You know the scenario: there’s an hour before your friends arrive, dinner is half finished and your partner should’ve been back ages ago. Surely there’s not enough time give your place a quick once over? Think again. These tips will have your place spick and span in no time (or at least tidy enough so you can pretend you’ve got things under control).

Make a cleaning a caddy

First, keep all the essential cleaning equipment you need, including sponges, cloths, brushes and cleaners, in one easy to carry place. The idea is to move from one room to the next without having an excuse to leave. A bucket with a handle is perfect.

Make a cleaning caddy

Declutter in a flutter

Along with your cleaning caddy, take a spare box with you from room to room. If something doesn’t belong, put it in the box and you can store it out of sight for sorting later.

Stay focussed and prioritise

This is no time for distractions. Put your phone on silent and start with the rooms in the most desperate need of attention. Stay in the rhythm with a playlist of your favourites or a binge-worthy podcast.

Stay focused when cleaning

Time yourself

Seriously. The pressure of a ticking clock will keep you moving fast. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done when there’s no time to waste!

Start at the top

Always clean from the top down. Dirt, dust and other scraps that fall to the floor can be cleaned at the very end all at once.

Work smarter not harder

Instead of using cloths and paper towels that can leave streak marks, invest in a microfibre cloth or mop. When cleaning ceiling fans, slide an old pillow case over the blade so you catch all the dust at once. Use your dishwasher for more than dishes – it’s ideal for glass fixtures and heat-resistant plastic, such as toys. Pop small items in a laundry bag so they don’t get lost!

Disinfect your sponge

There’s no point cleaning with a dirty sponge. Once you’ve cleaned a few rooms, give it new life by zapping it in the microwave. First, make sure the sponge doesn’t have any metal parts, then thoroughly wet it, add a small amount of vinegar, and pop it in for a minute. Powerful microwaves may need less time.

Pre-steam your microwave

Speaking of the microwave, you can make it easier to clean those dried food stains by popping a bowl of water inside with a few lemon slices or drops of vinegar and turning on for a few minutes.

Pre-steam your microwave to cut down on cleaning time

Do all your floors at the end

Finally. When everything else is dusted, scrubbed, wiped, folded and put away you can clean all the floors at once. Work your way out of the room backwards so you don’t miss anything or leave footprints.

Now, close the door and tell yourself you’ll be more organised next time!


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