News which is not just in but still bears repeating; the average Brit spends seven hours tidying up each week. That’s roughly the length of five football matches, four Beyonce at Coachella sets or a train to Paris and back, and then back again. Over the course of the year, that’s 15 full days of nothing but cleaning. In other words, time that could be spent on something far more fulfilling.

Unless tidying and cleaning is your passion (no judgment here) and you simply love to take your time over a good spit’n’polish, then we’re sure you’re looking for ways to reduce the effort and hours spent on keeping things tidy. It’s a case of ‘work smarter, not harder’ here, we think, with these; our 5 IDEAL tips for efficient home cleaning.

THE RIGHT CLEANING PRODUCTS

Quality is everything when it comes to results. And nope, that isn’t the latest platitude doing the rounds on Insta. Instead, it’s a wise mantra to remember even in the most mundane of settings; those of domestic duty.

When you’re shopping for home-cleaning supplies, there’s naturally a temptation to use cheaper products to save a few pennies. That’s money being spent on something which tangibly brings no pleasure or improvement to your life, so who can blame you for wanting to cut corners. But the best cleaning products will significantly cut time on the scrubbing, the sweeping and the sorting. Time is money, so in the long run, and with the bigger picture in mind, savings will in fact likely be made if you buy the right cleaning products in the first place.

CHORE SCHEDULING

How many times have you let the dishes pile up until flies stalk the sink, or not dealt with an overflowing washing basket until there’s a risk you’ll have to go to work tomorrow in your birthday suit? We all know just how fast these jobs go from minor inconveniences to major undertakings, until it isn’t just about getting it sorted anymore, but more a process of project management. Where do you even start and when will it ever be over?

Effective cleaning is all about scheduling, routine and timing things with precision. A simple way to pull this off is by tackling things room by room; set aside a day of the week or a specific time slot to clean a particular room or space, and stick to it. Focus is a great driver for efficiency and stops you from spreading yourself too thin and trying to do everything at once. A ‘little and often’ approach is also a prudent one; if you do your chores systematically, completing tasks regularly bit by bit, you’ll more likely be able to maintain acceptable levels of cleanliness without ever having to a do a blitz job because things have gotten way out of hand.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF A DECLUTTER

Never underestimate the power of a good declutter. Not only is unnecessary mess a clinically proven demotivator, but it’s also a physical barrier to getting stuff done. Cleaning will inevitably suffer if you’re simply repositioning superfluous items in new, temporary homes.

The solution is either to create additional storage space or have a good ol’ fashioned clear out. The former is best achieved through hooks, boxes, cabinets or shelving units, creating enough space for everything to be neatly tucked away. Then, when things are out of place, it becomes a simple matter of just putting them back where they belong. The latter involves a ruthless and determined approach to stuff you rarely use. In the spirit of minimalism, we’ll explain no further. Job done.

DON’T COMMIT TO CLEANING JOBS YOU CAN’T DO

There are some cleaning jobs which you really shouldn’t try to do yourself; they’ll only end in tears, after all. Proper carpet cleaning, for example, requires professional-standard equipment and intimate knowledge of surfaces and their appropriate cleaning products. Trying to manage this yourself will likely leave you buying up expensive supplies you’ll barely use, as well as with the potential to damage your home through improper technique and practices.

For complex or large-scale jobs — or anything that has a greater level of impact than just a tidy up, such as moving out — employing the help of a professional cleaning service is going to be your best way forward. Not only does it save you from making a hash of things, but it will also keep you from wasting hours on a project that the pros can complete quickly.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

The digital age has an answer for everything, and cleaning is no exception. A variety of apps exist to support better cleaning practices and make sure you stay on track. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for (as long as it’s not life’s meaning or something else existential), you’ll more than likely find it on your smartphone’s app store.

Available applications for cleaning include guides on how to complete certain tasks, like unclogging a sink or getting a stain off the sofa, as well as schedulers, motivational tools and home-cleaning to-do lists.

SHARE
Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.