Intentional Living Simple Living

How To Cut Cleaning Time in Half

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Last week, I shared how tidying my place once and for all was officially completed. Today, I want to share with you how tidying my home cut cleaning time in half!

If you are like me, you don’t prefer to come home after a full day of work to continue working. I like to come home, decide what to cook for supper, tidy a little, and enjoy an activity or two before getting ready for bed.

Before I became a minimalist, my routine was dreadful! Some days I would spend 2 hours working on cleaning my home and/or organizing stuff!

It was madness! My after work routine was just as exhausting as working a full 8 hour day, which made me even more exhausted.

I did not have a place for everything, and things were usually stuffed into whatever space I could find.

Did you know that organizing things that do not have a proper space will eventually lead to the need of reorganization?

This cycle could easily be labelled as insanity! I endured this cycle for many years, and I am so glad I ended it! No more reorganizing for me!

Last week, I shared how tidying my place once and for all was officially completed. Today, I want to share with you how tidying my home cut cleaning time in half!

My home has been tidy for two weeks, and I am loving it! Everything is quick to put away and easy to clean!

So let’s go into details of how I personally cut cleaning time in half by having a tidy home!

Most days, I am home an hour and a half before my husband. My goal is to have everything tidied by the time he gets home, so that I can start cooking supper and converse with him about our day.

1. I deal with the mail as soon as I get home.

Bills are put in my basket to be dealt with appropriately. Spam is put in my recycle bin. Anything else is dealt with accordingly. [I used to put all of the mail in a basket and sort when the pile became too much.]

Before: 1 hour when I decided to deal with a pile. After: 2 minutes, if I get mail that day!

2. I lay out any meat that needs thawed for supper, and wipe down my countertops [also done when cleaning up after supper].

By planning ahead, the first thing I do after sorting the mail is lay out thing that need to thaw out before cooking. I also like to wipe down my countertops before prepping supper.

Before and After: 2 minutes [No difference of time taken.]

3. I make the bed.

Most say to do this in the morning, but I find it easier for me to do this after work. It is almost a push for me to tidy my space – a motivation to get started, if you will.

Before: 0 minutes, because I never worried about making the bed. 🙁 After: 3 minutes

4. I look for anything out of place and put it where it belongs.

Usually there is a kitchen towel that needs to go into the laundry, or a cup that needs to be put in the sink.

Before: 20 minutes when I did it. After: 5 minutes at the most.

5. Switch out the dishes in the dishwasher.

I put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher and put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher. [This saves me so much time after eating supper, because I can add dirty dishes as I cook and my husband is more likely to follow suit.]

Before: 15 minutes, doing it all after cooking. After: 7 minutes roughly.

6. Put on a load of laundry.

I gather any dirty clothes and sort into my two laundry hampers. I start a load of laundry if there is enough to do so.

If any clothes are in the dryer, I warm them to remove wrinkles, then fold and put them where they belong.

[I usually do laundry every 3 days, but I collect dirty clothes daily to keep my space tidy. Before being tidy, I would have to do a load a day!]

Before: 30 minutes a day. After: 5 minutes when only sorting; 15 minutes when washing, drying, and folding a load or two.

7. Lastly, I dust, sweep, and vacuum.

Living in a small space means this doesn’t take long, so I don’t mind doing it often.

[My husband is mildly allergic to dust mites, so I am working harder to keep the dust level down in our home.]

Before: 20 minutes, mostly because I had a bigger space with a lot more to clean. After: 7 minutes.


Together these 7 steps take about 30-40 minutes to complete each day after work. This leaves me enough time to go out into the garden to pick fresh beans, feed/water my chickens, or whatever I feel like doing until my husband gets home.

I love coming home to a 30-40 minute tidying routine versus about an hour and a half routine that I had before becoming a tidy minimalist. I feel my energy level has improved due to this.

Before, I could barely do what was necessary. Now, I look for extra things to do, because I have the time and energy.

Some people believe the tidier your home, the happier and more energetic you are. I have only been tidy for a couple of weeks, but I have come to believe that as truth.

Want to cut your cleaning time in half? It is as simple as having a tidy home!

What is your after work routine like? What do you do on a daily basis to help ease the process? Let me know below in the comments.

26 Comments

  • Reply
    Ms MoneyPennies
    May 18, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I have noticed that I have way more time and my house appeared much cleaner once I went through my house and got rid of possessions (an exercise in minimalism) but this list takes it to the next level! I will have to give some of these a go! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 18, 2016 at 8:45 am

      I’m glad you found my post useful! It pays to have a quick and easy cleaning routine! Trust me! I have tried and not tried everything possible, and for me, this works best!

