I think it’s safe to say I’m an expert when it comes to cleaning. I started my own cleaning company, Clean My Space, over ten years ago. In 2011 I made my first Youtube video to promote my cleaning business. That grew into over 700 Youtube videos, 1.78 million YouTube subscribers, an Instagram, a blog with hundreds of cleaning articles, and even a TikTok!
So, believe me when I say I have some well-tested cleaning tips, home organization rules, and best cleaning product recommendations for you. Want to know how to clean your house fast? Or are you interested in DIY cleaning products? I’ve got it all right here in my top 6 cleaning tips so you can get your cleaning out of the way and move on with your life!
1. Know Your Stuff: Cleaning Supplies List and Techniques
When I think about cleaning, I think about my PTTs: products, tools, and techniques. When I first started my cleaning business, I felt overwhelmed with the number of products I could use and the cleaning tasks I had to complete.
I needed to find a way to break everything down, so I decided that a good cleaning practice comes down to three things: understanding your products, the tools you use, and the techniques you need to get the job done right. Once you know those three things, you can approach any cleaning job with confidence and with efficiency.
Understanding your cleaning products and tools and having a good knowledge of how to use them is the key to being a great cleaner, whether professionally or at home! If this sounds overwhelming to you, start by narrowing down your cleaning products. Make a list of excellent products that you’re going to use in your home. Get familiar with them, what do they do, how do you use them, and what tools do you need with them? Once you’ve done that, you’ve covered all the PTTs!
If you’re thinking, I don’t want to be a cleaning expert, I hear you! Learning all about cleaning products isn’t exactly riveting, but if you think about it, when you approach any job in life, whether it’s cooking, painting, or mountain biking, you always have to know the products, tools, and techniques. And if you can understand the PTTs for your cleaning tasks, you’ll discover you’re cleaning faster and more efficiently so you can get back to whatever you’d rather be spending your time on.
2. Choose Wisely: DIY Cleaning Products Vs. Store-Bought
On the topic of cleaning products, there are two camps. There are homemade cleaning products and store-bought products. In our house, about 60 percent of the cleaning products are DIY. They’re made of ingredients you can find in your pantry, they’re easy to make, and they’re cost-effective. In fact, we have an eBook with 50 DIY Cleaning Product Recipes if you want to make your own!
But let me tell you, you can’t effectively clean with DIY cleaning products alone. Store-bought cleaning products have formulations that you can’t achieve at home, especially when dealing with tough cleaning jobs. I don’t like wasting time when it comes to cleaning because, lets be real, it’s not fun! So I want to use the best and most effective product for each cleaning task.
That being said, I’ll share one of my favorite DIY cleaning recipes with you here, the classic all-purpose cleaner. This is a basic multi-purpose spray you can use on a variety of surfaces. To make my favorite DIY all-purpose cleaner grab a clean spray bottle and add two cups of water and one teaspoon of dish soap. Shake well, and you’ve got a great cleaning product at your service.
3. Assess the Space BEFORE You Start Cleaning
People often make a mistake when it comes to cleaning. They dive in without a plan because they want to get it over with as quickly as possible. I totally get that impulse, but taking a couple of minutes to create a plan of attack will actually save you a significant amount of cleaning time.
Whenever I walk into a room to start cleaning, I do an assessment. I start at the door and work my way around the room until I get to the end, so I know I’m covering all my bases. Then, I look at all the different elements in the space and consider what I’ll have to do to get it clean and what tools and products I’ll need.
After you assess, you can create your plan of attack, considering how much time you have and what you plan on cleaning. For example, do you have two hours to deep clean your living room, or do you have twenty minutes to tidy your bedroom? Then, scan the space from top to bottom. You want to look for anything that might take more time than just a regular clean or anything that might need special attention.
I’ve been doing this for years, so I can quickly make mental notes about everything I need to do and everything I need. If I’m in my bathroom, I might notice a bit of mildew in the corner of the tub. Then I’ll say to myself, “I have to get a mold and mildew cleaner, and the first thing I’ll do is treat that spot, so it has time to soak while I work on something else.” If you’re new to this or don’t want to stand in your bathroom talking to yourself, you might want to write down notes on your phone so you know exactly what to gather and where to start.
4. Decluttering Is The First Step
“Do I clean first, or do I declutter first?” It’s the ultimate chicken or egg question of cleaning. But actually, it isn’t because I’m here to tell you to declutter first. The less stuff you have in your home, the easier your home is to clean, and the more streamlined and tidy you can get your space looking in the shortest amount of time.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; cleaning isn’t just about cleaning. It’s about beautifying your space. And part of beautifying your space is getting rid of unnecessary clutter. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with clutter, I definitely recommend checking out our 10 Things to Toss decluttering series. That’s a series I’ve been working on about decluttering different spaces in your home.
Once you’ve tossed the old newspapers you’ve been hoarding or that dress that’s been hanging untouched in your closet for ten years (no judgment, I do it too!), you can start organizing. My favorite home organization tip is something I call lining things up in a parallel and perpendicular fashion. OK, it’s not a great title, but it’s descriptive!
You find the edge of a surface and line items up parallel or perpendicular to the edge. It might sound like nothing, but try it out and watch your space instantly look tidier. If you invest just a couple of minutes of your time to straighten surfaces like this as you clean, you’ll find your room isn’t just clean, but it’s tidier and more beautiful. Give it a shot; I dare you!
5. Time Your Cleaning: How To Clean Your House Fast
The way I learned how to clean really efficiently and really well was to time myself. This helped me build my cleaning business because time is money, but quality is everything. If I rushed and did a lousy job, I wouldn’t get repeat customers. But if I took too long, I wouldn’t be able to book enough cleaning jobs.
So how I trained myself and later trained my staff to clean efficiently is by timing myself! Don’t be intimidated by this. The first time you do it, don’t set a limit. Just time yourself and see how long it takes you to complete one task. Then let’s say it took you 10 minutes to straighten your bedroom. Next time you do it, set a timer for 9 minutes and see if you can shave that extra minute off.
It might not seem like much, but this builds up, especially if you do it for every cleaning task. And when you’re timing yourself, you’re less likely to get distracted answering a text message or scrolling on Instagram. Timing yourself helps you focus, and it enables you to become the most efficient cleaner possible, leaving you tons of time to watch Instagram stories on the couch.
But seriously, if you don’t like cleaning, set a timer and listen to music or a podcast. Make cleaning as fun of an experience as possible and get in and out as quickly as possible.
6. Use My 3 Wave System: How to Clean
If you’ve been following Clean My Space for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about my three wave system. I developed this system for myself and others because knowing where to start or what to do next when cleaning can feel overwhelming! But with my three wave cleaning system, no corner or cleaning task goes overlooked.
The first wave is decluttering and tidying. As I said, it’s harder to clean when there’s junk everywhere. So start by decluttering your space, organizing, and tidying.
The second wave is cleaning. Shocking, right? This is the part where you use your products and tools and some elbow grease.
And the third wave is the floors. When you clean, dirt and dust falls to the floor. So unless you have an anti-gravity machine lying around you should always tackle floors last.
Cleaning Tips For Life!
Many things have changed since I started my business, and my cleaning tips have evolved over the years, but these six tips are the absolute staples of my cleaning practice.
At Clean My Space, we know you’re not here because you love cleaning; you’re here because you need to clean. So I hope these tips will help you get your home clean and beautiful with as little pain as possible.
Just remember: know your PTTs, choose the right products, assess your space, declutter first, time yourself, and clean in three waves. Happy cleaning!