Hour a Day Home Cleaning Tips That Will Change Your Life
If you struggle to clean, or simply hate it altogether, then I am going to share with you my number one tip. How to keep a neater home in less than an Hour a day cleaning. In just minutes you can eliminate a full weekend of washing floors and doing laundry.
Making things easier is always a goal here at Declutter in Minutes, and that is what we are going to do today. Make cleaning easier for you to get done.
I am not one of those people that loves to clean. And I am pretty confident that I am not alone in this.
I seriously hate to do it and maybe that is why, ever since I was a first-time married wife, I would put it off. Often to the point of turning it into such a monumental task, that it took an entire weekend from dawn to dusk just to do it all. And there is nothing worse, in my opinion, than spending an entire weekend cleaning a house.
Unfortunately, there is no way to get out of it. Cleaning needs to be done and is something everyone has to do. And I am not here to share with you any big secret that will keep your house clean without lifting a finger.
It still needs to be done.
The trick to making cleaning easier is not what you do but, instead, when you do it. Yes, if you want to make cleaning easier it’s all about the timing.
When I am faced with anything big I will find a way to break it down into bite-sized steps so it is much (much) easier to do. And that includes cleaning my house.
By breaking things down into a room cleaning list, I can tuck that room and its tasks into smaller pockets of time so instead of sacrificing my family time on a warm and sunny Saturday to scrub my kitchen floors, I am instead out enjoying a picnic with my feet up in the sunshine magazine in my lap and lemonade in my hand.
Sounds amazing, right?
Sure maybe it does, but lucky for us it’s not impossible. Or even hard for that matter. At least not once you get the hang of things!
Now, before we go any further you need to understand that this is cleaning and not decluttering. Decluttering is a whole other project and one I encourage you to tackle before trying this system out.
If you want to see how to declutter the super-easy way you can find out more here. How to Declutter Your Entire Home Room by Room
Why declutter first? I have found that cleaning is definitely easier to do if you are not having to constantly move things that are lying about.
The best advice I can give is this. The more you can declutter, the easier it will be to keep your home clean.
What is hour a day home cleaning?
Before we talk about what it is, let’s first talk about what it isn’t.
X – Hour a day home cleaning is NOT spring cleaning. We are not going to shampoo carpets or wash window curtains.
X – This is also NOT daily things you need to be doing, like dishes after dinner or making your bed.
X – And this is NOT decluttering as I said before, decluttering is a whole other animal. (Read how to declutter here)
Hour a day cleaning is how you can more simply keep a tidy home without devoting an entire day to cleaning it.
By breaking things down into small steps it will be easier for you to fit cleaning into your daily routine. And the magic of this entire system is that when you do a little each day your home never gets to that tornado/hurricane point ever again.
Hour A Day Home Cleaning
I mentioned earlier that breaking things down into smaller steps is my secret to getting things done, but it’s also how I keep from getting overwhelmed. And nowhere is this more helpful than with cleaning.
Let’s break it down.
Step #1. Make a list.
You will want to start out by making a of all the things you normally do when you clean your home.
Remember we’re not spring cleaning, so you will want to overlook those big cleaning projects and just focus on the smaller ones. Just focus on the basic chores you do whenever you clean your house.
A few examples are:
- Sweep the floor
- Dust the furniture
- Wash the mirror
- Clean the sink
- Wipe down the counters
- Vacuum the carpet
- Take out the trash
I find it’s easier to do a list when I’m actually in the room.
What I mean by that is, I will take a tablet and a pen and sit in the family room, for example, and write up a list of what I need to do to clean that space.
I’m a visual person and when I’m in the room I can simply look around and make a list of the tasks without worrying that I may miss one.
Step 2. Prioritize each item on your room cleaning list.
Once you have a list written up for each room in your home, you may notice the sheer size is enough to make you catch your breath. No worries, we are going to pare things down by prioritizing.
The easiest way to do this is with a highlighter.
Start by going down your list and highlighting each cleaning task that you want to do every single week in that particular room.
