We all love cleaning, right? Just kidding. But it does have to be done, and you can do it more quickly with these time-saving hacks. These are the lazefficient techniques I use, but I’m sure you have more tips to add in the comments.
Dusting and Floors
1. Dust dart
After you’ve finished washing or loading dishes or wiping counters, take the well-wrung out dish cloth you’ve been using and dust one room or one floor with it. Trust me, you don’t need pledge or any other fancy dusting solution; a damp cloth works wonderfully. If you commit to one dust dart every time you use a dish cloth, you’ll never have to do a full dusting session again, and it only takes an extra minute or two each time.
2. Minimize decorations, knickknacks, and baubles
Minimalism has become extremely popular, and for good reasons. Take a tip from the minimalist world and cut down on the amount of things you have to dust, move, and clean around.
3 . Invest in a robotic vacuum
If you have hard floors or low-to-medium pile carpets, a robotic vacuum might be just that extra bit of help you need. After we got a dog, we invested in a eufy robotic vacuum (affiliate link) to keep the floors in better shape between jobs with the upright vacuum. The thing is pretty smart and does a great job navigating all of our furniture and staircases. I’ve also noticed an additional benefit — in order to run the machine, my floor needs to be completely picked up. So now my floors are less hairy on a daily basis and most often they are tidied up as well.
One side note, if you have a pet, I recommend you avoid possible disasters and never run the vacuum unless you are there to supervise it. I’ve heard too many horror stories (worth the read) to risk the tremendous aftermath cleanup.
4. Reuse towels
If every member in your house is showering every day and using a new towel each time, you are most likely washing a ton of towels. If you are washing properly, you are hopefully clean when you finish showering. So dry yourself off, hang the towel on the towel rack or over the shower curtain rod, and go about your business; then repeat. Doing this will save you water and electricity as well. Just make sure you hang them to dry or you’ll end up with stinky towels.
5. Wear clothes more than once
If your clothes or pajamas are not stinky, sweaty, or soiled, you really don’t need to wash them every time. If something is is still wearable when you take it off, fold it up or hang it up right away. Don’t throw it in a laundry basket or on the floor to get wrinkly.
Not only will this practice save you time on washing, folding, and putting away laundry, it will also save water, electricity, and money buying new clothes, because washing less often will help your clothes last longer.
6. Pre-wash wipe
Do you completely forget about the laundry room when dusting? While you’re loading the washer, use one of the articles you’re loading, like a towel, and wipe off the top of the washer and dryer or dust other surfaces in your laundry room. Then toss it in the washer.
Bed and Bath
7. Use a card to clean the bathroom
If you spend way too much time scrubbing at soap scum, try the method I use. I wrote about it in depth on my personal blog, but here is the gist. For soap scum in the tub, spray with 50/50 vinegar water and sprinkle with baking soda. Then take an old ID card or credit card and scrape the soap scum. It’ll come off very easily into globs that just wipe or rinse away.
8. Wipe when you wash
When you’re at the sink to wash your hands, after you wet your hands, just use them to quick wipe off the sink and faucet. Then proceed to lather up with soap and rinse like normal. It adds about 3 seconds to your hand-washing routine, but keeps your bathroom looking much cleaner (all the time!) without having to get out all the supplies.
9. Skip the flat sheet
Maybe you really love your flat sheet for some reason, but we don’t use them at our house. We don’t really see the point of them except to get all tangled up at your feet and add time to your bed making routine. You’d be surprised how fast you can make a bed when it’s just throwing a comforter back in place. Or…
10. Don’t make your bed
If number 10 doesn’t save enough time for you, you can just give up on the whole bed making thing. Really, we all know to stay out of each other’s rooms anyway, but if you need an excuse, how about this: some scientists are saying that leaving your bed unmade during the day can help reduce numbers of dust mites.
11. Tidy the fridge every time you get groceries
Each time you come home from the market and start putting away your groceries, do a little tidying in the fridge. Maybe organize one shelf, clean out a produce bin, or wipe up some spots. Find any old leftovers or expired foods that need to be thrown and take them out. Now you can put away your groceries. Just deal with the expired food containers when you do dishes next.
12. Put away clean dishes while cooking
When you’re waiting for that water to boil or the veggies to cook, put some dishes away. It’s a nice task that can be done in little chunks.
13. Load the dishwasher as you go
Every time you finish with a dish, rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher (if you have one, obviously). Don’t just throw it on the counter and wait to do it in batches. If you prefer to do it in batches, that’s cool. At least make sure you rinse everything off thoroughly right after you’re finished with it.
14. Assign every member of the family a water bottle
Every family member gets one water bottle that they drink out of all the time (rather than glasses). You don’t even have to wash the water bottles every day. It’s just water. This will save time washing tons of glasses, but it will also help everyone drink more water. Also, take your bottles with you everywhere you go. Don’t buy bottled water, guys. That’s gross for the planet, and seriously, it’s just tap water in disposable bottles.
15. Post-dishes wipe-down
Every time you finish a sink of dishes, take the cloth you just used and wipe off all the counters, appliances, kitchen table, sink, and faucet. It only adds about a minute to the routine, but will significantly reduce scrubbing time in the future.
All the Rest
16. Let the rain wash your car.
If you have a garage and a vehicle, bring your car outside in a downpour and let the rain do the dirty work. This is my husband’s only car washing method. Is his car always sparkling? No, but he is perfectly happy with the way it looks. Luckily, he doesn’t give a damn what other people think.
17. Put things back properly
Okay, this one is where I’m really working to improve right now. I would organize everything really well, then as I started using things, I’d just throw them anywhere when I was done with them. Eventually the area would be a huge mess and I’d have to spend several hours reorganizing the space. Don’t do that! Spend the extra few seconds to actually put everything back where it belongs and you won’t have to keep reorganizing your tool bench (or sewing station or cereal cupboard).
18. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while you clean
I often feel like I’m wasting time cleaning. I’m not, of course — a clean house is extremely important to the health and well being of my family and myself. I think it’s just not mentally stimulating enough for me. And it can get pretty lonely. So I listen to podcasts and audiobooks and learn while I clean (and drive, and cook, and sometimes run).
19. Skip the major productions
I’m sure you’ve noticed a recurring theme in these tips. Do things in bite size chunks as you go about your day to seamlessly integrate tasks into your routines so you don’t have to waste a whole weekend day cleaning. Remember, for example, that you don’t have to mop every time you sweep. Making the task easier will make you more likely to do it. If you sweep every day or every few days, you don’t really need to mop that often, because the floors don’t get as gross.
20. Keep floors, counters, and tables picked up
It makes the whole house look cleaner, and it’s easier to do quickly a couple times a day rather than once in a while for a long time.
21. Enlist your kids
If you have kids and they’re not already helping, have them start. I struggle with this, mostly because I like things done my way. I give them tasks once in a while, but I should be giving them more regular chores other than keeping their rooms clean.
That’s it! How many of these hacks do you already do? What other hacks can you add to this list?