Cleaning your house in two hours or less is not only more than possible but when you’ve done it, the results feel amazing.
I don’t know about you but being surrounded by mess on every surface of my house just makes me stressed out.
Some days its easy to be totally paralysed by the mess, but it’s one of those things where if you can allocate your time, and motivate yourself to get it done, you regain a sense of control.
If you’re looking at your house and seeing toys everywhere, dishes piled up in the sink, unmade beds, clothes that need putting away or washing and shoes scattered all over the hallway, do not panic.
This is a complete guide to how to clean your house in two hours or less.
You’re going to get three different cleaning routines here, offering tips for getting your house sorted fast.
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How to motivate yourself to clean
First of all, if you’re struggling to even get started, do not worry. You’ve landed on this post which means that you have some motivation already.
Maybe you just need a little nudge to actually get going? Here are some things you can try to help you get started:
Put on comfy clothes
Seriously. There’s nothing worse than trying to clean in trousers that are too tight or a top that you’re worried about ruining.
Clean in comfy clothes that let you move around easily and quickly. I treat cleaning the house like a workout so tend to do it in my leggings or jogging bottoms and a simple tee.
I offer a ton of cleaning motivation over on my YouTube channel The Mummy Bubble.
There are whole house cleans and speed cleans to get you going with your own house. My videos include cleaning tips, but most importantly they show that you can tackle real mess if you just get moving.
Put on some motivational music
I said above that I treat cleaning like a workout. Using some upbeat music to get you moving can work wonders.
Get a cleaning playlist that features your favourite pop or dance tracks and get moving.
Have the right cleaning kit
Cleaning your house is a losing battle if you don’t have the right kit to clean.
You don’t need every single cleaning product on the market, but a decent cleaning cloth and appropriate products to lift grime easily are definitely things you need before you get started.
A few years ago I had a vacuum cleaner that had totally given up. It barely picked up a single hair on the carpet.
I should have chucked it immediately but I held on to it for way too long. When I finally invested in a new Dyson ball vacuum, wow. The difference it made was amazing. I actually felt like I was getting somewhere with the cleaning.
My point is, if you have cleaning products that aren’t working for you then motivating yourself will be that much harder. Make sure you have decent cloths, sponges and other tools to make cleaning easier.
Tips for cleaning your house fast
Clean by job
Instead of going room by room, get entire tasks done in one go.
That means you first tidy the whole house, then dust it, then sweep and vacuum floors, then do all of the bathrooms.
Doing this means you’re not switching cleaning gear constantly and allows you to deal with the house as a whole.
Tidy up one bit of the house at a time
When doing the cleaning tasks, focus on getting just one bit done at a time.
If you’re starting the tidying up phase where everything needs putting back where it belongs and you feel overwhelmed, just start with one surface in one room.
Clear that surface then move on to the next one. You can try working clockwise around a room, as this way you can look back on your progress.
Get cleaning order right
The order you clean your house will help you get it done faster.
Work every room from top to bottom. This is so that any mess or dirt you knock to the floor when dusting or tidying gets picked up or cleaned in the final stage of cleaning.
This means its best to have cleaning the floors be the last thing that you do on the list.
Bathrooms are a grey area, and can be done at any point during the cleaning routine but again I suggest leaving the bathroom floors until last when doing all of the other floors.
Make decluttering something that you do on a regular basis.
Have a box or a bag on the go where you dump clothes the kids have grown out of.
At the end of each season when you may be getting winter, or summer, clothes out of storage take the chance to go through your wardrobe and get rid of things you don’t wear.
Get the whole family to help
Even young kids can help out with very basic tasks around the house.
Try to encourage your children to tidy away their own toys when they are done with them. You can make this easy on them by having simple toy storage systems that are low enough for them to access and are ordered by category so its clear where everything goes.
Other chores kids can do include:
- Making the beds.
- Putting their dirty laundry in the laundry basket.
- Putting away clean clothes
- Pushing around a broom to sweep the floor.
30 minute cleaning routine
This is a great quick cleaning routine if you have company coming over. It’s not going to provide your house with a deep clean, but it will make it look tidy.
It’s perfect to do just before bedtime, as you can get the kids involved with helping you out!
Tidy up (10 mins)
In this shorter cleaning routine you need to focus on the key rooms that get the most use, and where you spend most of your time.
These are the living room and hallway plus the kids’ playroom or play space. Get these tidy and you will feel better about your home instantly.
Wipe down kitchen (5 mins)
You can make this job easier by kicking the clutter from your kitchen counters.
Keep the amount of stuff you have out on the kitchen counter to an absolute minimum and don’t let paperwork pile-up.
When wiping down the kitchen include the hob and the sink too.
