Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping

Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping
Lovely kitchen by // Photo via 

Cleaning and Housekeeping Tips

Summertime should be full of fun in the sun and lots of relaxation, right? But, someone (eh, hem) should still keep up with the housework (at least a little bit, right?). Humpf. The need for cleaning and housekeeping doesn’t necessarily end when summer arrives.

So what are we going to do about that?

I’ll tell you what I do about it. I speed clean.

Speed cleaning, by my definition, is being organized and efficient enough with cleaning to get the house “clean enough” in a short period of time. My thought is the more efficient we are with cleaning, the more time we can spend outside and enjoying summer activities! I like the sound of that! A clean house AND a fun summer — a perfect stress free combination!

Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping

Here are my favorite speed cleaning tips for fast and efficient housekeeping! 

1. Get your daily routines down.

If I keep up with my basic routines, things don’t get so out of control in the first place. My house will stay clean enough! Trust me on this, cleaning routines will change your life.

Try my 4 Daily Routines or make up your own! The important thing is that you get yourself in a simple rhythm of daily upkeep of your home. Once you do, all the other necessary homemaking tasks will not seem so overwhelming or take so long in a day. This is so important!

2. Dress for success!

Want to fly through your cleaning routine? What you wear just might affect the efficiency in which you clean! I certainly find that to be true. I actually do not clean well in my PJs. Sorry to disappoint you PJ loving people, but it just doesn’t work for me. My clothes tell me what I can accomplish. PJs and slippers tell me to be lazy and slow and maybe even crawl back in bed. I can do a quick load of laundry while still in my PJs, but anything else and I am good for nothing.

Shoes and clothes tell me it is time to get down to business and start the day. Too nice of clothes tell me I shouldn’t clean at all. Aprons tell me it is OK to tackle a quick cleaning job no matter what I’m wearing.

Moral of this story, I find I need to be dressed appropriately for cleaning or wear an apron in order to be efficient. Try it. Get dressed and I bet you’ll be more efficient. I dare you.

3. Stay focused.

It is so easy for me to get carried away when I start cleaning and end up spending way too much time on something I only intended to do for 15 minutes. Setting a short timer for the task at hand keeps me focused on completing a task (rather than getting bogged down in perfection or lost by distraction) and moving quickly through the process. Your timer is your housekeeping friend, use it!

Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping

4. Keep cleaning supplies in convenient location.

This is HUGE for me. If I have to run downstairs for a cleaning supply I need upstairs, I get distracted on my way down. Pretty soon I’m having a snack. Checking Facebook. Looking at old photos. And then I forget to finish cleaning. True story. So if I keep everything I need to clean the upstairs bathrooms handy right there in the bathroom, chances are I’ll finish cleaning without getting distracted!

5. Clean as you go.

Cleaning as I go through my day saves so much time! Even though at first it will seem like you are cleaning all the time, eventually it becomes second nature and you won’t even think twice about it!

Here are my best clean-as-you-go tips:

  • Clean out the shower while you are taking a shower.
  • Wipe out the sink after you brush your teeth.
  • Throw all the laundry in the wash before you start breakfast.
  • Set a timer for when it is time to move clothes to the dryer and again for when dryer will finish.
  • Pull clothes out of the dryer and hang immediately. Do not pile anything but socks, undies or towels in a laundry basket. I repeat, hang clothes immediately.
  • Empty dishwasher before you cook or eat.
  • Put dirty dishes directly in the dishwasher instead of piling them in the sink first.
  • Soak pots immediately after cooking.
  • Clear the table right after dinner.
  • Start the dishwasher right after the dinner dishes are put in.

Simple clean-as-you-go tips, yes, but if you use them they will save hours in a day! Hours you can use for fun in the summer sun.

6. Clean in a logical order.

If I need to clean an entire room or house top to bottom, it is helpful to think through the most logical order in which to complete the tasks. For instance, I always sweep and vacuum before I dust. If I do it the other way around, I end up having to dust all over again as the vacuum will kick up more dust.

In the kitchen, clean top to bottom. Wipe down your appliances and counters, sweep and then mop your floors. Always wash your floors last, as you back out of the room!

Think through the order of housekeeping will keep you from doubling your effort! It is worth a little planning in order to save time for things you’d rather do than clean! Like RELAX!

Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping

7. Lighten your load.

Less stuff means less to clean and organize and more space for what you really need. When all of your cabinets and closets are stuffed and overflowing, it is too frustrating to try to be organized. Summer is the perfect time to have that garage sale, donate items to charities and rid your home of excess!

Your daily cleaning routine will go so much faster when there is less to shuffle and clean around, and you’ll feel much happier and lighter all summer long! Set aside even just a few minutes every day to clean out a new drawer, a closet or a cabinet and say good-bye to stuff you don’t need.

Want more inspiration? Check out my new book, Love the Home You Have!

Speed Cleaning: Tips For Fast & Efficient Housekeeping


  1. Now that my kids are teens, I’m starting to include them in my “clean as you go” mantra. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, etc…

  2. My organizational goal this summer is to get the little things done early in the season so that I can sit and enjoy the pool and great weather later on.

  3. My organizational goal for the summer is to finally finish unpacking from our recent move and to start setting up the nursery for our first baby due in October!!

  4. Dress for cleaning… That is a great suggestion! It’s like dressing for success. My goal I’d to do some major thinning out in the linen closet and the basement. For some reason these areas are easily forgotten and there are things in there that haven’t been used in years!

  5. I really want to get the photos cleaned up and organized! I have SO many pictures to print and already printed ones to figure out what to do with. This is a project I say I am going to do every summer and don’t. THIS summer will be the one! Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. I am a little behind schedule-I need to get my spring cleaning finished!!!!

  7. this summer i want to finally organize the closet in my bedroom. it’s SO small and inefficient…it needs a LOT of purging and organizing. i just haven’t had the strength to take it on. lol

  8. 2 organizational goals for the summer: one, meal planning so I don’t get to dinner time after being at the pool and have to scramble to get dinner together. Two, I want to de-clutter and wipe down all the “hidden” storage in my house…drawers, cabinets, etc. Great giveaway!

  9. My biggest challenge with cleaning this summer may just be the transition from stay at home mom to a working mom (fingers crosed!!!). I will have to revamp my cleaning routines!

  10. I need to tackle our garage… it’s out of control! We don’t have a large kitchen or pantry to help store certain small appliances so we tend to let them sit on shelves in the garage until we need them. I’d love to get some REAL shelves in there with REAL storage and also maybe redo all the other items that are stored out there like Holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc. Not to mention all the crafty pieces I leave out there until I’m ready to tackle them. I’d also love to tackle our master bathroom drawers and cabinets… they need a little help.

  11. Courtney says

    My basement! It’s a terrible, cluttered mess.

  12. The garage! I moved about 9 years ago, and we still have moving boxing that haven’t been unboxed yet (talk about crazy). So I definitely need to make it a point to try and tackle all of our boxes and clean out, maybe have a garage sale? I just know, it has to be done, though I’m dreading it … :)

  13. My summer goal is to declutter our little 2-bedroom apartment. We’ve lived here 5 years and are planning to move next summer so hopefully this will make life a better for future me. :-)

  14. My one cleaning/organizational goal is our craft closet!!! Little bits and bobs everywhere and I don’t even know what’s there!

  15. This month we are cleaning up the house for our daughter’s first birthday party. We’re following that old trick, “host a party to get your house clean”. I hope things will look the way I picture them in my head. Right now, there are still miles and miles to go. We’re “nibbling” away at projects (outdoors and in) as we can.

  16. I’ll focus on the master bedroom and closet organization this summer. There’s a dresser to empty and donate, then oodles of over-packed shelves and closet rods to purge!

  17. The basement. It’s horrible and must be dealt with before I just start throwing everything into trash bags.

  18. Holly Noel says

    My goal is to come up with a weekly cleaning schedule that doesn’t overwhelm me. I tend to try and tackle everything at a time, so a much easier routine could save me from frustration. I like a clean house at all times, but I’m realizing it just isn’t possible with animals – ha! This post was great! Thanks for the tips!

  19. I really want to clean and organize all of our camping and kayaking gear so we can grab it at a moment’s notice for a mini-vacations whenever the weather’s nice. Mostly, this involves the acquisition of some new storage totes that fit easily into the car and some shelf-shuffling.

  20. Danielle D says

    My goal is to declutter by having a garage sale and giving items to charities.

