The clever way to deep clean your home! Get a sparkly clean home in just 6 minutes a day and never lose an entire week to cleaning your home again!
You know what I love even more than a home that looks clean all the time? A home that actually is clean all the time! I really love the idea of giving my home a thorough deep clean, organizing every nook and cranny, and having things just right for my family. And I’d like it to be like that always, if possible. 🙂 If you think about how most homes with families living in them are, then you know that you’d probably need to spend at least one week out of every month doing a “spring cleaning” style cleaning to keep that up. Who has time for that? I know I can’t just give up a whole week of my life, really ever, to dedicate to cleaning. But I just love a good deep clean!
So here’s what I do instead!
I’ve always been a fan of tackling big projects a little bit at a time, because I just hate to give up a whole day and let all of my carefully crafted routines get out of whack. When you have a big project to tackle, whether it’s organizing the basement, or cleaning up your yard, I find that doing just a few minutes of focussed work each day is so much more effective than wasting a whole week on it. And it works if you want to deep clean your house too!
I know we always think of deep cleaning as the kind of thing where you tear your whole house apart, but it really doesn’t need to be that way. Actually, when you do the “let’s clean this whole house all in one shot” method, you actually waste a lot of time and you’re much more inefficient because you get tired. Or bored. Or distracted. It’s just the way things work! But anyone can find a few minutes to focus on something and get real results. Here’s how I do it!
Have a List
Having a list written down somewhere of tasks you’d like to accomplish goes such a long long way in helping you stay focussed and really get stuff done when you’re working with such a small amount of time. If you’re a big planner, spend a few minutes writing down a simple task for each day to deep clean your home.
If you like to go with the flow a little bit more, just keep a running list somewhere. I use the notepad in my phone usually, that way I can just write something down when I think of it. I’m a big fan of planning but for this stage in my life, the more free-form method of just having a list in my phone makes more sense because I don’t have to mess up my whole system when something goes awry and I miss a day. I just pick back up the next day, right where I left off. Starting out with a list when you want to deep clean your home sounds so ridiculously obviously and simplistic, I know, but it’s a key part of keeping yourself organized for this whole 6 minute deep clean process and it’s also something a lot of people seem to skip.
Set a Timer
If you’re going to be accomplishing big things in a teeny-weeny amount of time, you’re going to need to keep track of those minutes and seconds really well. Luckily, a lot of us carry around a timer in our pocket all day long on our phone without even realizing it. The timer on your phone is the perfect tool for this because you can adjust the volume and change the sound effect to suit whatever mood you might be in when you’re deep cleaning your home. So when you have your one task decided upon, and you have your tools at hand, and you have your phone with you, go ahead and set your timer for 5 minutes. That’s right, I said 5 minutes, not 6.
The reason for the extra minute is to give you a little bit of breathing room. When your timer goes off at 5 minutes, you may just find that you’re almost-but-not-quite done a job. That extra minute gives you a chance to complete the job without having to consider yourself having “failed” at getting it done in time. The extra boost from that feeling of crushing a task in your goal time will give you a great feeling of accomplishment and a boost of motivation for starting on your next task the next day!
There will be other times where you accomplish your task in much much less time than 5 minutes. You may think it’s crazy for me to say that you’ll be able to tackle your most dreaded tasks in that little time, but it happens to me constantly! Just a few minutes ago, I set a timer for 5 minutes and set out to clean out a really messy drawer that had been bugging me for weeks. Less than two minutes later, I was done and I was able to look around and see what else I could do for the remaining 3 minutes of my 5 minute timer. Then I had one more minute to do even more! It’s little moments like this that can really change how you feel about cleaning your home.
Use Great Tools for Efficiency
Having great tools to deep clean your home can make all the difference. It’s not just about how clean they’ll make your home look, it’s also about how you’ll feel when you use them. Using tools that get the job done well can actually be fun and this will motivate you to feel like “Yes! I can DO this!” every time you go to tackle a deep clean task.
I use e-cloth cleaning tools because they just work, every single time. You’ve heard me talk about this many times before, but I just love how they clean perfectly with just water so you can just dampen whichever specially-designed cloth or tool you’re using for your specific task and go to town! All of the tools are uniquely designed for specific cleaning tasks around the house and they really do make tough cleaning jobs easier and more fun.
