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How to Clean a Messy House Fast

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Having an unexpected guest? Need to get your messy house clean fast? These productive cleaning hacks will get your house whipped into shape in no time!

When I was getting ready to move, the threat of constant house showings, unexpected appraisals, and random photographs was enough to make me hyperventilate, but it also gave me a great opportunity to nail down my cleaning schedule (and get the kids and husband on board!).

If you’re trying to clean your whole house quickly, these tips will help!

simple cleaning hacks to clean a messy house fast

For those times when you need to have a clean home quickly, creating a speed cleaning routine is your saving grace!

Use these ideas to create your own speed cleaning routine, or get the Organized Motherhood Cleaning Planner for a done-for-you guide with room-by-room checklists and tips.


Clutter can make even a clean home look messy.

The easiest way to clean a messy house quickly is to work your way through each room and quickly declutter the entire home.

The basket method is my favorite way to declutter if I’m in a hurry.

Walk around with a large basket (I often use a rectangular laundry basket, but this rope basket is a prettier option, and it won’t look as out of place if you accidentally leave it out when your guests arrive). Toss everything that doesn’t belong in the room into the basket.Don’t worry about emptying the basket or putting items away. For now, just declutter each room as quickly as possible.


Once you’ve decluttered each room, focus on cleaning the main areas of your house, like the living room and kitchen, first.

After the main areas of the house are clean, move to the next areas that guests will see, like bathrooms, guest bedrooms, etc.

Finally, clean the kids’ rooms and finish with the master bedroom, which is the last room that guests will see (unless you store guests’ coats on your bed, in which case you should clean the master before the kids’ rooms).

For room-by-room checklists and tips to clean faster, get the Organized Motherhood Spring Cleaning Planner.


The kitchen is the heart of your home, and it’s often the place where people gather during parties.

Unfortunately, kitchen counters can easily become a dumping ground for clutter.

I have a really small galley-style kitchen that can easily get overwhelmed by clutter and small appliances. When we were listing our house, it was the first area that I decluttered and cleaned.

One of the easiest ways to make a small kitchen look bigger is to clean (and declutter) it. Also, if you’re hosting a party or having guests over, a clean kitchen is essential.

But whether you have a small or large kitchen, you should only keep three items on your counters at all times. Everything, including your coffee maker, mixer, napkin holder, and dirty dishes, counts.

To clean your kitchen in less than 15 minutes (30, if you’re scrubbing the floor), follow these steps!

  1. Start by washing, drying, and putting away all dishes.
  2. Get rid of any paper piles and clutter.
  3. Put away all small appliances that aren’t essential or don’t belong on the counters. Remember the three item rule!
  4. Quickly wipe the counters and appliances. To easily make stainless steel appliances sparkle without actually having to scrub or polish them, use these cloths.
  5. Sweep.
  6. Scrub or mop the floors. If you’re in a really big hurry, skip this step and just spot clean the floors, if needed.
  7. Take out the trash.

Viola! Your kitchen is clean!


The hardest part about cleaning a living room, especially if you have kids, is decluttering.

Use the basket method to quickly declutter. Once the living room is clutter-free, follow these steps to quickly clean.

  1. Clear the couches. Put away blankets, organize (or put away) throw pillows, and make sure the couch cushions are arranged correctly.
  2. Pick up the floor and make sure the kids’ toys are put away.
  3. Clear shelves.
  4. Dust.
  5. Vacuum or sweep the floor.


To clean a bathroom quickly, start by clearing the sink (and getting the toys out of the bathtub, if needed).

To do your weekly speed cleaning routine in the bathroom, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the shower or tub. I use this homemade cleaner and let it set on the shower walls for 30 minutes to remove the soap scum before scrubbing it off.
  2. Put toilet bowl cleaner in toilet.
  3. Wipe the sink.
  4. Scrub the toilet and wipe the outside.
  5. Wash the shower/tub.

I often clean all of our full bathrooms at the same time to give the cleaning products time to set.

For example, I spray the kids’ bathtub first, then the master shower with cleaner. Then, since I use an eCloth to clean the sinks and toilets, I wash the sinks in the master bathroom, then the sinks in the kids’ bathroom, and finally use the same cloth to wipe the toilets.

