22 Time Saving Cleaning Hacks You Can Start Today

We all love cleaning, right? Just kidding. But it does have to be done, and you can do it more quickly with these time-saving hacks. These are the lazefficient techniques I use, but I’m sure you have more tips to add in the comments.

This article contains a couple affiliate links for some of the products that I use myself and suggest to others. I only recommend products that I use and like. If you decide to purchase an item from a link, it will help me be able to provide more awesome content for you.

Dusting and Floors

1. Dust dart

After you’ve finished washing or loading dishes or wiping counters, take the well-wrung out dish cloth you’ve been using and dust one room or one floor with it. Trust me, you don’t need pledge or any other fancy dusting solution; a damp cloth works wonderfully. If you commit to one dust dart every time you use a dish cloth, you’ll never have to do a full dusting session again, and it only takes an extra minute or two each time.

2. Minimize decorations, knickknacks, and baubles

Minimalism has become extremely popular, and for good reasons. Take a tip from the minimalist world and cut down on the amount of things you have to dust, move, and clean around.

3 . Invest in a robotic vacuum

If you have hard floors or low-to-medium pile carpets, a robotic vacuum might be just that extra bit of help you need. After we got a dog, we invested in a eufy robotic vacuum (affiliate link) to keep the floors in better shape between jobs with the upright vacuum. The thing is pretty smart and does a great job navigating all of our furniture and staircases. I’ve also noticed an additional benefit — in order to run the machine, my floor needs to be completely picked up. So now my floors are less hairy on a daily basis and most often they are tidied up as well.

One side note, if you have a pet, I recommend you avoid possible disasters and never run the vacuum unless you are there to supervise it. I’ve heard too many horror stories (worth the read) to risk the tremendous aftermath cleanup.

4. Get a FURminator

We have a golden retriever. I love how soft golden retrievers are, but I’m not a fan of seeing fur fly every time I pet her. I finally invested in a FURminator about a month ago and it is worth every single penny. They have specific designs for cats and dogs (affiliate links) of different sizes and hair lengths.

I use the FURminator on Sita once a week and it has really cut down on the amount of hair that I have to dust and vacuum. The amount of hair that is left on the ground after deshedding can be quite large. Maybe you want to take all the time you save on cleaning and start spinning pet hair yarn and knit with it or sell it to local knitters at a premium. Just a suggestion!

Laundry

5. Reuse towels

If every member in your house is showering every day and using a new towel each time, you are most likely washing a ton of towels. If you are washing properly, you are hopefully clean when you finish showering. So dry yourself off, hang the towel on the towel rack or over the shower curtain rod, and go about your business; then repeat. Doing this will save you water and electricity as well. Just make sure you hang them to dry or you’ll end up with stinky towels.

6. Wear clothes more than once

If your clothes or pajamas are not stinky, sweaty, or soiled, you really don’t need to wash them every time. If something is is still wearable when you take it off, fold it up or hang it up right away. Don’t throw it in a laundry basket or on the floor to get wrinkly.

Not only will this practice save you time on washing, folding, and putting away laundry, it will also save water, electricity, and money buying new clothes, because washing less often will help your clothes last longer.

7. Pre-wash wipe

Do you completely forget about the laundry room when dusting? While you’re loading the washer, use one of the articles you’re loading, like a towel, and wipe off the top of the washer and dryer or dust other surfaces in your laundry room. Then toss it in the washer.

Bed and Bath

8. Use a card to clean the bathroom

If you spend way too much time scrubbing at soap scum, try the method I use. I wrote about it in depth on my personal blog, but here is the gist. For soap scum in the tub, spray with 50/50 vinegar water and sprinkle with baking soda. Then take an old ID card or credit card and scrape the soap scum. It’ll come off very easily into globs that just wipe or rinse away.

9. Wipe when you wash

When you’re at the sink to wash your hands, after you wet your hands, just use them to quick wipe off the sink and faucet. Then proceed to lather up with soap and rinse like normal. It adds about 3 seconds to your hand-washing routine, but keeps your bathroom looking much cleaner (all the time!) without having to get out all the supplies.

