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17 Cleaning Shortcuts That Make the Most Dreaded Chores Easy

Let’s face it, cleaning sucks. It’s one of those grown-up traps that seem designed just to eat up your weekends and free time. But what if you could slash that chore list in half and still live in a place that doesn’t look like a dumpster fire?

No more wasting beautiful Saturdays doing laundry or scrubbing grout with a toothbrush. Let’s hack your way to a cleaner house with the least amount of effort required. Here are 17 cleaning shortcuts that can slash that chore list in half and still live in a place that doesn’t look like a dumpster fire.

1. Organizing Clutter

woman in pajamas neatly putting folded linens into cupboard vertical storage system use Marie Kondo method.
Image Credit: Kostikova Natalia and Shutterstock

Tackling clutter is like peeling an onion—layer after annoying layer, and yes, there might be tears. Stop turning it into an epic saga. Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a bag, and hit one area at a time. Decide fast—keep, toss, donate. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about making progress.

2. Spending the Entire Weekend Cleaning

Young woman cleaning tv with wash cloth.
Image Credit: BearFotos and Shutterstock

Nobody wants to sacrifice their precious weekend to the cleaning gods. So, break it up instead. Tackle one main task each day during the week—like vacuuming on Monday and dusting on Tuesday. By the time the weekend rolls around, you’re free to actually enjoy it, not scrub it.

3. Scrubbing Bathroom Tiles and Grout

Clean bright white bathroom.
Image Credit: Sheila Say and Shutterstock

Scrubbing tiles and grout sucks. It’s tedious and frankly, a bit gross. But here’s a hack: spray them with a no-scrub bathroom cleaner once a week right before you take a shower. The steam helps the cleaner work, and you just rinse off the dirt after.

4. Getting Water Stains off Shower Glass Door

Woman cleaning washing glass shower door.
Image Credit: RaspberryStudio and Shutterstock

Those hard water spots on your shower doors? Yeah, they’re not just ugly, they’re a badge of your cleaning procrastination. Don’t freak out though. Cut them off before they can even start—use a squeegee after each shower to prevent buildup.

And if they sneak past your defense, hit them with white vinegar, let it marinate for about 15 minutes, then wipe away. It’s a one-two punch that keeps your doors clear without turning you into a cleaning fanatic.

5. Cleaning the Oven

Close up of hands cleaning inside of oven/microwave.
Image Credit: Creativa Images and Shutterstock

Cleaning the oven is a nightmare. It’s like being punished for every good meal you’ve ever made. Skip the agony. Use a heavy-duty oven cleaner that you can spray and leave overnight. Wipe it down the next day—minimal elbow grease required. You’d also be surprised at how well self-cleaning ovens work. If you have one, give it a try.

6. Dusting Hard-To-Reach Areas

Using a wand feather duster to remove and clean dust from a ceiling fan.
Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest and Shutterstock

Dusting shouldn’t feel like an extreme sport. If you’re stretching and straining to reach those cobwebby corners or tight crevices, stop. Equip yourself with an extendable duster for high places and small cleaning tools designed for crevices. Now you can swipe through those tricky spots without turning into a contortionist. Dust bunnies? Consider them gone.

7. Washing Windows

Cleaning windows with a squeegee.
Image Credit: Buddit Nidsornkul

Washing windows is a clear pain, especially if it barely makes a difference you can see. But here’s a simpler method: mix water with vinegar, spray it on, and use a squeegee. It’s quicker, streak-free, and doesn’t require a PhD in elbow grease.

8. Cleaning Under and Behind Furniture

Furniture sliders pads for making moving furniture easier.
Image Credit: abimages and Shutterstock

Moving furniture just to clean sounds like a punishment for something you didn’t even know you did wrong. So, slide it, don’t lift it. Use furniture sliders to easily move heavy pieces. This way, you can clean those neglected spots without turning into a chiropractor’s dream patient.

9. Dealing with Pet Hair

Young woman uses cordless vacuum cleaner to clean home carpet.
Image Credit: spb2015/Shutterstock

Pet hair is the glitter of the animal world. It sticks everywhere and never really goes away. Stop wrestling with it. Invest in a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or use a lint roller on surfaces for quick touch-ups. Keep these items handy and Regular grooming of your pet can also cut down on the chaos.

10. Vacuuming/Mopping Floors

Robots cleaning in a wooden floor, with a woman in the back working.
Image Credit: Iker Chica Porcel and Shutterstock

Dragging around a vacuum or a mop can feel like a workout you never wanted. Make it less of a chore with a robotic vacuum or mop. These little gadgets do the dirty work while you chill. It’s like having a tiny, cleaning roommate who doesn’t drink your beer.

11. Sorting and Washing Laundry

Woman smelling clean laundry.
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A and Shutterstock

Sorting laundry is as fun as watching paint dry. But it doesn’t have to be a mind-numbing ordeal. Use divided hampers to automatically separate colors from whites from the get-go. Come laundry day, you’re already ahead of the game without feeling like you’ve started a second job.

12. Cleaning the Refrigerator

Young Couple in Kitchen putting fresh groceries in refrigerator.
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff and Shutterstock

Hate cleaning out the fridge? Make it easier by lining your shelves with washable mats, putting items on turn tables, or inside bins to prevent spills. When it’s time to clean, just replace or wash the liners or put the bins in the dishwasher instead of scrubbing the entire fridge. Regularly discard old food to prevent messes from building up.

13. Refreshing Musty Closets

Woman choosing outfit from large wardrobe closet with stylish clothes, shoes and home stuff.
Image Credit: NewAfrica and Depositphotos

Closets can turn into musty, forgotten dungeons if you’re not careful. Keep them fresh and easy to manage by using charcoal deodorizers or silica gel packs to absorb moisture and odors. Regularly airing them out and decluttering also keeps the funk away without turning it into a major cleaning event.

14. Deep Cleaning Carpets

Wooden table on blue carpet in grey living room interior with fireplace and pink sofa.
Image Credit: Ground Picture and Shutterstock

Deep cleaning carpets usually means renting a machine or hiring pros. Skip the hassle by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming to lift dirt and neutralize odors. For deeper cleans, portable carpet cleaners are a good investment, letting you tackle dirt on your schedule.

15. Dealing with Garbage Disposal Smell

Woman washing a steel sink with a sponge and foam in the kitchen.
Image Credit: sdf_qwe and Shutterstock

Dealing with a stinky garbage disposal can be dreadful. Freshen it up by throwing in some ice cubes and coarse salt, then running it for a minute. Follow up with lemon or orange peels to leave a fresh citrus scent without any harsh chemicals.

16. Unclogging Drains

father son washing hands kitchen sink.
Image Credit: Monkey Business Images

Unclogging drains is no one’s idea of a good time. To make it less of a headache, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to break down clogs naturally, followed by hot water. This routine maintenance can prevent major blockages and save you from more gruesome tasks later.

17. Wiping Down Kitchen Cabinets

clean organized white kitchen tall cabinets.
Image Credit: Allison H. Smith and Shutterstock

Grease and grime on kitchen cabinets can build up stealthily. Make the cleanup less of a chore by using a cabinet cream that cuts through dirt and conditions the wood. Regular quick wipes with a damp cloth after cooking can prevent the buildup from becoming a bigger problem later.

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