10 Tips to Help You Spend Less Time Cleaning

Updated: Jun. 06, 2024

Clean smarter, not harder.

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calendar
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Create a Schedule for Cleaning

Nobody wants to spend their time cleaning, but if you can carve out a routine for yourself, it will help save time in the long run as you’re already on top of cleaning.  Set it up a regular checklist based on how often things need to be cleaned. For example, take time to vacuum twice a week, especially if you have pets. When it comes time for an annual top-to-bottom housecleaning, create a schedule that spreads out the cleaning over a week, rather than turning it into two, 16-hour days.

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declutter a closet
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Get Rid of Clutter

The less stuff you have, the less there is to clean. Beyond that, having fewer things to move around just makes it easier to clean. Decluttering your closet, for example, opens it up so that you can quickly clean and vacuum it regularly, which helps to cut down on dirt and dust in that space.  That same approach applies throughout your house.

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Welcome Home Doormat With Open Door
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Use a Doormat

A lot of the dirt and dust that comes into the home is from shoes. So nag your family members to take them off. Place shoes on doormats to contain the dirt.

There are a wide variety of doormats to choose from. We like this all-season, indoor/outdoor one with a durable, non-slip rubber backing and a deep-groved pattern that helps catch moisture. It comes in dozens of colors, several different patterns and sizes.

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Bathroom cleaning
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Use a Multipurpose Cleaner

Stop using four to six products to clean your bathroom. A multi-surface cleaner will make it so much easier to get countertops, floors, porcelain, etc. in one swoop, without having to stop to grab a different bottle and another cloth or scrubber. However, there are some surfaces where you should not use a multipurpose cleaner, like wood or glass.

There are any number of multipurpose cleaners to choose from. Ms. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner is a solid choice for most jobs. It’s biodegradable, safe for your home and comes in a variety of scents, if you like that sort of thing. Plus, it’s concentrated, so it will last longer.

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Mr Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Ecomm Via Amazon
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Use Microfiber Cloths for Dusting

Microfiber products attract and hold dust with an electrostatic charge which make them one of the best tools for how to clean dust. Microfiber cloths are unlike dry rags and fdeather dusters, which just spread dust around. Machine washable microfiber products can save you money over disposable brands because you can use them over and over. Just make sure to let them air dry (so they’ll stay soft), and don’t use bleach or fabric softener, which degrades the fibers and reduces their ability to attract and hold dust. Microfiber dusting tools for blinds, ceiling fans, floors and general cleaning are available online and at many stores. Buy your microfiber cloths in the automotive section. ‘Cleaning’ and ‘detailing’ towels are the same as ‘dusting’ cloths, and they’re often a lot cheaper.

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Dirty-Stained-Toilet
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Use Stain Removers

Stain removers help make quick work of rust stains in sinks, tubs and toilets. Pour it onto a sponge or add it to the water in the toilet bowl, then scrub with the sponge or a nylon-bristle brush. You can get rid of most stains in less than five minutes.

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Vacuum cleaner hepa filter
turk_stock_photographer/Getty Images
Vacuum cleaner hepa filter

Use HEPA Vacuum Filter

Stop blowing dust all over with an old vacuum. A HEPA vacuum filter captures microscopic airborne particulates. Old-fashioned paper or conventional vacuum bags pick up only about 30 percent of dust and allergens, and blow the rest back into the air.

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using paint roller to dust off ceiling fan
family handyman

Start Cleaning at the Top

When it’s time to dust and vacuum, remember this simple rule: start at the top and work your way down. To begin, clean ceiling fans. Then, vacuum the dust from light fixtures and the top of window casings. From there, work your way down. And finally, vacuum the floor methodically so you cover every inch. This way, you’re not having to re-clean areas you’ve already cleaned as dust and dirt inevitably gets pushed downward as you tackle the stuff up with more elevation.

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The Best Furnace Filters To Buy
via amazon.com

Upgrade Your Furnace Filter

Your home’s forced-air heating or cooling system helps to control dust by filtering the air. A standard cheap fiberglass filter protects your furnace from large dust particles and provides maximum airflow, but it does little to reduce household dust. More expensive pleated filters usually provide a good balance between cost and filtration efficiency. These filters trap 80 to 95 percent of particles 5 microns and larger. Here are the best furnace filters to buy.

But if you have family members with allergies, consider spending more on high-efficiency filters, which capture 99 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns (bacteria and viruses, fumes and pollen). These furnace filters are one of the best for how to remove dust from air. Be aware that you’ll have to run your furnace fan full time to get the maximum benefit from a high-efficiency filter, and you’ll have to change the filter frequently to prevent damage to your furnace from the reduced airflow.

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woman using a PVC pipe to extend the vacuum length for hard to reach places
Family handyman

Use Extendable Handles

Nothing slows down the process of cleaning like having to constantly climb up and down a ladder, followed by moving it every few feet. Having a duster with an extendable handle lets you reach the corners of your ceiling, the tops of bookshelves, etc. You can also make an extendable tube for your vacuum cleaner to reach those tall spots.