3 Ways to Clean Smarter, Not Harder

Crush your chores without breaking a sweat! Pinpoint your preferred approach, then use these tips to tidy up your entire home in record time.  Video: How to Remove a Red Wine Stain from Clothing »

Clean Smarter Not Harder

If you are a detail diva...
You're a gal who sweats the small stuff--there's no such thing as "clean enough." For you, if it's not utterly sterilized, it's still dirty. The grimier the job, the more you enjoy it! You employ an array of tools and don't stop until every trace of dirt is eradicated. While you focus intensely on one area, you lose sight of the other tasks that need your attention, so your home is never "done." To clean smarter:

  • Do the math. Each room takes about 20 minutes, on average, to clean. So how much can you realistically cover in the interval you've got? If you're short on time, prioritize. For instance, target the public rooms this go-round (especially if you're expecting guests!), and save the rest for later.
  • Choose your weapons. Find go-to tools to help you speed through a variety of duties while affording you the satisfaction of a job well done. For instance, a handheld steamer is great for cleaning bathroom grout, polishing the stovetop and oven and blasting fuzz and grime out of crevices between the floors and molding. With the right kit, you can whiz through your routine.
  • Stay on top. Train yourself to tend to some tasks immediately. Wipe down the bathroom sink every day and squeegee after every shower. That way, you won't have to spend time scraping off hard toothpaste globs or scrubbing soap scum.