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How to Clean Your House in 2 Hours or Less: Speed Cleaning Checklist

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Do you feel like you never have enough time to clean your house? If so, this guide is for you! As any busy family knows, keeping a house clean with kids is easier said than done. Knowing how to clean your house in 2 hours or less might sound impossible but this speed cleaning checklist will help you get it done faster!

Don’t have two hours to clean? If you’re really in a rush, I’ve also put together a checklist on how to clean your house in 30 minutes and how to clean your house in 1 hour too.

These quick house cleaning plans are perfect when unexpected guests announce they are on coming over or when you need a regular routine to clean your house fast!

How to clean your house fast

How To Clean Your House Fast

There are so many things most of us would rather be doing than house cleaning! And even if you do have good intentions, sometimes things don’t go to plan.

Or 5 minutes after you finish vacuuming and mopping your floors, one of your kids spills a bowl of cereal all over the floor. It really is one of those neverending parts of life and none of us wants to lose a whole Saturday to cleaning!

I am a big fan of anything that will mean I am spending less time cleaning. For some people, this looks like having a regular cleaning routine. For others, this is having time-saving cleaning hacks that do some of the work for you.

While deep cleaning is something that still needs to fit into your plans, most of the time, your cleaning session is more of a surface clean and that’s what this guide will focus on.

This speed cleaning plan can either become your new go-to weekly cleaning schedule or when you’re in a bit of a rush, knowing that you need your house looking spotless because visitors are coming over soon.

Either way, choose your block of time and turn on some upbeat music. Let’s get cleaning!

Choosing Your Cleaning Plan

Depending on your motivation and how much time you have to spare, these 3 cleaning plans are going to help you clean your house quickly.

The 30-minute plan is perfect if you have guests coming over and you want to get the essential areas tidy and clean in record time.

The 1-hour plan is great if you have a bit more time to spare and want to go a little deeper with your cleaning tasks or if your house is extra messy.

The 2-hour plan is great for giving your entire house a more thorough cleaning session. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in two hours with this speed-cleaning checklist!

How To Clean Your House In 30 Minutes

If you only have 30 minutes to clean your home, you need to prioritise what is most important. This means knowing your goal.

Is it because you have guests coming to visit? If so, focus on the areas they will likely see and don’t worry so much about those that you can hide away behind closed doors.

If it’s because you simply don’t have any extra time to spare right now, 30 minutes of cleaning is far more effective than none at all, so focus on those high-use areas of your home, which are often those same ones that we most worry about when we are entertaining.

Usually, this is the living areas, bathrooms and kitchen that are the highest priority.

Clear Surface Clutter (10-minutes)

Clearing visible clutter from those high-priority areas is one of the fastest ways to ‘fake’ a clean home, even if you don’t have time to properly clean it.

Grab an empty laundry basket and go from room to room in these areas picking up anything that does not belong and taking it to its correct place. This allows you to carry a lot at once, making a single trip rather than several as you put items away.

This also gives you time to tidy up a little as you go too, such as stacking magazines or straightening cushions on the couches.

Clean The Kitchen & Bathroom (10-minutes)

Starting with your kitchen, unpack and stack the dishwasher, clear the sink, and put away any extra appliances that don’t need to be on the benches.

Grab your favourite all-purpose cleaning spray and a microfibre cloth and spray your kitchen counters and sinks and give them a wipe down, along with any obvious spills down your kitchen cabinets.

In the bathroom, spray the bathroom counter, sink, faucets and fittings and give them all a quick wipe down and give the toilet a quick scrub.

Vacuum The Floor (10-minutes)

Give the floors in your main living spaces a quick vacuum. Always do this last, after you finish cleaning your kitchen so you don’t end up making more mess.

And that’s it! In just 30-minutes you’ve given your home a mini speed clean and it will look much cleaner than it did before!

Woman vacuuming plus carpet

How To Clean Your House In 1 Hour

If you have 1 hour to clean your home, you can accomplish quite a bit more than the 30-minute cleaning plan.

This fast house cleaning plan will have you tackling all the main areas of your home, giving them a thorough clean.

