Time is precious. And wherever possible, it should be spent doing the important things in life — like spending time with loved ones. But all too often, life’s responsibilities get in the way. And one of those responsibilities is household cleaning.
Most of us set aside time to do the big jobs. Spring cleaning can take as long as a week. And cleaning major appliances such as an oven can take the best part of the day. But there may be times in your home when you just need to get things done as quickly as possible.
Whether you’re working overtime or you’re preparing your home for unexpected guests, it always pays to have a fast cleaning regime in place. Then, when it’s needed, it can be put into action immediately.
It might surprise you to discover that you can clean your home to a reasonable standard in just an hour. Not convinced? Take a look at our quick house cleaning guide.
Get some fresh air into your home. This will allow any lingering odours to fade away over the course of the hour. There’s no better air freshener!
If you think Mother Nature needs a helping hand, use some of your favourite essential oils to introduce a pleasant, welcoming aroma. If you’re cleaning during the winter, wipe down all your radiators with your favourite cleaning agent. This will disperse pleasant aromas quickly.
All hands to the pump
So, you’ve just discovered that some friends are on their way to your home. But your abode is far from presentable after a lazy morning of doing very little. What’s the first thing you should do? Enlist the help of everyone. Many hands make light work.
Give every person a list of cleaning jobs. And five minutes before the deadline, get everybody together again to discuss what has been done and what hasn’t.
Start at the front door
Start at the front door. Why? Because first impressions count. Declutter the entire area; even if it means stuffing shoes and bags into cupboards. Once the entryway to your home is clear, give everything a wipe-down with a fragrant household cleaner.
Move on to the bathroom
You’re seriously pushed for time, so cleaning should be about priorities. And there’s no bigger priority that the bathroom. This is usually the dirtiest room in the home. But thankfully, it’s probably the easiest to clean.
Start by giving your loo a once-over with a brush and a toilet cleaner. Alternatively, you can use bicarbonate of soda and a little white vinegar. Wipe down the rim, the seat and all exterior surfaces.
You obviously won’t have time to thoroughly clean your sink, bathtub and shower. Just give all the surfaces a liberal covering of white vinegar or your favourite multi-purpose cleaner. And wipe them down with a clean, microfibre cloth. Finally, check and replenish supplies, including loo roll, soap and towels.
Your next priority should be to tidy areas of your home in which you welcome guests. You’ll already have cleaned and tidied your entryway by this point. So your next priority will probably be your lounge or living room.
Remove any clutter quickly. Don’t worry about finding permanent homes for things — you won’t have the time. Stuff everything in the nearest cupboard or storage area.
Don’t forget your laundry. Whether it’s dirty, freshly cleaned or freshly ironed, get it out of sight as quick as you can. This will also make cleaning your home easier and faster.
Move on to the kitchen
A lot of people do their day to day entertaining in their kitchen these days. So make sure yours is ready to welcome guests at short notice. If there are any dirty dishes, do them first. Then move on to your worktops and cupboards. A quick wipe is all you have time for now, but make sure you use a sanitising agent such as vinegar, antibacterial solutions or steam.
Whether you’re heading to work in a hurry or waiting for guests to arrive, you need to forget about detailed cleaning and organising at this stage. Anything you can do quickly to transform the look of your home should be embraced — including straightening up your living spaces.
Fluff up cushions, reorganise your fixtures, and make sure everything is neat and tidy. If you have magazines and books lying around, stack them neatly. You’ll be amazed at how much you can improve the look of your living spaces with just a minute or two of straightening up.
Wipe down all your glass
Dirty glass always makes a space look unappealing. Fortunately, the solution is a simple one. If you always have a spray gun filled with white vinegar and water, cleaning mirrors, glass furniture and windows will always be easy. Use paper towels or microfibre cloths for the best results.
Once you’re happy that you’ve cleared all the clutter and litter in your home, take the rubbish out. Refill and reposition your bins, and add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to remove any lingering odours. And while you’re outside attending to your rubbish, make sure the approach to your home is clear of debris.
Clean the floors
So you have just a few minutes of your hour left. The final job should always involve cleaning floors. Don’t blame us — blame gravity! Dirt, dust, allergens and just about anything else in your home will end up on the floor when you clean and tidy.
Start cleaning floors at the rear of your home. As you only have minutes left, you’re going to need powerful tools for the job. For all your carpets, a powerful, bagless vacuum cleaner with a full complement of tools and accessories is a must. The quickest way to effectively clean all your hard flooring is with steam. A powerful steam mop is always useful when you’re pushed for time.
The great thing about using steam for lino, laminate and tile floors is that you’re not left with damp patches afterwards. The latest steam cleaners use a surprisingly small amount of water. So, just a few seconds after you’re done, your floor should be almost dry to the touch.
There will be several areas of your home that remain untouched. But that’s OK given the time constraints. The idea is to clean the areas of your home that guests might see. If you can do that in an hour, you’ll never have to worry about unexpected visitors again.