For example, sweeping the kitchen floor is something that needs to be done weekly, whereas vacuuming the stairs could probably be held off and done just once a month.
Try to keep in mind that you only have 20-60 minutes each day to work in this room, so you will want to choose the tasks that will fit more easily into that time frame.
READ: How to Set up a Decluttering Kit for my favorite list-making tools!
Step 3. Assign each day a specific room.
This is where the magic begins.
Your goal for this step is to pick a room for each day of the week, being sure to look at your schedule, so it works with what you have planned for the day ahead. If you normally work full days on Tuesday, then you will want to assign a room that is easier to clean for that day.
It may be better to put an easier job on your busiest days so that this system is simple to keep up with.
A few examples of an easy room to clean.
- Family room
Refer to your list made in step #1. If you see a lot of tasks that are highlighted, then you know this is a room that will require more time to get done. This will help you to better partner the days so they work well together, and you are not setting unrealistic expectations.
D/M PRO TIP: Not sure how much time you need for a room? Do a time map. This is just writing down how long you think it will take to do a task. Dusting the family will usually take 5-7 minutes, and vacuuming that space is more likely to take 10. Finally, putting things away can take as long as 15. When you have the times next to the chores, you will make this part even easier to plan out.
Step 4. Schedule a time.
Once you have your room assigned to a specific day, go one step further and pick the time as well. This small step is really important to make sure you complete each task and stay on track.
By treating cleaning your home as it if was an appointment and not something you can put off until later, you are telling yourself this is important and needs your attention.
That one step ensures it actually does get done.
When picking a time, choose what makes the most sense for you. I like to do my cleaning block in the mid-morning. This allows me to take a break from my home job to reset my mind.
Giving myself a brand new task to focus on allows my head to clear as well as recharge my mental battery. This allows me to get right back to work refreshed when my cleaning job is completed.
D/M PRO TIP: Set a reminder on your phone for when you plan to do your hour a day home cleaning. This little tap on the shoulder is the perfect way to ensure your room gets done.
I love to use my phone to remind myself of different tasks and new habits I am trying out. It is a great way to stay on track when trying something new.
Step 5. Make it more enjoyable.
Okay, maybe not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially for me, but I have found a way to make cleaning bearable enough that I won’t avoid it like the plague.
I love to listen to audible books, books you can listen to with headphones. And if I have a good book I actually look forward to cleaning just so I can listen to it.
You can find audiobooks that you can download and listen to from your local library, or you can join a membership club like Audible.
The best part about Audible is you get to keep the books once you buy them, so you can listen to them over and over again.
Not a fan of books? Then a playlist might be your thing. You can download 60 minutes’ worth of music, and that will not only be your distraction but your timer as well.
Step 6. Making it work.
When it’s time to work on the room for the day, take your list and start working on the tasks you have written down. Remember, you are only doing the tasks that are highlighted in yellow.
Continue working down your list until you finish the tasks or run out of your cleaning block time.
As you get used to cleaning one room each day you will not only begin to streamline the list of cleaning chores that you do in each room weekly, you will develop a routine that can be done in your time block.
This is one of the bonus side effects of cleaning routinely. The more you do, the less you need to do.
How to set up an hour a day cleaning schedule room by room.
Up next is a sample weekly cleaning plan. This is a guide that will help you to see how it all lays out for a 6-7 day plan.
This is a great place to start but know you can move this plan around so it fits your schedule more efficiently.
The whole purpose of setting up a plan is to put this chore on auto-pilot, allowing you to focus on more important things.
Use gravity when cleaning to be more efficient with your efforts. Working high to low will help you to corral the dirt and dust below so you can finish up each room with a good sweeping or vacuuming.
Remember this guide is meant to make things easier on you, if you think cleaning this much each day is not possible with your schedule, taper it down. Choose the tasks from the lists below that will make the most impact and focus on those only.
You can also write a list of “bare minimum” chores for each room and let those be the ones you work on when you have busy weeks. The hour is just a guide, not a rule; if 10 minutes a day is all you have, then create a list for that day’s room that will fit into 10 minutes.
