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Ways to Clean Your House in Less Than Half an Hour

Updated on June 19, 2013
Alison Graham profile image

Alison draws on many years' experience researching natural remedies and products to use for health, home care, and cleaning in her articles.

Try our house cleaning checklist for tips and tricks to clean your house in less time!
Try our house cleaning checklist for tips and tricks to clean your house in less time! | Source

We all lead busy lives these days and cleaning your home is probably not what you want to be doing in your precious free time – but it has to be done. In this article we are going to show you how to clean your house in half an hour or less by developing some time saving strategies for your cleaning routine.

Of course, exactly how fast you can get done will depend on the size of your house, a one bedroom apartment is obviously going to take less time than a four bedroom family home but there are ways to make your house cleaning schedule faster and more efficient. Read on to find out how to clean your house in minimum possible time, say as little as half an hour!

Get Organized

First off, if you are going to try to clean your home in half an hour or less, you have to be absolutely organized, use our cleaning tips and tricks and have all your cleaning materials to hand so that you can work through your home in the most efficient way possible and that you do not cover the same ground twice.

Accept That You Can't Do Everything In Half an Hour!

You are not going to have time to clean all the windows and skirting boards or move all the furniture to clean beneath. It is going to be a more superficial clean than that but nevertheless, if you follow my tips, your home will look great when you have finished. However, following our cleaning tips for those extra touches that take almost no time and make your home look and feel loved and cared for, will have everyone thinking you have been busy cleaning all day!

A Word About Decluttering Your Home

The other thing I need to say is that cleaning is not the same as decluttering. There is no way at all that you can clean and declutter in less than half an hour so this task must be already accomplished before you start your house cleaning sprint!

Give Your Home A Life Laundry

Give your home a ‘life laundry’ go through all your cupboards and closets, divide anything you no longer use or which hasn’t seen the light of day for years into two piles. One pile for the trash (divide into recyclable and non-recyclable), one pile for a yard sale or for your local charity shop. This will free up space where the clutter that is spoiling the appearance of your living space can be tidily stowed away.

Once this is accomplished, decluttering when you clean will just be a matter of throwing out trash and tidying away those few items that have not been put away in their right place. You will be surprised at what a cathartic experience having a ‘life laundry’ is and how much you could achieve in a single weekend!

Getting organized with all your cleaning supplies to carry with you will save a lot of time
Getting organized with all your cleaning supplies to carry with you will save a lot of time | Source
A fleecy duster is an essential part of your cleaning arsenal!
A fleecy duster is an essential part of your cleaning arsenal! | Source

House Cleaning Checklist

Before you get started on your rapid house cleaning sprint, you will need to assemble your cleaning materials together.

Tote Supplies.

You can make cleaning faster and easier by bringing your cleaning supplies with you in a small bucket or a carrier. Before you start the clock, assemble your cleaning materials into a container you can carry from room to room. The image shows a purpose-made caddy but you could use a cardboard box, a washing up bowl so all your supplies will be in place while you clean. This avoids the necessity of walking from room to room to try to find the products you need.

  • Choose a good bathroom mousse product that you can spray on and leave to work so that when you come back to it, it’s a quick wipe over.
  • Choose a toilet cleaner that you can pour in or spray on and leave to work.
  • Use microfiber cloths – they save time, don’t leave lint and pick up more dust than other types of cloth.
  • Choose a spray on furniture polish that is anti-static so that it picks up dust easily and quickly.
  • Use separate bathroom cloths, one for cleaning sinks, baths and showers, one for buffing taps and one for cleaning the toilet area – keep these separated in your tote container. It’s easiest if you choose cloths of different colors.
  • Use a vinegar spray for cleaning mirrors and tiles and have a kitchen roll for buffing to a shine.
  • Have a pair of rubber gloves on hand
  • Carry a plastic bin bag to empty waste bins into.
  • Take a fleece or woolly dusting brush for walls, doors and ceilings
  • Take your vacuum cleaner with you.
  • You will also need a squeezy mop and bucket if you have any hard floor surfaces (not carpeted).

Work Like a Professional Cleaner

In order to get done in the time, you have to treat cleaning your house in half an hour like a military mission! It's no good having the tv on and getting distracted, instead put some upbeat music on the cd player or your iplayer!

Start by dividing your home into zones.

  • Zone 1 Bathrooms
  • Zone 2 Bedrooms
  • Zone 3 Kitchen
  • Zone 4 Living Areas

House Cleaning List

Get Started On Your Cleaning Mission!

The trick is to work smarter not harder, not going over the same area twice, having everything to hand and multi-tasking.


Bedroom Cleaning Cheat!

