Top 5 Cleaning Hacks to Cheat Your Way to a Clean House

Cleaning house doesn't rank in my top 10 favorite things to do.  Actually, I would avoid cleaning at all costs if it wasn't for the fact that people show up at my house for music lessons with my husband 4 out of the 5 week days.  They are actually a wonderful motivation for this lazy cleaner!

My mother-in-law shared with me some of her greatest cleaning hacks that she uses to keep her house clean (and it is spotless), and she's agreed to let me share them with you.  One disclaimer...if your bed is made and there aren't any dishes in the sink, just stop reading now.  You've got it under control.  Don't judge those of us who are "creative" cleaners.

Tips and tricks for keeping your house clean.

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No. 1: Don't Use So Many Products

Cleaning hacks

One thing that can be overwhelming to non-cleaners is attempting to use too many products!  Water works 90% of the time! You don't need to deep clean and disinfect every time that you come across a spill.  Save those products for times when you really need it.  Water is pretty amazing.

No. 2 - Just Use Your Bare hands

Tips for keeping your house clean
As you're walking through the house and notice something that needs to be dusted, just wipe it off with your hand.  You can just wash it when you're done. When you're brushing your teeth and notice the kids left traces of toothpaste in the sink, just use your hand to make those disappear.  Give it a little rinse when you're done and you're good to go!

No. 3 - Finishing a Chore is Overrated

Cleaning hacks

Some is better than none, and "mostly clean" is better than not clean.  You can do the rest another time.  It's amazing to see how doing little bits along the way can really add up.  Don't wait for enough time to take a chore from start to finish, just start.  If it doesn't get finished all the way, you'll still be better off than you were before!

No. 4 - Get Creative with Clean Up

Creative cleaning ideas

Don't get angry when you find your husband's socks laying on the floor in the living room, use them to dust something on the way to the laundry.  And that dusty washing machine?  Wipe it down with an undershirt on the way to the laundry.  Drying dishes, and have a wet washcloth?  Throw it on the floor and mop up those trouble spots, then toss it in the laundry.

No. 5 - Soak Don't Rinse

Cleaning tricks

Needing to rinse some dishes that are caked with food?  Just soak in a sink full of water and leave it.  When you come back, it should be easier to rinse.  One little happy sponge makes all the difference.

Cleaning cheats

Disclaimer - no children were forced to clean in the writing of this post.  They did however have a great time dressing up like an exhausted mom trying to keep a house clean!

So how do you do it?

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to help keep the house clean-ish?


  1. Kimberly on February 25, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Great post. I HATE cleaning, and honestly, growing up, it was never a huge deal since my step-father enjoyed it. I will say, now I basically TRY to clean in 10-15 minute increments and just remind myself I’m only cleaning for this long (a lot of times I go over wanting to get it done). I also try to keep a schedule for cleaning (this is fairly new) so that everything isn’t overwhelming, but has a day to be done… if I miss it, it just waits until the next week (well except for dishes and laundry). 🙂

    • Betsy on February 25, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Small bursts of cleaning is a great idea. I always say you can do anything for 15 minutes. I’m mostly to the point where I delegate most of it away!

  2. airbnb cleaning sydney on June 24, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Impressive. This is very easy and quick to clean the house. Thanks for these tricks!

  3. painters on January 26, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    What wonderful, practical ideas for keeping the house clean! I needed some encouragement and help in this area. I look forward to implementing your strategies! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. web on February 15, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks for this easy to follow tips, nice job.

  5. web on February 15, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    I love using natural products! I think that the idea with the vinegar is more than amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing it here! Regards!

  6. Remodel on March 8, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. The advice about rating tasks with how urgent it is to clean them up, and about how there isn’t roll over or “catch up” days when it comes to cleaning is especially useful.

  7. Tom B. on June 22, 2022 at 10:30 am

    That is a great tip I am definitely going to give this a try.

  8. Kristine L. on July 11, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    I love this challenge! Thank you so much for sharing

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