How to clean your house in an hour

Go from crusty chaos to domestic bliss using with this system and some sheer determination.
Brigid Arnott

Whether you’ve expecting visitors or are simply tired of spending your whole weekend cleaning, here are our top tips to clean your entire home in under an hour.

Don’t get us wrong – cleaning the house is hard work. But with a concentrated effort and absolutely no distractions, it is possible to get your whole house looking spick and span in no time.

It’s much easier to clean a tidy home than a messy one so if your home is still strewn with washing, toys and the detritus of weekend entertaining, your cleaning routine will take longer. Try to do little things during the week to keep things under control, and then your hour of power will be just that.

How to clean your home in an hour

Pump up the volume

Put on your favourite music with an upbeat tempo and crank it up loud to keep you motivated and undisturbed. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes you can bend, stretch and reach in. Think of it as a workout!

Resolve not to stop

This is the key to success. Allocate yourself one hour and commit to an undisturbed assault on your living spaces. Hide your phone. Ditch your kids, lock the front door and put on a timer. DO NOT STOP.

Grab your cleaning toolkit

(See below) and move with it from room to room, cleaning as you go. Start upstairs if your home is over two levels and work your way down. If on one level, work your way forward from the back of the house without backtracking.

contemporary concrete staircase
Start from the top of your house and work down. (Credit: Marnie Hawson)

Your cleaning toolkit:

  1. Rubbish bags (folded used grocery bags are perfect)
  2. Small basket with a handle (serves as toolkit storage when not in use)
  3. Microfibre cloths (for dusting)
  4. A handful of clean rags (rotate and wash after each use)
  5. Cleaning spray (see below to make your own natural solution)
  6. Cordless vacuum cleaner (charge and store near toolkit)

Natural cleaning solution:

Mix up a small spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water and 10 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oils.

light and bright living room with sheer white curtains and stone fireplace
Read, set, go! Clear, clean and conquer. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

1. Kitchen: approximately 12 minutes

  • Clear the benchtops and load everything possible into the dishwasher and set it to run. Fill the sink with hot water and dishwashing detergent and add anything for handwashing as you go.
  • Working top to bottom, use a natural spray to wipe down benchtops, lifting and wiping items as you go for a spotless finish (the less on your benchtops, the better). Wipe down appliances and cupboard fronts as you move around the kitchen.
  • Run a bucket of water with floor cleaner in the laundry tub.
  • Sweep the floor from one corner, working your way outwards.
  • Return with mop and bucket to give the floor a quick and thorough mop, working in the same direction.

2. Living Room: approximately 15 minutes

Use a system and take your cleaning toolkit with you as you go

  • Clear clutter by collecting it into a basket and leaving it at the door to distribute to their rightful places later.
  • Dust everything– start at one point and use a dry microfiber cloth or damp lint-free cloth and move around the entire room in a circular motion. Work swiftly through all surfaces top to bottom, including window frames, sills and skirting boards. Dust straight onto the floor.
  • Vacuum next in the same direction as you dusted, vacuum the entire room – under and around furniture, opening cupboard doors.

3. Bedrooms: approximately 10 minutes per bedroom

Take your cleaning toolkit with you and work around the rooms, using the same system as for the living room

  • Clear clutter, strip bedlinen and pile outside the door with a waste basket for later removal to laundry and rubbish bin
  • Dust everything as for the living room
  • Make the bed
  • Vacuum as for living room
The main bedroom in a neutral palette with a wicker hanging lampshade.
Get everything off the floor, then dust and vacuum. (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

4. Bathroom: approximately 10 minutes

Take your cleaning toolkit with you and work from top to bottom.

  • Spray the shower recess with your preferred cleaner and allow to sit and do the hard work whilst you tackle other areas
  • Flip the lid on the loo and give it a quick swish with the toilet brush, followed by toilet cleaner, then allow it to sit whilst you carry on elsewhere
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor with a hand-held or upright vacuum cleaner
  • Lightly spray the sink, benchtop and surfaces with your all-purpose cleaner and wipe down, including vanity accessories and toothbrush holders. Use your old cleaning toothbrush on tricky areas and around taps and drain holes.
  • Clean mirror
  • Clean bath with a gentle cleanser and wipe clean
  • Revisit the toilet with a good scrub, flush and wipe over, under and around the seat, pedestal, cistern and surrounding floor
  • Fill a bucket with floor cleaner & hot water
  • Return to shower and wipe down walls, tapware and floor. Rinse clean and squeegee everything for a dripless finish
  • Mop floors
white bathroom with marble vanity top and black hex mosaic floor
Clean your bathroom often and it’ll take ten minutes, top to bottom! (Credit: Ess Creative)

5. Hallway

Take your cleaning toolkit with you and work from top to bottom

  • Dust picture frames, architraves and skirting boards.
  • Dust or wipe surfaces and decorative objects
  • Wall through the house and collect, waste and bedlinen from doorways of other rooms and remove to laundry and garbage bin
  • Consolidate baskets of items from other rooms
  • Return to the hallway and vacuum
  • Return items to their correct place, admiring clean and tidy rooms as you go!

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