How to Keep Your House Clean in 15 Minutes a Day!


By: , – Erin Whitehead, SparkPeople Contributor
4/7/2014 6:00 AM   :  43 comments   :  261,273 Views

If you hate having a designated cleaning day, but love having a clean house, it can seem that the only solution is to hire a cleaning service. But that can be expensive, and many people who hire others to do the dirty work for them often end up cleaning before the cleaning staff arrives anyway! You can avoid spending an entire day cleaning the house if you break the housekeeping chores up into about 15-minute segments each day of the week. This will let you maintain a pretty clean house much of the time without having to spend your entire Saturday scrubbing.
Here we've broken up most of the cleaning necessities into shorter sessions you can fit into each day of the week—with one cleaning-free day off to enjoy your spic and span house!
Monday: Dust
No one wants Mondays to be more miserable than they already are, so reserve one of the easier tasks on this list for the beginning of the week. Grab your dust rag or dusting device of choice and dust furniture, bookshelves, dressers, night stands and the TV. You can even tackle this chore during commercials to break it up even more.
Tuesday: Floors
Floors take some time to tackle so do them early in the week before you're totally wiped. Sweep wood floors and grab the vacuum and hit carpeted areas. Once sweeping is done, tackle the kitchen and bathroom floors with a mop or a quick spot-clean with a wet rag.
Wednesday: Bathrooms
The bathroom is most people's least favorite room to clean. They get grimy and gunky and who really wants to get super friendly with a toilet? Whether you have one bathroom or several, this room is a pretty quick clean even if it's the least fun. Scrub the sink and wipe the counters, and swipe any spots off the mirror before hitting the toilet. Then clean the tub and shower walls, and be glad you did the floors the previous day.
Thursday: Kitchen
Hopefully you're already cleaning the kitchen a little bit every day after cooking and eating meals. So focus on those areas you don't touch every day that need a deeper clean: Give the floor a quick sweep and glance around for areas that need spot cleaning. Then, wipe down the insides of the microwave and fridge before you wipe them down on the outside. Give the stovetop a good scrub, and then wipe the backsplash and clean the sink thoroughly.
Friday: Clutter
You'd rather spend Friday evening at a happy hour or on a romantic date, so this final weekday should be an easy one. Go through the whole house and put any clutter that has accumulated over the week into its rightful spot.
Saturday: Laundry
Laundry isn't exactly a 30-minute chore, but it doesn't require constant attention either. Make laundry day the day you change your bed sheets and towels, then remember to rotate the laundry throughout the day.
Sunday: Day off!
Use Sunday to enjoy your house or to occasionally do those cleaning chores that are seasonal and that don't need weekly or even monthly attention, like cleaning windows or the oven, washing slip covers or curtains, or wiping down baseboards and switch plate covers.
Mix and match your days (outside of the schedule above) to make them work for you. If you hate having a day dedicated to laundry, for example, toss in a load or two a few other days of the week. If you find your floors need a quick vacuum more than once a week, add that chore to one of your least busy days of the week. No matter how you slice it, breaking your task list into smaller chunks will help cleaning the house seem more manageable—especially if you manage to recruit a roommate, spouse or the kids to further lighten the load!

How much time do you spend cleaning each day? Do you prefer to break it up or dedicate one longer day to cleaning?

About the Author
Erin Whitehead is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at

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  • 43
    Although this has no official print version, it can be printed; just hit Control-P. The smaller the page font, the fewer pages to print. The sidebars will be printed too, but no biggie. You can also print or omit the comments. - 9/28/2015   4:50:45 PM
  • 42
    I would love this if only the others in my home and the CATS co-operated. - 9/9/2015   8:42:02 PM
  • 41
    I wish I only had to clean the floors once a week. My list of chores everyday consist of washing dishes, wipe off stove, counter, cabinets, walls, and fridge, laundry, sweep floors, bleach floors, vacuum floors, clean bathroom, trash, litter boxes, feed ducks, cats, dogs, rabbit, and fish. Not to mention walking dogs, going to work, and helping the kids with their homework. The once a week stuff would be bathing animals, making the kids clean their rooms and rabbit cage. On top of all that I'm supposed to plan and prepare healthy meals and exercise. - 9/9/2015   10:01:03 AM
  • 40
    Useful tips. Thanks! - 8/5/2015   11:36:06 AM
    At my house none of these things could be accomplished in 15 minutes. I try to spend an hour or so every day on cleaning (not including laundry which I do a couple of times a week), but my plan is room by room, not chore by chore. - 6/17/2015   11:46:13 AM
  • 38
    Ugh--I guess I am just too lazy to clean my house! The idea of cleaning every night is just depressing so I'll keep doing the little tidying up parts but leave the real cleaning to our amazing housekeeper. She knows our quirks and never complains but the house looks great when we get home. WONDERFUL! - 6/14/2015   9:19:37 AM
  • 37
    Great. Useful. Thank you. - 5/24/2015   3:40:45 AM
  • 2METOO
    You did say mix and match. Well my:
    Mon.- pick up from the weekend
    Tue.- Laundry and Kitchen
    Wed.- Shopping "Get Out"
    Thurs.- Declutter other things, and organize papers and mail.
    (It's that much)
    Friday- Dust and glass clean and floors
    Sat. Meetings, funerals, or luncheons
    Sunday- Church and yard organizing and just sitting out there with a cool drink of any kind.