This includes doing a more thorough job in the kitchen and bathroom as well as adding in some extra tasks that you might not have time for during a 30-minute clean.

The goal with this 1-hour plan is still to focus on those high-traffic and visible areas of your home, but you also have time to tidy the areas that aren’t such high-traffic areas.

Clear Surface Clutter (10-minutes)

Again, we are going to start by quickly clearing those surfaces around your home and putting things back where they belong.

Only this time, since we are also tidying up the other rooms of the house, such as the bedrooms and laundry, you might need a little more time.

This includes items such as books, toys, clothing and anything else that has been left out of place.

Grab your empty laundry basket and make your way from room to room, collecting the items that don’t belong and dropping off the items in their correct places. This minimises the number of trips you will need to do and makes your cleaning time more efficient.

It also gives you a chance to do a little tidying along the way, straightening furniture and plumping up cushions.

Woman cleaning kitchen countertop

Clean The Kitchen (15-Minutes)

Empty and reload the dishwasher with dirty dishes, clear the sink and put away any extra appliances that don’t need to be on the benches.

Spray your all-purpose cleaning spray onto your kitchen counters and sinks and give them a wipe-down. Wipe down the fronts of all your kitchen cabinets, appliances and fixtures.

Clean The Bathroom (15-minutes)

Put dirty clothes in the basket. Give the toilet, shower, sink and faucets a quick wipe down with your favourite bathroom cleaner. Wipe down the bathroom counters and cabinet fronts. Clean mirrors and glass surfaces.

We are still keeping things relatively simple for now, ensuring all the main bathroom surfaces are clean, without giving it a full deep cleaning!

Vacuum The Floors (10-minutes)

Do a whole house vacuum, making sure to hit all the main living spaces as well as any bedrooms, hallways and stairs. At this stage, don’t worry about moving furniture. Again, we only have 1 hour so keep it simple for today.

Mop The Floors (10-minutes)

Mop all the hard surface floors in your home with warm water and your preferred floor cleaner, including any tile, laminate, wood or vinyl floors.

Especially focus on your kitchen floors and bathroom floors if short on time, or wherever is most needed if you don’t have time to do the whole house.

How To Clean Your House In 2 Hours

If you have a little more time on your hands and want to do a deeper clean of your home, this 2-hour cleaning plan is for you! This is enough time to give your home a good once-over without feeling like you’re rushing through everything.

This cleaning routine will have you tackling all the main areas of your home, giving them a thorough clean.

This includes doing a more thorough job in the kitchen and bathroom as well as adding in some extra tasks that you might not have time for during a 30-minute clean.

Woman changing pillowcase in bedroom

Change & Wash The Bedding (15-minutes)

Remove all your bedding from each of the bedrooms in the house and put it in the washing machine. This includes sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. You may need to do a second load of laundry during your 2-hour cleaning block.

While the washing machine is doing its thing, you can start to make each of the beds with fresh sheets. Come back to hang your dirty sheets after the cycle ends.

Clear Surface Clutter & Dust Surfaces (20-minutes)

Start by quickly clearing those surfaces around your home and putting things back where they belong. This time, you’re going to take a little more time to tidy up as well as put things away.

This is also the time to throw away any obvious trash you find in your home. If you have kids, you will likely find a lot of random items that can go in the bin.

As you are making your way around the different rooms of your entire house, dust any hard surfaces that need it. Dust collects on flat surfaces but it also sticks to things such as television screens, picture frames and appliances.

Use a duster or a slightly damp cloth to wipe the surfaces as you do your room-to-room tidying.

RELATED READING: How to wash pillows

Clean The Kitchen (20-minutes)

Empty and reload the dishwasher, clear the sink and put away any extra appliances that don’t need to be on the benches.

Pour baking soda followed by vinegar down your sinks and cover with a cloth.

Spray your all-purpose cleaning spray onto your kitchen counters and sinks and give them a wipe-down. Wipe down the fronts of all your kitchen cabinets, appliances and fixtures. Use this time to also give your dining table and chairs a quick wipe down.

