5+ strategies to make housecleaning less of a chore



Cleaning your home. If you get home from work or wake up early on the weekend with a smile on your face anticipating it, this post is definitely not for you. But if you’re like most of us, read on. We’ve put together five of our most effective strategies to take the chore out of cleaning.

Tidy as you go: The longer you wait, the bigger your cleanup will be, so don’t procrastinate. Get in the habit of cleaning as you go. Give your bathroom sink a quick rinse with soap and a sponge every night, after you wash your face and brush your teeth. Squeegee your shower tiles and curtain or glass door after you shower. Load the dishwasher after every meal instead of piling dishes in the sink. You may find doing these things an inconvenience at first, but it only takes a few seconds and once you get in the habit, it’ll save you from major cleaning later on.

Smartphone scheduling: Tidying as you go doesn’t work for everything of course. You probably don’t want to vacuum or clean your windows every day, and you’re still going to have to scour the kitchen and bathroom periodically. That’s okay. For big cleaning projects, schedule them on your smartphone. For instance, a half hour every Tuesday (or whenever), to run your vacuum, sweep and mop your floors. Or an hour every four months to wash your windows.

Divide and conquer: Sometimes what fills us with dread the most is the size of the cleaning task at hand. But who says you have to do it all at once? Choose a room like your bathroom and tackle that. If you feel inspired, tackle another one. If you don’t tackle the next room in a couple of days.

Streamline: Let’s face it, many of us hoard more knick-knacks than we need and the more we have, the more dusting and straightening out there is. Every time you clean a room, resolve to fill a box or trash bag with items you no longer use, then drop them off at your local community donation center.

Don’t do it alone: If you live with a spouse and/or children, everyone has a responsibility to keep your place clean. Make sure they do! If you live by yourself, assemble a cleaning club, three to five likeminded friends and have everyone tackle someone’s home once a month.

Some other useful housecleaning tips:

  • Take off your shoes when you come home it’ll keep your floors cleaner longer
  • Rather than piling them up, hang and fold clothes as soon as you take them off
  • Wipe down surfaces and put away your cooking utensils while you’re cooking
  • Use a portable vacuum to clean up crumbs on your sofa or hair on your bathroom floor while dinner is in the oven

How do you get motivated to clean your home? Please share your own tips and strategies in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!





Did you know: Cleaning is exercising

Cleaning isn’t just great for your home, it’s pretty good for your health too. Tidying up for 30 minutes, vacuuming for an hour, or washing your windows burns about 100 calories. (Source)


59 thoughts on “5+ strategies to make housecleaning less of a chore

  1. Thank you for those helpful tips!! I have tried to limit each day to dusting then vacuuming etc. when you are going away you want a clean house to come home to. We are leaving in 5 days to visit my Daughter & Husband in San Diego. My husband and I are retired. Howevr, we babysit my grandaughters 2-3 times a week. They are ages 2 & 5. We just got home from a sleepover while my daughter and her husband went to a Wedding. I started packing for the trip 2 weeks ago. I took 1/2 hour with shirts & shorts. Then the next day shoes and jewelry. My next 1/2 day I packed dresses and sleepwear and toiletries. Also, I am on a lot of medication so I wanted to make sure all of my medicine was filled. I fill my meds in a pill container . Mon – Mon I use the zip lock bags that we vacuum for packing my clothes. I roll my shorts, shirts, and scarves. Today I am just dusting, tomorrow then vacuuming, then cleaning the bathroom and kitchen I do this because these are the last 2 rooms we would use.

  2. I really like the suggestions in this article. I used to be a clean as you go type, but these last 5-7 years,I just let things go! I am embarrased to have people come in. My live-in doesn’t do alot to help. He does the laundry,as he thinks I dont use enough hot water or detergent. He’s paying the price now! He sits on towels in the seat if his chair. Now he has a skin rash that’s driving him mad! I will use the suggestions starting Today! Will post back in one month. Thank you for the assistance & helpful info! Kelly

  3. Cleaning suggestions appear quite helpful. I struggle with mail and often important papers. I’m afraid of tossing something that may provide proof in legal actions.

    1. Get a shredder, it helps, shred anything with your me & address that you KNOW are not important. Then
      get a mail bin, something you can sort your mail into, and keep separate, current bills, important letters,
      get organized

  4. I wish I could clean my home and make it spic and span… When I was young and had five little one’s under foot and a husband to cater to I had no problem keeping up with every thing including canning, hanging cloths on the line and bringing them in and dealing with farm animals and a garden I never missed a step but now that the kid’s are all grown and my husband past away I find it very difficult to manage to get out of bed in the morning. I’m an old lady at the age of 59 and have to remember to look in the mirror to remind myself I can no longer do physically what my young brain and mind thinks I can do.

