Home Cleaning Tips - One Room at a Time
No matter the size of your space or what your day job is, the thought of cleaning the whole home in one go is pretty often followed by the resounding thought of “nope, not today junior”. Cleaning gives us a sense of reward and achievement. Doing a little bit at a time instead of going through an entire spring clean checklist can also be that bit of calm that gets you through a bad day. So, let’s forget about the whole house and focus on one room a day okay?
Welcome to our one room a day home cleaning guide!
The logic behind it:
We increasingly are and feel time poor. We’re more likely to do the 15-minute workout YouTube suggested than a 45-minute sweat-a-thon. Yet I can assure you that just as doing even a little bit of exercise is fantastic and beneficial, so is doing a little bit for the space you live in, because that space directly affects how you feel. Give yourself 10-20 minutes a day, it doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul of a clean by any means but it'll give you a sparkling home nonetheless.
I’m going to take you through each room to look at how we can get it looking and feeling lovely but more importantly, as you adopt and tweak it to suit you, you’ll find that the overall space is infinitely more manageable and the grime you once spent hours trying to remove doesn’t even get a chance to build up. While not an exhaustive list of room types, it’s covers the basics that detail your typical space types. Also it’s seven spaces, so one for each day of the week!
1 - Kitchen Cleaning:
Put the dishes away. This is the biggest ‘visual noise’ of the space and needs to be the first thing to go, think of it as starting off strong with those adulting achievements! Next, wipe out the microwave (click here for our no-work-needed microwave cleaning hack that gets it done in 5 minutes), if you’re doing it as per our cleaning hack, it’s best to get it going while you’re breezing around the rest of the space to double down on that time saving. Wipe down the appliances (especially the crumbs on the toaster), making sure to lift them up and wipe under as well. Heads up, you’re over halfway, high five! Give the rest of the surfaces and stove top a wipe, jump back to the microwave and give it a once over. Put away what isn’t needed and arrange whatever is neatly on the bench. Wipe dry the sink and run a dry cloth over the faucet - shiny faucets make the space that little extra and I won’t lie, I adore the shine! Pop a fresh tea towel on the rail and sweep/vacuum the floor. Done.
Whether your kitchen is the hub for a small army or just one, I can assure you this will help you keep on top of the space.
Extra time jobs: As with anything, the more you do, the more efficient you become. If you have this routine down to a personal best then firstly, go you, but try add the odd extra in to maintain your space even more.
I swear, once you do it, your eyes will keep going back to them and you’ll feel all the pride and satisfaction. Giving those cupboards a once over does so much for the space and just like I keep harping on about, the more it’s in the routine, the easier it is. Same goes for the oven front and dishwasher, just a quick wipe and dry buff on the glass, magical.
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to clean out the fridge, good luck trying to squeeze that into 15 minutes! But giving the bottom ledge of the fridge a little wipe (it has a way of collecting little drops and foodstuffs) as well as the empty spots on the shelves.
A lot falls on the kitchen floor and if you can stop it being tracked through the whole house, you would right, especially after you cleaner off the toaster? Give it a quick once over and happy days.
2 - Bathroom Cleaning:
Are you ready? Let's go.
Pop the bathmat, hand towel etc in the wash to start or just throw them at the door to be picked up when you’re done. With a damp cloth and surface spray, wipe down the shower walls, bathtub and glass (remember it’s just a wipe, you don’t need to go overboard scrubbing). With a DRY cloth, I repeat, DRY cloth, spray the toilet down and wipe from the top of the cistern down. I tend to fold the cloth as I go here, to avoid the dust transferring back onto the seat or bowl. Wipe down, run the brush over the toilet, flush and close the lid.
We’re on the home stretch now folks!
Spray and wipe down the vanity and sink with a slightly damp cloth (you can use the same one you used on the shower if you want, just give it a rinse and wring out). Now with a dry cloth give the mirror a quick once over with a dry cloth and spritz of glass spray (DIY: one cap of vinegar and half a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with water in a spray bottle will have you laughing!), polish the sink faucet and any left over residue/dampness on the vanity and basin.
We're talking about making things simpler and easier of course, but if you feel you're ready for your cleaning black belt - click here for a comprehensive glass/mirror/surface cleaning tips page.