  21. We have lots of projects slated for this summer, but the one I want to focus on most is cleaning out and organizing the master bedroom and closet in preparation to paint them. We haven’t changed anything in there since the day we moved it, and it needs some serious work!

  22. Love this post. I already do a lot of these things which is nice. One helpful tip that I do is laundry should be done with towels and sheets in between. Darks, towels, whites, sheets. This way there is always an easy load to fold in between, it helps me fold better and get less tired, plus have time and energy to put everything away easier : ) thanks for sharing : )

  23. I will be having at least 2 garage sales this year– possibly 3. Starting this weekend! We moved over a year ago- and we have stuff that we just haven’t used- so it is time to get rid of it.

  24. I am home for the summer on maternity leave (with twins!) And I have a to do list 2 miles long that includes cleaning out and organizing all the closets in my house.

  25. reorganizing all my closets!!

  26. I always start the dishwasher right before bed and then empty it first thing in the morning. That allows me to load it immediately during the day as the dishes get dirty.

  27. Anna Walters says

    Thanks for the tips! This summer I am going to finish on packing/organizing our new home. We moved in about a month ago and we still have lots of boxes (it is hard to unpack with 2 little ones under foot).

  28. Organizing the kids bedrooms are at the top of my to-do list for the summer

  29. Well, the project list for this summer is rather long, but topping the list is our basement. We recently moved in, and just haven’t gotten time to scrub it down, put up shelves and make it our own yet!

  30. rachel b says

    my goal for the summer is to hang/fold clothes directly out of the drier… no more piles! thanks for the generous giveaway & the awesome tips!

  31. Going through clothes to find those that are outgrown. With five kids this is always an event!

  32. I’ve got kids itching to switch bedrooms – a huge project, but I will get it done this summer!

  33. My summer goal is to get the garage organized. I’d like to finally get the Christmas wreaths put away in the right place!

  34. JulianneRM says

    Clean and organize the whole second floor of my house!! :)

  35. Cleaning out the basement and getting rid of book we won’t read again.

  36. My summer goal is to organize all my closets… no small task!

  37. You are so right that getting dressed is one of the best ways to get it in gear to clean!! I always have music going and I light a candle in a scent that I love. Reminding myself that cleaning my house is important because I don’t want my children living in clutter and mess.

  38. My summer cleaning project is to organize my pantry once and for all. I need a system where I can see everything and get to what I need without going on a treasure hunt!

  39. We’re moving this summer, so my goal is to purge as we go through and pack up our things.

  40. I actually find that if I keep some of the wipes in places like the bathroom, that it doesn’t take long at all to run a wipe over surfaces and keep them clean. I spent a great deal of time over the last two weeks deep cleaning parts of the house and donating a lot of items that I no longer needed. I have decided that if I do a little bit every day, the task doesn’t seem as daunting.

  41. Great tips! Thanks for the inspiration & motivation!

  42. Denise Wilson says

    My major goal for this summer is to organize the homeschool room. My son starts kindergarten this year, so this is pretty new for us. (We did some preschool last year.) I have big dreams of having a well-stocked and organized school room! :) I’ll settle for the organizational part of that for now… Thanks for the chance to win! This would go a long way to help!

  43. My summer goal is to clean and organize my laundry room.

  44. Take craft items that I only use once a year and store in containers..hence I need this win for the container store!! Ha!

  45. I’m organizing closets this summer! One down, too many to go!

  46. Doreen H says

    We need to go through our garage this summer and organize it better. Plus, we need to get rid of some things… It’s time to purge! Thank you for the giveaway!

  47. It’s got to be organizing for kindergarten next year–especially because I am homeschooling 2 days a week. We need a work-space for my son that is not also where we eat!

  48. Doris Krebs says

    Dejunk the attic.

  49. I would like to organize our garage. I also need to clean out the shed. Probably the closets, too. My wife would greatly enjoy spending these gift certificates on organizational products for me! lol

  50. Kelly Wetherholt says

    PLAYROOM!!! I have 2 boys (4 1/2 and 3 yrs) and it is time for a re-vamping of the playroom! It has exploded with superheroes, cars of all sorts and of course a plethora of tools!!! A good cleaning out of this space will bring us all joy!!!

  51. I would love to get our pantry cleaned and organzied. It seems like it is a constant battle for me.