Have you ever been so tired you just can’t keep up with cleaning? Then friends call to say they’re dropping by, or the mess gets too much to tolerate. That’s when it’s time to grab my speed cleaning checklist to tidy things up fast.
As always, I recommend reading through the checklist so you understand what’s involved. Then there’s a Speed Cleaning checklist at the end for subscribers.
Grab Your Supplies
- Cleaning supplies: All-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant wipes, toilet bowl cleaner, floor cleaner. Use your favorites, or find my homemade versions here.
- Cleaning equipment: And empty laundry basket or box, microfiber cloths, toilet brush, vacuum, mop and bucket or spray bottle.
Don’t confuse speed cleaning with decluttering or even a true cleaning session. Get a move on! Puttering around won’t cut it.
Kitchen Speed Clean
The kitchen is often a clutter hotspot, at least in my home, so let’s start here by chucking clutter into the laundry basket and tossing trash in the can.
Next, load the dishwasher, hand-wash any extras, and tackle the countertops.
Now, spray the sink with cleaner and let it soak while you wipe the inside of the microwave, drips in the fridge, and those grimy appliance handles.
Finish up this room with a quick vacuum and mop of the high-traffic areas. And heads up: if you use my homemade no-streak floor cleaner you don’t need to rinse!
In the bathroom, start by adding more clutter to the box and picking up any trash. Grab the used towels and shake the debris off of your bathroom rugs or mats. Chuck them out of the door while you work.
At this point, if you take a minute to dry wipe everything you’ll pick up the lint and hair which gets the surfaces ready for your disinfecting cleaner. Let that sit for 5 minutes to kill germs or whatever your favorite product’s label says.
Now, flush the toilet to get rid of any overspray so you don’t accidentally mix products. Squirt in your bowl cleaner and let it soak while you put out fresh towels and polish the mirror.
Finally, scrub and flush the toilet, give the room a quick vacuum and mop, and you’re good to go. (Sorry for the pun.) Grab the dirty towels on the way out, and toss the mats back on the floor once it’s dry.
The entryway sets the first impression but, let’s face it, you aren’t going to stand there long with people coming to visit. Speed cleaning is about focusing on what matters, so don’t get stuck here.
Just pick up any trash and clutter, dust the tops of things, and give the floor a quick once over. Don’t forget to shake out that entry mat!
The quickest way to make your bedroom feel fresher, whether you’re speed cleaning it or not, is by opening the windows and curtains to let in fresh air and light. You’ll instantly reduce the concentration of dust, body odors and VOCs.
Next up, make the bed, grab any trash or stuff that goes somewhere else, and clear off the nightstand and dresser. Remember: blank or minimal surfaces don’t invite someone’s gaze to linger, and that means they’re less likely to notice any mess.
So, wipe off the flat surfaces, pick up dirty clothes, and run the vacuum over the high traffic areas.
If you’re expecting overnight guests, use my Crisis Cleaning checklist to get their room company-ready.
Living & Dining Room Tidy-Up
You are in the home stretch, so it’s time to give yourself a soft place to land once you’re done speed cleaning. Head to the living room and the dining room, too, if you have one.
Grab clutter and trash, then dust the electronics and flat surfaces like the coffee table, end tables, and shelves. Then, straighten up any table arrangements, straighten up throw blankets and pillows, and give the floor’s high-traffic areas their due.
Skip this section if your home office is tucked away and private. But if it’s like mine and there’s no ignoring it (or you’re expecting nosy guests), do a quick pick-up.
Don’t get distracted by stuff here: put clutter in the basket, make a neat stack of things that need to be filed, and give everything a quick wipe. Then, of course, vacuum and mop the high-traffic areas.
The last step is to go through the house and put away the items you’ve collected in your basket. Take a trash bag with you and empty each room’s trash cans.
Now you’re done and no one needs to know speed cleaned it all in a jiff.
Speed Cleaning Checklist
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