In our home, we have a little list of 10 housekeeping jobs that get done daily. I’m going to repeat that: Daily! It’s up to you whether you do them yourself, or outsource to other family members. Personally, I like to outsource at least half these jobs.
How to Speed Clean your house
Don’t be fooled by the ‘Clean your home in 5 minutes’ kind of advice. If you are a Mom, you know it can’t be done. The dirt will grow. Because that’s what dirt does. Realistically, if you have a family, you need to allow at least an hour (or a little less) to clean your home every day. Some days (OK, most days) a clean home can seem a little daunting, but once you break it down into quick, simple tasks, you can get rid of the overwhelm and get on top of the mess without letting it consume you.
Here they are: 10 Daily Speed Cleaning Tasks that will keep your Home clean without the fuss.
- Make your Bed as soon as you get up.
Time: 2 minutes
This is one thing I always do. Up until a short while ago, I thought everyone did this. Making your bed transitions you from sleep to a new day. Having a neatly made bed instantly transforms your bedroom and makes even a messy room look reasonably tidy. Try and stick with easy to make bedding that’s fuss free. In our home it’s the same for myself and the kids. Everyone makes their own bed. Every bed has a quilt cover which contains either a summer or winter inner (depending on the season) and one woolen blanket which it kept folded at the end of their bed in case they get chilly. We don’t have decorative throws or pillows, because, well, we just don’t need them.
- Wash the dishes
Time: 8 minutes (twice a day)
Dirty dishes are depressing! And no-one (well, not me) looks forward to this chore. And it is a chore. However, if you consistently get this done, it will keep your sink clean and make your kitchen look clean all the time. I actually use about the same amount of time whether I wash by hand or use the dishwasher. So it really will depend on the type of dishes I’m washing. Night time dinner dishes normally get stacked in the dishwasher (and I get the kids to do this) whereas morning dishes and afternoon dishes (on weekends) get washed by hand.
- Pick up the Clutter
Time: 8 minutes
Get the family involved and this will be done in less time. We have a pick up session before bed. Everyone has to pick up their own stuff and take it to their room and pack it away before they head to their room for quiet time. This means that we wake up to a clean living area and bedroom in the morning. If you have small children, then I recommend having a basket or tub in the living area where you toss the toddler clutter. Even a two year old can be taught to put their toys away.
- Stop the Junk flow at the door.
Time: 1 minute
Don’t let the crap build up. School stuff, mail, catalogs, flyers get sorted at the door. I have a recycling bin outside my front door. Mail gets picked up at the post box, I sort it in the car and I toss the junk in the recycling box before I walk through the door. It’s a habit now, but initially I had to force myself to do it. I had this temptation to ‘keep it so I can look through that later’. Now I think, if I want to read it, I can come and get it out the recycling box. I never do.
The things I keep are school newsletters – these go on the fridge; bills – these get put in an ‘In box’ on my desk; Kids Art – this goes onto the fridge until the next one arrives (then it gets popped into the art box in the cupboard (a plastic storage tub containing all the kids artwork).
- Keep the tables clear
Time: 3 minutes
Messy, cluttered table tops make a whole room feel untidy and disorganized. It disrupts mealtimes, and food preparation becomes a chore. Think of it as your housekeeping work zone. Keep it clear and clean. This gets easier once everything has a place. Clutter without a home tends to gather and cause disorder. If something doesn’t have a place, find it one or toss it.
- Wipe down the family bathroom
Time: 5 min
I do this in the evenings before my bath or shower. I love a clean bathroom – especially the basin. I swear, my kids manage to get toothpaste in the most unbelievable places. I’m normally the last to shower because its my little place of peace. I pop kids into bed and my shower is that transition from Mommy mode to Me mode. It also means I wake up to a clean bathroom in the morning too. To make this a little easier, I keep a bathroom spray and 3 (always blue) wiping cloths in my bathroom cabinet. After wiping down the bathroom, I toss the dirty cloth in the wash. The toilet gets cleaned with a spray and a wipe with toilet paper which I flush. Wet towels (at least 6 of them in our home) get hung on the hook behind the door. It takes me about 5 minutes to get this done. A little Tip here: Every person in our family has their own towel. This stops the blame game and means they are all accountable for keeping their towel clean and dry.
- Do ONE load of laundry
Time: 4 min
I do washing 7 days a week. As in – Every single day. I purposely own a small laundry basket. It cannot hold more than two loads at a time (and this makes the lid pop off). There are six of us, so washing builds up fast. Limiting the space forces me to do the washing regularly. My children also own only two sets of school uniforms, so I wash these daily otherwise we would run out of clean clothes fast. Generally during the week, they will have one in the wash and one they wear. I put a load on in the morning as soon as I get up and hang out to dry after school drop off. One load fits perfectly on my little portable washing line, so I can put it near the fire in winter. The only time I ever use my outside line is when I wash sheets, blankets, jackets etc.
- Fold and Pack away the clothes
Time: 5 min
This is the worst job. Seriously, I don’t know what it is, but I fall short every time when it comes to packing away clothes. I wash, fold and then …. It just sits there. So I made a little system to fix this. I fold washing and pop the pile on each child’s bed. They pack their own clothes away before they go to bed at night. And I pack away mine and my husbands. The thing about washing every day is that it’s never a lot to pack away. You don’t need to resort your clothes drawer every time just to make it fit.
- Vacuum or sweep the living area floors
Time: 6 min
Vacuum your high traffic areas every day. Our bedrooms remain relatively clean during the week, so kids only vacuum their bedrooms (yes they do their own) on Saturday morning. But living areas like the lounge, kitchen and dining see a lot of action. Keeping the floors clean in this area stops the dirt spreading to the rest of the house.
- Choose one thing.
Time: You have 11 minutes to spare.
Choose one ‘not daily’ task to get done. Here are a few examples:
- Wipe down the windows in one room
- Sweep the outside verandah
- Wash one set of sheets
- Wash the dog
- Clean the fridge
- Wipe down the oven
- Wipe down the walls in one room
These are great jobs to give to the kids, it means that things get done without you having to do everything. Keep chores easy and small enough to complete within the 10 minute time frame. The kids won’t get bored, and they will do a better job (that will actually help you).
So, to sum it all up: Here are the 10 Daily Speed Cleaning Tasks to clean your home under an hour.
- Make your bed
- Clean the dishes
- Pick up the Clutter
- Throw away the junk
- Keep the table tops clear
- Wipe down the bathroom
- Do one load of laundry
- Pack away the clothes
- Vacuum or sweep the floors
- Choose one thing