How to Make Your Cleaning Routine *Way* More Efficient

And, dare we say...enjoyable?

May 12, 2021
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

We’ve teamed up with Miele to share smart tips and tricks for making your cleaning routine more productive. But before you get started, you’ll need the right tools—check out Miele’s HomeCare collection to find out which of their vacuum cleaners is right for you.

There are two types of people in this world: those precious few that thrive on the before-and-after thrill of deep-cleaning a toilet and...the rest of us. For many (raises hand), cleaning remains something to avoid or procrastinate through creative clutter shuffling. But what if cleaning could become the most productive part of your day—where you not only get the living room rug fluffy and clean, but you also catch up on that true-crime podcast episode you’ve been meaning to listen to.

Radical idea? We think not. With a bit of reframing, you can make the most of your cleaning routine and create an efficient habit that makes your space a place you want to spend time in. And the payoff when those chores are done and you’ve also taken a relaxing bath? Now, that’s an endorphin rush we all want.

Here are seven ideas for making your cleaning routine more productive, and—let’s face it—all-around less boring.

1. Create a home calendar that focuses on results, rather than chores.

Chore wheels? That sounds like, well, a chore. Instead, try creating a home calendar that pairs specific tasks with personal benefit. The idea is to focus on how you’ll feel after completing a task, rather than the task itself. So, instead of writing, “Pick up clutter before leaving the house,” try something like, “A clean home makes me feel less anxious and lets me relax at the end of the day.”

I started a home calendar at the beginning of the year and I have to say, I’m sincerely a fan. (I actually do the chores now!) My calendar includes gems like, “Morning coffee tastes better out of a clean mug” (aka, do the dishes) and, “Meditative soaks in the bath help me sleep better” (clean the tub).

2. Vacuum all the floors while listening to your favorite podcast.

Here’s a very modern problem: too many great podcasts, too little time to listen. By combining a repetitive task like vacuuming with headphones and a favorite podcast, you’re truly reaching the peak of your multitasking potential.

For a vacuum that can go anywhere in the house with you and your podcast, Miele’s HomeCare collection of vacuums are a great option—they’re lightweight and have a large vacuuming radius, so you can move around with ease. There are various models to choose from, so you can find the right vacuum and accessories that are a good fit for your home.

3. Make your bathtub sparkle, then take a relaxing soak.

To become the person who takes calm, relaxing baths on the regular, you must first become the person with a clean bathtub. The new, spa-like you is possible with the combination of hot-hot water and oxygen bleach. Create a simple paste and apply the mixture to the tub, give it 20 to 30 minutes to sit, then scrub and rinse. Post-scrubbing, the tub is yours for the taking.

4. Straighten up your workspace and become a productivity fiend.

Studies show that the amount of clutter on your desk has a direct correlation to your ability to concentrate. When working from home, this becomes even more obvious. Take five minutes at the end of each day to remove dirty dishes, trash, strewn pens and paper, and all the other work detritus so you can start each day with a clean surface and a clear head. If you want to be extra on top of things, add a recurring calendar reminder to make it part of your end-of-day wind down.

Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

5. Dust your bookshelves, then treat yourself to a good read.

We hereby give you permission to combine dusting with lingering over your book collection. Take 30 minutes to dust and turn the pages of old favorites while setting aside a fresh to-be-read list. Once your shelves are done and dusted, curl up on your couch or a comfy chair and dive into something on your list.

And here’s a dusting pro tip: It’s time to move on from feather dusters that simply disperse dust into the air and try vacuuming your shelves with a dust attachment. Miele’s dusting brush, which works with all of the vacuums in their HomeCare collection, has natural bristles that make for gentle cleaning of shelves, blinds, lampshades, and furniture (it won’t scratch any surfaces!).

6. Try this time-boxing method, never spend a weekend deep-cleaning again.

Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Italian for “tomato” (and a cute callback to its originator’s tomato-shaped kitchen timer, which we now covet), a Pomodoro is a time-boxed, uninterrupted 25-minute block. The idea is to use the time to focus on a single task, with a convenient five-minute break when you’re done.

Why 25 minutes? Well, because it's the ideal length of time to help you avoid procrastinating, be productive, and create urgency. By creating dedicated time to focus and get even your most-dreaded household tasks done, you can avoid the “weekend-long deep clean” curse that’s ruined many plans.

7. Dirty cleaning tools? Clean ‘em to make your chores more effective.

Now, we get meta: At the end of any good cleaning sesh, it’s important to pay attention to your tools, otherwise you’re simply re-distributing all that dirt you just vanquished. De-dust and trim brooms, empty vacuum canisters, and soak dish rags and towels overnight in a solution of oxygen bleach and water (6 tablespoons to one gallon), then rinse and dry. Bonus: Set and forget auto-reordering of your favorite cleaning supplies so you’re never left in the lurch—aka procrastination city—when the urge to clean strikes.

What are your top tricks for making your cleaning routine more efficient? Tell us in the comments!

Looking for a vacuum that works well for all types of floors? Check out the Miele HomeCare Collection to find the vacuum that’s best suited for your needs.

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1 Comment

M May 12, 2021
5 min/day and entertaining yourself while cleaning are two great, long-used ways to get through the tedium.

But notes like “A clean home makes me feel less anxious and lets me relax at the end of the day," would just make me annoyed with my passive aggressive past self attaching guilt to the motivation.