Speed clean your house in less than an hour

Are last minute guests dropping by? Here are some tips for cutting corners if you do not have time for your usual house cleaning routine,

The clock is ticking and your house is still a mess. You simply do not have time to employ your normal cleaning routine, but you need to get your house shaped up. These simple tips will teach you a quick routine, and you are the only one who has to know you did not spend hours cleaning.

The trick is to realize that you cannot do everything perfectly in an hour. Tackle the worst areas -and the most noticeable- first, and then if you have any time left, you can work on smaller details.


In the first fifteen minutes, there are things you can do to make the rest of your cleaning easier. First, spray a fabric refresher so your house will smell nice. A fresh smelling home feels cleaner.

Next, fill a bucket or a carryall with cleaning items so you can carry them with you rather than stopping to find and retrieve what you need for each task. Add a container of baby wipes to your cleaning supplies. They are great for quick clean ups. There are also assorted pre-treated wipes especially for cleaning. These are very convenient, and you should keep them on hand.

Wash any dirty dishes, or put them into the dishwasher. Spend the remainder of this time going through the house quickly and straightening up. Put away laundry, toys, and throw away anything that belongs in the trash. Carry a large trash bag with you from room to room, so you will not have to waste time running back and forth to throw things away.

When a home is free from clutter, it appears cleaner. It is also much easier to clean a surface when it is not covered with stuff. Once you have cleared away the clutter, you will be ready for the next step.


The next fifteen minutes are reserved for surface cleaning and vacuuming. Start with large furniture items and dust with a product that grabs dust instead of spreading it around the house. Specially treated reusable dusting cloths work well.

Next, wipe down smaller pieces and countertops. If upholstered furniture has crumbs or pet hair on it, clean these surfaces as well. If you do not have a lint brush handy, use plastic cling wrap or tape. Just wrap it around your hand, wipe the area, and throw it away.

After surfaces are cleaned, vacuum quickly. Since you only have a limited amount of time, only vacuum the high traffic sections and most noticeable areas. Moving furniture to vacuum behind it will have to wait until you have more time. While you have the vacuum cleaner going, take the attachment off the end and use the hose to grab cobwebs from the corners.

Do not straighten one room, then dust it, then vacuum it. Straighten each room, dust each room, and then vacuum throughout the house. Stopping and starting wastes time.


During this time, put denture cleaner tabs, effervescent antacid tabs, or a cup of bleach into your toilets and let it sit. You will come back to the toilets at the end of this period.

Now begin cleaning mirrors and windows. Only clean windows that are easily seen, and only the panes that really need it. The rest can be tackled later.

Wipe the inside of bathtubs down quickly with your mop. Rinse, and move on to basins. Use paper towels or wipes to wash sinks and shine up faucets then throw them away.

Go back to the toilets and check to make sure they are clean. If so, flush them. If they need scrubbing, scrub them with a disposable brush and throw the brush away.

Empty small wastebaskets into your trash bag and run it out to the curb.


Make the beds, push in chairs, and rearrange throw pillows. Tidying up large furniture pieces makes the entire room look neater. Put away the dishes you washed earlier. They should have had enough time to air dry by now.

Walk through the house and see what last minute things you can do to make it even neater, such as closing any doors that are open to messy areas like closets, the basement, or the garage.

Put away your cleaning supplies and wait for your guests to arrive.

© High Speed Ventures 2011