You might just be surprised at how much you can get done when you know 10 minutes is all the time you have to work. 🙂
Day 1 – Weekly cleaning list for the kitchen.
- Do a Room Reset. Put away anything in this space such as clothes, dishes, food, things that belong somewhere else, and trash.
- Do the dishes or empty/load the dishwasher.
- If you have shelving in your kitchen, work there first, you can use a feather duster or a Swiffer Duster.
- Wipe down any splashes on any walls or windows that you see.
- Wash down countertops being sure to get the backsplash if needed.
- Wash the appliances.
- Wash the kitchen sink and faucet.
- Wash the kitchen table and the chairs and along with any bar stools if you have them.
- Shake any floor rugs and hang outside to air out.
- Sweep the kitchen floor.
- Scrub the kitchen floor.
- Empty the trash.
- Take any dirty sponges, rags, or towels to the laundry.
Day 2 – Weekly Cleaning List for Kitchen Food Areas
I like to clean the food area separate from the kitchen because that is a chore all its own that needs its own day. It is important to clean out your refrigerator and food pantries every single week, this is the easiest way to make sure that you’re using up your food before it goes bad.
D/M PRO TIP: Whenever you clean out these areas be sure to have a pad and paper or your shopping list nearby. As you see things that are running low, add them to your shopping list.
Remember, the way to make things easier to do is to combine tasks whenever possible. Making your shopping list while you are cleaning is one of those tips.
- Empty out your refrigerator, sorting things on the kitchen counter as you do.
- Throw out any food that is spoiled or out-of-date.
- Using soapy water wash down the inside of your refrigerator including the shelves, doors, and drawers.
- Take a minute to wash the seal of the door as well.
- Return the items to the refrigerator giving them a quick wipe down as you do so.
If your refrigerator is cluttered you can learn organizing tips for food storage here.
Food Storage and Pantry
- Empty everything out organizing things on the kitchen counter as you go.
- Remember to make a note on your shopping list for anything you are running low on.
- Using soapy water wipe down the inside of your pantry or cabinet.
- Replace items back into the pantry organizing as you do so.
Kitchen Cleaning Resources:
Day 3 – Weekly Cleaning List for the Family Room
The trick to keeping this room clean is to have baskets and bins to catch items that your family uses most frequently in this space.
A few ideas are a basket for blankets, a basket for throw pillows, a bin for toys, a cabinet for games. This is one of those spaces where organizing really does help keep the room looking tidy.
- Do a Room Rest. Put away anything in this space such as clothes, dishes, food, things that belong somewhere else, and trash.
- Shake any throw blankets from the couch give things a quick smell and wash if necessary.
- Using a broom or vacuum clean the furniture quickly removing any food crumbs or pet hair
- Dust any shelving and furniture from high to low.
- Dust the television and other electronics.
- Vacuum the carpets or sweep the floors.
Day 4 – Weekly Cleaning List for the Master Bedroom
The biggest chore in this space during my weekly clean is to change the sheets. I find that by changing the sheets each week it keeps my bed fresh and smelling great. For me getting a good night’s rest is the most important part of my day, so I will do whatever I can to keep my room as neat and tidy as possible.
- Reset the room. Put away anything in this space, such as clothes, dishes, food, things that belong somewhere else, and trash.
- Change the sheets and make the bed.
- Take any and all dirty clothes to the laundry.
- Dust any upper shelving all the way down to the furniture.
- Vacuum or sweep the floors shake and vacuum any throw rugs you have in the room.
Day 5 – Weekly Cleaning List for the Bathrooms
To keep these spaces clean more routinely you can do a tidy-up before you leave. Change the towel, wipe down the sink, replace supplies.
All of this can be done in just a minute and will, in turn, make the weekly cleaning even easier to get done.
- Put away anything in this space such as clothes, dishes, food, things that belong somewhere else, and trash.
- Empty trash cans.
- Wipe down the sink and the backsplash if needed.
