How to Clean Your House Fast

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Clean house fastI have to confess our house gets totally trashed pretty quickly, pretty often!

I have a housework routine that works … kind of, most of the time :-) … but I try not to do housework at the weekend and during the school holidays it’s a struggle.

Take the weekend before last, by the Sunday evening, after a stream of kids had run in and out non-stop with sand, water, muddy boots, whatever, plus all the general hurly burly chaos that is the weekend  … the house looked totally trashed with mess everywhere.

The hall, living room and kitchen in particular looked like wild animals had torn them up.

And despite the fun of the weekend I resented the time it took to clean up.

I found myself running around the house other putting stuff away for hours and didn’t have any time left to put the vacuum cleaner on!

So in desperation I went hunting advice and found these tips professional cleaners use to clear up after a party.

I tried them out this weekend just gone and wow, they actually work! Like so many cleaning ideas they’re just common sense, but it turns out you really can clean your house fast, even when it’s been totally trashed.

1. Inch by Inch

All you need is a bin bag, a recycling bag, a bucket for stuff that belongs in the kitchen and a big laundry bag for stuff that belongs somewhere else.

Then starting in one corner of your most public room you totally clear the square foot immediately around you.

You’re not allowed to move on until everything in your immediate reach that isn’t meant to be there has gone into one of the bags or the bucket.

You’re not even allowed to put away in the room you’re in, until you have cleared every last inch!

Once the floor and furniture is totally clear you quick dust and vacuum that room.

If you’ve got time, you repeat the process inch by inch clear for each room you’ve got time to do.

2. Sort First

Next empty the bucket out in the kitchen and sort into piles per cupboard, dishwasher etc. When it’s sorted you make one trip to each cupboard to put everything away.

Once that’s done, divide everything in your ‘sorting’ bag in into a pile for each room. When you’ve totally sorted the bag, you take each pile to the room it belongs in.

But you’re still not allowed to put anything away! Sort each room’s pile by the cupboard, drawer, shelf it belongs in. Then make one trip to each cupboard etc to put stuff away.

3. Keep Your Feet Stuck to the Floor!

I found it very hard to stop myself running around from one random pile of mess to another and from one room to another. I had to mentally stick my feet to the floor!

But I couldn’t believe how quickly I could clear a room, if I stood still and did it inch by inch

I love the fact that you can get the whole house looking presentable in such a short space of time.

And that if you’re really short of time you just stash the bucket and ‘sorting’ bag away – where no one can see it – to be sorted later :-)

4. Now Clean Your House Fast

Now you’ve got rid of all the mess everywhere and can actually – shock horror! – see the floor again, you can actually get on with the job at hand to clean your house fast.

Armed with nothing more than the vacuum cleaner plus my brilliant micro fibre duster (I can’t recommend these enough!) and a damp micro fibre cloth (for any random yucky marks) and I can whiz round the house in no time.

I do hope these tips help, they have been a god send to me! … and if you are looking for more quick tips do check out our other easy cleaning posts

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19 Responses

  1. Dawn Madsen says:

    These are GREAT cleaning tips…I love the idea of sticking your feet to the floor and getting everything in reach, I’m guilty of going to a room to put something away and then getting stuck in that room and then going to another with nothing completed and I feel defeated, I think this would really work, excited to give it a try :)

    Stopping by from the Freedom Fridays hop, Dawn from I Think We Could Be

  2. great tips! I just returned from a nearly 2 week holiday, leaving my husband to manage the house and all the kids! I came home to a house that wasn’t in stellar shape and I’m just dreading putting it back together this weekend!

  3. Great tips. I have to force myself to stay on task sometimes or I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I found you on the Creative Mondays hop (which I found via your awesome Linky Calendar :) ). Have a great week!

  4. Marivel Danz says:

    It really comes down to focus and moderation, which let you see the big picture and make you spot which areas to work on. But sometimes, it’s a big house, and it’s quite an area that you will need to work on and cover. It may need more than one set of hands to do so, and this is when you will need backup.

    Marivel @ Service Master CLR

  5. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips! They would surely help a lot of people out there trying to organize a general cleaning project in their house. Cleaning your house doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be finished in one day. Doing it one area at a time is advised so you can focus on the task currently at hand.

    German Zollinger @ Total Clean Equip

  6. Tess says:

    These are awesome tips but please…its non stop not none! Such a great article deserves great spelling and grammar!!!!

  7. Carole Ingram says:

    You could get Dollar Store baskets that “stack” and fill a basket for each child that you have (of their stuff), DELEGATE their filled basket to them to put up, no need to do everything for them, they need to learn responsibilities and respect mommy’s time and hard work. :) Chores should be shared amongst all family members – there’s still a ton that mommy does but every little bit that is delegated helps to make more time to clean more of the house! :)

    • Alice says:

      You’re so right about delegation Carole and sharing chores – we are slowly getting better as a family at not leaving things around so they don’t even need to go in the tidy basket :-)

  8. sandi from Canada says:

    I have some additional suggestions:
    Start at the far diagonal corner of the door in which room you enter to do all of this picking up and go top to bottom. Ceiling to floor at the far corner of the room.
    Secondly, each person above the age of two should have a job to keep the house clean, keep it tidy and clean up after themselves. It should not become a trash or bomb site for the adults to clean. Teach and show children how to clean and cook. You are doing them a favour!
    Thirdly- Do a spot clean, minor clean every couple of days and a major cleanup biweekly.
    Regards from Ontario

  9. Jennifer says:

    Finally! A house cleaning idea that I think would actually work for my crazy house. Pinned it on my Pinterest. Thanks a bunch :)

  10. Shazia says:

    Great tips! I am the soul cleaner of my house. I clean as soon as something is messy, in this way chores don’t pile up.

  11. Michelle says:

    Love it so much, a great system that I will definitely try except…

    ONE sorting bag?


    You haven’t seen my house :-)

  12. Elisha says:

    Love your cleaning tip. I do something similar to this. I have 3 toddlers at home so our house can get pretty trashed fast, too. I sweep everything into the middle of the room and then put everything that isn’t trash into a laundry basket. When I get done picking the trash up and the dirt, I take the basket room to room and put everything away. I showed my husband how I do it the other day. He was floored at how easy it was.

    • Alice says:

      It’s a revelation isn’t it Elisha? I was just like your husband when I discovered how easy it could actually be … why did no one tell me before! :-)

  13. Sue says:

    None if these methods address the underlying problem: parents and kids both are not putting things in their places after they have used them. You have just raised up a whole family of people with no responsibility for the things they use and who think other people are responsible for their messes. Even a two-year old can take a plate to the kitchen! Utterly embarrassing.

  14. Judy Stevens says:

    How about getting your kids involved?

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