When You Only Have Time for One Minute Cleanups

By: Gail Metcalf

Only have a minute for house cleaning? No problem. These tips will give you some ideas for chores that take less than a minute.

1. Dust One Thing

It only takes a minute to choose one thing and dust it. You can either use a feather duster (not my favorite choice), dust spray and a rag, or a dust wipe. Feather dusters are best used first on blinds, ceiling fans and air vents; then do the flat dusting. Here are some things you can dust quickly:

• TV screens
• Shelves
• Blinds
• Ceiling fans
• Air Vents

2. Change Vacuum Bag

Why do we always think the vacuum bag will last forever? It doesn't take much time at all to change your vacuum bag, and it will make your vacuum run more efficiently. A good tip is to take your vacuum outside to change it so the dust from the bag doesn't circulate back into the room.

3. Clean a Mirror

A clean mirror makes a room look cleaner. If you don’t have glass cleaner and paper towels, try vinegar and old newspaper. This is a lot less expensive and it works just as well. Another tip for lint-free glass and mirror cleaning is to invest in a few recycled surgical towels. You can find these at janitorial supply stores. Better than cutting down more trees!

4. Change Towels

Fresh towels make a room smell great, whether they’re in the kitchen or the bathroom. It takes less than a minute, and it freshens up the whole room. Towels should be routinely changed out weekly, reducing mold and mildew.

5. Change Trash Bags

Even if you don’t have time to take all the trash out, just taking full bags out of the cans and replacing them with clean bags can help tidy up when you only have a minute. A quick tip is to empty small trash cans into the large bag and only take out one bag.

6. Sort The Mail

Mail can really pile up if left alone. If you take 30 seconds every day to organize that day’s mail, you’ll have a lot less clutter. Don’t be afraid to throw away junk mail. Be sure to check for financial offers or anything with your personal information and put through a paper shredder. You can even go to your local post office and authorize them to stop delivering junk mail.

7. Treat a Stain

Got an extra minute? Treat that ugly stain that you noticed last week. The trick for stain removal, is never scrub; instead, always blot up the moisture – this will pull the stain up and out and prevent it from being pushed into the carpet padding. This will prevent the stain from re-appearing at a later time. Follow these tips:

• Flush stains with water
• Blot the stain with a dry cloth
• Apply a mild cleaner and let set
• Blot again and repeat until stain has been removed

8. Take Care of Plants

A minute is more than enough time to care for your favorite houseplants. If they need water, fill a pitcher so you can water them all faster. Take a pair of scissors with you to snip off dead vines or leaves.

9. Wipe Down Forgotten Areas

Grab a damp cloth and quickly wipe down areas that might be forgotten when cleaning. Areas like:

• Doorknobs
• Remote controls
• Light switches
• Handles
• Telephones

10. Sweep Entryways

Most entryways are small and take less than a minute to sweep. Grab your broom and dustpan and you’ll be finished before you begin. You can even cheat and sweep dust onto the carpet, then use the vacuum or sweeper to clean it up.

11. Shake out Floor Mats

Floor mats are usually forgotten during cleaning. If you have an extra minute, grab a mat or two and shake them out outside (after closing the door to prevent dust from floating back into the house). This will reduce the amount of dust in your home as well as keep those mats fresh and clean.

12. Collect Garbage in a Room

If you don’t have time to clean a whole room, but want to make it look a little better, clear out the garbage. Grab a trash bag or a waste paper basket and start stuffing. You’ll find this improves the look of a room instantly.

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