Clear anything you don’t want from your refrigerator and give the inside a good wipe-down.

Get tips on keeping your refrigerator organised.

Come back to your sinks and pour hot water down them. This will help freshen up the drains and clear any build-up.

If this is your regular cleaning schedule, instead of the refrigerator, you might alternate by cleaning the microwave the next week and the oven the week after, for example, since some of these appliances do not necessarily need to be cleaned every week.

Cleaning shower with squeegee

Clean The Bathrooms (20-minutes)

Put dirty laundry in the basket. Add toilet cleaner to your toilets and allow it to soak for a few minutes.

Remove any empty toiletry bottles and containers. Spray your showers, tubs, sinks and mirrors with your preferred cleaning products and give them all a thorough wipe down. Wipe down the bathroom counters, cabinet fronts and any other flat surfaces.

Scrub your toilets, paying special attention to the base of the bowl and under the rim.

Wipe Light Fixtures, Walls & High Touch Surfaces (10-minutes)

As you move from room to room, take a few moments to wipe down the light switches and any marks or smudges on the walls and dirty baseboard areas.

This is also a good time to wipe TV remotes and any other high touch surfaces of your house that you might often forget to clean.

This is a quick way to freshen up a space. It will also save you time during your next spring clean when you’ve already kept your walls and baseboards maintained throughout the year.

Hang Your Sheets (5-minutes)

By this stage, your bedding should be finished in the washing machine so you can quickly hang this on the line and start the next load if needed, or place your wet sheets in the dryer.

Vacuum Your House (15-minutes)

Vacuum all the carpets and rugs in your home, moving any furniture out of the way that you are able to, so you can reach every nook and cranny.

Mop Your Floors (10-minutes)

Mop all the hard surface floors in your home with warm water and your preferred floor cleaner, including any tile, laminate, wood or vinyl floors.

Final Check (5-minutes)

Spend a few minutes walking around your house, checking that everything is tidy and in its place. Do a quick sweep of each room to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

This can also be a great time to replace anything that needs replacing, such as automatic air freshener refills, toothbrushes, shampoo bottles etc around the home.

My Cleaning Caddy Essentials

Home cleaning caddy full of cleaning supplies

Save even more time during your speed clean sessions by creating your own cleaning caddy that you can take from room to room with you. These are the items I keep in my cleaning caddy (with the exception of a few of the larger items that don’t fit):

  • The Pink Stuff Cleaning Paste – I only discovered this range recently and it is magic! It has replaced most of my cleaning products!
  • The Pink Stuff Miracle Cream Cleaner – A cream version of the cleaning paste that is great for cleaning virtually everything.
  • Magic Erasers – These work like ‘magic’ to remove scuff marks off walls and furniture.
  • Scrub Mummy Sponges– These are amazing & can be sanitised in the dishwasher!
  • Rubbermaid Battery Operated Grout Scrubber
  • Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser – Useful for so many things!
  • Cleaning cloths – Microfibre and antibacterial cleaning cloths are a great option for cleaning most surfaces in the home. They can be washed and reused.
  • Buckets – At least 2 large buckets are always useful to have on hand for soaking and washing.
  • Vinegar – Stock up on supermarket white vinegar. There is absolutely no need to pay extra for ‘cleaning’ vinegar.
  • Baking soda – You may have some in your pantry already. If not, get yourself a large box because this ingredient is very useful!
  • Spray bottle – A basic spray bottle to use for making your own all-purpose cleaning spray.
  • Scourer or scrubbing brush – Sometimes you need to put in a little extra elbow grease and these scrubbing tools will help.
  • Paper towel – For really grubby cleanups, using paper towel instead of your cleaning cloths may be a good option.
  • Degreaser & dishwashing liquid – Whichever products you prefer to use to cut through grease.
  • Disinfectant– If you don’t want to make your own version with vinegar, use your favourite pre-made antibacterial spray.
  • Grout brush or old toothbrush – Grout brushes are a great tool to have but an old toothbrush will work too.
  • Rubber gloves – Keep your hands from drying out and safe from cleaning products.
  • Essential Oils – Essential oils are an optional item in our deep cleaning arsenal to keep everything smelling fresh and clean. Lemon is a favourite choice for cleaning and clove can be great against mould.

