On Saturday morning, I was lying on the couch reading while the others were doing errands. I nearly didn’t answer my phone, but – and we’ve all been there – my mom was in the neighborhood and wanted to pop in.
After a long week, my house was chaotic, and she’s a fussy lady (read: clean freak). I had 30 minutes before she arrived – how do you clean a room that quickly?
To clean a room fast, collect your cleaning equipment. Toss any trash and collect misplaced items. Pick up clothes and put them in the laundry or cupboard. Make the bed or fluff the pillows. Wipe down or dust visible surfaces and run the vacuum over the rug or floor. Finally, clean the toilet.
Few of us love housework, and I’m guilty of this rushed cleaning when company comes. This approach to cleaning is so common that there’s a word for it: scurryfunge. If you scurryfunge, you’ll need all the tricks and tips to clean a room quickly. Read on. Quickly.
How to Clean Your Room Fast and Efficiently – 9 Simple Steps
Jokes aside, keeping your home clean is essential for both physical and mental health. A tidy, uncluttered environment makes you feel more relaxed, helps you to sleep better, and saves you time – you’ll know where your keys, sunglasses, and purse are.
However, you don’t need to spend hours cleaning each room daily or every weekend. By working efficiently, having all your cleaning equipment ready, and following a simple checklist, you can get a surprising amount of housework done in a short time.
Professional cleaners suggest that if you do a deep clean every so often, you should only need five minutes per room per day to keep your house clean and tidy.
Here’s what you can do if you have 20 to 30 minutes to clean.
#1. Grab Your Equipment
Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary equipment handy:
- An empty basket, box, or bucket
- Microfiber cleaning cloth and duster
- All-purpose spray cleaner or glass cleaner and furniture polish
- Crease release spray
- Carpet freshener
- Trash bags
- Vacuum cleaner
#2. Throw Out Trash
A five-minute clean isn’t a clear-out, so ignore that pile of magazines you’ve been meaning to go through. Instead, grab the trash bag and do the following:
- Begin by picking up any obvious trash, like pizza boxes, used tissues, and paper balls.
- Empty any wastepaper baskets. If you don’t have a bin in your bedroom, bathroom, study, and kitchen (at least), you are making extra work for yourself.
#3. Collect Misplaced Items
As you collect and dispose of trash, pick up any items that don’t belong in the room. Put them in a basket or box.
If you only have five minutes, you can pop the box out of sight in a cupboard or another room. If you have longer, put the box in the doorway so you can’t leave the room without it.
Take a couple of minutes at the end of cleaning the room to put them away. If your house is anything like mine, most items will be dirty glasses, cereal bowls, and snack plates needed to get to the kitchen.
#4. Put Dirty Laundry in the Hamper
Put dirty laundry in the laundry basket – I make sure each bedroom has a basket. Tossing their dirty laundry in the basket is one of the first chores I taught my children.
If you’re organized, you’ll have a basket with separate sections to sort laundry by color immediately. To save time later on laundry, unroll socks and pull shirts right side out to save time when doing the laundry.
#5. Put Away Clean Clothes
I often find a combination of freshly laundered items dumped on the bed and discarded outfits that didn’t make that morning’s cut dumped on a chair or even the floor. It’s best to put away laundry immediately and rehang outfits as you go – but if we were that organized, we wouldn’t be cleaning in 15 minutes.
There’s nothing more depressing than looking for your favorite top, only to find it crumpled on a chair. You’ll end up ironing the same item twice, a curse nobody needs.
Hang up clean clothes if you have time, or fold them loosely into drawers to be hung up later.
#6. Make the Bed
A neatly made bed is so inviting that it’s worth doing this for your own serenity as much as for a surprise visitor. If you’re really pressed for time, pull the sheets straight. Lift the duvet or bedspread and lay it neatly on top.
If you can, take the time to make the bed properly, stripping it and dumping the dirty set in the laundry basket. If you have an extra set, change the sheets, duvet cover, and pillowcases. This should be done weekly, even if you shower and forbid eating in bed.
One of my favorite time-saving tips to avoid ironing (yes, I hate it) is to use a wrinkle release spray. As you lay each sheet, duvet, or comforter, spritz it with crease release and smooth it with your hands.
The worst creases will disappear, and your bedding will smell gorgeous. Note to the lazy housekeepers among us: crease-release spray is not a substitute for washing bedding.
If you’re busy tidying a living room, fluff the pillows and fold throws or blankets.
#7. Tidy Surfaces
You should still have time to do some tidying, like putting books back on bookshelves, putting bills in the in-tray rather than all over the desk, and reading glasses in the drawer.
Nightstands, dressers, and tables can become dumping grounds and quickly accumulate clutter. It takes only a few minutes to restore neatness if you have homes for frequently used items.
For example, keep a bowl near the door for keys, a decorative tray on the dresser for jewelry, or a pretty box for your daughter’s endless supply of scrunchies. For children, have designated boxes for Lego, cars, blocks, and so on.
#8. Dust and Roll
Remove visible dust with a microfiber duster or cloth after the clutter has been cleared. Use furniture polish, cleaning spray, or antibacterial wipes to brighten wood or glass.
Give dresser doors and furniture’s legs a wipe if you have time. Choose a scented cleaning spray to leave the room smelling of lemons or lavender.
I recommend using a lint roller for the bed’s headboard, sofas, cushions, and lampshades. I use mine for clothes, but have another that magically picks up dirt of all kinds: dust, crumbs, and pet hair.
#9. Vacuum Visible Spaces
Run the vacuum cleaner over visible and high-traffic areas, especially if your pets shed. Sprinkle some carpet freshener to remove any doggy odors.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Room Fast
A quick burst of cleaning can make a massive difference to any room in your home. It only takes a few minutes to throw out trash, tidy up clutter, and put clothes away. Making the bed immediately makes a bedroom more tranquil. Do a bit of dusting, polishing, and vacuuming, and you’ve got a clean room.