In every task we do, whether it’s at work or while running errands, we strive to do it as efficiently as possible. The same goes for chores around the house. “Work smarter, not harder” is the mantra of this guide to cleaning the home faster and more efficiently so you can get those tasks out of the way. From the dishes to the laundry and everything in between, here we’ll list 8 simple ways to cut down on the time spent doing household cleaning.


1. Prep the house with a clutter sweep.

This is truly a critical step when beginning housework. Before starting, making sure your path and areas to be cleaned are free of clutter will save a lot of time from having to start and stop again. Do a quick walk through of the house and put all misplaced objects in their correct location and throw out any laying trash such as napkins or old mail.


2. Place all your cleaning tools in a caddy.

Keeping a cleaning caddy nearby is a lifesaver for time and energy. Having all your tools at your side will prevent back and forth walking around the house to get the next cleaning item you need. You can also use a corner of the caddy to place any used cleaning wipes or other trash made along the way, for areas of the house that may not have a nearby wastebasket.


3. Do one chore at a time instead of one room at a time.

Instead of focusing on cleaning an entire room before going to the next one, try doing one task at a time throughout the house. You can create a chore list if it makes it easier to remember. For instance, chore number one might be dusting and in parenthesis next to dusting you can list the areas in need. Once that chore is done you can move on to the next and feel a greater sense of relief having finished that chore from your entire home.


4. Boil dish soap in hard-to-clean pots.

Some pots are tougher to remove burnt and stuck on foods. Even with a long soak it seems like it can be impossible to remove this mess on certain pots without standing and scrubbing meticulously. Instead of wearing your energy and hands out by scrubbing, try boiling these stubborn stain pots with water and dish soap over your stove. Turn the stove off after boiling and set aside to cool down. Once the pot is cool enough, wash the pot as normal with ease. In addition to getting an easy cleaned pot, the aroma of the boiling soap will also freshen up your kitchen.


5. Clean a messy microwave by using it.

If the inside of your microwave is covered in a dried food explosion there’s a quick way to clean out the mess. Take a microwave-safe mug and fill it with water then place in the microwave. Heat the mug of water until its boiling hot. The humidity created in the closed space will make it much easier to remove the stuck-on food by using a damp rag or paper towel to wipe down all the sides.


6. Remove fur with rubber gloves.

Having fur babies in the home can be bittersweet for most. You love your animals but maybe not the shedding they leave behind. A fast way to clean up those pesky hairs is by using a rubber dish glove. Dampen the glove with a little bit of water and run your hands over areas with trapped fur. This will easily remove fur from susceptible areas such as sofas, curtains, rugs, and other upholstery.


7. Hang and fold clothes from the dryer immediately.

Speed up and even eliminate time spent ironing by grabbing clothes fresh out of the dryer. After washing and drying laundry, make sure to be prompt when your dryer dings at completion. Use the timer on your phone if you are unable to hear the dryer cycle end to make sure you get to the clothes while they are still hot. Fold as usual or place on hangers to insure minimal wrinkling.


8. Don’t deviate when vacuuming.

Seeing spots on the floor around us that need to be vacuumed tempts us to vacuum haphazardly which can add minutes to the task. When vacuuming a room, start from one end to the other in long rows and make sure to back out of the room. Don’t deviate from this pattern to ensure your doing the task as efficiently as possible. This will also allow the cord to stay with you and can be pulled to the side to stay out of your way.


A final bonus tip is to find and keep a routine that works for you consistent. With each time you stick with a routine you’ll become more efficient in your process. If time is limited and doesn’t allow for a heavy household cleaning day, try speed cleaning. This means you don’t need to worry about small things that may have been missed. Going back to already cleaned areas will only add extra time to your workload. Speed cleaning will guarantee your next chore day is fast and easy, as long as it’s done regularly. Now you can knock out chores the way that works best for you, faster than ever.