How to clean the house fast
That’s right, I said it. We’re going to look at how to clean the house fast and easy. There are a few factors involved, but you CAN get your house cleaned quickly.
You CAN clean your house in 2 or 3 hours.
YOU CAN DO IT.
And I’m going to tell you how!
Before we really get into it, I’d like to put a disclaimer here. We’ll talk about these things a little later too.
How fast you can clean your house REALLY depends on these two factors:
- How motivated you are to get the house cleaned quickly
- How big your house is
First, if you’re not motivated, it’s just not going to happen quickly.
Second, if your house is a 7 bedroom, 8.5 bathroom mansion, we’re probably not going to be very successful in cleaning it in 2 hours unless you have some help!
The point is, be realistic. And only YOU know what kind of timeframe is realistic is for you and your home! But in this post, I’ll share how I clean the house and how it adds up to only 2 hours!
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How do you clean your house, and where do you start?
I always like to start with a plan. I also like to write that plan down in the form of a to-do list. This may or may not work for you, I am very Type A and love having a plan. I love the satisfaction of crossing something off a list.
Also, after getting yourself into a cleaning routine, you eventually won’t have to write down as much and you’ll just instinctively know what to do and when to do it!
So step 1 is to make a plan, whether written or mental notes.
It’s also best to think of what you can do to maximize your time.
For example, I wash the kitchen floors and then head upstairs and start working on the bathroom. After I wash the bathroom floor, I start working on the bedrooms.
See what I did there? I am always doing something. Waiting for floors to dry shouldn’t hold up your routine (unless the layout of your home just doesn’t allow that)
Now, if you are so overwhelmed by a messy home (no judgment – it happens to EVERYONE at some point!), I encourage you to read about how to clean a messy house when you don’t know where to start.
In the article mentioned above, we talk about the different kinds of mess. Dirty mess, clutter mess, or both. There are also tips on how to decide where to start!
This post is addressing how to clean dirty mess in two hours, and is a recommended weekly cleaning routine. We’ll talk more about the different kinds of cleaning schedules you can keep later on, too!
How can I clean the house very efficiently without using much time?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and probably again and again): A PLAN.
You’re going to notice that having a plan is a major theme of all of this. A goal without a plan is just a dream! I’m not entirely sure that’s how the saying goes, but it’s something like that.
If you don’t have a plan to reach your goal of cleaning the house in 2 hours, you probably will get upset once the 2 hour mark sets in and you only have half the house done.
SO YOU NEED A PLAN!
I used to be so scatter brained with cleaning that I’d start one place, decide to abandon it for now and then do another, and then come back to the original, and so on.
While that might work for some people, for me I was constantly saying, “Oh! I still have to do this!” or “Oh! I forgot to do that!”
I like to tackle one to two rooms at a time to prevent that. And I like to multitask when possible.
Cleaning multitasking is not walking around like Inspector Gadget with cleaning tools in both hands (no matter how much I wish this was possible and effective). It’s not dusting shelves and mopping the floor at the same time (that’s counterproductive!).
Cleaning multitasking is similar to what I mentioned earlier. You finish a room, wash the floors, and move onto the next while the floors are drying (instead of waiting for them to dry and THEN going to another room).
Another great example is when using disinfectant.
If you read the instructions on your favorite disinfecting wipes or spray, you’ll see that some need to remain on a surface for 4 minutes for it to actually disinfect. Some even need 10 minutes.
So that doesn’t mean we twiddle our thumbs for 4-10 minutes while the disinfectant is working on the toilet!
To do some cleaning multitasking, you can spray the disinfectant where it needs to be (toilet, sinks, tub, etc), and then go to a different room and start cleaning tasks in there.
So basically, to clean your house efficiently and use the least amount of time possible, you need to spend as little time waiting around as possible!
Need help making a schedule? Checkout my Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Home Workbook! It has 49 pages of printable schedules in different colors and formats, along with sample schedules AND checklists! Use code INTRO20 to get it for 20% off…only for a limited time! GET IT HERE!