This tip will make your bedroom smell wonderful which gives an impression of freshness and cleanliness immediately - even if your cleaning has had to be quicker than you would like.

Just spray a little Febreze or similar fabric freshener into the air and close the door!

Start in the Bathrooms(s)

Use your cleaning products on sinks, baths, showers and toilets and leave them to work. This is one of the very best bathroom cleaning tips as it means you can carry on with something else instead of spending more time rubbing and scrubbing when the cleaning product will just do the work for you!

Move to the bedrooms

In our half an hour cleaning sprint, we do not have time to change all the bedlinen as well but we can get the bedrooms looking pristine if we take one bedroom at a time and do the following.

De-clutter. Pick up anything that does not belong to that room, place any laundry to be washed outside the door with anything that needs to be moved to another room. Place any rubbish into your plastic bin bag. At the end of cleaning the bedrooms, take any items from outside the bedrooms to the correct rooms, gather all the laundry together and either throw downstairs into the hall or take to your laundry bin.

Clean. Use this method used by professional house cleaners is to clean rooms efficiently.

  • It is recommended to move clockwise around a room and not touch any surface twice.
  • Work from top to bottom, giving walls and ceiling corners a flick with your fleece duster.
  • Anything dislodged will fall downwards so follow by dusting.
  • Clean any mirrors with your spray and shine with kitchen roll.
  • Finish with vacuuming.

Go back to the bathrooms

  • Empty the bin into your plastic rubbish bag.
  • Wipe all surfaces now that the cleaner has had time to work.
  • Use a toilet brush in the loo and a separate cloth for the seat, etc.
  • Use your other cloth to buff taps.
  • Spray the mirrors and buff off with kitchen roll.
  • Change towels and washcloths.
  • Mop floor working back towards the door.

Upstairs landing and hall.

Work from top down again (fleecy duster, then dusting then vacuuming).

Continue downstairs.

Go Iinto the kitchen.

Spray cleaner onto your sink and working areas, leave to work.

Put a load of laundry into the machine.

Living Areas Cleaning Cheats!

If you haven't had time to make these areas as pristine as you would like, here are two tips that will have everyone thinking that you have been slaving away for hours.

1. Spray a little beeswax furniture spray polish into the air. It makes the room smell as if you have been busily polishing.

2. Use a reed diffuser. This is a natural way to scent your room and if you want to safely dispel any lingering odors from pets or tobacco, this is a really quick fix.

Go into living areas.

Deal with these exactly as with bedrooms, one room at a time.

  • De-clutter putting anything that needs to be taken to another room outside the door.
  • Empty any waste bins.
  • Use your fleecy duster for tops of walls and ceiling corners.
  • Dust furniture using microfiber cloth and spray polish.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Finish by vacuuming, or if you have hard surface flooring, follow our ‘clean sweep’ tip below!

After cleaning all living areas as above, take any items of ‘clutter’ and put them in their proper place.

Go back to kitchen.

  • Empty kitchen bin and food waste bin.
  • Wipe over sink and buff taps.
  • Wipe over work surfaces
  • Ssweep floor before mopping, working towards door.

My Number One House Cleaning Cheat?

5 stars for Spray a little beeswax polish into the air!

Clean Sweep
To achieve a faster and more effective sweep that leaves the floor of your house free of dust, wrap the broom in a nylon stocking. Nylon has the property of getting statically charged and thus picks up every little particle that is on the ground.

Delegate Jobs.
Do not try to do it all by yourself. A better way is to involve family members by asking for their help.

Assign tasks to children such as dusting the furniture, picking up the laundry, making the bed, taking out the trash etc.

Dealing with Limescale in the Bathroom

You can easily remove limescale by using neat vinegar on a soft cloth – just leave it to work whilst you clean the bedrooms and then rinse off. For stubborn marks, try rubbing lemon juice mixed with salt.

Make Your Own Glass and Mirror Cleaner

Vinegar to keep the glass and mirrors bright. A homemade formula of using a mixture of water and a little white vinegar works well to degrease and give glass and mirrors sparkle. Read more in my how to affordably clean your home hub.

Benefits of Baking Soda in the Kitchen
To clean food preparation surfaces, try to use products containing bicarbonate (baking soda) since it cuts the fat easily. It is also excellent for removing odors. A small amount in the trash can or in the refrigerator can neutralize bad smells.


Get Your House Cleaning Jobs Done Faster!

Sometimes it seems that cleaning the house is a task that never ends. Just when you thought you had one or two days off from work, you realize that cleaning the house is going to get the better of it. However, with the tips mentioned above, cleaning the house will not consume all your free time. With these clever ideas and time saving actions you can free up more time with your family doing the things that you enjoy.


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