After cleaning the toilets, toss the dirty eCloth in the laundry!

For a daily speed cleaning schedule, don’t worry about washing the shower, tub, or using toilet bowl cleaner, unless your bathroom needs it.


Unless your kids are babies, include kids in your speed cleaning routine, especially in their own rooms.

Make the bed first. It’s best if you don’t have a lot of throw pillows or stuffed animals on the bed. Show the kids how to pull up their own blankets.

Once the bed is made, put away all toys, clothes, and clutter.

After the floor, dressers, and shelves are clear, dust and vacuum. Focus on the center of the room and the areas that people will see.


Struggling to keep your house clean?

(And remember what you’ve already done?)

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    To clean your house, work through these steps (in order).

    Declutter the entire house.

    Clean each room. Work in this order:

    1. Kitchen.
    2. Living room.
    3. Bathrooms.
    4. Extra space, like a sunroom where guests might go during a party.
    5. Bedrooms.


    If you have a Roomba, this is the time to use it! Start the Roomba while you clean the rest of the house.

    To quickly clean your house, use the basket method to hide everything that doesn’t belong. Spend five minutes racing through the house and picking up.

    After decluttering (or hiding your stuff), clean the main areas of the house.

    Note that we’re not working for perfection (save that for your weekly cleaning routine). Instead, rocus on the areas that people will see first.

    1. Wipe the kitchen counters.
    2. Wipe the bathroom sinks, toilets, and mirrors.
    3. Make sure the beds are made.
    4. Sweep under the kitchen table.
    5. Sweep the rugs by the doors where people will enter.


    Use a weekly speed cleaning routine to clean your home in two hours.

    Especially if you have a daily cleaning routine or do a daily cleanup before bed, your weekly cleaning routine should only take two hours.

    Get the Complete Spring Cleaning Planner to finish your daily and weekly cleaning routines quickly. You’ll also get room-by-room checklists so you can stay focused during your monthly and semi-annual deep cleaning.

    Spring Cleaning Planner
    • To get your weekly cleaning done fast, use the basket method to declutter quickly. Set a timer and work through your entire home in ten or 15 minutes.
    • After decluttering, start in the kitchen. Clean the kitchen from top to bottom. This should take 15 to 30 minutes.
    • Next, make sure all beds are made. Then, dust and vacuum the entire house.
    • If you’re in a hurry, don’t worry about pulling out furniture. Focus on the center of each room and clean as fast as you can. Depending on the size of your home, dusting and vacuuming may take you longer, but set a timer and try to finish within an hour.
    • Once your house is dusted and vacuumed, clean the bathrooms. Try to spend 30 minutes or less washing the sinks, toilets, and showers/tubs.


    Make your own cleaning caddy to carry with you when you’re speed cleaning your house.

    Multipurpose eCloth I love these cloths because they’re thick and durable, plus they naturally remove 99% of germs (the same as a Lysol wipe, but without the filmy residue or harsh chemicals) with just water. They’re also washable, so I use them to clean the entire bathroom and then throw them in the laundry.

    Window/mirror cleaning cloth These cloths are also reusable, and they’re perfect to clean the mirrors or windows quickly. Just wet them with water, wring them out, and clean your mirrors and windows.

    Shower spray This homemade shower spray works well to remove soap scum. It’s made out of vinegar and Dawn dish soap, so there aren’t any harsh chemical fumes. I let my kids use it!

    Dusting cloth (and homemade dusting spray, if you use it)

    To clean toilets quickly, keep a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush in each bathroom. For super fast cleanups, I skip the toxic cleanser and just use a silicone toilet wand (this one is cheap and does a great job).


    • Use the basket method to declutter.
    • Declutter each room from top to bottom before moving to the next room.
    • Carry a “cleaning caddy” with you so you don’t have to search for cleaning products in each room.
    • Set a timer and work as quickly as you can.
    • Finish each task before starting another task.
    • Clean the most-used rooms first.
    • To get a messy house clean quickly, use a daily cleaning routine to finish in 30 minutes.
    • If you have more time, follow a weekly cleaning routine to clean your house in two hours.

    With these speed cleaning tips and ideas to declutter faster, you can have a clean house in just a few minutes!

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