10. Skip the flat sheet

Maybe you really love your flat sheet for some reason, but we don’t use them at our house. We don’t really see the point of them except to get all tangled up at your feet and add time to your bed making routine. You’d be surprised how fast you can make a bed when it’s just throwing a comforter back in place. Or…

11. Don’t make your bed

If number 10 doesn’t save enough time for you, you can just give up on the whole bed making thing. Really, we all know to stay out of each other’s rooms anyway, but if you need an excuse, how about this: some scientists are saying that leaving your bed unmade during the day can help reduce numbers of dust mites.

Kitchen

12. Tidy the fridge every time you get groceries

Each time you come home from the market and start putting away your groceries, do a little tidying in the fridge. Maybe organize one shelf, clean out a produce bin, or wipe up some spots. Find any old leftovers or expired foods that need to be thrown and take them out. Now you can put away your groceries. Just deal with the expired food containers when you do dishes next.

13. Put away clean dishes while cooking

When you’re waiting for that water to boil or the veggies to cook, put some dishes away. It’s a nice task that can be done in little chunks.

14. Load the dishwasher as you go

Every time you finish with a dish, rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher (if you have one, obviously). Don’t just throw it on the counter and wait to do it in batches. If you prefer to do it in batches, that’s cool. At least make sure you rinse everything off thoroughly right after you’re finished with it.

15. Assign every member of the family a water bottle

Every family member gets one water bottle that they drink out of all the time (rather than glasses). You don’t even have to wash the water bottles every day. It’s just water. This will save time washing tons of glasses, but it will also help everyone drink more water. Also, take your bottles with you everywhere you go. Don’t buy bottled water, guys. That’s gross for the planet, and seriously, it’s just tap water in disposable bottles.

16. Post-dishes wipe-down

Every time you finish a sink of dishes, take the cloth you just used and wipe off all the counters, appliances, kitchen table, sink, and faucet. It only adds about a minute to the routine, but will significantly reduce scrubbing time in the future.

All the Rest

17. Let the rain wash your car.

If you have a garage and a vehicle, bring your car outside in a downpour and let the rain do the dirty work. This is my husband’s only car washing method. Is his car always sparkling? No, but he is perfectly happy with the way it looks. Luckily, he doesn’t give a damn what other people think.

18. Put things back properly

Okay, this one is where I’m really working to improve right now.  I would organize everything really well, then as I started using things, I’d just throw them anywhere when I was done with them. Eventually the area would be a huge mess and I’d have to spend several hours reorganizing the space. Don’t do that! Spend the extra few seconds to actually put everything back where it belongs and you won’t have to keep reorganizing your tool bench (or sewing station or cereal cupboard).

19. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while you clean

I often feel like I’m wasting time cleaning. I’m not, of course — a clean house is extremely important to the health and well being of my family and myself. I think it’s just not mentally stimulating enough for me. And it can get pretty lonely. So I listen to podcasts and audiobooks and learn while I clean (and drive, and cook, and sometimes run).

20. Skip the major productions

I’m sure you’ve noticed a recurring theme in these tips. Do things in bite size chunks as you go about your day to seamlessly integrate tasks into your routines so you don’t have to waste a whole weekend day cleaning. Remember, for example, that you don’t have to mop every time you sweep. Making the task easier will make you more likely to do it. If you sweep every day or every few days, you don’t really need to mop that often, because the floors don’t get as gross.

21. Keep floors, counters, and tables picked up

It makes the whole house look cleaner, and it’s easier to do quickly a couple times a day rather than once in a while for a long time.

22. Enlist your kids

If you have kids and they’re not already helping, have them start. I struggle with this, mostly because I like things done my way. I give them tasks once in a while, but I should be giving them more regular chores other than keeping their rooms clean.

That’s it! How many of these hacks do you already do? What other hacks can you add to this list?

The Ultimate Time Saver: Stop Giving a Damn What Others Think

I know, you’ve read countless productivity and efficiency tips. You probably just read a post about 400 hacks to save time. But this post is gonna get deep. Here, we’ll get to the soul of our over-crammed lives, find a fear that lurks in the dark, and smash it to pieces.

Why do we care so much?