    1. OMG!!!!!!!!!! Get on with your life lady, I had A REALLY BAD case of pneumonia in Dec and I am still recuperating, but I am 69. Let me tell you , if you don’t get the lead out NOW, it is only going to get worse, and you are far toooooo young to be talking like that. Where are your kids???

  5. Everyone takes off their shoes prior to entering my home. Many people feel offended when asked to do so, however, your home IS much cleaner. When you wash your floors, you will notice the water in the bucket is not as dirty, as it would be if everyone wore their shoes. If you take on household chores as they are required, you will not be as OVERWHELMED as you would be if you let housecleaning pile up.

  6. Our whole family squeegees the shower doors after every shower, the glass will stay cleaner (about 2-3 weeks) longer. when you squeegee your doors after every shower the soap scum will NOT build up on them.

  7. Hint: Bathrooms – Long after my baby grew up, I kept baby wipes in my bathroooms, or where ever, to do a quick wipe down. Sinks, vanity tops,
    toilet tank tops, rim of toilet, etc,

    Hint: Laundry – It may be known by all but I have found that running smaller loads of laundry help me by using smaller load settings, and in dryer. Large loads wrinkle worse if allowed to sit a few minutes, but smaller loads are much less wrinkled no matter how long they sit. I can stand and fold a small load quicker and move on to something else I’d rather do!

  8. Great tips! I also find that buying products that are fun to use help in keeping a clean home. I just discovered Norwex—so not only am I helping the environment but I’m not hurting my family by using chemicals. Cloth and water only!

  9. One thing that will help very much is for the homeowner to change the air filters regularly.
    For work needed to be done, my motto is: Do it and it is done!

  10. When UR vacuuming, get a little lifting exercise by lifting 1 end of the couch, and moving it to vacuum behind also. Don’t drag the whole thing,just do 1 end at a time! That’s unless U have a helper .Moving ,vacuuming , are all ways of burning some O those darn calories away!

  11. My Mom cleaned house (and demanded I help) EVERY Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM…whether it needed doing or not. She ironed underwear and sheets! She waxed the underside of every table! So, I do not do housework. When things get dusty (and they always do) my husband walks around the house with a can of spray air 🙂 When it gets so we can’t get from the door to a window, we put things away. Otherwise we aren’t bothered… Thank goodness I found someone who either agrees with me (or puts up with me)!

  12. 1.It really helps to turn on a timer to keep yourself focused and on-task. Flylady.net recommends being on task 15 minutes at a time and then resting for 15 minutes. This method worked wonders for me as I tend to be an ADHD cleaner, flitting from one task to another then not finishing any.

    2. I used to dread unloading the dishwasher and putting things away until I timed myself. It only took me 8 minutes! No biggie deal from then on, 8 minutes is nothing.

    3. MAKE A LIST!! How many times at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I had accomplished anything. When I made lists and crossed things off, I felt a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Not just housecleaning, but phone calls that needed to be made, letters mailed, balance checkbooks, etc. I would even write things down on my list that I had done (not originally on the list) so I could cross them off.

  13. My husband passed 5 months ago his office is a mess and I don’t know where to start . I don’t know what to do?He paid all the bills and kept all papers. I feel hopeless

    1. So sorry for your loss, did you work? You need to find someone you trust to help you, trust . You need
      to get a handle on the bills and your checkbook. You might want to think about hiring an attorney, but you definitely want someone that you can trust.

  14. On item #2: for exercising, walk 7.5 minutes from home, turn around and walk back. Who can’t spare 15 minutes a day to exercise?

    Item #3: List “drink 8 oz water” eight times and cross them off as you finish each glass…a great habit to get into!!

  15. Put on some high octane music like Michael Jackson’s Thriller nothing can beat the beat of Billy Jean to get you moving; many other fast paced music selections.

  16. Cleaning, yard work are all good exercise steps to do, up n down steps to do your laundry all of these steps help during your daily routine to heep your wt down

    Your doing some stretching with legs, bend like sitting and get up strength back

    Sleeping and sitting are not good for you yes we all need rest but sitting all day is not good puts wt on.

  17. Cleaning, yard work are all good exercise steps to do, up n down steps to do your laundry all of these steps help during your daily routine to keep your wt down

    Your doing some stretching with legs, bend like sitting and get up strength back

    Sleeping and sitting are not good for you yes we all need rest but sitting all day is not good puts wt on.

  18. I love this cleaning info. Would like same on organizing the house.
    Just never able to get things the way I want or think it should be.

  19. Just wanted to say that I read the 5-starategies to making housecleaning less of a chore. I really liked when you said to not think of it as a chore, but exercise because that is what I do. I am single and live alone, therefore I really don’t have to clean my house everyday, that is outside of maybe basic stuff like dusting or sweeping. And when I do my chores, I enjoy it because I am a neat freak, What I like to do is listen to music and that will get your adrenals flowing and the music will keep you boosted and inspired, that before you know it you will be done forgotten all about the time and the chores will be done quickly that you’ll want to clean the whole house before you realize it.

