3 Secrets To Keeping A House Clean In Less Time


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My home is not perfect. I will never be known for my amazing house cleaning skills. However, I don’t cringe when people drop by unannounced (although I do make a mad dash for the bathroom so I can quickly scrub the toilet and wipe down the sinks so that it is guest ready).

3 secrets to keeping a house clean in less time.

Truthfully, on most days my home is within an hour of being what I would consider guest ready as long as I keep up with the best 3 house cleaning secrets I have discovered.

3 Secrets to Keeping a House Clean in Less Time

1. Never move from one room to the next with empty hands

If I am going from the bedroom upstairs to the laundry room in the basement to change the laundry, I look for dishes that I might be able to drop on the kitchen counter on my way to the basement or dirty clothes I could take the laundry room with me.

This can work for any house no matter what the size. If you are getting up to leave the room, take a second to scan the room and see what you could bring with you and place closer to its actual home. Leaving the family room to go to the bathroom? Could you pick up the glass you just emptied and drop it on the kitchen counter on the way? Leaving the bedroom for the kitchen? Could you pick up yesterday’s clothes and drop them in the hamper on the way? NEVER LEAVE A ROOM EMPTY HANDED!

2. Use the little windows of time to clean

It took me a while to really get this tip. You see I used to be a “must to have time to complete the whole task or I am not going to attempt it at all!” type of person. Since having 3 children, however, I have had an almost 90% recovery in this area and now know that every little minute counts when it comes to keeping the house clean because my chances of finding a large block of time to attack it are slim.

Are you all ready to leave for the gym and still have 5 minutes to spare? Clean the kitchen counters. Hamburger browning on the stove? keep an eye on it while you clean the fridge one shelf at a time. Helping a child with school work? set them up in your bedroom to work so you can answer questions  as you put away your clean clothes, make your bed and declutter the pile on your dresser.

3. Set aside at least two 10 to 15 minute time periods each day to put stuff away

I find this tip to be the most crucial in keeping on top of the housework in our home. I usually have the children help too. I tend to do this once around noon and again around 5 or 6.

On days that I am really tired and don’t feel like tidying up, I find setting the timer helps. I call the troops, assign them a room or a task, set the timer for 10 to 15 minutes, and we all work together getting the house picked up until the timer goes off.

Here is a secret: if I am really tired or if the mess is really bad, I close my eyes for a moment and imagine that someone just called saying they were going to drop by in 10 minutes. Then I set the timer for 10 minutes  and run around like a mad woman tossing clutter in a garbage bag, recycling in a box, dirty socks in a laundry bin and dishes in a dish bin. I carry the bins and bags from room to room working my magic and then when the timer goes off, I give one child the dirty dishes to load in the dishwasher, another the laundry to take to the laundry room, and the 3rd gets the garbage bag to take to the alley while I put the recycling away (Crazy–yes, but it works).

These 3 tips keep me caught up on the day to day messes and that really is what makes up the bulk of housekeeping. If I keep up with these 3 tips, I rarely have to assign more than an hour or two each week exclusively to housecleaning since I have three older children who help with the dishes, floors, and folding of laundry.

Bonus Tip: Make Sure You Always Have Cleaners On Hand

epantry 100 happinessNothing is more frustrating than actually having the time and desire to clean only to discover you are out of cleaner, which is why I really like ePantry. They bring natural cleaners at competitive prices to your doorstep. New members get $10 off their first order when they use my referral link.

Want more ideas on how to keep a home clean in less time? Check out my post, 7 Ways To Create A Self Cleaning Home.

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board How To Clean Tips on Pinterest.

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  1. Good tips. I also try to make sure the kitchen sink is emptied & cleaned up before going to bed. It feels so much better to come into a clean & uncluttered kitchen in the morning. May you have a wonderful Christmas! I visited this morning from Thriving Thurs. 🙂

  2. What wonderful, practical ideas for keeping the house clean! I needed some encouragement and help in this area. I look forward to implementing your strategies! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I just found your blog on Pinterest today!!!! I am excited to start following your housekeeping and organization tips and articles. Please add me to your email list to keep me informed! Merry Christmas!!!
    Like you, I do both preholiday cleaning and Spring cleaning, but due to my job I have moved 3 times in the last 17 months and I HATE moving, packing and organizing. Going to have to move again in July and I want to downsize my boxes (stacked in the garage) one more time between now and then. Your attic transformation is inspiring but at the same time it is not what I want to do when I get home from work at 8pm or on the weekends when my girlfriends are all meeting to get their nails done.
    Thanks for all your tips!!!!!

  4. I love this! I’ve heard of your first tip as the waitressing tip – apparently they always have something coming to/from the kitchen in their hands. I think if I did this, we’d have a lot less clutter. Thank you for sharing this – I need it! 🙂

  5. I learned to manage my time wisely after having kids. I used to have a clean house all the time… now there are guaranteed to be toys scattered about at all times. For the first few years as a Mom I cleaned the toys up constantly. Nonstop. I pick up, they are back out. Now I pick up toys while lunch is cooking, before my hubby comes home so he doesn’t break a leg entering the mess and at bed time. I save hours a day by not stressing the toys. With small kids it is hard to keep the toy explosion at bay and most guests understand and have been there themselves!

  6. Keep the items on your bathroom vanity in containers. This way you move only the containers when you clean, not each individual item. And periodically re-evaluate the items you keep out; do you really need all those things every single day?

    • I recently did the same with my kitchen counters. I have a few things I use daily that I like on the counter so I put them all in one metal container and now I just have to lift it to clean under. I agree it does make clean up so much easier.

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