Quick bathroom clean (5 mins)
If you have more than one bathroom, just focus on the one you use the most. Cleaning every bathroom is really a one hour or more cleaning routine, especially if you have showers and bathtubs that need cleaning.
Spray the sink with a bathroom cleaner and leave to dwell for a couple of minutes before wiping away. I love the Method bathroom cleaners but Viakal is good if you get really bad limescale in your bathroom due to hard water.
Spray the toilet seat with bathroom cleaner and wipe (with a different sponger to what you use for your sink).
Finally, put bleach down the toilet and leave the bleach to do the cleaning for you. You can flush it next time someone needs to use the bathroom.
Vacuum (10 mins)
Grab the vacuum and run it over all of the flooring your can see (don’t go under anything, this is for speed purposes only).
Include the stairs as this makes a huge difference to making your house feel clean.
One hour cleaning routine
You can do an absolute ton of stuff in just one hour. Don’t believe me? Check out one of my power hour speed cleaning videos on YouTube.
The key to getting all of this stuff done in the hour is to laser focus down on the tasks you need to do and let all other distractions go to one side.
If you have kids at home with you, get them to help out by giving them their own broom or cloth to dust with (avoiding giving them any cleaning products but if they insist give them a little water in a spray bottle).
Tidy up (20 mins)
Focus on the busiest areas of the house first which will include the living room, kitchen and kids’ playroom.
Remember to also tidy the bedrooms, picking up clothes that need to go into the laundry pile, putting away clean clothes and making the beds.
Wipe down kitchen (5 mins)
Spray all of the surfaces, hob and sink with a kitchen cleaner. Wipe down with a damp kitchen cloth (I love this one).
If your cupboard doors are looking grubby then include those too.
Clean bathrooms (15 mins)
Cleaning the bathrooms all in one go is the best way to get it done quick.
Even the best cleaning products need a couple of minutes dwell time to get working. So to clear away grime, I go from bathroom to bathroom spraying the sinks, showers and taps. I then go back to the start and wipe every area I sprayed with a damp kitchen sponge (I love these ones).
For very stubborn grime in the bathroom you may need to use a little of The Pink Stuff to rub it away using a damp cloth.
Viakal is also amazing at getting rid of hard water stains quickly.
If you have a shower or bathtub screen door or wall, spray this with your bathroom clean, then get a damp sponge and rub in circular motions all over the door. Finally use a handheld glass squeegee to wipe away all of the product and leave a streak-free finish.
Dust (10 mins)
The reason the tidying up is done all in one go first is to make the dusting easier.
Once the clutter is out of the way and back where it belongs, you can dust surfaces without having to move too much stuff around.
Places to focus your dusting efforts on are:
- Console tables
- Chest of drawers
- TV and TV stand
- Coffee table
- Stair bannister
- Window sills
- Bedside tables
- Bed frames
Vacuum (10 mins)
The final job is to vacuum every room of the house.
This is easier to do with a cordless vacuum cleaner, but I get on just fine with my corded Dyson cleaner.
I always start with downstairs, then do the staircase and finally vacuum the upstairs hallway and all of the bedrooms.
How to clean your house in 2 hours
This is handy checklist with timings that will help you get your house sparkling clean when you have two hours to do the job.
It’s much more involved than the one hour or less routines.
When you have two hours, you can not only do some additional jobs but you can be more thorough with the key jobs like tidying, cleaning your kitchen and cleaning the bathroom.
Before you get going, be sure you can carry on uninterrupted for the full two hours.
To make sure I remain focused on the task, I sometimes start my two-hour clean ahead of something I have to leave the house for, such as the school run.
So if I start cleaning at 12.45pm, I know I need to be out of the house at 2.45pm. This gives me motivation to get as much done as possible while the clock is ticking, plus ensures I stay focused on the task at hand.
Tidy up (40 mins)
This is the biggest chunk of time because it involves every single room in the house. With the shorter routines, you will only want to tidy the areas that you use the most.
If your house is really messy then you may need to really get going with this part of the clean-up operation as it could take up a little longer.
When tidying it can be easy to end up running from one corner of the house to the next like a headless chicken. Try to work each room clockwise and have a laundry basket with you to gather clutter and stuff that needs to go to other rooms.
Have a clutter or donation box in a central spot like the hallway where you can chuck stuff for donating.
When tidying remember to do the following:
- Pick up all toys.
- Put away clothes and put dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
- Make beds.
- Tidy and file paperwork. Where you find paperwork that needs actioning, put that in a high priority pile where you usually work. Commit to sorting this out some time after your cleaning time is up, don’t start making calls or dealing with paperwork right now.
- Organise magazines – ditch the ones you have finished with and put the rest in a neat pile close to where you usually read them.