I’d also like to make a note that vinegar is NOT a registered disinfectant.
A lot of people like to speak to the benefits of cleaning with vinegar, and I AM ONE OF THEM. Vinegar is cheap, and it’s easy to make your own all-purpose cleaner with it.
HOWEVER, please know that it is not effective at disinfecting. While it may have some disinfecting properties, it should not be used for disinfecting purposes. To see a list of registered disinfectants, you can check the EPA’s website here.
How to Clean a Messy House in 2 Hours
Cleaning a house in 2 hours seems to be the goal for a lot of people. I’ve seen a few ask how to clean the house in 3 hours, and if you can clean it in two hours, you can take your time a little and clean it in three hours!
Another one I’ve seen people asking, a little less frequently, is how to clean your house in an hour.
I’m going to give you the no bs, non sugar coated answer…
You probably can’t. At least not the WHOLE house in under an hour.
Now, that’s NOT to say it’s IMPOSSIBLE. The size of your house or apartment, the amount of people living there, whether you have pets or not, etc. all comes into play when figuring out how quickly you can clean your house.
So, since 2 hours seems to be everyone’s sweet spot, we’re going to take a look at how to clean the house in 2 hours.
Also, given the size of the house and how many people/kids/pets are in it, this may take slightly more or slightly less time.
Also, your motivation to clean will definitely come into play here! If you’re not motivated, don’t expect quick results!
2-Hour Cleaning Plan
Let’s kick this off by saying you don’t have to do things in this exact order, but make sure you’re using the cleaning multitasking tips from above!
This is the EXACT order I clean our house. And, in the name of research, I’ve timed it too!
It may seem SUPER nerdy to time yourself cleaning, but I encourage you to try it! It can help motivate you next time!
If you know that it only takes you 20 minutes to clean even your most dreaded room, you’ll be much more motivated to take the 20 minutes and get it over with!
For me, cleaning the bathroom is shockingly not the room I hate the most. I dislike cleaning the living room. I couldn’t tell you why, and I feel like it’s a really random room. Maybe it’s because it has the most items to dust, and I really dislike dusting (but it needs to be done guys!).
One last thing to consider before doing this list, is that some disinfectants you can leave sit on the surface to dry up themselves, and some you need to wipe off. Let’s get to the checklist!
If you’re looking for these tasks in a checklist form, check out The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Home Workbook for a master cleaning list and more printables to help you get your cleaning under control!
Kitchen = 22 minutes
- Wash the dishes (5 minutes)
- Wipe sink with disinfectant, (1 minute) let it sit 5-10 minutes
** We’re not going to add this full time in because you’re going to do something else right away!
- Wipe stovetop (1 minute)
- Clean out refrigerator and throw away expired food (5 minutes)
- Wipe down sink and rinse (1 minute)
- Disinfect counters (1 minute) and let it sit for 5-10 minutes
** We’re not adding in this full time
- Vacuum and/or sweep the floors (2 minutes)
- Wipe disinfectant off counters (1 minute)
- Wash floors (3-5 minutes, depending on if you use a mop or hand wash)
** I hand wash the floors once per month because I feel I can get a little bit of a deeper clean on them. The rest of the time, I use a Swiffer and save money by using these reusable pads for it (they’re machine washable!!!)
Dining Room = 20 minutes
- Wipe off table and wash surface (5 minutes)
** In reality, this could be a super quick one, but I gave some extra time. If your dining room table is anything like mine, it accumulates mail and other random items throughout the week that you need to clear off (and put away!) first.
- Wipe down chairs (3 minutes)
** Don’t forget to clean any lint, pet hair, or dust bunnies off the bottoms! I love these silicone chair leg caps to help me out with that, and save the floor!
- Dust decor, china cabinets, shelving, etc (5 minutes)
- Vacuum and/or sweep floor (2 minutes)
- Wash floor (5 minutes)
Living Room = 27 minutes
- Put disinfectant in bathroom sink, toilet, and tub (2 minutes)
** Yes, this is a bathroom task, but it’s just an example of how I operate!
- Wash windows (3 minutes)
** You can wash the windows in every room, I do the living room every week (and the others as needed or monthly). We have two dogs, so the windows here gets smudged up with little noses pretty quickly!