So why do we care about what others think of us? Don’t worry, we have a really good reason. You see, humans are social animals. Our ancestors lived in tribes over a long period of evolution. They had to fit into their tribes and be accepted or they would be rejected from the tribe – that means certain death for a tribal human. Now, things like how you and your things look did not cause a rejection; things like murder and other unforgivable acts did. Nonetheless, we still evolved to care what other people think, and it’s rooted in fear – fear of rejection.

How does this fear take our time?

Fast forward to today where we live in a fast-paced consumerist culture that has been training us to think we should look a certain way and own certain things that need to look a certain way. And we often don’t even think twice about it.

Here are some examples:

  • Meticulously kept grass-only lawns
  • Excessively large houses
  • Expensive and spotlessly clean cars
  • Fashionable clothes, kept up to season
  • Current makeup and contouring
  • Ever changing popular hairstyles and colors
  • Straight, brilliantly white teeth
  • Chiseled body shape
  • Stylish home décor
  • Flawless skin

All of these things bring some people great joy. If some of these things make you truly happy (look deep now), then absolutely keep doing it. But sometimes we do things we don’t really like or want to do because of that deep desire to impress others.

How do I take some of my time back?

For each of the items in the above list, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I do this?
  • Does it make me happy?
  • How much time do I spend doing it?
  • Do I do it only to impress others?
  • Do I want to keep doing it?
  • Do I need to keep doing it?

Let’s take a topic from the top of the list – lawns. Many people have lawns because that’s just what everybody else has, and they either want to blend in or they don’t care to do anything else (which is totally fine). I know some people who love their lawns and take great pride in them. I also know some people who never even seeded their lawn; they just mow what grows.

What’s time consuming about a lawn? Mowing, watering (in some cases), fertilizing, weed killing, aerating, dethatching, raking, and reseeding. Not everybody does all these things. Some people do none of them and pay someone else to do it. That’s fine, if you care about your lawn enough to hand over your heard-earned money for it.

Some people have lawns but they don’t want to use herbicide or spend countless hours attempting to pull dandelions and other weeds. In their case, they should answer the above questions and find out if they really need to be worrying about those non-invasive weeds anyway. Most of the time, people put a ton of time and/or money into killing dandelions simply because they don’t want to a) piss of their neighbors, or b) have a lawn that looks bad to others.

Stop giving a damn.

Here’s a hint you may have heard before — it is none of your business what other people think of you. It does not matter one bit if someone you know or someone you don’t know is unimpressed with your lawn or your skin or your clothing. They are working just as hard to impress you. Do you notice?

We are all just running on hamster wheels trying to impress each other and simultaneously raising the bar on each other (and ourselves), making it more and more difficult to maintain the standards we’ve set for each other (and ourselves).

Most people don’t go out and proceed to judge everyone else’s outfit; they’re too worried about their own. Nobody thinks you’re less of a person because you hold your essential fat in your arms or ankles or belly instead of your ass. As long as your teeth are clean, it matters to people only that you are smiling, not that your teeth are whiter than a 2-year-old’s.

Today I got a satisfying enough amount of cleaning done for a Sunday and decided to stop cleaning and take my older son out for some bonding downtown. I thought about changing out of my athletic clothes, maybe shaving, or doing something to make myself look more presentable like put on some makeup or style my hair a little. But it was a fleeting thought, and I determined that the time I could have spent making myself look “better” for strangers downtown was better spent as quality time with my son.

Not surprisingly, I got zero funny looks, zero comments on my appearance, plenty of smiles, and best of all, I was comfortable. But even if I had received funny looks or stares, it wouldn’t have mattered. Sometimes people stare or honk at me, particularly when I’m running. I actually choose to think that they just think I’m really sexy. It brightens my day a lot! But even if someone criticizes or insults me, I try (key word) not to let it get to me. Why? Because it does not matter one bit. If that person is suffering so much that they feel the need to judge or insult others, then they are the ones that need help. Not me.

Choose to let go of the fear that is driving your need to impress others. Do/wear/buy what makes you  happy and fulfilled. Let the true you shine through – you are totally and completely, one hundred percent lovable as you. Once you start to let go, you gain control of all the time you were spending feeding the fear of rejection. What will you do with all that extra time (and probably money)? Travel? Read? Meditate on self-love?

How were your results? Please share them with me in comments or emails!