Shoestring Cleaning - Quick, Simple, Cheap

Friday is the first day of Spring. Woohoo! The nearness of spring always put me in a cleaning mood. When I think of spring cleaning I think of moving furniture and deep cleaning corners that no one ever sees and polishing things until they shine and beating rugs (I know, nobody beats rugs anymore but that's what I think of). The problem is that I just don't have time for that. I need some quick ideas that give the semblance of a spring cleaned house without the time spent.
Here are a few quick ideas that will clean quickly, simply and cheaply:
  • Make your bed. Even if your room is a mess in other ways, a made bed transforms a room and gives a feeling of order. I timed myself - it takes less than a minute and a half to make my bed. We all have a minute and a half. Time your kids when they make their beds and challenge them to beat their best time.
  • Pick things up. Clutter is my middle name (actually it's Arlene). I like to have my favorite stuff around so I tend towards a cluttered house. Clutter doesn't have to be messy if there is a place for things. It's when things are not in their places that a room looks messy. When you walk through a room, always look for something that's not in it's place and put it away. It's amazing the cleaning satisfaction that you experience just by putting one or two things away and it only takes a few seconds.
  • Make things shine. Take a cloth and buff your door knobs, wipe your dishwasher and oven doors with a damp dish towel after you do the dishes, quickly spray and wipe windows and mirrors. When things are shiny they give the impression that the spaces around them are clean.
  • Wipe your bathroom down every time you get out of the shower. Take a damp towel and wipe down your shower door and walls, moisten a paper towel with rubbing alcohol to shine and disinfect your sink faucet and handles and quickly wipe down your toilet. I timed myself on this one too - a quick bathroom wipe down takes 2 minutes.
  • Sweep and vacuum just your high traffic areas. Once again, when the areas that people use the most are clean the rest of the house seems clean.
  • Keep the laundry area clean. Whenever you wash towels dampen the last one to go into the washer and wipe your washer and dryer before you start the load. Keep a trash can lined and handy for dryer lint and trash from pockets. Have laundry baskets ready and waiting to hold clean loads and for sorting dirty clothes.
  • Keep cleaning wipes (or bleach water and paper towels) handy so that you can quickly clean up a dirty spot when you see it. If we don't have the tools handy we tend to put off a job. If the wipes are right there on the counter you just need to grab and wipe the finger prints on the door, the chocolate sauce on the cupboard, the muddy dog prints on the floor. If you see it, wipe it up.
  • Dust. I hate to dust, but a quick swipe of visible surface areas with a dust cloth can really brighten up a room. So I must force myself to do it. I bet that I can dust my living room in less than 5 minutes.

Of course, these quick clean ups don't take the place of a real spring cleaning but until you have the time to devote to a top to bottom clean up give them a try.
What are your quick clean up tips? Leave a comment and share.
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momof3girls said...

thanks for your ideas! I like keeping a trashcan for the lint in the laundry room

MomLiving said...

Really great ideas! Thanks for sharing.