A Shortcut That'll Make Cleaning Your Home Less Time-Consuming

A Shortcut That Will Make Cleaning Your Home Less Time Consuming

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I have a theory that the law of diminishing returns totally applies to home cleaning. At first wipe-down, everything feels great: You're proud of yourself for taking the time for chores, things are smelling fresh, the sun is shining...and then, before you know it, two hours have passed, your hands are dry, and you're ready to quit but haven't even set foot inside the kitchen yet.

No matter the size of your space, deep cleaning is a commitment that almost always takes more time and energy than you think it will. So when I had the chance to speak with Angela Bell and Georgia Dixon, two people who literally talk about cleaning for a living, I knew I had to get their take on how to make the process less time-consuming.

Bell and Dixon work for natural cleaning marketplace Grove Collaborative as Grove Guides. Basically, it's their job to talk Grove customers (half of whom are brand-new to the green cleaning space) about the products that will work best for their lifestyles and how to use them. In addition to wondering about whether natural cleaners actually work and how to find them at reasonable prices, it turns out a lot of people, like me, are curious about timesaving cleaning tips.

The guides told me that while there's no magic formula for a spotless home (curses!), splitting up your cleaning routine could make it feel like it's going faster.

Here's the gist: Instead of doing your cleaning all at once, dedicate at least one night a week to a quicker cleanse.

"My personal trick is to definitely do a deep-clean periodically but do smaller, quick cleans in between to keep the house looking and feeling good," Dixon, a longtime eco-cleaner, explained. That way, dirt and grime are less likely to accumulate into a genuine mess, and you'll subconsciously train yourself into seeing cleaning as a regular ol' habit, not a dreaded chore.

For Bell, who has been cleaning-obsessed since high school (she'd bus an hour out of her way to get to the nearest natural food store for DIY cleaner supplies—now that's dedication), Wednesday evening is a great one for a home touch-up ritual. "It makes weekend cleaning less time-consuming... That way, you don't have to spend as much time cleaning on the weekends, and instead you can do things you love."

Here are the areas that Bell and Dixon always include in their in-between cleans. They use one all-purpose cleaner for the whole shebang to keep thing easy:

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In the kitchen:

  • Vacuum the floor (or do a quick mop).
  • Wipe down countertops.
  • Wipe down sinks.
  • Transfer dishes to the dishwasher if you have one.

In the living area:

  • Wipe down windowsills.
  • Vacuum the floor.
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In the bedroom:

  • Wipe down windowsills.
  • Clean your sheets (during cold and flu season, this is extra important to stay on top of).

In the bathroom:

  • Vacuum the floor.
  • Wipe down countertops.
  • Wipe down toilets.
  • Wipe down sinks.
  • Wipe down the ceilings and walls (since excess moisture tends to collect there).

Give it a try this week, and pat yourself on the back this weekend.

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