- Dust picture frames, decor, etc (5 minutes)
** Make sure when you’re dusting, you start with the highest surfaces first! You wouldn’t want to dust a table, then a shelf above it, and have the shelf dust fall onto the table!
** I also prefer using damp microfiber cloths for dusting, because it helps trap the dust easier. Just make sure the surface is dry before you put anything back on it!
- Dust coffee table, end tables, TV stands (5 minutes)
** Dusting is my least favorite, so there’s some time here for dawdling!
- Vacuum between couch cushions, and other seating areas (5 minutes)
- Vacuum floor (2 minutes)
- Wash floors (3-5 minutes)
Bathrooms = 16 minutes (per bathroom, give or take if you have a half bath)
- Wipe down sink & rinse disinfectant (2 minutes)
- Wipe down bathtub (2 minutes)
- Scrub toilet and wipe down seat, handle, etc (4 minutes)
- Wash mirror (1 minute)
- Dust decor (2 minutes)
- Vacuum and/or sweep floors (2 minutes)
- Wash floors (3 minutes)
Bedrooms = 17 minutes each
- Dust ceiling fan (3 minutes)
- Dust picture frames & decor (3 minutes)
- Wipe down dressers & nightstands, quick declutter and organizing (6 minutes)
- Dust around bed (2 minutes)
- Vacuum floors (3 minutes)
Home Office / Den = 15 minutes
- Organize paperwork on desk (5 minutes)
- Wipe down desk (1 minute)
- Dust picture frames, decor, etc (3 minutes)
- Dust shelves, bookcases, etc (3 minutes)
- Vacuum and/or sweep floors (3 minutes)
Hallways = 15 minutes
- Dust picture frames, decor, etc (5 minutes)
- Dust any surfaces, for example a console table (3 minutes)
- Vacuum stairs and other carpeted areas (4 minutes)
** Guys, I’m serious, I HATED vacuuming stairs. Then we splurged and got a cordless vacuum! It is AMAZING! The Dyson V11 Animal is seriously awesome for stairs.
- Wash stairs, particularly leading down to the basement (3 minutes)
There is your 2-hour cleaning plan! Clocking in at 132 minutes, puts us at 2 hours and 12 minutes total for cleaning the house!
Keep reading for some other things to consider, and how to keep the house clean!
2-Hour Cleaning Plan: Additional Things to Consider
Once again, if you have additional rooms, multiple bathrooms, etc you’ll have to factor all of that into your cleaning time!
I clean our bedding every week, usually on cleaning day or the next day. I prefer to clean the bedding the same day I clean, so I can wash off any dust or debris that has fallen on it.
Remember to throw in a load of laundry and switch it between tasks!
You might also have carpet in some of the rooms where it says to wash floors, in that case, your time will be a few minutes less (or a few minutes more, if you have hardwood floors in rooms others may have carpet)
Another thing to consider, is if you have cleaning helpers or not. Will your spouse help you out and tackle a room while you’re working on another one? Can the kids do some chores to help out? Is your roommate willing to help clean the common areas?
You should also make a routine of cleaning some things throughout the week. Picking 2-3 quick and easy tasks to do daily, or every other day, can seriously help reduce the time you spend cleaning during your weekly clean.
Once again, for this I highly recommend making a cleaning schedule.
In my cleaning workbook, you can get a master cleaning list along with daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual cleaning schedules. Each one comes with a blank schedule, as well as a recommended schedule.
That way you have the flexibility to create your own based on your schedule, and you have a little help if you need it with the sample schedules. Get your workbook here and use code INTRO20 for 20% off!
Last, consider how much clutter is in each room. You will want to include a light decluttering in each room if needed.
I’m not saying go through all your clothes and get rid of things, but any visible clutter on surfaces should be organized or put away during your cleaning.
If you have a lot of clutter in general, I highly recommend doing a serious decluttering another time (because we’re talking mainly about cleaning here). Get your free printable 30 Day Declutter Calendar below!
