When you are lacking motivation to clean or low on time, use one of my favourite productivity hacks – the Pomodoro Technique. While the baby is napping or my husband takes over for a bit, I set a timer and start one of the three quick cleaning tasks below. When time is up, I relax for five minutes by checking my phone or reading news.
After the five minute break, if my daughter is still asleep (yes!) and/or hubby is still enjoying baby-dad time (double yes!), I reset the timer and begin another task. Instead of one marathon cleaning, which is impossible with a baby, I finish an area each time and clean more in one timed session than I thought possible.
Here’s are some cleaning tasks that take 30 minutes or less:
Quick cleaning task #1 – refresh your bedroom (15 minutes)
We spend most of our lives in our bedrooms and they can quickly become stale. Allowing fresh air to circulate plus a quick clean can make a big difference:
- In the early morning or evening (I prefer morning), open windows and doors to your bedroom. The key is to allow air to circulate
- Tidy up items in the closet or dresser areas, organise books and night tables
- Dust surfaces
- Remove your sheets and pillow cases
- Vacuum, giving a quick vacuum to the mattress
- Make the bed with fresh sheets
- Light a candle for a ‘fresh’ feeling
Quick cleaning task #2 – clean your bathroom (25 minutes)
Without scrubbing or tackling grout, you can give the bathroom a good clean in under 30 minutes. Be sure to move from low-germ areas to high-germ areas to minimise spreading bacteria around.
- Apply disinfectant cleaner around the toilet rim and let it sit
- Wipe down the sink with disinfectant cleaner, applying vinegar and water if there are hard water stains
- Wipe down the tub and shower
- Rinse the sink, tub and shower thoroughly
- Dry areas with a towel
- Wipe down the mirror with a glass + surface cleaner
- Scrub the toilet with a brush, wipe down the outer areas of the toilet and dry
- Wipe down the surrounding floor
Quick cleaning task #3 – clean out your refrigerator (30 minutes)
This is an often overlooked, but important task that takes less time than you think. Choose the day before you go food shopping to clean out the refrigerator, that way you don’t risk spoiling fresh food.
- Remove drawers and shelves from the refrigerator, leaving one behind
- Gather dairy products, meat and cooked leftovers toward the back of the refrigerator on the remaining shelf
- Use hot, soapy water to clean the removed shelves, rinse, allow to dry
- Wipe down a shelf to dry then replace it, moving the perishable items onto it
- Clean the remaining shelf
- Unplug the refrigerator and wash the interior walls and all surfaces – quickly and working from top to bottom
- Use warm water and dishwashing liquid with some baking soda added to deodorize
- Scrub any stuck-on food and use one part vinegar, one part water on areas that are mouldy
- Wipe down with fresh warm water to rinse
- Wipe down again to dry & plug the fridge back in
Even during a hectic day, you can set aside 15 to 30 minutes to clean. Divvying up your cleaning time is more practical than trying to get everything done at once. Plus, you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment during each break as the tasks are completed. It’s a simple, productive way to keep your home clean… even if that’s in between cleans!