- Wash down the toilet, the back, and the base.
- Wipe down any furniture or shelving in this room.
- Wipe down walls if needed.
- Shake the rugs.
- Sweep and wash the floor.
- Clean the mirror.
- Stock up on supplies.
- Replace towels
Read: Monthly Bathroom Cleaning Checklist
Day 6 – Weekly Cleaning List for the Other Rooms
No matter what spaces you have that are not listed here, you can add them to your weekly cleaning schedule just as easily as the rest.
If you have more than 6 areas to work on, then you can cycle things further out. So, instead of a 6/7-day plan, you can make a 10, 14, or longer cleaning plan. The goal is to be routine with your plan to keep each room neat and easier to keep up with.
Extra spaces can include kid’s rooms, playrooms, rec rooms, hobby rooms, dining rooms, garage, outside spaces, whatever you have that you usually clean routinely.
The point is to make a list that you can just follow along to without having to stop and think and devote entire weekends to cleaning.
- Put away anything in this space that is lying out. This can be paper, clutter, clothes, dishes, food, things that belong somewhere else, don’t forget the trash and recyclables.
- If it’s a bedroom, change the sheets if needed and/or make the beds.
- Dust or wipe down any furniture starting high to low.
- Clean any other surfaces in this space.
- Do the floors.
Day 7 – Planning – Planning out the Week Ahead
I am a planner.
I like to know what is coming up for the week ahead so I can set a schedule that will fit without stressing me out.
For me, Sunday is my planning day. It is the time each week that I set aside to look over our family schedule, work schedule, and to-do list so I can make a plan that fits.
Let’s break it down.
1. Gather your Supplies
To make a complete efficient schedule, you will need to have your calendars, whatever basket or container you use to toss in weekly papers, and your cleaning list.
2. Find a spot
You can find an area where you can work uninterrupted. This will help you to create a plan that is all-inclusive, leaving nothing important out.
Go over your calendar for the week ahead reviewing any commitments, schedules, or appointments you have written down.
4. Choose easy days
Refer to your cleaning list and write in tasks on days that are less booked. How heavy a cleaning you set up will depend on how much time you have open that week.
5. Plan meals
While you are there do an overview of the meals you hope to make each day, be sure you confirm you have the ingredients.
6. Post it in sight
Post your schedule where you will see it each day. This will help you to remember what you have set for the day ahead ensuring you will be more productive and successful.
By listing out what all needs to be done, then breaking things down into lists that can be completed in small pockets of time, you will turn cleaning your home into just a part of your day.
At first, it may seem like a huge time suck, but after you realize that come Saturday you have the entire day ahead of you for projects or even fun, you may agree with me that this is definitely the way to go.
Learning something new is always a struggle in the beginning but remember your goal here. To develop your routine muscle so you can put what once was a struggle onto autopilot.
Hour a day cleaning changed everything for me and completely freed up my schedule for things I actually enjoy doing. I hope it does the very same thing for you.
This is certainly a great idea. However, you have scheduled for EVERY DAY, which is NOT GOOD. I just read an article that says Christianity’s work 6 days, rest on the 7th is actually fact based, and necessary for human health.
Yes, I did make a plan for 7 days but I did not say they had to be in a row. 🙂 You can certainly do a 6-day plan, a 5-day plan, or even a 14-day plan for that matter. The point it is to create a routine that spreads the cleaning out over a set period of days to make things less overwhelming on you and your family.
I like this idea. My problem is that I work 8 or more hours, need to come home & work an hour or more in the yard, cook dinner, clean up, then find the time to clean for an hour. All my children are grown, but at 65, this pace still makes me tired. I guess I just need to somehow find less to do, or hire someone to help with the yard or the house!
Too much for me!
I totally understand, Toni! I used to work 3 jobs but this plan still was a lifesaver. Just pare your list down to the bare minimum and instead of an hour a day you can do 10 minutes. (yes, 10 minutes can keep your house pretty clean! I adjusted the post to make it easier for those that work, thank you for pointing that out!