Try dusting cloth lampshades with a lint roller. It works quickly and effectively without the hassle of a vacuum. Slip an old unmatched sock on your hand and dust as you go.
Katie’s tip: Give your kids an old washcloth and let ’em at it. Make it a game to see how many dust bunnies they can catch.
Windows and Mirrors
Use old newspapers to clean mirrors and windows. You’ll have a great disposable cleaning rag and be recycling at the same time. Vinegar is an inexpensive easy cleaner that can be used on windows and mirrors. To prevent streaking and extra rubbing, wait for an overcast day to clean your mirrors and windows.
Katie’s Tip: When you’re done cleaning the bathroom mirror, use the same towel to wipe down the chrome faucet at the sink. When cleaning windows and screen doors, use the same towel to wipe the dust off the window sill.
Cleaning Out the Microwave
Bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave, the steam will help loosen dried on particles making them easily wiped away.
Scrubbing the Toilet
Put toilet cleaner in the toilet to soak while you wipe down the outside. The inside dirt and stains will be loosened and more easily cleaned. Buy a drop-in toilet cleaner dispenser, to increase the time between needed cleanings.
Katie’s Tip: Use the towel from cleaning the mirrors and counters to wipe down the outside of the sink. For homes with little boys, wipe down the floor and walls near the toilet occasionally. You can’t see it, but it’s likely that some splash over has landed here and will smell if it’s not taken care of.
Cleaning Out the Refrigerator
Briefly clean out trash and bad food each trash day morning. It only takes a few minutes to dump the stuff, and will clear out space to make cleaning easier. Use baking soda to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator. It scrubs and eliminates odors without damaging surfaces.
Cleaning Out the Oven
On nights when you get take out, take a few moments and spray the inside of the oven with oven cleaner. Then after dinner, or the next morning if your stains are tough, you”ll be able to wipe away the dirt and grime easily, without missing the use of your oven.
Make filing time coincide with a favorite show that you feel guilty for taking time to watch. Most filing can be done with little thinking, and you’ll get to watch your favorite show in the process. Sort the papers into categories based on your file names. Don’t forget to include trash. You’ll be surprised how much of the pile you won’t need to keep.
Katie’s tip: Recycle all the mixed office paper you can. Shred anything that you don’t keep that includes personal information (account numbers, birthdates, etc.)
Make each person responsible for washing, drying, and putting away their own clothing. Write and post some basic instructions in the laundry room. Have a trial period where your trainees assist you with their clothing. If you get truly overwhelmed by your laundry, check out a local Laundromat that will wash, dry, and fold your loads for you. These services frequently charge by the pound for laundry and aren’t inexpensive, but may save you time and energy when life starts to overwhelm.
Katie’s Tip: Don’t let clean laundry pile up. Don’t put anything in the washer until the dryer is empty. Fold clothes right out of the dryer and put away immediately. It is less work to fold and put away one load of laundry at a time than 3 loads.
Let the person who is in charge of washing the dishes, get to pick out dessert. When you begin cooking, run a sink of hot soapy water, and wash as you go. Food on dishes won’t have a chance to harden, and you’ll be that much ahead when the meal is done. Keep a supply of disposable plates, flatware, and cups. On nights when you’re overwhelmed by double-header Little League games on the same night as PTA, you won’t have to worry about dishes. Washing dishes can be a great time to have a parent interview with a child you need to reconnect with. The job may not go more quickly, but you’ll be accomplishing a lot more than clean dishes.
Katie’s Tips: Have you’re family put their plates and cups in the dishwasher after large food articles have been removed. When, the dishwasher’s cycle has finished, take the 2-3 minutes necessary to put the dishes away at the first opportunity. Doing this will keep the dishwasher available for dirty dishes – keeping the sink free of piled up dirty dishes.
Find a local charity to donate items to prior to a clutter clearing session. Some charities may even be able to pick up your donations at a prearranged time, saving you a trip. Label various storage containers before you begin to sort your clutter. A label makes placing items in the right category a much easier task. Go through and grab obvious trash as the first step. Once the trash is gone, it makes it easier to see what you want to keep, and just how much stuff you’ll need to get rid of.
Katie’s Tip: Only keep the things you need. Freecycle, donate, or sell the rest. Keep clutter from coming in to your home. Say no to promotional freebies (keychain flashlights, pens, letter openers). Chances are you already have something that fills that need and don’t need another.
Reposted from About.com http://housekeeping.about.com/od/timesavingideas/a/shortcutsclean.htm