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clean your house in 15 minutes a day

Clean your house in 15 minutes a day. Seriously.

Written by in Cleaning Hacks, Cleaning Schedule, Home Management, Lifestyle
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Wondering how to clean your house in 15-minutes a day or think it’s just not possible? Well you’re in for a treat. The tips and insight I give you below will open your eyes to what it takes to clean your house in just a few minutes a day.  Even if your home goes by the street name Casa de Catastrophe.

To get started, let’s borrow a quote from the business world that’ll take your mind exactly where it needs to be if you want to clean your house in just 15 minutes a day…

 “The most successful men work smart, not hard”

Bangambiki Habyarimana

That’s right.  People with the cleanest homes are not slaving away spending all their time cleaning!  As a matter of fact, people with clean homes don’t have to clean nearly as much as people with messy homes.  Yep.  Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side!

So here’s the real golden nugget – if you want to clean your home in 15-minutes a day, it’s not about moving super fast.  You’re more than likely just going to look silly.  I know I look silly when I try to move fast.  Maybe because I’m old.  Who knows.  

What you seriously need to do is make sure that 15-minutes is spent cleaning the just right things so you have something to show for yourself.  

For example, if your entire house is a mess, cleaning out the junk drawer is not going to get you to clean.  Not that you shouldn’t clean it out.  It’s just, there’s a hierarchy of sorts when it comes to what should be cleaned first in your home.  

You don’t want to spend 15 minutes cleaning your house only for no one to notice that you just sacrificed 15 golden minutes of your life cleaning right?  Super deflating.  And yes, it’s happened to me.

Instead of giving you fluff bunnies, I’m going to give you the real deal on what you need to actually clean your house in just a few minutes a day and make sure your hard work it’s totally noticeable by anyone that enters your domain.  What’s wrong with getting noticed?

Disclaimer / I ended up writing way more tips than I expected so the first 7 below will be considered *Part 1* and the rest of the tips will be posted as *Part 2*. You may continue scrolling!

The non-negotiable things you need to do if you really want to clean your house in 15-minutes a day  

Tip 1 /  Cleaning your house in 15-minutes is not about being able to clean fast

How long does it take to clean a 3 bedroom house? How about a 6,000 square foot house? When it comes to being able to clean your home in a few minutes a day, size does matter guys. The bigger the home, the more minutes or time you’ll have to dedicate to cleaning. And the same goes for people. The more humans – and animals – you have living in a house, the more you’ll need for cleaning.

So here’s a simple way to help you think about how much time it really takes to clean your home and keep it clean. One thousand square feet of space should take about an hour to clean. However, when we get to around the 4,000+ square feet, start adding in some extra minutes. Trust me. It’s about an hour and 30 minutes for each additional1,000 sq. ft. of space over 4,000.

And in case my explanation left you confused /

  • 1,000 sq. ft. house should take about one-hour
  • 3,000 square foot house should take around 3-hours
  • 5,000 sq. ft. house should take around 6-7 hours

So with that in mind, cleaning your house in 15 minutes a day really comes down to two simple ideas: 

(a) cleaning the right things at the right time and 

(b) cleaning efficiently or basically not wasting time or energy and getting 100% out of the cleaning sesh.  

I don’t need to write a paragraph on this because a few of the following tips build on this idea.  So prepare for a few instances of she already said that.  (Because it’s that important.)  

Tip 2 /  The 5-Unforgiving Chores are heartless…get to know em’

Ever heard of the 80/20 rule?  Of course you have.  Only 20% of what you do really matters – or something like that.  Google it. 

Before you focus on 15-minute blocks of hardcore cleaning, make sure you’ve mastered the 5 unforgiving tasks – aka the universally agreed up cleaning tasks that if left undone for days or even just hours in some cases, will spawn unspeakable herds of clutter, chaos and mess all throughout your home.   

