With all the demands on your time, from work to school to spending quality time with family and friends, it is important that you know how to clean your house in 2 hours or less so that you can enjoy a comfortable living space that is clean and healthy, without spending all of your precious downtime working through house tasks.
If the state of your house has you feeling overwhelmed or you just want help developing a cleaning routine that is manageable and you can stick with, read on to learn simple tips for cleaning your house in less than the amount of time it takes to watch a movie. Regardless of whether you carve out a two hour chunk of time designated to cleaning or you break it up into smaller chunks throughout the week, here are cleaning tips for you.
Benefits of a clean house
If you are tired of looking around your house and feeling overwhelmed by the mess and clutter that is stacked on every surface, it is cleaning time. Removing clutter and cleaning up a space can make a huge difference in how you feel in your house. Instead of feeling stressed by the mess, make a plan to address it and implement new systems to maintain the order.
Set the Tone
To help set the tone for your cleaning spree, you should first put on some comfortable clothes that are easy to move around in but that you do not have to worry about getting messed up. This is especially important if you will be using bleach based cleaning supplies. You do not want to worry about accidentally spilling bleach on your favorite top, so just go ahead and put on comfy clothes that can get messed up.
Then, put on some motivational music. This can help you feel energized and pumped up, ready to tackle the work at hand. Upbeat music will keep you engaged as you speed clean and will help you move quicker throughout your house. Plus, it can make the whole cleaning process more enjoyable!
Choose a strategy
When it comes to choosing a strategy, you need to consider the amount of time you have available to designate to the task right now and what sort of emotional boost you are seeking. This will help you determine whether it is better to go room by room or task by task.
Room by room cleaning routine
If you go room by room, you will get the benefit of feeling accomplished and a sense of being done once you are finished cleaning a room. You can shut the door behind you knowing that that room is clean.
However, the downside to this strategy is that you have to constantly switch gears. You go from tidying, to vacuuming, to dusting, to cleaning the ensuite. When you go one room at a time you will need to haul supplies and equipment from room to room which may take longer too.
Task by task cleaning routine
If you opt to use the task by task method, you do not stay in a single room until it is completely clean. Instead, you complete a certain task for the entire house, then you move on to the next task. For example, you may tidy the whole house, then dust it all, then sweep or vacuum, then clean all the bathrooms.
The benefit of this method is that you do not have to constantly switch gears. You can finish one cleaning task for the whole house at one time. Then you are done with that type of cleaner or equipment, such as a vacuum cleaner, so you do not have to move it altogether.
Gather necessary materials
When you are ready to start cleaning, be sure to gather all of the necessary cleaning supplies so you will need so that you are ready to work and do not have to stop what you are doing to go get the materials needed. If you are tackling your whole house, you will need a kitchen cleaner, a rag or microfiber cloth, dusting spray and cloth, bathroom cleaner, sponge, bleach, window cleaner, vacuum cleaner, and/or a mop based on the types of flooring in your house. Opting to use a multi-purpose cleaner can help reduce the number of cleaning supplies you have to keep on hand.
Maintain a small focus
One reason people often put off house cleaning is that they simply feel overwhelmed by the process. This is where maintaining a small focus can help. Instead of looking at everything and getting overwhelmed, you stay focused on a little section. This could be a room or even one part of a room if the entire room feels like too much.
If tidying your child’s room feels like a lot, start with one part of the room or one surface. You could also pick a starting point and work clockwise or counterclockwise, addressing each item as you encounter it. By going in an ordered manner, you will be able to see your progress which can help you stay motivated and focused.
Be strategic in the order of tasks
If you are trying to get your cleaning done in 2 hours or less, it is essential that you are strategic in the order of the tasks that you do. The general rule of thumb is to clean from top to bottom. That way, if dirt or other messes fall on the floor, it gets cleaned up at the end when you finish with the bottom of the room – the floors.
For example, if you vacuum the floors first, then later tidy things and dust off the furniture, you have added dust and dirt back to the clean floors. Instead, start with higher surfaces and work your way down so that any debris is removed at the end. This keeps you from having to repeat tasks such as vacuuming the floors again.
