone else
  • Keep cleaning supplies handy for spot jobs to prep for company visits
  • Let them inspect each other's work, and give rewards for jobs well done

Remember that jobs will not be done to the level of an adult. Be careful not to go back over what they have done and re-do it, they will be royally offended, and not very willing to help in the future. Rather have them inspect the job before you come to inspect. Give them the criteria to judge their work by. Let them know what you will look for during the inspection. Have them do a practice inspection while you watch, or even better, have them inspect your work!

As you teach your family what you expect in a clean home, you will find them much more willing to do it. Housecleaning does not have to be drudgery. It can be done easily, quickly, and efficiently when you prepare in advance with the right attitude, tools, and procedures. As family members see you enjoying your housecleaning responsibilities, they will find that the benefits are worth the effort!


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Comments 23 comments

Eliza Anderson 3 years ago

It is nice to have a clean house so whenever you have something that needs to be cleaned, go and clean it; I need to refer to that to myself so I can be more helpful in housecleaning.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for reading, Eliza. It is nice to have a clean house, and doing it when it needs to be done saves lots of time and energy!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Love your chart on times, etc. what a great post to have handy in the home. I have often "spot" cleaned the house just before company came and used some of these great ideas. Voted up.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for the up vote, teaches12345. Spot cleaning is a great way to clean in a hurry. Rather than cleaning the entire house, you simply take care of what is most visible. I think that sometimes we expect way more of ourselves than we have time to do. When it comes to housecleaning, an ounce of prevention goes a long way!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Practical, great ideas, Denise. I especially love the "Best Time" "Worst Time" Chart. In keeping with the idea of "quickly," I read the first part really fast and imagined going through the rooms in haste. Really good presentation.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, MsDora. I appreciate the positive feedback. Cleaning house can be a real drag unless you do something to motivate yourself to get it done in a timely way. Cleaning with young children can be problematic, but I found when my children were young, they wanted to help me. When we mopped the floor, they donned their swimming suits and we all had a blast with the sponges. Yes, there was a little more work sopping up afterward, but the floor was just as clean as if I had done it myself, and we all had more fun!


LeanneSmith profile image

LeanneSmith 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Thanks for your tips Denise it sounds so quick when you put it like that. I don't suppose you have any helpful tips for cleaning the shower door, that in itself seems to take me half an hour!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Good point, LeanneSmith. I clean the shower door with glass cleaner and a paper towel rather than trying to use disinfectant cleaner. That way, there are no streaks and the cleaning goes quickly. If your shower door has lots of places where mold collects, pour bleach into these places, then use an old toothbrush to scrub them out. Wipe with a paper towel wrapped around a table knife to get the particles out of the way. This type of cleaning shouldn't have to be done very often though, unless your room doesn't have a good ventilation system and moisture collects constantly.


LeanneSmith profile image

LeanneSmith 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Great thanks Denise. That is exactly my problem, there is no fan extractor so it gets really steamy and wet - perfect for grime build up! I never thought about using the knife wrapped in paper to get the bits out though, will definitely give it a go.

Thanks again and happy cleaning :)


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

You are welcome, Leanne. Best wishes to you.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

Good practical tips! It's amazing how many people today don't have any idea how to clean, cook or do anything around the house! These kinds of straightforward how-to articles are very helpful. Voted up and useful! :)


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I'm glad that you found this hub useful, justmesuzanne. Housecleaning is one of my least favorite activities in life, and I have found that donning my sweats and exercising to music, then extending my sweat time to include a housecleaning task has taken the drudgery away. I enjoy feeling good and making my house look good at the same time! It is a win-win situation.


Vickiw 3 years ago

I have often read about house cleaning, and that is a lot easier than doing it! It really isn't my favourite task, but I do it, and you have some great tips. This is really useful.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for reading, Vickiw. I'm glad that you found these tips useful. Housecleaning is definitely a lot easier on paper than it is in real life! It seems to be a rather thankless job. People don't really notice until you don't do it! Somehow, we have to build in rewards for ourselves. My daughter and I made a chart for our cleaning, and once we check off all the jobs, we treat ourselves to a movie or go to the mall. It gives us incentive for doing something neither of us care for.


Vickiw 3 years ago

That is a great idea! I will do that. It must be a nice feeling even to see the jobs checked off! Thanks for that.


jrueff profile image

jrueff 3 years ago from Kansas City

Ah, great tips! This is exactly what I need right now - an organized way to go about tackling the mess I've let build up... Although I may skip a couple of these steps for now (I'm too focused on speed; impatience is probably a better description).

Voted up, awesome and useful - Thanks Denise!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Interesting, jrueff, that you recognize what is happening in your own situation. That is a first step in solving the problem, though, and this particular method of cleaning will get you started. Once you do it a few times, you will tweak it until it becomes your own "system" as you find what works best for you. Happy cleaning, and thanks for reading and commenting!


jrueff profile image

jrueff 3 years ago from Kansas City

Yup, that's exactly what I need - a system, and maybe even more than that; the habit of implementing that system!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Habits are wonderful things. They hold us together when the rest of the world falls apart around us! Do it for 30 days, and your habit will be established. That's all it takes. You can do it!


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

Outstanding article full of great info. When I was younger I was much more thorough in my cleaning...now, I just kind of gimp along...you make it look so easy...and we both know it is not! Voted up!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Ease has everything to do with organization, not with the amount of work involved! As younger folks, we had a lot more energy and desire to keep things looking their best. As we get older, our priorities shift, and cleanliness doesn't necessarily bring us happiness any more! Yet, time is our friend, and with fewer small hands around, we can clean differently than we used to, and things tend to stay in better order. Yes, housecleaning is work, and always will be!


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

I shall be adopting some of these tactics tomorrow when I embark on cleaning the house I am moving into. I've only a little time to spare and lots to do.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

New houses can be a bear! I finally moved into one that I didn't have to clean and paint beforehand! Hopefully, the suggestions provided will give you a new perspective of your new home! Best wishes, Sue, and thanks for reading!

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