How do you keep your house clean when you’re busy?
When our schedules fill up with other things to do, it’s really easy to let cleaning fall on the back burner.
The best way to keep the house clean when you’re busy is to get into a habit of doing something every day, or switching up your schedule.
A few quick tasks you can do daily are:
- Sorting and putting away all mail and paperwork.
- 5 minute declutter – where you go through every room and pick up items that aren’t where they belong and put them away.
- Wash the dishes or load the dishwasher.
- Vacuum the floors, or deploy your robot vacuum (I love this vacuum because it’s a great price and gets the job done for me!).
- Wipe down kitchen (or bathroom) sinks, counters, tables.
Just pick 2-3 of the tasks above and commit yourself to 10 minutes per day on this. Or pick 2 tasks to do Monday, Wednesday, Friday…and 3 tasks to do Tuesday and Thursday.
Another way to keep the house clean with a busy schedule is to switch up your routine.
Sometimes you can’t commit a full two hours to cleaning, and that’s okay!
Try the method of cleaning one room per day. So Mondays are kitchen days, Tuesdays are bedroom days, and so on.
There are sample schedules for this too in the cleaning workbook!
Last, be kind to yourself! Mess happens to everyone. Dirt happens to everyone. It just happens, and don’t be hard on yourself about it!
What is the secret to keeping the house clean…always?
The best secrets for keeping a clean home are to: keep a cleaning schedule, get creative, and to do a little each day so all the work doesn’t pile up to be overwhelming.
Let’s dig a little deeper into each of those.
Getting Creative with Cleaning
If you’re super busy and can’t find the time to clean, then you definitely need to try to get creative!
Like discussed above, try to switch it up by cleaning a different room each day if you can’t devote an entire day, or a 2 hour time block to cleaning, then you might look into spending 15-20 minutes per day cleaning one room every day.
Another way to switch up the schedule is to do one or two tasks per day.
So, Mondays you could dust & vacuum all the rooms. Tuesdays you could wipe down all the tables, and so on.
You can also find more creative ways to clean if you focus on just one problem at a time. Here’s a great example:
We have two dogs, so the amount of pet hair in our house is INSANE. I was on the hunt for ways to make it more bearable and manageable throughout the week so it wasn’t all built up for cleaning day.
I decided to investigate easier ways to clean pet hair, and I found a few really useful tips and tools that make this so much easier throughout the week AND on cleaning day. Check out those tips for dealing with pet hair!
Having motivation to clean is super important, too! Don’t ever underestimate the different ways you can get motivated, and check out these 11 Ways to Get Motivated to Clean!
You should also check out The Importance of Regular House Cleaning if you need a little extra motivation to get started!
Keeping a Cleaning Schedule
It’s so important to have a cleaning routine so you don’t get overwhelmed!
You can break down the cleaning routine by daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
Make sure to add these tasks into your planner!
It also helps to make a weekly and/or daily to-do list. I like to do both. Every Sunday, I make a list of everything (not just cleaning related things) that needs to get done during the week.
If I have a particularly busy week, I’ll spread the most important tasks out along the days in my planner.
If a task seems overwhelming, I break it down into even smaller tasks. For example, if the thought of cleaning the bathroom is just way too much for you right now, you can break its down to:
- Clean toilet
- Dust shelves
- Clean sink
- Clean tub
- Wash floors
And from there, give you however much time you need to accomplish it.
Make sure to get your printable cleaning schedule templates, which include a master cleaning list, cleaning supply list, sample schedules and blank schedules so you can FINALLY create a schedule and cleaning routine that works for you!
More Articles You’ll Love:
Get your copy of the Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Home Workbook! It has 49 pages of printable schedules in different colors and formats, along with sample schedules AND checklists! Use code INTRO20 to get it for 20% off…only for a limited time! GET IT HERE!
Don’t forget to get your FREE 30 Day Declutter Calendar! You don’t have to take 30 days to do it, you can take less or more time! It serves as a helpful checklist of everything you can declutter!