There are some folks out there who love to clean, and there are some of you that hate it. And right now, it’s hard to afford the $150 a visit that services cost. Being in the latter group, I have developed some typical and not-so-typical quick cleaning techniques to hold off the house until the next big cleaning day.

Like most women I know, I’m a multi-tasker, not by choice but by necessity. Do you iron while watching TV? Clean the toilet while talking with your friend on your phone? (You know she’s multi-tasking too!) This is the way I clean in-between my cleaning days. I’ve always heard that you should be able to pick up your house in 15 minutes if unexpected company arrives. So that’s how the main floor of my house stays. Yes, there’s always a bit of clutter, but if I can get it decent looking in 15 minutes then I’m satisfied. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just respectable.


Get your house ready for these quick cleans by doing the following:

  • Keep basic cleaning supplies in every major room or floor of your house. Include cleaning sponge, rags, spray cleaners, and window cleaner. Reuse an old ice cream tub or container with a handle to carry them easily from place to place.
  • Keep an old toothbrush in the container too. These are great for scrubbing around faucets and in corners.
  • Tuck a couple of trash bags in the container to empty trash.

The Kitchen

  • Clean as you go. Once I’ve finished cooking dinner, I am tired and want to sit, so I clean as I cook. Put away the spice and other ingredients as you cook. Wipe down a spill right after it happens. Put the dirty pot in the dishwasher right away, or at least fill it with water and a squirt of soap to easily wipe down later. When dinner’s ready, most of your cleaning will be done.
  • If you dry your hands on a paper towel, don’t throw it away until you’ve reused it on the faucet, counter or a quick wipe on the microwave or refrigerator door. Or see a spot on your hardwoods, give it a wipe, then throw that paper towel away.
  • Many times I’ll clean one shelf or door shelf in my refrigerator. I’ll take out the ketchup bottle, for example, and see the shelf dirty, so pop it out and wipe it down under the sink. It’s easier than cleaning your whole refrigerator, and if you rotate shelves, then the frig stays clean without much effort.
  • The same goes for the silverware tray. Before you empty the clean dishwasher, take a wet paper towel and wipe out the ‘almost empty’ silverware tray. Don’t forget to reuse that paper towel before you throw it away.
  • Toss your sponge in the dishwasher weekly to clean. Be sure to run it through the dishwasher heat dry cycle. Or you can microwave a wet sponge for 2-3 minutes. But be careful, it’ll be very hot.

The Floors

  • When it’s time to mop, I fill my washing machine with warm to hot water, add some floor cleaner, and use that as my mop bucket. I found a string mop that I can twist and squeeze out works best. Rinse your mop many times while you clean. Work from farthest away to closer to your washing machine. When you’re done, just drain the water from your machine.

The Bedrooms

  • With my 3 boys in the house, I have “taught myself” not to stress out about the way the boys keep their rooms. Yes, I’d prefer them to have spotless rooms, but I also remember my room getting messy as a teenager. And I grew out of it, so I’m hoping the kids do too. In the meantime, shut their door!
  • Put things away after you use them. Recently, I cleaned out my bathroom drawer and reorganized it into a divided tray. Organized drawers will help you keep things picked up and put away.
  • Keep a hamper in each bedroom, and once clothes come off, either re-hang or put them in the hamper.
  • Put a load of laundry in to wash as you’re doing other cleaning. Multi-task!
  • Make the bed. The bedroom always seems to look cleaner with a made bed. Use an easy duvet-type comforter and simple pillows for ease.
  • Dust while you go. This is where store-bought or homemade cleaning wipes are great. Pop one out of the canister, and wipe down the dust when you see it starting to build.
  • A small hand vacuum is nice to have until you can haul out the real one.

The Bathroom

This is where you have to get creative.

  • In our toilet room, I keep a Mr. Clean Magic Reach with a long handle, and I use it without the cloths just fine. As you sit on your “throne”, use it to dust the floor around you, then pick up the new dust bunny and flush it away. The rubber pad can be rinsed as needed but I find it’s usually not necessary.
  • I use a Kleenex tissue and a quilted make-up pad every evening to take off make-up, etc. Before I throw them away, I wet them down, wipe down the sink area and faucet, then toss. Any time you use a Kleenex for anything other than blowing your nose, reuse it before you throw it away.
  • After your shower, wipe down your stall with an old rag, or use a squeegee to remove water spots and buildup. Or spray down the walls with a cleanser as you leave the shower, let sit while you dry yourself and get dressed, then hose it down with your shower sprayer.
  • When your mirror is full of steam is a good time to wipe it down with an old clean towel.
  • Line your trash cans with plastic bags (grocery store ones work well) and keep 2-3 extra in the bottom of your trash can. On trash day, just grab the full one, and use one at the bottom to reline the can.
  • After brushing your teeth, use the leftover water in your rinse glass to either water your plants in your bathroom, or toss in the tub to rinse dust.

These are just a few tips for a quickie clean. Some of these are unorthodox; some you’ve probably heard before. I’d love to hear your tips, so be sure to leave a comment.