Get rid of unnecessary stuff
Maintaining an attitude of decluttering regularly will help your space not feel cluttered and overwhelming. Instead of setting aside one weekend every few years to declutter once things have gotten totally out of control and you can no longer shove stuff in cabinets or closets, you could keep a box or trash bag handy at all times to collect items you want to get rid of.
The less stuff you have taking up space, the easier cleaning will be and the less time you will spend putting things back where they go. This will help you maintain your home and feel less stressed by clutter.
Consider keeping a donation box in your house. This can be used to collect items that you no longer want. By maintaining a continual attitude of decluttering and getting rid of things you no longer want or use, you will develop the habit of being mindful about what you keep. When the donation box is full, take it out of your house and give away the items. Instead of setting aside a large chunk of time to declutter, you can declutter gradually as you come across things you or your family no longer have a use for.
Involve your family
As a matter of habit, you can teach your kids to do age appropriate chores. Common examples include making their beds, putting laundry in the laundry basket, and putting their toys away at the end of the day.
If you do not have kids or they are older, involve them in larger cleaning projects around the house. While they may not do it exactly the way you would, the tasks are still getting done and all of the responsibility was not on your shoulders.
30 minute speed cleaning
Perhaps you do not have time to do a deep cleaning and instead just need to make your place presentable due to company coming over. Doing a quick 30 minute speed cleaning can freshen up your space and make it look tidy. Here is an easy to follow speed cleaning checklist for house cleaning success.
Spend 10 minutes tidying up
Set a timer for ten minutes and tackle the rooms where people will spend most of their time. If people are just coming over to hang out or enjoy dinner together, these may be rooms such as the living room, kitchen, and dining room. Do not waste time tidying rooms they likely will not go in, such as bedrooms.
Spend 5 minutes wiping down the kitchen
Remove clutter from the kitchen counters, including unused small appliances and paperwork that tends to pile up way too easily. Wipe down the counters, faucet, and sink. Put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Spend 5 minutes doing a quick bathroom cleaning
Focus your effort on the bathroom guests are most likely to use. Unless the guests are staying overnight, do not worry about cleaning the tub or the shower. Focus on the spaces they will use.
Clean the sink and toilet and wipe down the vanity.
Spend 10 minutes vacuuming
Just run the vacuum cleaner over the flooring that is visible. Now is not the time to worry about going under items or moving furniture to vacuum. You are just doing a speed vacuuming session to freshen up the space.
Two hour cleaning schedule
If you have two hours to devote to cleaning, you can certainly get more done. While the 30 minute plan focuses primarily on the most used spaces, the two hour plan will focus on your entire house. This still likely will not be a deep clean, but it can knock out a bunch of cleaning tasks including all the major cleaning projects.
The first task is still tidying. You need to put things in their proper places so that you can efficiently clean the house and not be running back and forth. Ideally, you will tidy every room of your house. However, if you have a big house or a lot of clutter, this may be too much to tackle if you also want to clean in your two hour timeframe.
If you are finding that a lot of things are in the wrong room, consider carrying an empty box or laundry basket with you to carry the items that need to be relocated. This way you can take them all at once instead of constantly leaving the room you are working in to take an item where it should go.
Tidying up a room involves picking up toys or other items that are not currently where they belong, putting away clean clothes, placing dirty clothes in the laundry basket, making beds, organizing papers, and emptying trash cans, just to name a few.
Run the laundry
Next, start a load of dirty laundry. While you are working on other cleaning tasks, your clothes can be in the washing machine.
After you have tidied the house, wiping down the kitchen will be easier since the surfaces have been cleaned off. Now you are ready to clean the counters, wipe down the faucet, and clean the sink. Be sure to check your stove for any crumbs or food residue leftover from cooking.
This is the time to take care of any lingering dirty dishes as well. Whether you use the dishwasher or opt to wash your dishes by hand, all the dirty dishes should be cleaned while you are tackling your kitchen. Consider running your dishwasher daily or washing dishes each night to avoid having dishes pile up which causes you to feel overwhelmed by the task. Instead, you can start your day on the right foot with a clean kitchen and empty sink.
Many people find that their kitchen counters become a catchall for all sorts of paperwork like mail, documents from the kids’ school, and artwork or projects created by your kids. Aim to regularly tidy your kitchen and keep your counters free from clutter. Instead of letting paperwork stack up for weeks, develop a system for handling it right away so that you can save time and headaches looking for documents later. Put things in their proper place right away.