  • Reply
    Crystal Wachoski
    May 18, 2016 at 11:08 am

    You vacuum everyday? It takes me 30-40 to vacuum alone. I tidy up everyday!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

      I only have 1 rug, so vacuuming is easy. The rest is concrete. Before we moved, we had a lot of carpet, but it only took 10 minutes to go through the whole house.

  • Reply
    Christine @ The Mostly Simple Life
    May 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Yes!! Why spend time cleaning the clutter? I’ve definitely noticed that the less stuff we own, the less time it takes to clean.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 18, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      I’m just sad it took me so long to realize this. I am not fond of cleaning, so it would have been very useful to discover minimalism a long time ago! haha!

  • Reply
    Cara
    May 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Such great tips! It’s always a nice relief to have freed-up time to put towards other things!

  • Reply
    Sandy Mangis
    May 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    That is wonderful. I wish it worked for me. I would clean it and turn around and poof. All over again. And that is just because my husband has a different idea of where things need to be.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 19, 2016 at 10:23 am

      I’ve had that problem as well, Sandy. I finally told my husband that I was responsible for where things go unless it was his night stand. If I’m the only one tidying, it’s my job to know where things are. It may sound harsh, but it worked! Now I don’t have to worry about things moving around without me knowing.

  • Reply
    Christy
    May 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    We downsized our home a couple of years ago, which forced us to live a more minimal lifestyle. We sold and donated a lot of things. I feel like cleaning is so much easier now, and I’m not suffocating from all our stuff!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 19, 2016 at 10:24 am

      We did the same thing, Christy! Best decision we’ve made together! That transition is how I became a minimalist.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    May 18, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Number 1 the mail, number 5 unloading the clean dishes from the dishwasher and number 6 sorting the dirty clothes and starting a load as needed, are wonderful daily tidying items. These three save me so much time. Everyone can start with these!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 19, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Making up the bed after work is such a great idea – simple, but it never occurred to me to do so!! Tidying every day is such a good habit to get into. Trying to install it into my kids but it is sometimes an uphill battle with them!!!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 19, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Thank you, Carrie! I don’t have children myself, so I’m not speaking from personal experience. What I have read is that a reward system tends to work best. Whether you give an allowance, so much TV time, or things they enjoy, I read that it helps get them on board. Again not speaking from personal experience, just research I’ve done.

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 19, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Great tips! I try to keep things tody but a 2 and 1 year old underfoot have definitely made that a little bit more difficult . And some days I just don’t want to pick up toys ANYMORE! Hahaha! . I would love for you to share your post with more bloggers! http://www.akreativewhim.com/giveaway-100hd-30

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Thank you, Kate! I definitely will! I can only imagine with two little ones how difficult it can be. I guess the best thing to do is work on what they can’t undo in 5 minutes haha!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    May 19, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Such great tips! I am going to put these into practice

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    May 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I am so much like you when it comes to keeping a tidy, organized home. I find that if you do little things daily, it makes a huge difference in the amount of time you spend deep cleaning. I pretty much live by the rule “company ready” at all times. At any given point, you can visit our home and I am 100% comfortable with how it looks.

  • Reply
    Jill
    May 31, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    What does your husband do to help? I think that everyone in the house should take part in keeping it neat…..help with laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. After turning 69 this year I’ve discussed with my husband the fact that even though he has been retired 14 years, he needs to start helping me now to keep the house clean…..not working very well thus far. I think I would like to live alone….LOL. Then I can have less clutter and a tidy house…..

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      May 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      I completely agree with you, Jill! This is best case scenario. If I could do it all before he gets home, we both get to enjoy the evening together. But when our routine gets bumped around a bit, he does help! He cleans the kitchen when I finish cooking, packs up our lunches for the next day, and he is great at keeping the floors clean! I try not to ask for his help all the time, because my husband works a lot of overtime and is always looking for new jobs to tackle. I personally like a clean home, so if he is not there to help that is okay. If he is there to help, I definitely accept his help! Now when we get to retirement age, I will definitely be splitting the chores up more than I do now! hehe! 😉

  • Reply
    Brenda Rodas
    April 30, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Thanks for sharing such an informative article with us. I hope you’ll too share information on the kitchen cleaning routine.

    • Reply
      Erin Tannehill
      May 10, 2019 at 7:38 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Brenda! I’ll add a kitchen cleaning routine to my list. 🙂

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