No one wants to spend an entire day cleaning up after themselves of their family members. Woman’s World tapped pros Laura Dellutri, author of Speed Cleaning 101 ($14.95, Amazon), organizer Dorothy Breininger, and cleaning coach Leslie Reichertfor their easy, breezy secrets that’ll get your home spick-and-span in half the time.
Tap your feet six times when you walk in.
Research shows that the first four steps we take into our homes bring in nearly 85 percent of the dirt in our entire house. A speedy trick to stopping grime dead in its tracks? Tap your feet on your doormat six times, suggests Dellutri. “That’s why the dirt-grabbing mats that big stores use in their entryways are typically six-feet-long,” she explains. “It takes about six steps to knock off as much dirt as possible.”
Knock out clutter with a later bin.
Tossing stuff into a laundry basket makes quick work of clutter, and the same goes for bins that can house items that would otherwise find themselves strewn across your rooms. You can also try this simple labeling trick from Breininger that will help you speed through cleanup when it comes time to sort the mess out: “Jot down where the items belong on a sticky note — say, ‘tax papers = den’ — then stick the note on the bin and stash it in a closet. When you return to the basket later, you’ll know where everything belongs.”
Don’t clean what isn’t dirty.
“Rather than spray [an] entire surface with cleaner, just spritz ‘contact areas’ where grime collects, like the spot on your patio door where your dog left paw prints,” says Dellutri. “Then dampen half of a microfiber cloth with water, leaving the other half dry. Swipe the spots you sprayed with the dry side and use the damp half to wipe other surfaces like mirrors — you’ll save so much time by not over-spraying items that aren’t that dirty!”
Ditch the bucket with a hospital mop.
Borrow a trick hospitals use for a quick-yet-clinical clean: Grab a microfiber mop, which locks in more dirt than other mops, advises Reichert. “You can also Velcro a microfiber cloth to the bottom of a Swiffer. Then fill a spray bottle 1⁄4-inch high with cleaner and the rest of the way with water. Spritz the cloth and glide it across floors — no messy bucket needed!”
Vacuum in strategic cornrows.
Instead of zigzagging, vacuum in “cornrows,” says Dellutri. “Start at the farthest left corner, fling the cord over your left shoulder like a lasso, and go straight. When you reach the end of the first row, step to the right and vacuum in the opposite direction. You’ll be taking fewer steps and will get done in half the time.”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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