I hate being overwhelmed and feeling like my house is so cluttered that I can’t think straight. Chances are if you are a busy mom reading this, you’ve been there too! . If you want to learn how to clean your house faster, you’re in the right place. I’m sharing 12 time-saving tips for busy moms.
Is it normal to have a cluttered house?
First off, it’s important to come to terms with the fact that if you have kids your house won’t be spotless at all times and THAT’S OKAY! A lived-in house full of love (and a little clutter) is what helps make childhood memories for your kids. As the saying goes, your kids won’t look back and remember the times the sink had dirty dishes, but they will remember the fun and laughter.
The goal for most busy moms is to develop easy systems and foolproof tips to help clean the house FAST and keep the clutter to a minimum. I’m here to help. While our house is by no means as organized as pictures from The Home Edit (a girl can dream!), I have found ways over the years to create a balance of a well-lived, but presentable home that we can be proud of.
Why Declutter when it will just get messy again?
This is like the analogy of making your bed. Why do it when you will just unmake it at the end of the day anyway? A clean and clutter-free house is beneficial for so many reasons.
First off, it is so much easier for everyone living in the house to find things. It saves time and stress from having to constantly search for items you need.
A clean space also clears your mind and helps you to focus on things that matter. I don’t know about you, but it is so hard to concentrate on a given task when my house is a mess.
Finally, when you have good systems in place, you don’t have to spend hours upon hours getting your house in order. It should feel like a well-oiled machine that just needs to be maintained.
12 TIME-SAVING TIPS
I often feel like my house is a disaster. In reality, I know it isn’t, but with five (soon to be six) people living there, it sure seems this way more often than not.
I don’t know about you, but weekends with my family are precious, and the last thing I want to do is spend the entire day or weekend cleaning my house. Being able to get it all done in under 2 hours is a necessity or it likely won’t get done at all.
These time-saving tips can be applied not only to your weekly cleaning sessions but also in those moments when your phone rings letting you know visitors are on the way.
1. Start with the Laundry
Laundry typically takes the longest, especially if you have several loads to do. I always start by gathering all of the dirty laundry in the house and putting a load to wash. About six months ago I decluttered and organized my laundry room, which was one of the best things I could have done. The space is so functional now and makes laundry a little more enjoyable.
2. Clean your Pain Point Room First
The next thing you should do is figure out what area of your home annoys or distracts you most when it is cluttered. For me, it’s our kitchen/living room (we have an open floor concept). This is the first area you see when entering our home, so I hate when it is cluttered.
When I clean I ALWAYS start here first. This ensures that even if I. only get through one area, it is the most important area to me. Figure out what your pain point room is and START THERE.
3. Prioritize Rooms that Matter
After you have tidied the most important area of your house, work on the other rooms in order of importance. Think about the high-traffic spots that get the most use; the master suite, the kid’s rooms, and the bathrooms are the most used areas in our house.
I rarely spend time cleaning the guest room or my office unless I know someone will be using it. This just seems like a waste of time in my opinion.
4. Set a Timer
One of my biggest tips for getting motivated to clean quickly is setting a timer. Everyone loves a little competition. I believe you can clean any room in under 15 minutes if you work fast. Set that timer and get moving! You’ll be shocked at just how quickly you can get things done when you are only focusing on that one task.
5. Focus Only on the Room at Hand
We’ve all been there…you’re cleaning the kitchen and find a pair of shoes on the floor. So, you take them to your son’s closet to put them away only to realize his clothes aren’t hung up. As you begin to hang up the clothes you discover some are dirty. This leads you to the laundry room. Before you know it, an hour has passed and the kitchen (your original room and that major pain point) is still a mess.
My biggest tip for this is to intentionally focus on the room at hand ONLY. When I clean, I keep an empty laundry basket with me. When I find something that doesn’t belong in the room I am working on, it goes in the basket. I don’t put it away until the room is clean and I’m ready to move to a different area of the house.
6. Declutter the Surface Mess
You can’t clean a room that is loaded with clutter. Surface mess is the worst because it makes your house look much messier than it actually is.
The good news is the clutter is usually easy and quick to clean. Separate it into 3 categories: trash, put away, and give away. Throw the trash away immediately (I like to carry a trash bag from room to room), and place the items that need to be put away in the laundry basket (remember you aren’t putting them away until the room you are working on is clean), and put the remaining items aside for donation.
7. Have a Designated Area for Donations
The last thing you want is for donation items to be all over your house in random spots. We have a specific area in our house designated for giveaway items. When we find things that we want to donate, they go directly to that specific area. About once a month, I make a trip to Goodwill and drop the items off.
8. Listen to a Podcast, Audio Book or Music
Just like using a timer, another surefire way to make me work harder and faster is to put on some good music or a motivational podcast or book. I put in my air-pods and get to work. I feel like I am multi-tasking and also getting to enjoy myself while cleaning the house.
9. Always Make the Beds
I don’t care how clean a bedroom is, if the bed isn’t made, it won’t look neat and tidy. When I’m cleaning a bedroom, I always start by making the bed. This task takes less than a minute but can instantly transform a room.
I like to have at least two sets of sheets for each bed in our house, so even if I am washing the bedding I have a fresh set to use when making the bed. These sheets are our all-time favorite and they are under $40.
10. Clean Top to Bottom
Once the surface mess is picked up and you are ready to clean, make sure you are working from top to bottom. Save the vacuuming and mopping for the end to ensure all the dust and debris from the counters, fans, and furniture is picked up as well.
11. Make it a Family Affair
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others. Trust me when I say, cleaning goes by SO much faster when you get your family involved.
Both my husband and my 14-year-old stepson are a HUGE help when cleaning the house. I designate jobs for each of them which takes some of the pressure off of me.
Even if you have young kids, it is never too early to start instilling good habits in them. Patricia from A Marvelous Family has some awesome tips in her post The Best Chores for Kids: Kids Chores by Age.
We have been working hard with my two toddlers to do age-appropriate tasks, for example, picking up their toys and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper. While it may take more time to teach them how to do it than to just do it myself, I know in the long run it will pay off.
12. Reward Yourself When You are Finished
You did it! The entire house (or maybe just a few rooms) is clean! That’s still a huge win. Make sure you reward yourself for a job well done. Take the family out for ice cream, relax in a bubble bath in your clean tub or just sit in silence admiring your clutter-free house…because we all know it won’t last long!
I hope you got some good ideas on how to clean your house faster with these 12 time-saving tips. For even more cleaning advice, check out this helpful Spring Cleaning article from Good Housekeeping. Also, make sure you are following me on Instagram where I share weekly cleaning motivation in my stories. Thanks so much for reading!