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At the very outset, let me make it clear that speed cleaning your home only makes it look good on the outside. The mess in your drawers, the junk in your cupboards and the heaps of unwashed dishes and laundry do not magically get cleaned up.
But as a Mumbaikar Mom, who is always on the run, I have realised one thing – Something is better than nothing.
Even a ‘superficial’ speed clean up works wonders! It gets your surfaces looking shinier and your house looking tidier!
How to speed clean your home?
The process of speed cleaning is simple – Tidy up your house first and dust your surfaces later. Let me explain it in detail each leg of the process:
The process of speed cleaning begins by tidying up your entire home first. Yup you can’t start cleaning one surface till everything is placed back where it should be.
Ideally, start this process with the living room. If you find something in the living room that is not where it should be, quickly put it back in place.
The most important point to be noted here is to not step out of the living room till the living room has been completely tidied up.
So if you find things in the living room that belong to the bedroom, just place them in a pile in one corner of the living room.
The other important instruction for you here is to not get carried away. Do not start digging through the mess in your drawers and cupboards while you are speed cleaning. Leave that for the day when you plan to deep clean. For now, only look at items that are visibly out of place such as pillows that are out of order or an empty cup next to the sofa or toys lying on the floor etc.
Once you are done with the living room, pick up the pile of stuff that belongs to the bedroom and target to clean up the bedroom next.
Begin first by putting everything in that pile back in its place. Once that is done, tidy up the bedroom the same way in which you tidied up the living room.
Continue this process of tidying up one room at a time.
Dust all surfaces
Once you are through with the process of tidying up, start dusting the entire house.
Again, the thumb rule is to do it one room at a time.
Also, whichever room you select, make sure you clean either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Sticking to a specific direction will help you to stay focussed and cover your entire house.
Your goal is to only dust the surfaces and not do a deep clean. So do not use this time to mop the floor or clean the fans or vacuum under the sofas.
Please reserve that for the day when you choose to deep-clean your entire house.
Since I live in Mumbai where the houses are really small, the entire process of tidying up and dusting does not take me more than 15 minutes.
However, I do admit that initially, when I started speed cleaning the home, it used to take me longer. Now I am used to the process and the regular speed cleaning also cuts down on the time required to dust surfaces.
But if you live in cities where you get to live in bigger houses, factor some more time to your daily routine. If you live in a villa (lucky you!), you could divide your house into zones and only do one zone per day instead of cleaning the entire house.
Set a 20-minute timer and then start the speed cleaning process. Setting up a timer helps me massively in ensuring that I stick to the routine. Do not get distracted or take up any other tasks during this process.
The best time to clean this way is first thing in the morning provided you wake up before your kids do. The act of cleaning in the morning will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Plus, the chances of you procrastinating on the task of cleaning also reduce.
Leave the other tasks of mopping, washing utensils, etc. to the maid (We are so blessed to have them in India). If you begin to start doing all the work yourself, you will never find time to work or look after the kids.
Teach the entire process to your husband too so that he sticks to it. As I had mentioned in my post on tips to help you stay sane as a new mom, take help of your partner. Do not attempt to do everything on your own. Share the responsibility of cleaning your home with your partner. My husband and I have split chores between the two of us and my husband does this quick clean up on weekends.
Understand that the cleaning will not leave your house looking brand new and sparkling clean. Yes, there will be plenty of areas in your house that would remain untackled. But all the visible areas will definitely look neater and cleaner. In fact, just a simple clean-up of the house using this method will also make your house much safer for your kids to run and crawl around.
I saw a huge difference in the way my house looked within a few days of regularly speed cleaning. In fact, if you clean your house regularly, cleaning up would start taking lesser time for you and you would no longer have to push the task to a day when you have free time.
(Insider info – I usually speed clean my home while I let the milk boil in the kitchen. I hate standing endlessly in front of it waiting for it to boil. So I use that time to make my house look fantastic!)