An important task in getting your house clean is to thoroughly clean the bathroom. How long this task will take will depend on the number of bathrooms in your home. You should clean your sinks, shower or tubs, vanity or cabinets, and the toilet. Don’t forget about the mirrors too. Clean mirrors with a streak free shine go a long way in making a room feel cleaner and tidier.
Depending on the size of your bathrooms and how your cleaning time is going, you may or may not have time to deep clean the bathroom floors. If you find yourself short on time, consider doing a light clean of the floors unless they are in desperate need of cleaning.
Dust your house
Grab a dusting cloth and spray bottle and wipe down the surfaces. Be strategic in how you work your way through a room so that you know what you have already wiped down and what still needs to be done. You should dust the furniture in the room, television, window sills, and skirting boards.
Clean the floors
Vacuum the carpet, including mats and rugs, throughout the house. Mop any hardwood floors to clean them as well.
Make the beds
Change the sheets and make up the beds so you are ready to enjoy clean sheets tonight.
Simplify the process
If you regularly maintain your home, it will not take as long to pick up and tidy your house before last minute guests arrive. Even with just two hours notice, you can make your home look presentable to guests.
One way to simplify the cleaning process is to live in a smaller house. Cleaning will be easier simply because there is less space to maintain. Likewise, smaller spaces feel cluttered faster, so you will be more inclined to tidy up regularly to avoid feeling overwhelmed by everything.
Develop a rhythm for regular house cleaning. For example, you may determine that some tasks need to be done weekly, while others can be monthly tasks. A damp cloth and minimal cleaning products can really go a long way in helping freshen up a space. Your cleaning routine should be manageable for you and the current season of your life.
If you need to clean your house fast, let go of the idea that everything must be perfect. Focus on the areas where people will spend the most time and aim to do a light cleaning where you primarily wipe down surfaces and get rid of any old food or crumbs that may be on the counter. Other tasks that are more detailed or labor intensive will have to wait.
Having a designated place where things go will also help cut down on clutter. Instead of spending hours tidying up before you can even start cleaning, try to make a habit of tidying up throughout the day or at least a few times a week. This will prevent things from getting too out of hand that it takes a long time to put things back where they go.
There are countless storage solutions available, ranging from containers to baskets to hampers. These are relatively inexpensive options to properly hold items. However, make sure you are actually storing things you use and want to keep. As the expression goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Make it a goal to not just throw things in baskets or containers. Determine that the item is actually needed first. If not, declutter it. That is a more effective solution than shoving it in a closet somewhere.
Cut down on supplies
You might be surprised how few cleaning supplies you actually need to effectively clean your house. While there are a variety of products on the market, you can actually use far fewer than advertisers would lead you to believe. For example, a multi surface cleaner can be used all throughout the house, not just in the kitchen. Set up a cleaning caddy that can easily carry your supplies from room to room so that you do not waste time or money on a variety of unnecessary cleaning solutions.
If you despise the amount of time and energy cleaning takes, consider ways that you can outsource the work. One option is to hire professional cleaners. However, there are other things you can do if that is not in the budget. For example, consider buying a robot vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to lug the vacuum cleaner around the house regularly. You can schedule your robot vacuum cleaner to vacuum while you are doing something else. While you will pay more upfront, you will reap the reward in terms of time saved.
How to clean your house in 2 hours FAQ
What types of cleaning products should I have on hand?
You should use bleach, a multi purpose cleaner, and a toilet bowl cleaner for basic cleaning tasks.
I want to enjoy a clean home but I don’t have time for all the nitty gritty cleaning. Where should I start?
If you begin by focusing on the most used rooms of your house, you can enjoy the psychological boost that comes from spending time in a clean space. With two hours or less of dedicated, focused effort, you can freshen up a space, wipe down the main surfaces, and tidy it up.
I have a large house and am feeling overwhelmed by cleaning it all. Where do I start?
Choose a room, set a timer, put on some music, and get to work. You will be surprised how much you can get done when you are trying to beat the clock. Make as much progress as possible before the timer goes off, then move on to another room or make a plan for where you will pick up the next day.