5+ strategies to make housecleaning less of a chore



Cleaning your home. If you get home from work or wake up early on the weekend with a smile on your face anticipating it, this post is definitely not for you. But if you’re like most of us, read on. We’ve put together five of our most effective strategies to take the chore out of cleaning.

Tidy as you go: The longer you wait, the bigger your cleanup will be, so don’t procrastinate. Get in the habit of cleaning as you go. Give your bathroom sink a quick rinse with soap and a sponge every night, after you wash your face and brush your teeth. Squeegee your shower tiles and curtain or glass door after you shower. Load the dishwasher after every meal instead of piling dishes in the sink. You may find doing these things an inconvenience at first, but it only takes a few seconds and once you get in the habit, it’ll save you from major cleaning later on.

Smartphone scheduling: Tidying as you go doesn’t work for everything of course. You probably don’t want to vacuum or clean your windows every day, and you’re still going to have to scour the kitchen and bathroom periodically. That’s okay. For big cleaning projects, schedule them on your smartphone. For instance, a half hour every Tuesday (or whenever), to run your vacuum, sweep and mop your floors. Or an hour every four months to wash your windows.

Divide and conquer: Sometimes what fills us with dread the most is the size of the cleaning task at hand. But who says you have to do it all at once? Choose a room like your bathroom and tackle that. If you feel inspired, tackle another one. If you don’t tackle the next room in a couple of days.

Streamline: Let’s face it, many of us hoard more knick-knacks than we need and the more we have, the more dusting and straightening out there is. Every time you clean a room, resolve to fill a box or trash bag with items you no longer use, then drop them off at your local community donation centre.

Don’t do it alone: If you live with a spouse and/or children, everyone has a responsibility to keep your place clean. Make sure they do! If you live by yourself, assemble a cleaning club, three to five like-minded friends and have everyone tackle someone’s home once a month.

Some other useful housecleaning tips:

  • Take off your shoes when you come home it’ll keep your floors cleaner longer
  • Rather than piling them up, hang and fold clothes as soon as you take them off
  • Wipe down surfaces and put away your cooking utensils while you’re cooking
  • Use a portable vacuum to clean up crumbs on your sofa or hair on your bathroom floor while dinner is in the oven

How do you get motivated to clean your home? Please share your own tips and strategies in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!



Did you know: Cleaning is exercising

Cleaning isn’t just great for your home, it’s pretty good for your health too. Tidying up for 30 minutes, vacuuming for an hour, or washing your windows burns about 100 calories. (Source)

43 thoughts on “5+ strategies to make housecleaning less of a chore

  1. I play my favourite music and start moving. It’s better then a work out and i feel like I accomplished a great thing.

  2. If i could get a maid i wouldent haf to comstantly clean up everyday day after day after day it would also help if i could get my girlfrend to share the cleanin…

  3. Since I retired I gave up my cleaning lady. I am not a slave to cleaning but my husband claims the house has never been cleaner.
    Definitely clean as you see it!
    Your suggestions work!

  4. I have found that rewarding myself for chores done works well. So, first cleaned is the bathroom which, in our home, includes kitty litter pans. Once done I set it up for a lovely relaxing soak when the other chores are done. I put a nice candle in the room, a bottle of wine in the fridge, and a (paper) book on the vanity, and mix up a batch of relaxing bath salts. As I work through my other chores every time I go into the bathroom I see the incentive waiting for me. Once all is said and done I take my glass of wine in to the bathroom, light my candle, run my bath with my bath salts added and I enjoy my soak.

  5. I like the idea of thinking of cleaning as exercising, and cleaning 1 or 2 rooms per day. I do the same thing at work, thinking I am getting paid to work out.

  6. Because I had become accustomed to eating while being at home, I knew I had to do something, so here’s what I did. Instead of sitting there
    eating and drinking all I wanted while reading, and not doing my household chores, I began to write down certain chores for the day. I would literally tell myself that I cannot have even an apple until the first chore was done, say, the dishes. Then later on, I was not getting lunch
    until the laundry was in and I vacuumed the carpets. This has brought a great change in my home, and in my sense of well being.
    I changed what I ate, also. Instead of pizza and chips, I now have apples, carrots and granola bars available. I have disciplined myself
    to go out walking around my neighbourhood, before I do anything, and then to set the table and put everything out for breakfast that is needed
    by all of us in the morning, and make my daughter’s lunch and have it ready for her to take along to school. I feel better.

    I’m not the type to clean carpets by myself, and the last guy that did it did a great job, until it dried………all the stains came back with a few
    added water stains. It’s not pretty but it doesn’t smell bad. I have a routine now, and that feels good. I have meals at the same time
    every day, and my family is starting to help me clean up.

    I love it when the whole bathroom is clean, but I am still not quite good enough at getting at it often enough. I will take advice from this
    post to do little parts of it at a time, instead of conquering the whole thing all at once. I bought a smaller garbage bin for my kitchen so
    I have to take the bags out more often, and that has been a great improvement.

    I have a long way to go yet and appreciate all the helpful hints. I know I could fill a box tomorrow with stuff I don’t even need anymore.
    I am looking forward to doing that. I don’t want to be called “lazy” and I don’t think of myself as “lazy”, but I’m sure not overly exuberant about getting a lot done in one day. Great improvements have been made, though.

  7. I like that tip of thinking about cleaning as a workout, most times when cleaning I change into jogging pants and when finished I usually have a good sweat going on, so it’s better to wait until I finish cleaning before showering. Good Tip, also it makes sense to do 1 or 2 rooms at a time so it does not get overbearing. and hard to know where to begin.