These small tasks account for 80% of the mess you probably see in your home but if kept under control, will only account for 20% of your time.  Ewww, the truth hurts.

Sidenote / if you clean your house and it still looks messy, you might want to take some notes my friend. 

Here are the 5 (unforgiving) tasks:  

  • laundry
  • dishes
  • tidying up
  • trash 
  • toilets 

Bottom line /  Don’t bother with real cleaning if the dishes, laundry or other essentials are out of control. Center your daily 15-minute cleaning sessions (more time if you’ve got it) on the 5 unforgiving chores for a few weeks so that you can get these areas under control once & for all.  

Now, if you’re really in the mood to clean random things around the house, head on over to my post, How to clean a flat screen tv so that it’s streak-free. Because the big screen is no place for a smudge to hang out.

Tip 3 / Make a chore list, a cleaning schedule or cleaning plan so you’re not being a total random 

15 minutes isn’t a long time but you can do a lot in those 15 minutes if you plan.  Make sure those minutes are well spent by knowing exactly what you want to clean today.  What you clean today will affect tomorrow.  

You don’t want your cleaning sessions to be cleaning whatever catches your eye.  Go about cleaning that way and you’ll end up realizing the whole house is actually disgusting, and in walks anxiety and overwhelm.  And you don’t have time for that so let’s make a cleaning plan instead.   

When it comes to making a cleaning schedule, keep things simple and use a daily, weekly or bi-weekly cleaning list.  

Sidenote /  a cleaning schedule, cleaning plan, chore list or even a cleaning plan are all kind of the same thing so you may see me use these words interchangeably.  Just didn’t want to confuse ya!

Here’s a super simple sample weekly cleaning schedule

Monday – Bathrooms (Full cleaning)

Tuesday – Kitchen (Full cleaning)

Wednesday – Dust

Thursday – Vacuums 

Friday – Mop Floors 


Sunday – Prep & Plan

And just like that, you’ll have focused cleaning sessions that’ll keep you from bouncing around from place to place.  Instead, you’ll clean what needs cleaning and have a very productive 15-minute cleaning session.  Cheers to that

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Tip 4 / Clean your house in 15 minutes. Or maybe 20?

Goal gettin’ has been a heck of a movement but no matter what anyone tells you, you cannot clean your whole house in 15 minutes. Unless it’s a tiny house.  Maybe.  I need to see one in real life to really know for sure though so err on the side of caution with those as well for now. 

Point is, the last thing you want to do is set a big lofty goal for whatall you can clean in 15-minutes.  Why?  Because if you can’t do everything you thought you could, you’ll probably be bummed out. And bummed-out-you is less inclined to stick with your daily 15-minute cleaning blocks.  And your messy house troubles will ultimately return. 

Tip 5 /  Make big spaces bite-sized

Everyone has their own cleaning speed.  Same way we all have our own walking pace.  Some people walk slow and some people walk fast.  God’s plan right?  But regardless of your speed, some spaces will just be too much to clean in a 15-minute span.  Let’s look at an example.  

Can you clean your bathroom from top to bottom, including vacuuming and mopping in 15 minutes?  Umm, if it’s a half bath – definitely.   But a full-on master bath with yucky super soaker jacuzzi blasters and a tile-and-grout walk-in shower speckled with mold & mildew spots like the 101 dalmations – probably not.   

So how do you handle areas that are a bit too much for a 15-minute cleaning session?  I’m glad you asked.  

You have permission to break big jobs down into smaller bite-sized chunks.  But I know you were already thinking that.  Sometimes it’s just good to have someone validate the genius thoughts you have in your head so your welcome.  

With that being said, it’s ok to break the bathroom down into the smallest bits you can handle and clean the tub – or all the tubs – today.  And the shower tomorrow.    

