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 toucher-upper...
Your low tolerance for messiness means you tidy a little every day instead of letting the jobs mount for a major cleaning. You wipe up spills in the kitchen before they've dried and declutter the living room before turning in each night. As long as everything looks neat, you're satisfied. But when was the last time you thoroughly mopped--not just dabbed at--the kitchen floor? To clean smarter:

  • Plan deep dives. Don't just be reactive. In addition to your daily routine, commit to a few bigger projects each week. If you address those on a rotating schedule, you can get your house really clean without getting bogged down in a single scrubbing marathon (because that just wouldn't suit your style!). Come up with a weekly chore schedule and stick to it.
  • Gang up. Develop the habit of grouping together quickie jobs--such as wiping down the kitchen countertops, sink and microwave--to avoid unnecessary repetition. Doing several related tasks at once saves time, plus the visual cutes (for instance, a sparkling sink means the microwave is clean, too!) help you know what has been touched up and what hasn't.
  • Stash your tools. Capitalize on your natural tendency to swoop in and be done with it by tucking wipes, sprays and whatever else you might need in every room.