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I’ve been looking at that checklist and thinking, “how can I tackle each area in the least amount of time?”
I’m always looking for tricks to keep a clean home with less effort because what I really want to be doing this spring is spending time outdoors with my family!
Maybe you feel the same way- it will be great once it’s done, but less time would be even better!
However, I know there are parts of our home that have been neglected through the year and spring is a great time to open the windows, let some fresh air in, and give our home some extra TLC!
Below I’m going to go through all of the tasks listed on the printable (it’s in the resource library if you would like a copy) with the hacks to get it done in less time!
How to clean a house fast and properly:
- Gather all of your cleaning supplies in one place ahead of time in a basket or caddy to easily move them from room to room.
- Make a multi-purpose spray of 1/2 vinegar + 1/2 water + 1 tsp Dawn dish detergent for a simple chemical free solution to clean most surfaces.
- Keep a timer and music handy to stay more productive and motivated 😉
- Dress comfortable and consider the exercise an added benefit!
I use the following cleaning products and tools in addition to my broom, mop, and robotic vacuum (more on that below):
- A spray bottle with the vinegar + water + 1 tsp dawn dish detergent solution
- Microfiber & multi-purpose cleaning cloths– these are great for different surfaces and economical too!
- Magic erasers
- An extendable duster
- Old toothbrush (window sills & appliance crevices)
- Dryer Sheets
- A Squeegee
- A lemon or lemon essential oil
- Wireless headset (for music motivation!)
I try to stay away from sprays, chemicals, and too many tools that just become clutter.
Everything listed above are my go-to essentials for day to day cleaning as well as deep cleaning tasks (exception being that I only use a lemon for a deep clean of the kitchen.)
Good housekeeping cleaning tips:
Here’s a little tough love decluttering advice, written straight from lessons learned.
Don’t start decluttering the cabinets, closets, or toys…yet! You can do that throughout the year, one space at a time, to keep it from being so overwhelming.
When you are spring cleaning, declutter the main areas of the home.
For example, we have a shelf in our living room with children’s books for one of our portable book nook areas. Our son hasn’t touched many of those books in a long time and has outgrown several of them. It’s a main traffic area of our home and a great place to declutter for instant improvement. That’s an area I’ll tackle during spring break instead of my bedroom closet, which I will save for another time.
(Please check out my post on decluttering: what to sell, donate, toss and recycle for all kinds of ideas when it comes to decluttering).
After a major decluttering, feel free to use this yard sale organization checklist as a guide for getting rid of the clutter … and make some extra money too! A yard sale in the spring is a win-win for decluttering and boosting the budget.
Clean out fridge:
Here’s a post of my fridge cleaning and organizing process, with pictures, from start to finish. The whole process takes about an hour.
Wipe scuffs & stains off walls & baseboards:
Use your vacuum attachment to do most of the hard work on baseboards. Use a dryer sheet for any places on the baseboards that still look dusty. Finish by removing any spots or scuffs with a Magic Eraser.
Walls can be tricky. Our walls look pretty rough after a young kid and dog but, unfortunately, we used the wrong kind of paint years ago. It comes off with anything more than a wipe with a damp cloth. We need to repaint but are waiting on the kid to get a little older and the dog to get a little calmer.
In the mean time, I’ve found using a soft damp cloth works for some of the scuffs without damaging the paint. On one spot that was a particular eyesore, I used a Magic eraser. I’ve also read that toothpaste (paste, not gel) can work on problem areas but haven’t tried it because of our paint situation.
A microfiber cloth works great! This is an easy job for kids to dust furniture and easy to reach spaces like end tables.
You can even put socks on their hands and turn it into a fun activity.
Yes, you can call it a hack or cheating… but we adjusted our budget last year and saved up for a robotic vacuum . Oh, happy day! We have mostly hardwood with rugs in our main areas. It saves a ton of time and does a better job than me, and even goes back to the docking station automatically when it finishes a cycle . I highly recommend setting a savings goal and considering one of these appliances to cut down on your time spent keeping the floors vacuumed.
Mopping- my least favorite cleaning chore of them all. I don’t know a hack to avoid it, but I will say it’s more tolerable with my wireless headset and a few favorite podcasts or music!
Clean fans, vents & blinds:
Keep it simple and use an extendable swiffer duster.
Wipe counters & cabinets:
Fill your sink with warm, soapy water and just give everything a quick wipe down. If you come across things in your way on the counters, put them in one place but don’t carry them to different room…yet. That’s an easy way to get sidetracked.
If you work counter clockwise and wipe everything as you go, you will clean faster and cover all of the surfaces.
A spray bottle with vinegar + water and a squeegee will get the job done! On the outside, we’ve sprayed and rinsed with the hose and also used the pressure washer on the setting that’s safe for windows.
Clean faucets & appliances:
Polish faucets with a dryer sheet, sounds strange, but it works!
Put a lemon peel and water in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and wipe it down for a steam cleaning that also leaves a fresh scent.
Clean your dishwasher with just vinegar and a hot rinse cycle.
Check your oven to see if it has a self-cleaning feature and wipe the top with your multi-purpose cleaning solution. My stove is a glass top and I’ve found that turning one of the back burners on warm for a few minutes, then turning it off and using a wet sponge with a little dawn dish detergent works best.
Clean mirrors, sink, toilet, tub/shower:
I use my multipurpose spray solution, but I also sprinkle a little baking soda to the sinks and tub/shower too. You could also use a microfiber cloth on your swiffer in the tub and shower to cover more area in less time.
I haven’t tried this yet, but the next time I’m in the dollar store, I am going to pick up some denture cleaning tablets. The hack I read was to toss these in the toilet and let them sit overnight to clean the toilet. Totally going to try it out!
Other spring cleaning tasks:
- Check smoke alarm battery
- Change air vent filters
Outdoor Spring Cleaning Hacks to Save Time
Pressure wash outdoors/clean gutters:
This is on the hubby’s list. He loves to pressure wash. The gutters- eh, he just does it. If he didn’t, then this is a job we would include in the budget for home maintenance that we would pay someone to do.
This is on-going throughout spring and summer. One thing that has helped us a lot has been using landscape fabric. We got several pieces free as scraps from a local manufacturing company. It has been a great barrier against weeds.
Wipe outdoor furniture/wash trash cans:
Spray everything down with your vinegar + water solution. Use a soft brush to speed up the time to give everything a wipe down.
I would love to hear about any clever spring cleaning hacks that you have found to save time! Please share in the comments!