20 Easy Cleaning Tips You Need to Know

September 25, 2019

Let's be honest. Cleaning isn't everyone's favourite task. Though there are some — like the house cleaners available on Housekeeper.com— that enjoy cleaning immensely, for most it's a chore usually resigned for when you have company coming over.

House cleaning is an essential part of home maintenance, but not many have the time — or patience — to do it thoroughly. More often than not, you're left with half clean, "good enough" rooms until you get around to cleaning the next time.

At Housekeeper.com, we know that cleaning can take up a lot of time. We also know that it can cost you if you choose to go with a house cleaner instead of doing it on your own. Whatever method you want though, why not make the time spent cleaning — or the money you spend on hiring a cleaner — worth your while? 

Below we've listed 20 easy cleaning tips to help make cleaning not only take less time but maybe — just maybe — become enjoyable for those who would rather spend their time doing anything else but cleaning.

#1: Invest in a Cleaning Caddy

Having a handy little basket you take around the house with you will help ensure you never have to waste time looking for a specific product. By buying a cleaning caddy, you'll have all your products readily available for use and stored in one single location when you're not using it.

#2: Declutter First, Clean Second

Many people make the mistake of cleaning everything up only to discover that there are a bunch of items you either don't have space for or don't need. Your first step should always be to declutter your cleaning areas by grabbing trash or recycle bags and getting rid of anything that may have accumulated since your last clean.

#3: Dust Before You Vacuum

Dust settles on every surface, whether we like it or not. A great tip to keep your cleaning to a minimum is to dust everything in your home before you vacuum. Doing this will ensure that all of the dust particles that weren't picked up by your duster will be quickly cleaned up by your vacuum. By wiping down surfaces with a wet cloth or duster, you save yourself from having to dust and vacuum more frequently.

#4: Use a Grid Pattern

If you've ever looked at a room and had no idea where to start, you're not alone. By adopting a grid pattern for cleaning, you can work your way through specific sections of a room one by one to ensure no spots are missed. To do this, mentally divide each room up into easy-to-manage sections and clean through each in sequential order. Using a cleaning grid can also help you remember where you left off if you didn't get to everything the first time around.

#5: Don't Leave the Lights for Last

Most of us tend to focus on the dirt on the ground but often neglect the dust up above. If you have light fixtures or lamps, be sure to give them a good clean too as dirt and grime can pile up on them quickly. The more time they're left uncleaned, the harder they'll be to clean when you get around to it. So don't forget to clean your lights!

#6: Coil Your Cords

Almost every electronic these days comes with some form of cord that not only creates a hazard when vacuuming the house but acts as the perfect collection point for dust and dirt. If you have cords laying about, coil them up and place them out of the way — or better yet, get them off the floor. If they're not laying around on the floor, they can't get in your way while cleaning and are much less likely to collect dust down the line.

#7: Use Hooks to Hang Your Supplies

Similarly to cord storage, it's always a good idea to keep things off the ground. Find a place in your house — like a closet or out of the way area — to hang up hooks to store your cleaning supplies. If your cleaning products are hanging in the air, they can't collect dirt and dust in the same way they would if they were stored on the ground. This can help increase the longevity of your products and ensure that when you go to use them, they're as clean as can be so you're not cleaning off dirt with a dirty broom or mop.

#8: Go with the Grain

When using cleaning products on your floors, it's always best to go with the grain. If you want to get that perfect shine, move your mop in the direction of the grain. This will help ensure that you won't have random pools of liquid or spotty areas on your floor once you're done.

#9: Clean While You Cook

If you've completed the prep portion of your cooking and are waiting for something to bake in the oven or boil on the stove, take this as an opportunity to clean. If a roast is in the oven for an hour, you can get a lot done in that time and be able to enjoy your meal knowing you were doubly productive having both cooked and cleaned at the same time.

#10: Don't Neglect the Baseboards

Though baseboards are low to the ground and often hid behind furniture, they should never be neglected. Baseboards collect a surprising amount of dirt and dust and are very noticeable when they're not clean. A dirty baseboard can affect the overall look of your home, so be sure to give them a solid wipe down every so often.

#11: Spend 15 Minutes a Day Cleaning

If you're someone who's always on the go, tackle cleaning in short bursts. Use the grid pattern mentioned above to pick one or two areas to clean in a 15-minute timeframe. If you keep this rotation going, you'll always have a clean home and won't have to sacrifice several hours out of your day to get it all done.

#12: Clean From Top to Bottom

It's always a good idea to work from the top down. Doing this will help ensure that you're not recleaning areas due to drip downs or have unsightly streaks on your mirrors. This is especially important when it comes to dusting as if you start from the top it will fall down and you will be able to continue cleaning as you go.

#13: Engage Your Mind When Cleaning

If you find cleaning to be tedious, make it fun by putting on a podcast or listening to music. By focussing your mind on something other than cleaning, you'll likely find that things will start moving a lot faster and you might even enjoy your time more if you pair it with something you enjoy. You can also create a reward system for yourself to encourage regular cleaning. By rewarding yourself with a treat only after completing certain tasks it may make you more inclined to do them.

#14: Put Your Phone on Silent or Airplane Mode

Phones can be distracting. Many people have a habit of dropping what they're doing the moment they get a text and then falling down the rabbit hole of scrolling through various phone apps. Then, before you know it, an hour has gone by, and you've got nothing done. To ensure you don't get distracted, either turn your phone off or put it on silent or airplane mode until you're done cleaning. The fewer distractions you have, the faster things will go.

#15: Tackle Small Tasks First

When you have a long to-do list, cleaning can seem very daunting. But not all tasks are created equal. If you start by checking off the small jobs (i.e. ones that will only take a few minutes to complete) you'll find that list shrinking in no time. Starting small is also an excellent way to warm you up for larger tasks. It can also help if you're strapped for time because general tidying up can go a long way to making your home look fresher even if you don't have the time to get to the more time-intensive tasks.

#16: Use Your Dishwasher for more than just dishes

Dishwashers are magical things. If you're lucky enough to have one, you can use it for so many things beyond just dishes. Got a dirty soap dish that you don't want to clean? Toss it in the dishwasher, and it's done! 

#17: Steam Your Microwave

The microwave is an under-cleaned but often dirty kitchen appliance that many forgot to clean. Because you hide what's inside the moment you close the door, it's often hard to remember to clean it during your routine. The more you use your microwave, the more food splatter accumulates and the harder it is to get off. To make cleaning it easier, fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and set the timer for 2-3 minutes. The steam from the water will help soften any stuck-on foods that have built up over regular use and make it much easier to wipe down.

#18: Maintain Your Vacuum

A vacuum is a handy tool, but often times people forget that just like a car, it needs regular maintenance. Most vacuum parts have a service life, meaning they should be replaced or cleaned regularly to ensure your vacuum keeps working as it should. To avoid any issues, be sure to pay attention to the user manual and keep a stock of spare parts around in case they need to be replaced. You should also regularly clean out the dirt storage area and ensure the vacuum hose is clear.

#19: Find Multi-Use Products to Cut Cleaning Costs

One of the best ways to cut cleaning costs is to find products or tools that can be used for multiple tasks. For example, many cleaning sprays can be used on numerous surfaces, and vacuums often have separate attachments for different uses. Find tools with various applications, so you don't have to have an individual item for each task. This is especially helpful if you are conscious of space within your home.

#20: Make Use of Microfiber Cloths

Ask any housekeeper, and they will tell you that microfiber cloths are the Swiss Army Knife of cleaning. These handy little rags can be used for just about anything, so be sure to keep a few on hand so you can wipe, scrub, and polish all of your items as needed.