From Maid to Minimalist: 6 Ways to Spend Less Time Cleaning

It’s no secret that a clean and tidy home is beneficial to your health and happiness. After all, what homeowner doesn’t exhale a sigh of relief after coming home to freshly washed sheets, sparkling countertops, and dust-free surfaces? 

That said, some Type-A cleaning fanatics find themselves feeling like a maid, trapped in a cycle of obsessive cleaning habits. Though keeping your space free from built-up dirt, grime, and clutter can help keep your house functional, there are ways you can reduce weekly cleaning times without sacrificing sanitation standards. 

If you’re looking to minimize your weekly chores, read on for six ways to spend less time cleaning. 

Retire your dishwashing brush

Though some people find hand washing dishes cathartic and enjoyable, it’s safe to assume that most adults prefer to let a dishwasher do their dirty work. People without dishwashers often spend an overwhelming amount of time scrubbing and scraping away at hardened stains and grime, an unnecessary chore with high-quality units. 

Modern dishwashers can tackle the toughest leftover food residue, working hard to sanitize your dishware while you’re away. Though the initial cost might be intimidating to more frugal homeowners, the time and water bill money you’ll save will be worth the expense over time. Plus, you can scout out a dishwasher sale, giving you an excuse to upgrade to a brand-new appliance without breaking the bank.  

Purchase an automatic robot vacuum

Another way to significantly cut down on your cleaning time is by enlisting the help of an automated robot vacuum. Just like a dishwasher that can operate while you’re out and about, you can set an automatic vacuum to run during any time of the day. 

Many people program their devices to run during the night or work hours, while others prefer to double team, tackling other chores while their vacuum works independently. Plus, small, automatic vacuums can squeeze under difficult-to-reach places, allowing you to avoid moving heavy furniture to accommodate a bulky standing vacuum.

Clean up as you go

A sure-fire way to slash your weekly clean times is by clearing messes as you go. Though building the habit may be challenging, you’ll thank yourself later when your hours-long deep clean becomes a simple tidy session. Though it’s tempting to adopt an “I’ll do it later” attitude, consider wiping spills, clearing dishes, and decluttering in the moment instead of allowing it to build up. 

For example, when you arrive home,  immediately hang your keys and store your bag to reduce unsightly clutter. Or, if you make a mess while cooking a five-course meal, load your dishwasher right away and wipe up food spillage. Though you can leave more time-consuming chores—like mopping or dusting— for the end of the week, tackling simple tasks as they come can minimize accumulated mess.

Delegate smaller tasks

If you live with children, a partner, or roommates, splitting up tasks and delegating can significantly reduce the time you spend cleaning per week. When multiple people occupy a space, clutter and mess can accumulate quickly and feel overwhelming for one person to tackle. Thankfully, you can split up tasks between you and your children or housemates, taking the full responsibility off of your shoulders. Though there may be a period of trial and error as you find the perfect balance, chances are you’ll notice a difference in time spent cleaning each week. 

Rid yourself of a perfectionist mindset

One reason self-proclaimed neat freaks find themselves spending hours and hours cleaning only to feel dissatisfied at the end is a perfectionist mindset. Instead of expecting your home to remain spotless at all times, allow yourself to live in your space without constant pressure to clean. Though clutter and mess can become overwhelming if left unattended for long periods, a straggling dish or cluttered kitchen table is standard in the grand scheme of things. 

To break down perfectionism, try setting limits to your daily cleaning efforts and stick to them. For example, set a timer for 15 minutes at the end of the day. In this 15-minute time block, tidy as much as you can until the alarm sounds. You’d be surprised how many tasks you can tick off your list in a short amount of time. 

Top-to-bottom cleaning 

A common, time-consuming mistake people make while cleaning is starting in the wrong place. Though there’s no one way to tidy a home, working from the top down can help you avoid doing tasks multiple times. When you start by wiping countertops and dusting surfaces and save floors for last, you can kill two birds with one stone by sweeping up any fallen debris. If you start with freshly mopped floors, chances are you’ll find yourself doing a second pass at the very end to collect residual dirt. 

Wrapping up

Ultimately, implementing a “work smarter, not harder” mindset is the perfect solution for people who hate cleaning but love a neat, tidy house. By investing in automatic appliances and devices, cleaning as you go, and abandoning perfectionism, you can find the perfect balance between over and under cleaning

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