- Put children’s artwork in a storage box (I have a dedicated storage box for all of their artwork and I hang my favourite pieces on a clip on the fridge).
- Pick up rubbish and empty bins.
Clean kitchen (10 mins)
Once the tidying of the whole house is done, wiping down the kitchen surfaces, including your dining table, should be super quick as the surfaces are clear.
You can make this task a whole lost easier when you do it regularly by keeping your kitchen counter clutter-free. That means cutting back on the amount of stuff you have out and avoiding having a dumping ground on the counter where weeks of letters and paperwork piles up.
It just makes wiping the surfaces down take longer, and makes your kitchen feel more cluttered.
Dust (20 mins)
Get a dusting spray and a dusting cloth then get to work.
When dusting a room work clockwise like you did with tidying so that you go over each surface methodically.
Refer to the list for dusting above in the one hour cleaning routine but also remember to dust:
- All skirting boards.
- Window frames.
Clean bathrooms (20 mins)
It does of course depend on how many bathrooms you have as to how long this task could take you.
We have two bathrooms and one downstairs toilet and I can easily clean all three in 20 minutes.
Start by clearing away toothbrushes and other bits you keep on your sinks, then spray your bathroom cleaner in every sink, shower and bath.
Now go back to the start with a damp cloth or sponge and clean by wiping in a circular motion.
With a dry microfibre cleaning cloth you can then dry and buff your taps and shower heads.
Clean mirrors (5 mins)
The quickest way to clean your mirrors is by squirting a little Astonish window and glass cleaner on them and wiping with a dry glass cleaning cloth.
If you have lots of mirrors you may need two cloths as they get damp after a couple of mirrors and they need to be dry in order to leave a streak-free finish.
Vacuum (10 mins)
Start vacuuming downstairs and work your way upstairs.
Remember to vacuum rugs and the front and back door mats too.
To be more efficient with getting dust out of your carpets, first vacuum in one direction across the entire carpet then change the angle by 90degrees and vacuum that way so you are criss-crossing the floor. This will help to get your carpets really clean.
Mop hard flooring (10 mins)
I have a Shark steam mop which makes mopping floors really easy. Plus I only use water with it and so save money on buying any floor cleaner products.
What’s great about a steam mop as well is that it dries pretty quickly compared to using a mop and bucket.
Laundry (5 mins)
Check in with your laundry basket!
Empty it out and get a load on, plus put away any dry clothes that you haven’t yet sorted through.
This task may take a little longer if you have tons of dry clothes to put away.
I am the type of person who leaves putting away the laundry until there’s a huge pile to sort through.
If you want to keep this a short task, allocate five minutes every day to putting away dry clothes so you don’t have it stacking up all week like I do!
You can save and print the entire two-hour cleaning checklist right here! Happy cleaning.
- Kitchen cleaning spray
- Microfibre cloth
- Dusting spray (such as Mr Sheen)
- Dusting cloth
- Bathroom cleaning spray
- Sponge (x2 so you have one for the sinks and one for toilets)
- Window cleaning spray (Astonish is the best)
- Window cleaning cloth (you may need 2 as they start to streak when they get too damp)
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop plus preferred floor cleaner product
- Tidy up (40 mins). Start by getting everything where it belongs. Work room-by-room using something like a laundry basket to help you collect up stuff that needs to be returned to a different room. Clear the surfaces of clutter, put away dirty dishes into the dishwasher, tidy away toys and put dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
- Clean kitchen (10 mins). Wipe down the surfaces, hob and the sink, including taps, using a kitchen cloth and kitchen cleaner spray.
- Dust (20 mins). Get a dusting product like Mr Sheen and a cloth and dust all of your surfaces. Include tables, chest of drawers, the staircase bannister, bed frames, and around the TV as this tends to attract lots of dust.
- Clean bathrooms (20 mins). Start by clearing the sink of clutter then spraying the sink with a bathroom cleaner, next spray the shower tray or bath with cleaner and then the toilet seat (this gives the product some dwell time on each surface to work). Wipe down the sink with a bathroom sponge that features a rougher side to scrub at grime and a smoother side for buffing areas to a shine. Next wipe down the shower tray and rinse with running water from the shower head. Finally wipe down the toilet seat with a different sponge. Pour bleach down the toilet and leave to clean.
- Mirrors (5 mins). Get a decent mirror and glass cleaner such as Astonish. Spray on the mirror then wipe until dry in circular motions with a dry glass and mirror cloth.
- Vacuum (10 mins). Focus most on high traffic areas such as the hallway by the front door, living room, and stairs.
- Mop hard flooring (10 mins). Using a steam mop makes this job much quicker. It also means you don’t need any cleaning spray to use with the mop.
- Laundry (5 mins). Put a load of laundry on and put away clean clothes.