Maybe you’re behind on housework, and you want to straighten up fast, either for yourself or someone else. Or, perhaps you’ve been in a funk lately, and you need a quick win. If you’ve ever listened to our cleaning podcast, you know we have a few tricks up our collective sleeve to make a difference fast.
If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to while cleaning, you’ve come to the right place! However, reading these tips first may provide some much-needed motivation and help you prioritize during your cleaning session.
1. Fix the Smell
Even the cleanest houses can smell a little off sometimes. An overlooked puppy accident on the carpet, sour laundry in the laundry room, or even a forgotten potato in the back of the pantry can all temporarily ruin the ambiance of an otherwise presentable home.
If the unpleasant smell is coming from the laundry room, rewash that forgotten load of wet towels with some detergent and half a cup of white vinegar. If the problem is in the kitchen, run the garbage disposal, take out the trash, and check the pantry for something rotten.
While laundry room and kitchen smells are easy to eliminate, pet urine can be trickier to neutralize. A cleaning spray containing enzymes is ideal, but you can use a one-to-one vinegar and water mixture to clean the spot in a pinch. If you aren’t sure exactly where the accident happened, we recommend shampooing your entire carpet with a rug shampoo specifically formulated for pets.
Quick cheat: Keep some air freshener handy, so you can spray it in the front room if your neighbor is suddenly knocking on your front door.
2. Eliminate Clutter
Now that your home is smelling its best again, it’s time to focus on the visual aspect of a clean house. A “five-minute pick-up” will go a long way in improving the appearance of your home. Either start at your front entrance or in the room you’re most concerned about.
If several items are out of place and you’re facing a self-imposed deadline, grab an empty laundry basket and start filling it up with the stray items. Then, stick that laundry basket in a back room and move on to something else. If you aren’t in a hurry, it may be easier to just grab a few items that go in the same room and put them away. Repeat this process until the room you are working in is free of clutter.
Cheat method: Keep your front entrance and living room picked up at all times, and people who don’t venture any further will assume your whole house is always clean.
3. Do the Dishes
Dirty dishes are the worst form of clutter, so now’s the time to gather them up from around the house and take them to the sink. If you have a dishwasher, do a quick “empty, reload, and run.” If you’re washing by hand, pre-rinse that first sink load and get it soaking in some hot dishwater. Wipe down the countertops and stove while the water cools down to a comfortable level, and then finish washing the dishes.
Cheat method: Stash your dirty dishes under the sink in a dishpan when you get that text from your mother-in-law saying she’s five minutes away.
4. Remember the Three T’s: Toilets, Tables, and TVs
Hopefully, you wipe off the bathroom counter while getting ready each day and regularly give your toilet seat a swipe with a disinfecting wipe. Maybe you even clean your bathroom mirror while your toddlers play in the bathtub. However, a dirty toilet bowl can make an otherwise tidy house look filthy.
Stop procrastinating and deep clean all of your toilets today. In each bathroom, scrub the inside of the toilet bowl, wipe down the exterior until it shines, and while you’re down there, clean the floor and walls around the toilet.
Pro tip: Use a pumice stone to get rid of the water line if you have hard water.
Although a clean kitchen and bathrooms will make your home relatively sanitary, dust can still be an eyesore. Wipe down your TVs with a slightly dampened microfiber cloth. This step is vital because even if your guests aren’t very observant, the one thing they’ll probably stare at is the TV screen.
If your tables are still covered in junk at this point, you didn’t wholly declutter during Step 2. We forgive you, but you can’t wipe down the table without first clearing it off. Remove any clutter from your coffee table, end tables, and dining room table, and wipe them all down.
Lastly, dust any remaining surfaces and vacuum, sweep, and mop the floors. My grandmother used to say that the best way to make a house look clean is to vacuum and dust, so don’t forget those essential finishing touches.
Quick cheat: Dim the lights or close the blinds if your husband’s ex-wife is on her way to pick up the kids and you don’t have time to dust.
5. Listen to a Cleaning Podcast to Keep You Going
While some people are better than others at maintaining a clean house, few of us genuinely enjoy cleaning. That’s where our podcast can help. Clean with Me is designed to keep you focused and entertained while you clean, so you get more done.
If you’re new to this website and need a podcast to listen to while cleaning, search “Clean with Me” on your favorite podcast app or click here to listen now on Apple.