    However, Bathrooms are daily, swish the bowls and sinks, wipe the mirrors, if toothpaste popped on it and pass the mop with disinfectant on it.
    That is the way I use to do it.
    Pain is something, young people when you cannot lift, sweep or anything. - 5/4/2015   10:52:48 AM
  • 35
    Good plan, but bathrooms need to be cleaned more than once a week. Yuck! - 2/18/2015   1:33:22 PM
  • 34
    Good plan, but bathrooms need to be cleaned more than once a week. Yuck! - 2/18/2015   1:32:52 PM
  • 33
    I usually leave Saturdays for household chores but honestly, it gets hard! I actually believe this trick of dividing the chores into shorter periods everyday will help me keep my flat clean without feeling overwhelmed! Thanks for this article! - 2/18/2015   10:05:52 AM
  • 32
    Wish I had the energy at the end of the day to put in another "to do" at home during the week. I prefer to knock it all out on the weekend, or day off. Sometimes I clean on a Friday night, leaving laundry for Saturday. Then the whole weekend is wonderful. - 1/14/2015   2:37:50 PM
  • 31
    I have Mondays as my laundry days. Try to remember to delegate chores throughout the week, but don't always succeed. Bathrooms are my downfall.
    Thanks for the tips...will put some into use this year. - 1/10/2015   3:16:37 PM
  • 30
    I really like method of cleaning house. Anyone struggling in this area should really check it out. - 1/10/2015   1:52:05 PM
  • JAKNIGHT2014
    The only thing domestic about me is that I 'eat and sleep indoors;' that being said, #1 on the list I dislike doing with fierce intensity is "housework." So I made a game of it. I created 'Do' and 'Done' glass containers. The traditional 'Monday do this, Tuesday do that ...' has never really worked for me. 'Do' is full of tasks broken down into manageable increments for each room in my home. Little strips of paper all rolled up and mixed. Housework is now all about the 'Luck of the draw' for each week. 'Done' is where those little strips go when the task has been completed. When the 'Done' container is full, it will become the 'Do' container and I start over. No more dread about what needs to be cleaned, because I won't know till the day before what the target will be. - 1/10/2015   8:56:43 AM
  • 28
    My mother always said "It is easy to clean a CLEAN house." She had rules so we didn't make a mess, but when we would leave to go somewhere, we always came back home to a clean house. She'd say "Well, if we didn't do it, I know the MAID wouldn't do it while we were gone." Of course, we didn't have "Hazel, the Maid" like the TV show. - 12/5/2014   12:21:28 AM
  • 27
    I typically spend all day Sunday cleaning house so that I'm starting off the week with a spotless house. But it does eat up most of my day and is definitely tedious so I'm liking this idea a lot! With my floors, I have to vacuum more than once a week thanks to my dog who sheds incessantly so I do usually run the vacuum around the house during the week (focusing on the rooms she spends the most time in - with me in the office during the day, the living room and then bedroom). - 8/25/2014   9:06:07 AM
  • 26
    Sounds good, but I live with a couple of cats of which should have been born as pigs. I will give it a try and maybe throw in a little cha cha or other dance steps to boot. - 7/28/2014   2:39:40 PM
  • 25
    Good overall idea, but some days definitely wouldn't be just 20 minutes. My floors take at least 2-3 hrs. just to sweep and vacuum, plus 1-2 hrs. moping. Cleaning lady bill is the best money ever spent!! She does the floors and I do the rest, staying one room ahead of her. - 6/3/2014   9:50:41 PM
  • 24
    good article - 5/7/2014   5:22:10 AM
  • 23
    Great article - 4/10/2014   7:49:05 AM
    good article - 4/10/2014   4:53:14 AM
  • 21
    This sounds like a great idea, but I think the headline is misleading. After all, the very first line of the article says 20 minutes a day! - 4/9/2014   3:43:22 PM
  • 20
    Sandra Felton & Flylady have been teaching this for years. It works!
    - 4/8/2014   4:35:42 AM
  • 19
    Another article dug out of the dirt and dust that no points are given for if you have already read it back in 2012 - 4/8/2014   4:02:29 AM
  • 18
