1. Avoid Perfection at All Costs – getting most of it done in a quick fashion does not allow you to get into detailed cleaning.
2. Understand why you are doing the quick cleaning. Is it the usual Monday clean up? Or are you cleaning up for a special event (kids birthday party, cocktail party, or thanksgiving). Once you know why you need to clean up – it’s easier to decide where to spend the most time. If the kid’s birthday party is outside – spend your time cleaning up the outside, the bathroom, their bedroom and the kitchen. If you’re having an adult cocktail party, focus on the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. If it’s thanksgiving, dining room, kitchen, bathroom living room?
3. When cleaning and de-cluttering, I suggest moving left to right around the house. Stand at your front door and continue to organize and clean. Remember everything behind you is now considered a clean, clutter-free zone and everything ahead of you requires attention. Using this method always you to measure what you’ve done and what’s left to do. If you don’t need to clean a particular room, close the door and move on.
4. Use a timer, set for 15 to 20 minute increments.
5. Keep calendar or notepad next to you, that way you can write down ideas and reminders that come to you and you don’t have to stop and go to another room to write down a note (which creates distractions).
6. Select the kind of music that will make you move quickly. Slow classical music creates slow movements when dusting or doing dishes. When you are “up” and dancing and smiling – we automatically move faster!
7. Before you start cleaning, decide what your system will be for this quick clean up? Create four or five tasks that you will do in the room. Cleaning up means different things to different people.
8. Start with the most important room or the most difficult room and set the number of minutes you will spend cleaning it.
9. Keep a basket with you as you clean. When you find items that don’t belong in the room you are cleaning, toss them in the basket and keep cleaning. We loose time when we walk each individual item back to it’s proper location.
10. Understand whether you are more likely to clean in the mornings, afternoons or evenings. Stick with what works. I know I’m a morning person, so I power through my cleaning first thing to make sure it’s done and I can get on with the day. Others are late night people and the cleaning can be a relaxing way to wind down the day.
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