3 - Laundry Cleaning:
The forgotten dungeon for some and the hive of activity for others. Regardless, it doesn’t tend to be at the top of most peoples cleaning lists. Fair enough, but it still accumulates! This is a straight forward space all the same. That being said, if you have a dryer and don’t have a good ventilation, it can not only fill with dust but it can really effect your homes humidity levels and trigger mould growth in nearby rooms. If you don’t have a window or vent going outside, definitely keep an eye on this. Wipe over all of the surfaces, catching that dusting of laundry powder, including the faces of your appliances and clear out the dryer filter. Give the sink a good scour and wipe dry!
Extra time jobs:
Bathrooms/laundries accumulate tumbleweeds of hair, dust and forgotten strands of floss if left for too long, keep on top of it and there will be none of that sticking to your feet post shower 😊
4 - Bedroom Cleaning:
The easier one!
When it comes to the bedroom, we can easily be distracted with the clothes left on the floor, overwhelmed the amount of kids toys, or not so pleasant thoughts about our partners mess. Kids toys go straight into the basket or corner, ideally get them in on this routine for pocket money or extra screen time, if your partners mess is a sore point, then they definitely need to be involved with this spot cleaning. Pick up the discarded clothes/shoes, the washing basket it a good place for the clothes to go. Last steps, straighten the bed covers, arrange the pillows and give the surfaces a quick dust and wipe down.
5 - Living/Lounge Room Cleaning:
You just unlocked a bonus easy room, congratulations!
Just as straightforward as the bedroom, hooray! Put away the clutter or just arrange it neatly (like we sometimes do with the dishes that we can’t be bothered actually cleaning), this includes the remotes, knitting, magazines and extra devices. Just neatly stacking them with all the remotes next to each other gives a fresh, organised appearance. Fold the throw blankets. Unless you have the magical power of artfully throwing them and making it look like a photo shoot- if you do, I’m infinitely jealous. If you fall into the same category as me, then for ease and speed, just drape them over one arm of the couch and arrange the pillows. Now to finish, wipe down the coffee table and TV.
Extra time jobs:
If there’s a bookshelf, knik-knacs or basically anything that constitutes a surface, give it a wipe. If you have blinds, give them a once over and the window sills as well.
Any frames on the wall:
Whether it’s a family portrait or picture of puppies, pretty much every frame has that little lip at the bottom and dust loves to sit there; crazy concept, but it loves sitting on top too! Give both horizontal surfaces a once over and take a moment to appreciate the little furnishings that you’ve collected that reflect you and you’re loves.
6 - Study Cleaning:
Despite this being a similar setting and layout to your bedroom and lounge, this can be tricky depending on the level of use the space gets. In the middle of a pandemic setting, it will probably be the most lived in space, which means it may be difficult to order but it also needs that clean for calm and mental health. Arrange what you can, empty the rubbish basket into the recycling and take out the collection of glasses, mugs and plates! Then give the computer monitor, shelves and surfaces a good wipe - especially the Olympic pattern of coffee rings.
7 - Entry Way/Halls:
If you’re a household to keep shoes by the door, then start by grabbing the dustpan and brush, vacuum or broom and move all the shoes away from the wall. Sweep the dust, dirt and grub and then pop the shoes back neatly. Next wipe any side tables or shelves, if there’s clutter that doesn’t need to be there, pop it where it belongs and tidy any hanging coats, bags, discarded sports stuff etc. Then, just like the extra jobs for the living room, run a wipe over any frames running along the way and that’s it!
Extra time jobs:
Spot Marks: Without taking it to vacate-clean level, spot marks on walls is one job people put off! The hall way and study don’t need the most vigilant of effort with this one so it’s a good chance to capitalise on your window of time. With a damp cloth and surface spray, or the smallest drop of detergent on the cloth for the grimy marks, spot wipe the most touched parts of the front door, the spots along the walls, and doors in general.
That's 7 rooms in 7 days!
Here are some finishing thoughts:
- All in all, separating your tasks into a room per day will genuinely stop you from having that crippling cleaning anxiety and frenzy. And remember, while a room a day is a suggestion, it doesn't necessarily HAVE to mean a room everyday. Set your pace with what you can do. Plus, you'll get your daily dose of adulting achievement and a calm room!
- If you have multiple bathrooms or powder rooms, or you feel like the laundry is a similar job - consider joining them together in the one day, your rhythm will have you complete the job faster than you think.
- You don’t need to pull the vacuum out every day either, the room a day routine which includes a vacuum will collect the most floor grub. Get some more plants in there as well. Yes more. Always more. ^_^