    good plan thanks i try to have a plan but get side tracked this will help me make my cleaning list. - 4/7/2014   7:44:23 PM
  • 17
    These tips will be very useful. I'm lazy, I admit it. But I bought an IRobot vacuum at Sams a couple of years ago, and I LOVE it. I run it a few times a week, and my house is so much cleaner. And, your friends will come over to watch it! My dog hates it, but I let it run during our morning walks and it is almost finished when we get home. - 4/7/2014   10:05:41 AM
  • 16
    Love Swiffer - can dust in a minute! - 12/13/2013   10:20:59 AM
    It's very important to maintain your home clean and well-organized. Even few minutes a day can significantly help your keep your home neat and tidy. Good luck! - 2/22/2013   3:42:23 AM
  • 14
    Yes, this really does work. My son and I do this. We use a kitchen timer. We give each room 10 mins. 2 people can make a great dent in one room. - 9/22/2012   11:26:11 PM
  • 13
    Passed this one on!!! Great! - 9/21/2012   8:49:21 AM
  • 12
    Whenever my husband leaves a room, he always tries to leave it in better than it was when he first entered. He'll take a plate to the kitchen sink, and when he's in the kitchen, he'll wipe down a counter. It really works! - 9/20/2012   5:56:57 PM
  • MBENSON4213
    All these things said, I was fortunate to have a cleaning person for 2 years. In addition to gaining an awesome friend, I learned from her many quick cleaning tips (she trained me when she retired). HOWEVER, I have to say,they money I gave her to clean was THE BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT. I'm not kidding. :) - 9/19/2012   4:30:03 PM
    i just want to say i never thought of doing things in a particular order. i just start something and where i land when i am doing that project is where i begin the next. that is why i never really finish. what i mean is i will start in the living room and pick up something that goes in the bedroom, go to the bedroom and pick up a glass that goes in the kitchen. - 9/19/2012   3:08:19 PM
    When my daughter was little, we'd do "10-minute tasks." We'd each pick something to do, and sometimes we'd add on a second 10-minute task. Things got straightened up, and it felt more like a game than work. Now that my daughter's grown, I still take on a series of 10-minute tasks on a busy day when I can just squeeze in a little straightening up. - 9/19/2012   11:22:24 AM
  • 8
    I set a timer and only allow that much time (15 or 30 minutes) to get things cleaned up. It makes me much more efficient! - 9/19/2012   8:17:11 AM
    I do my workout at home. In between sets, when I am resting my muscle before the next 12 reps, I walk around and pick up some of the clutter. I have even done dishes, clean the bathroom, etc. - 9/19/2012   7:47:29 AM
  • 6
    yeah - that's kind of what flylady suggests! - 9/19/2012   7:41:57 AM
  • 5
    The most important rule I've learned is to not procrastinate on cleaning. A 5-minute pick-up, wipe down, or swish every day or week is so so much easier than a 60-minute scrub, scour, and scrape that still can't get something looking clean.

    Learning to put things away and clean up spills immediately has reduced my cleaning time in a way that my inherent laziness and hatred of house-cleaning never could. - 9/18/2012   4:58:06 PM
  • 4
    I work full time and I'm also a college student. Recently, I've started making myself pick up/clean/wipe one thing each time I stand up to get a supply/more water/use the restroom. It's amazing how little tasks add up! - 9/18/2012   1:49:52 PM
  • 3
    Always dust first, vacuum last - otherwise you get dust in the air and on the floor and don't clean it up until the NEXT vacuuming. - 9/18/2012   10:17:23 AM
    I highly recommend the free web site if you are housecleaning challenged. Her approach is much like sparkpeople's...slow and steady wins the race! - 9/18/2012   8:34:25 AM
    Recently I made a schedule and simply planned in half an hour to an hour of cleaning and tidying three times a week. I do it right after breakfast and getting dressed so I won't postpone it. I look at the clock when I start and tell myself I can stop after one hour. - 9/18/2012   6:14:46 AM

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