  20. If you do your dishes, make your bed and pick up your living room your house always looks in decent shape. While cooking I always do the dishes as I go and that way there isn’t much to clean up when I am done. When our children were young, every Saturday morning was cleaning day. I put on my old vinyl albums, Creedence, Woodstock etc and while we all danced and sang we got the housework done. Great memories for all of us!!

  21. If you keep outside your entrance door clean I hose
    my patio twice a week and I put a big thick towel at the front door so they can wipe their feet some people get upset when you asked them to remove their shoes so that’s how I keep my floors clean for months. Twice a day I shake out the towel and I have Chihuahua and she sheds and you won’t find a hair in my house. I also make sure she has an outfit on all the time to help with the shedding.

  22. I returned to work 2 yrs ago after being retired for 12 years. I have the honor of raising 4 kids, 2-grandkids, 1-great nephew, and the baby, (I tell her I found her in the cabbage patch) she’s attached by the heart-no blood, my husband passed away last year and we’ve all been in a funk, I over-work to try to make ends meet, when I come home I’m exhausted and I’m 68 yrs old which doesn’t help and my health could be better. I understand the theory behind what you say but I can’t seem to muster the strength to “get-r-done” It’s driving me crazy and I can’t ask anyone to come in to help because no-one would know where to start. Any ideas to help me get this done?

    The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe

  23. Taking shoes off at the front door is a start.

    Come Saturday am, put some of your old favorites in the CD player and turn up the volume and rock on. You’ll find the chores are done in no time.

    And I agree that if you pick up after yourself every night before heading off to bed lightens up weekly cleaning on weekend. Also, I keep a town in the shower area for drying to dry the show, it’s actually faster than a squeeze and leaves no streaks. Then as you finish up washing face, brushing teeth, makeup, hair, etc., keep another towel under sink to wipe down mirror, counter and sink. If you make a habit of this it takes maybe two minutes in all, and your weekend chores are very minimum.

    Same with the kitchen. Make a habit of putting your dishes in the dishwasher, and wipe up after yourself.

    Save the dusting and vacuuming for Saturday and rock on. And by the way, I’m 65 years old. The music keeps you young at heart and speeds the job along.

  24. I have a lot of glass top tables, windows and curio cabinets with glass doors. I find it difficult to keep them looking clean with no streaking. I tried everything. I finally discovered Witch Hazel. I put some on a corner of a wash cloth. It cleans the glass so well. It makes the glass look fabulous.

  25. I have a cleaning schedule to do 1 room each night and every “MONDAY” is for the “room” that I missed last week because of an event or something came up to catch up on that room. Then I vacuum, mop floors & clean counter each night.

  26. Don’t let the wash pile up! Do 2 to 3 loads every week. Put a load in at night in the washing machine; in the morning before work or errands put load in dryer; when you come home in the afternoon or early evening take out of dryer and fold and put away. Do this 2 or 3 times a week and the loads are smaller, easier to handle and routinely get the clean clothes back in the closet and drawers without a lot of fuss and time.

  27. In our house, for the most part, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done, not to say that my husband doesn’t support the household, burn the papers, fix things that need it, and occasionally scrape dishes, load/unload the dishwasher, etc. Therefore, I feel that either I do it now, or I do it later, and try to keep up with things all the time, better a few minutes frequently, than a half hour, when I’d rather be doing something else.

  28. Subject: Motivation to clean your home

    Plan a party.
    (Knowing family & friends will be at your home at a certain time and date is a good clean house end goal motivation.)

    Know a professional will judge how well you keep your home.
    Hire a house cleaner for a deep clean. (There’s a whole list of things they don’t do, so you’ll need to complete the declutter stuff before they come to your home. Get your stuff in order so they can do all those nooks and crannies you can’t reach.)

    Have a goal.
    Post a list of things to accomplish today on fridge. Too many? Downsize the list to 3 things to do each day. Or break a larger project into smaller steps.

    Hold yourself accountable for projects.
    Take before and after pictures

    Join a support group.
    Blog and learn how others do it. Maybe you really need to learn a better method. Or someone’s ideas will trigger an “Ah Ha” moment in you.

    Reward Yourself.
    By streamlining the everyday cleaning process you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself, family, friends and/or volunteer opportunities.

  29. i get my stuff together in the morning,by putting on a fast song on the record player and run a 45 record o 78. it is great because you clean to the music, i do the record of when i was 15 and it sounds like todays music. thanks barbara gleason

  30. No matter the size or type of laundry I do, I always dry on the lowest setting. Unless you’re overloading the dryer so the air doesn’t circulate, EVERYTHING comes out dry as it should. Saves a bunch on my electric bill. Now will someone call Patty Maid to come clean the rest of my house??? LOL!

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