Cleaning like a Pro: The 5 things you can learn from the professionals to make cleaning your house way easier


Cleaning and organizing your home can seem like a full time job. Seriously, every day there is a new mess, a new pile, another fire to put out. You’ve secretly dreamed of a day when you could hire an Alice, a delightfully efficient live-in maid to be at your beckon call and anticipate your every need. The house would smell delicious, the laundry always done and put away and the bathrooms gleaming. Some day…some day.

But today, you don’t have an Alice. You have a you, and maybe even a partner and some kids to help. Or perhaps you have a cleaning service once a week or month. If you do, I am sure you notice how efficiently they are able to clean the house. They seem to come in, work diligently and leave before you would even be able to vacuum the carpets. It’s like magic.

After 10 years as a professional cleaner, I can say without a doubt that the question I am asked the most by my clients is “How do you clean so well so FAST?!” My clients are amazed at the speed at which I can scrub the house from top to bottom or organize a space faster than they thought possible.

I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not magic. Believe me, if it was, I’d use it far more often and go even quicker. The truth it, the reason I (and all other professionals) are able to clean so efficiently is because of a few finely tuned, specifically honed skills.

But behold, you can learn and USE them, too. You’re only a few strategies away from kicking the dirt and clutter to the curb in far less time.

So what are the professionals doing differently?

1.       They have a plan before they begin.

When a professional enters a client’s home, they have a clear and specified plan. Based on the agreement they have reached with the customer, they know exactly what needs to be done. Having a plan cuts down on the amount of time you sit around thinking “Sooo, what should I do now?” If you know you want to get the entire upstairs cleaned at one time, decide what tasks you’ll do. Do you want to have all rooms dusted and vacuumed? Do you want all bathrooms cleaned? Will you be cleaning the windows, the baseboards, the corners? Always start with a plan.

2.       They have all the supplies at their fingertips.

Is there anything more annoying or time consuming than starting to clean, only to realize you left the glass cleaner downstairs, and the paper towels in the kitchen and that you forgot to pick up degreaser? Having your supplies where you need them is imperative to cleaning your house quickly and effectively. Most professionals have a caddy, a bag and/or an apron to carry their supplies. They don’t need to worry about having what they need for each room because it is all right there. I highly recommend making one up for each floor of your home. Decide what necessities you need and keep it stocked. Having it all at your fingertips means less time running through the house gathering up what you need.

3.       They work top to bottom

It seems pretty silly to clean the floor before cleaning the counter tops right? I mean, the crumbs are just going to fall from the countertops to the floor anyway. But still, I see this happen all the time when people clean their own homes. They start at the bottom and work their way up or start on the lowest level and work up. This is counterproductive. I have always found it best to start at one corner in the top most part of the house and work out and down. Not only will you not have to muck up the area you just cleaned, but you won’t run the risk of missing things. Having that system in place means your house will get that professional feel without paying a professional to do it.

4.       They let the cleaners do the work for them

You just found the most amazing counter spray. It smells great, it’s all natural and you just can’t wait to spray it on all those grease and coffee stains. You give the trigger a squeeze and before the spray has had .5 milliseconds to sit, you’re wiping it up. (BUZZER SOUND) Wrong way. Cleaners need time to work. Letting them do their thing means less work for you. Professional cleaners spray the dirtiest areas first, let it sit and move on to something else. Maybe your shower is particularly soap scummy that day. Rather than tackle it first, spray your favorite shower cleaner in there and then walk away. Go clean the toilet and the sink and the mirror. Come back to the shower after it has had time to marinate a bit. You’ll find it is FAR easier to clean once you’ve let the cleaners do their job. Nobody has time for extra scrubbing.

5.       They don’t let anything distract them

Picture it. You’re right in the middle of cleaning your bathroom when the phone rings. You answer and spend 10 minutes discussing your current energy provider with a telemarketer. You finally get back to the bathroom when you pass the pile of laundry on the stairs. “I’ll just put this away quickly.” You say and march off to your son’s room. While you’re in there, you notice the sheets really could use a wash and the shelves could use a dust. You throw the sheets in the washer only to realize you never started dinner. And so off you go to do that, while your bathroom waits, uncleaned. Professionals are completely unfazed by distractions like this. They have a plan of attack, a system and a bucket of supplies. When cleaning the house, try your best to ignore distractions. Set a timer if it makes it easier. Give yourself 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour of uninterrupted cleaning time. Walk past the other piles. They are not your concern right now. Continue on and finish one task at a time.

Although cleaning and organizing can be a full time job in your house and it may seem that professionals are just better at it than you are, the truth is, it isn’t rocket science. They don’t know anything you can’t learn. Now go take your new tips and make your house to shine like the pros do. Then charge your family a premium price for all your hard work.

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