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HOW TO SPEND LESS TIME CLEANING… AND HAVE MORE TIME TO DO THE STUFF YOU REALLY WANT TO BE DOING
Do you find that sometimes the most daunting thing about cleaning your house is thinking about how much time it’s going to take?
Time that you really don’t have spare… or don’t want to have to spare?!
It’s so easy for the cleaning to take a huge chunk out of one of your precious weekend days or chunks out of each day of the week.
I was also a little mind-bobbled when I read a statistic on the amount of time the average Brit spends cleaning their home… two whole years of life!!!!!
So what can be done about it?
What’s the secret to spending less time cleaning?
Well, there are a few things that come to mind that I’m going to share with you.
These are all simple things you can do that will help you reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning.
I’m not promising any overnight miracles here.
You will need to put in the leg work to end up in a place where cleaning takes up less time.
But it will be oh so worth it.
Just picture how smug you’re going to be feeling in the not too distant future, lounging around with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other as you relax your way through the time you would usually have spent cleaning!!!
So, want to know how to spend less time cleaning?
Here we go…
THE CLEVER WAY TO SPEND LESS TIME CLEANING
1. GET RID OF CLUTTER – YES I REALLY AM GOING THERE!!
I know I know!!!
You’ve heard it a million times before and you are sick to death of the whole Marie Kondo / The Home Edit thing that is just so unobtainable for the average person who, you know, likes some stuff without it needing to bring extreme levels of joy.
But the fact still remains, that a cluttered house is a house that will attract more dust and dirt to gather.
Plus a cluttered house is harder to clean because it takes so much more time to circumnavigate the clutter.
Or worse still, you start cleaning, then get caught trying to sort the clutter and end up neither properly decluttering or cleaning.
So the first rule to follow if you want to spend less time cleaning is to spend some time decluttering your house and then making sure that it stays clutter free.
So if you really want to spend less time cleaning in the long run, you need to put in the legwork in the short-term.
Use my guide to decluttering to spend some time decluttering your home once and for all. The guide includes tips on how to keep the clutter at bay once you’ve got rid of it.
2. ORGANISE YOUR LIVING SPACE SO THAT IT’S EASY TO USE AND MANAGE
“A place for everything and everything in its place”.
Said someone once.
According to Google, the phrase has been attributed to Mrs Beaton, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and an assortment of other people.
No matter who first said it, it is certainly a phrase that holds weight when it comes to keeping your house in order.
Because it’s so much easier to manage the space you live in and keep it clean if everything in it has a home.
So once you’ve had a good old declutter, take a look at this guide to easy home organisation hacks that will help you keep your family home a little more organised.
3. SET UP A CLEANING SCHEDULE THAT ACTUALLY WORKS
Next, you need to set up a cleaning schedule.
Don’t let the thought of this daunt you.
I know ‘cleaning schedule’ sounds ridiculously strict and restrictive, but it is actually a great way of defining what needs to be cleaned when it needs to be cleaned and by who.
I often think that the defining the ‘who’ is a big part of helping women with families to reduce the burden of cleaning and household chores that seems to land itself on them when they become parents.
Take a look at my guide to setting up a simple family household cleaning schedule that actually works.
Right, ready for the next thing that’s going to help you spend less time cleaning?
4. LEARN HOW TO CLEAN FAST
Don’t worry, this isn’t about turning cleaning into a workout where you race and sweat your way through it.
Though that said, maybe there is something in combining cleaning with exercise.
Two birds, one stone etc!
Anyway, back to cleaning fast…
Have you ever thought of cleaning as an art form?
Ok, well me neither.
But the truth is that there are some great cleaning hacks and methods that really can help you clean faster.
Take a look at my guide to creating a cleaning routine based on the smartest ways to clean.
I absolutely promise you these smart cleaning tips really will help speed things up.
Especially if you bundle them together and call it your cleaning routine.
All good so far?
Feel like I’m literally changing your life?!!
Right, onto the next thing you can do to speed things up on the cleaning front.
5. CADDY UP
It took me a long time to discover the wonder that is having a cleaning caddy ready-stocked with everything needed to clean the house.
A caddy instantly cuts out the toing and froing of running for products and tools.
You have everything there you need when you need it.
Plus, me being me, I chose a caddy that’s really pleasing to look at and I’ve filled it with lovely nasties-free products that smell divine.
So there’s an extra spring in my step or the step of whoever is doing the cleaning!
Find out more about the time-saving and brain bandwidth saving benefits of having a cleaning caddy and what to put in one in my cleaning caddy guide.
6. CLEAN UP AND PUT STUFF AWAY AS YOU GO
Now this one isn’t just for you, it’s for the whole family.
This is about forming the habits of cleaning up as you go and putting stuff away when it’s finished with.
So for example, simple things like dishes go IN the dishwasher, they don’t sit on the counter by the dishwasher until the dishwasher fairy comes to load it.
This has a two-fold effect.
- Dish to dishwasher becomes a single task
- The counter by the dishwasher gets to stay cleaner for longer
Another is that shoes and coats get hung up and put away as soon as they are taken off.
Score extra points for shoes going straight into some kind of shoe storage area where any dirt on them is contained.
And speaking of shoes…
7. SHOES OFF AT THE DOOR
Having grown up in London I am very used to taking my shoes off when I enter a house, especially my own.
There is no way I want the grime of city streets all over my floors or to be responsible for coating over other people’s floors.
I know it can feel awkward to ask house guests to take their shoes off, but it is your house.
Plus, if the floors look clean, people are a lot less likely to want to keep their shoes on.
So, have a shoe rack or place to store outdoor shoes by the door and keep a strict no shoes in the house policy.
This way your floors won’t get so dirty, so they won’t need cleaning so often.
8. ONLY EAT FOOD IN DESIGNATED AREAS
Ok, I’m sounding a bit officious here, but there is a lot to be said for only allowing food to be eaten in the kitchen/dining room.
Especially if you have younger kids who are expert food scatterers.
Feel like it’s mean to impose such restrictions?
Just picture your floors without the sticky crunchiness of crumbs and imagine your sofa cushions not sitting on a small crust of food debris.
It’s tempting yes?!
9. CLEAN ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH
And finally, give yourself a break on just how clean your house needs to be.
You do not need to live in a showhouse.
Your house is your home and it’s lived in by you and your family.
As long as it’s clean enough for you to all be safe and happy living in it, it’s clean enough!
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.
Friday 15th of January 2021
Indeed these are some great ideas to spend less time cleaning to do more things you love doing. Getting rid of clutter reduces stress levels and allows me to relax more easily.