  8. When I cook, which is a lot, I cook with my sink filled with warm soapy water. This works especially well when you have a double sink. I clean as I go which makes cleaning up at the end of the meal much easier!

  9. Each week I sit down with a coffee and plan my cleaning schedule for the week.. Fall and spring I have a more in depth cleaning, as windows walls and hard wood floor so I keep on top of things by doing a chore each day I am home.

  10. A lot of us are seniors and more often than not we are living on our own. We also tend to hang on to our house instead of moving into a one floor apartment. The very good news is that my doctor said that I’m so healthy and fit because I do all my own cleaning and light maintenance work. I’m nearly 80 years old, and even though I need to sit down after climbing 2 stairs, after a couple of minutes I’m ready to go again. I take a half hour a day to give something, anything, a good clean and this way it does not look like a huge chore. You’d be surprised what you can do in 30 minutes (even cleaning an oven which is not a favourite job of mine). The bottom line is that you need to keep cleaning yourself if you are in your seventies or eighties as that keeps you going.

  11. I have been doing all these tips for my whole life. Its so true clean up while your cooking,wipe down things right away. It makes life easier.Like they say cleanlyness is next to godlyness

  12. Lve the tips. Wgat I find most helpful is hard floors. Anything but rugs. My partner has a rug beside the bed and there is one at the entrance and that;s it.
    Easy to dust mop, sweep or vacuum.

  13. I bought a dyson 4=5 years ago.
    when it came to warrany dyson gave excuses they repared without question
    if should another vaccum it will be a dyson there is no other option

  14. I enjoy this article very much. Hopefully it will help me with the chores of cleaning. I am very busy crafting, knitting and doing all kinds of things but when it comes to cleaning, I hate it. I do it, of course, but wish I didn’t have to.

  15. HI! My Mom taught me over 60 years ago to wipe off fingerprints from door jambs or, as suggested above pick up as you see it, rather than letting it pile up i.e. newspapers, etc.
    Yes, every now and then you do have to do a big clean but it won’t be nearly as hard or as dirty if you do things when you see them.
    The hint on not letting things pile up in the sink but place in dishwasher after each meal is a good one – BUT if you don’t have a dishwasher you should also do the meal dishes as you use them – washing by hand – you can maybe place them after rinsing with hot water in a drain tray or on a cloth. They will still be sanitized and dry fairly quickly. After 58 years of marriage you learn a lot???

  16. Changing bedclothes always seems like a chore, so I wash the pillowcases one day, a few days later the bottom sheet and in another wash the duvet covers. My husband and I each have a single duvet cover which saves tugging and hogging.

  17. What I do often is study a room and closest or storage area. I ask my self do I love the way this looks, is there anything I do not use or want if there is I get rid of it if not be proud of your decision and move on!

    I also get rid of two things a day
    Old papers
    Unused items. Old pens I need items

  18. Hi
    I find that if I put things away…clean as I cook and do laundry in the morning while I’m getting ready for work really helps. I also have this rule that if I buy anything new for the house or even clothes etc two things must go…donate or recycled or given away to someone else!

  19. Another thing I do to get things done is when I’m watching something on TV and the commercials come on I go and do something that I can get pretty well done during the commercial such as filling or emptying the dishwasher or putting a load of laundry in the washer or bring the basket of dried clothes from the dryer and then I fold them while watching TV so that I’m not wasting time just watching TV. It just lets me watch TV without feeling guilty. Works for me.

  20. Tricks for cleaning and defrosting a chest freezer that will save you a lot of time and food damage. Line the sides of your freezer with freezer meat wrapping paper with the waxed side towards the walls. and tape the tops up all around. Then when your freezer needs defrosting you take the food out and gently bang the sides and all the frost falls to the bottom, sweep up and dis guard and put everything back in. that can all be done in 30 min or less to a 25 cubic foot freezer.

  21. I wrote a contribution to “5+ strategies to make housekeeping less of a chore” but I can’t find it anywhere. I thought maybe it didn’t post so I tried to post it again but it says it’s already there. Can you please tell me where I can find it? Thank you for your time.



  22. Instead of buying expensive wet wipes for my Swiffer I use old face cloths and dish cloths with cleaning solution on them. They are also washable,no disposal.

  23. Wear workout clothes and play your favorite fast pace musics. Somehow having Madonna sing like a virgin makes things feel better for me.

  24. absolutely right.the longer you wait to your cleaning the harder it is.
    dishes if you wash then right after using them the dirt comes let the sit in the sink dirt dries on and you have to scrub to remove dirt.easy when wet.

  25. My Mother said this all her life. Why do people pay to have exercise when they can get all they need from keeping a home clean. My mother raised 6 children, died at 102 & never was over weight.
    How do I tell my children without them getting annoyed?

  26. I am proud to say this information was not helpful for me at all but I’m sure it was for other — why because I already put these ideas in practice. I’ve told all my workmates and friends that cleaning is not only an exercise but a stress relief from all the hussel and bussel


  27. I’ve been using my house cleaning as a way to exercise for a couple of years now. It seems to help keep the house cleaning from piling up.

  28. Before going shopping ….take pic of the things you already have @ home. Download on your phone. You’d be surprised how many times we duplicate like items ex…. If your shoe shopping. Take pic of your shoes It’s always a good idea to keep a file in your phone for your items. It’s really interesting to see what you would of bought !!! I once bought the same purse 3 times. Honestly!!! Good luck!

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