Here’s a sample schedule for cleaning your bathroom in just 15 minutes a day /

  • Monday – sweep, vacuum, spot clean floors and take out trash
  • Tuesday – clean the bathroom sink, counter, cabinet doors
  • Wednesday – wipe down all the baseboards,  doors and wall fixtures
  • Thursday – clean the tub
  • Friday – clean the shower

So yeh, it’s one week in the shower but you’re basically doing a little every day, sometimes less than 15 minutes to keep your bathroom super clean. 

And now my moment of truth: I actually clean the bathroom surfaces on one day and then the bathroom floors (vacuuming & mopping) on the day I vacuum and mop the entire house.  There’s no wrong way to do it.  Thank goodness. 

Bottom line / Instead of trying to cram as much as you can into your 15-minute cleaning session (and only getting half of it done), plan to clean less than you think you can.  You’ll be surprised by how good it feels to accomplish an obviously-accomplishable cleaning task. 

But the real magic is that it’ll naturally lead you to say, dang, I can do more!  And that’s the energy you need to stick to cleaning your house in just 15-minutes a day for the long haul.  

Tip 6 / Don’t let clutter punk you…

Since this post is about how to clean your house in 15-minutes a day, we have to talk about clutter.  If you’ve got a lot of it, it’ll definitely slow you down if you don’t know how to handle it. 

For starters, it’s not always immediately obvious how you should handle a cluttery situation.  Whether it’s the floors, bedroom dressers or the bathroom counter, should you:

(a) move everything off,  clean the surface and then put it all back

(b) clean around all the knick knacks or 

(c) pretend you don’t see it and move on to the next area

Interestingly enough, any of those answers could be right.  And yeh, I know that’s not super helpful but what I want to highlight is that you should have a plan for clutter.  Not having a plan for clutter is an invitation for overwhelm.  Trust me.

The second thing I want to mention is more of a rule.  And that is, don’t let clutter hijack your cleaning session.  

Set aside a block of time just for decluttering the bathroom cabinets.  And a time just for scrubbing bubbles. Staying focused on cleaning during your cleaning sessions will give you the result you’re looking for – a house that looks clean.  

Bottom line / There’s a time for clutter and there’s a time for cleaning. (Said in my cowboy voice) Create dedicated time blocks just for tackling clutter and likewise, time just for cleaning your home.  (And by cleaning I mean vacuuming, mopping, dusting and all that good stuff.)

Tip 7 / The 3C-Mafia

To clean your house in just 15-minutes a day, procrastination has got to go! If you let the messes stack up for days without getting checked in the spirit of *I’ll get to it later* well, you can kiss the dream of a 15-minute clean goodbye.  

To make quick & sweatless cleaning sessions a reality, here are three different strategies you can stack to keep your house clean enough so that when it’s really time to clean, you can breeze right though it.  

Introducing the 3C Mafia!  Inspired my favorite rap group when I was a youngling fresh from Germany, these 3 cleaning strategies work together so that you can have hyper-productive 15-minute cleaning sessions: 

  • Dedicated cleaning sessions to one particular task a few days out the week (vacuuming, mopping, dusting, etc.)
  • Cleaning as you go for example, clean the kitchen & wash dishes while you cook. Or scrub the toilet right after you do the doo…
  • And lastly, spot cleaning. Make it a point to wipe up spilled juice and foods now while they take less than 2-minutes to clean up. The longer certain types of messes sit, the sticker and grippier they get to surfaces. And old messes are a quick way to blow a 15-minute cleaning session.

Bottom line / Cleaning your house in just 15-minutes a day sounds wonderful but it’s nothing more than a pipe dream if you aren’t doing other things to make it a possibility.

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Let’s wrap this up /

Finding a painless way to keep your house clean is a journey.   But it’s the type where you learn so much along the way that it makes you a better version of yourself.  I say that to say, don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling to keep your house clean.  You’re not alone.   And I promise, as long as you know why you want to keep your house clean and are willing to put yourself first, the rest will fall into place.   Not the advice you were expecting huh? 

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how to clean your house in 15 minutes a day

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