Speed Cleaning Tips For Faster Cleaning

Having a list of cleaning tasks and an order to complete them makes cleaning your house much easier and quicker. But there are also a few other things you can do to help make the process even faster

Speed cleaning is all about working smarter, not harder.

  • Use a microfiber cloth instead of paper towels whenever possible. Not only is it a more effective cleaning cloth, but it is also more environmentally friendly to use a reusable cloth.
  • The right cleaning tools will save you time and make cleaning easier in the long run. The same goes for having the right cleaning products. You can find my favourites below.
  • Invest in a cordless vacuum. This will make it much easier to move around your house and get into hard-to-reach places without having to constantly stop and plug/unplug your vacuum.
  • Keep all your cleaning supplies in one place, such as a bucket or caddy, so you can carry them from room to room with you. See my caddy above.
  • Delegate cleaning tasks to other family members. This will help to lighten your load and get the job done quicker. This means you might even be able to do the full two-hour clean in 30 minutes with the right help!
  • Set a timer for each task on your checklist so you can stay focused and on track.
  • Start a daily pick-up habit of putting items back where they belong. This will save you a load of time on the weekly surface tidy habit and make you much less overwhelmed by the mess.
  • Make cleaning more fun by doing things you enjoy at the same time. You can play music and dance your way around with the mop or listen to a podcast or audiobook. There are also plenty of cleaning games to get the kids motivated!
  • Clean floors and kitchen will make your home feel much fresher, even if it is a little untidy!
  • The easiest way to a clean house is maintenance. A little bit each week goes a long way!

With a bit of organisation and some tips on how to clean your house fast, you can easily complete a full deep clean in just 2 hours. And, with this speed cleaning checklist in hand, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done to keep your home clean and tidy all year round.

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Fukuda

Thursday 27th of August 2015

Great tips! This is very timely since I'm going to receive a visitor this coming week and because of my busy schedule, I don't have much time to clean my entire house. Thanks for sharing these tips.

Holly

Friday 28th of August 2015

So glad I could help. It can be hard when things are already hectic but hitting those really visible spots will make it look way tidier overall ;) enjoy your visitor.

Bec Senyard

Thursday 20th of August 2015

Great tips Holly. I wish my house stayed clean all the time!

Holly

Friday 21st of August 2015

So do I Bec. I'm shocking but working hard on reforming my ways. Too much fun stuff to do instead of cleaning lol

Erin

Thursday 20th of August 2015

First thing? - Panic! Jokin, actually I have little shame these days, sometimes they have to take me in all my messy glory.

Holly

Friday 21st of August 2015

Haha same. My parents are used to it so they don't get the special treatment... Or they don't give me enough notice anyway, if any!

Nicole @ The Builder's Wife

Thursday 20th of August 2015

Excellent tips! We keep a tidy house, but the first thing to slip, that I always fix, is the shoes at the front door.We have a basket at the door to put the shoes in, but the kids never seem to get that far, so a quick clean out there and a little blow with the blower/vacc, is such to impress from the minute they walk through the gate. Thank you for linking up with us on our very first #HIT, we hope to see you again soon. xxx

Holly

Friday 21st of August 2015

Wow I don't even think so far as to worrying about outside lol I'm too busy clearing the indoor clutter. That is the ultimate guest prep! Thanks for hosting x

Mrs Tubbs

Tuesday 11th of August 2015

Great tips! We often get unexpected visitors so my main tip is to try and keep the place vaguely clean so there isn't much to do at the last minute. I always clean the loo before visitors come. If the loo is clean, people tend to assume the rest of the house is okay.

Holly

Saturday 15th of August 2015

Yes, the loo is always one of the first things I do too. I forgot to add that. Mostly because I don't use the main one since we have our ensuite one but hubby does... And men seem immune to cleaning toilets lol mine is, anyway!