Break Up Bigger Tasks in to Bite Size Pieces
So what if you have a task you’d like to do that takes longer than 6 minutes? Just break it up into smaller chunks! We all know that we can do this with large tasks at work or even home improvement projects, but for some reason, when we think about deep cleaning, we think that we need to do everything all in one shot. If you have a something like house full of dusty, marked up baseboards that need to be cleaned, feel free to just tackle it for a few minutes each day instead of working on it for hours at a time.
It will still get done and you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your whole day just to get your home looking semi-acceptable. I love to use my e-cloth general cleaning cloth when I have really built-up grime that I need to tackle. One or two cloths is usually perfect for tackling about 5-6 minutes worth of mess and when I’m done, I toss them in the wash and they’re ready to go again the next day!
Do it Every Day
This is the key, of course! Just 6 minutes of cleaning isn’t going to deep clean your house but you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish if you do 6 minutes every day!
What Kind of Tasks to Add to Your List
So what kinds of tasks should you be adding to your deep clean list? What kind of task counts as a deep clean task instead of just a regular ol’ everyday cleaning task? Well, think of these tasks as the ones you’d do maybe one to ten times a year, not the type of thing you’d like to get to once every few days. Save this time for the real heavy-hitters and you’ll start to notice real progress and get that feeling of having a home that really is clean, not just a home that looks clean.
I have a few really thorough lists in my book The Cleaning Ninja, so definitely make use of those if you have a copy of that. If you’d like to just start making your own, think of things like those really inconvenient high-dusting jobs that can sometimes get left for years because they just seem so inconvenient. Chances are, those will actually take you less than 6 minutes if you have something like this handy dandy 2 in 1 Extendable Duster.
Also think about adding things like cleaning the oven, cleaning upholstery, washing windows, and cleaning glass light fixtures.
Deep Clean the Oven
I think cleaning the oven is definitely one of those most dreaded of all deep cleaning tasks. I’ve just discovered this product called Universal Stone which e-cloth sells and it has totally changed my perspective on oven cleaning. I hate really strong, toxic chemicals so this is right up my alley. This product is 100% natural and safe and it can be used on any surface that needs a really, really good deep clean, more than you can manage to tackle with just your e-cloths and water alone. You just wet this special sponge that comes with the Universal Stone, rub it a few times across the stone, then start gently scrubbing your oven. You’ll see a ton of that baked on mess start to come up right away, which is pretty amazing for a non-toxic cleaner!
This Universal Stone is also perfect for my six minute method. You don’t need to worry about setting aside a whole day to clean your oven, you really can just work on a small section (like the glass on the door) for five minutes, rinse it off by wiping with an e-cloth and continue on with your day. No need to worry about what kind of crazy chemicals you’re leaving behind, like I do with traditional harsh chemical cleaners.
Deep Clean Your Windows
Washing windows seems to be another thing that we often feel like we need to set aside an entire day for, so it doesn’t end up getting done as often as it should. Who has time to lose a whole day to washing windows? I love using the e-cloth window genie on windows because you just need to spray the window with water, then wipe it down with the window genie for a totally smudge-free, streak-free clean. That’s it! This tool works really well inside and out and gets right up into hard-to reach corners and edges too. The fact that it cleans windows so efficiently and with so little fuss means that you can get to more windows in your 6 minute time frame! It’s also great for glass light fixtures!
When you’re putting together your deep clean planning list, you’ll also want to add thoroughly wiping down your walls, door and window trim, light switches and baseboards. When it comes to general dusting and wiping like that, I generally like to make a list that tackles these items in each room from the top of the room, down. While you’re on a roll, definitely make sure you use this time to declutter a few areas of your home that have been really bugging you because you can’t get a good deep clean with a bunch of junk in the way! Decluttering 6 minutes at a time is a magical thing too. 🙂
No matter what jobs you’re tackling around the house, always carry a glass and polishing cloth with you as you go about your speedy cleaning duties for that perfect final touch. This is truly the best, completely lint-free, grabs-on-to-any-smudge polishing cloth that I’ve ever used and I love it. It’s my secret weapon for making me feel like I’ve done a really beautiful job of cleaning my home, even if I’ve only worked on it for a few minutes.
I just did a thorough decluttering of my cleaning pantry area because I really don’t use a lot of my old cleaning tools and cloths anymore now that I have these e-cloths. This has definitely made the whole 6-minute-a-day deep cleaning process a whole lot more efficient!
How do you go about deep cleaning your home? Have you tried something similar to my 6-minute-a-day method?
Thanks so much to e-cloth for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for my time spent putting this post together, but all opinions, ideas, and suggestions are my own as always!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.