Save. Spend. Splurge.

How to clean your place in 15 minutes or less. Promise.

I am not a clean freak, so this is easier for me, but I don’t feel the urge to wipe Baby Bun’s little experiments with how good a window may or may not (?) taste; nor do I feel the urge to get rid of ALL the dust bunnies, ALL the time.

I sort of let them breed in the corner until they group together and turn into a formidable dusty tumbleweed, going through the middle of the living room to the sound of Baby Bun’s urges for it to race faster.

I only get these fits on occasion, which I call Major Cleaning Fits (MCFs) and I just go on a rampage, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, washing and tidying like a whirlwind. Baby Bun usually runs for cover in the bedroom and squeals with excitement as he sees me display the kind of energy usually reserved for unbridled online shopping (LOL).

Even with all of that, I do on occasion, decide it is just too filthy for humans to live in, I just can’t take it any longer, and yet I have zero time to go on a MCF, so I employ some of my quick clean-up strategies.

I promise, it will help make you feel as though you have conquered your house when in fact, you haven’t done much at all, which will be enough to get you until you can get around to really cleaning things.


I go each major room – Kitchen, Living Room, Baby Bun’s Room & Bathroom, gathering crap that I have just been letting lie on the table or in a box, and immediately put it away.

Focus on just clearing the space and putting things that you have left out, away and back to where they belong.

Examples include:

Baby Bun’s room

Books all over the floor and bed, get put back into his book baskets. Socks are put back into the basket, and his toys are tossed back into a basket.

The futon on the floor gets straightened and any dirty things lying around go in the laundry basket.

Living Room/Office

Cables are out are wrangled back into their respective Cord Tacos.

Papers all over the place or any opened mail that has not been filed (but has been dealt with), all get put away, tossed, or put into a folder to be shredded.

I do a quick wipe down of the surfaces to clean off the dust.


Makeup brushes on the counter are placed back in their holders, towels and/or clothing on the floor, all gets hung up or put in the laundry basket.

I do a quick scrub in the toilet with a toilet brush.

I wipe down the mirror fiercely with some vinegar and shine it up, and scrub the counters until all traces of dust, dirt and residual makeup are gone.


Dishes are quickly washed and put away (or if there is a whole sink, they’re all rinsed and stacked in the corner of the sink, organized and ready to be washed in one big fell swoop at night).

I wipe down the kitchen counters, I scrub the stove top, I put back all the things that were drying on the countertop, and toss the dirty kitchen towel into the laundry basket so a fresh one is on the hook.

If I have time, I even take out the trash or recycling (yay for condo living!)

The key? We aren’t aiming for perfection here.

We are aiming for a tidy, cleaned up space that will make your brain go: Ahh. That’s better. and doesn’t trigger your heart to go: ARRRGH! WHY IS THIS PLACE ALWAYS SO DARN MESSY?!


Do any of the above, but spend more time on it.

I would call this part of my Major Cleaning Fit, and you’d be surprised that 15 minutes turns into 30 before you know it, but at least the kitchen is sparkling clean.

Same deal as above, but it might take more time to organize what you are putting away, or maybe take the time to put away a large load of laundry or two.

Whatever it is, try the 5-minute rule, and if you just can’t stand it, do the 15-minutes it requires to get it back up to your livable standards.

You really don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning, it would help to not leave it until the end so that you have to spend an hour going on a cleaning frenzy, so little tiny bursts of 5-minute or 15-minute cleanups can make the world of a difference.


  • Krystina

    It’s amazing how much you can do in five minutes (check this with a timer) and if you don’t have clutter you can wipe surfaces in no time flat. Cleaning becomes a Herculean task when you let it get to the desperate stage. My two-year-old grandson actually started stacking plates for the waitress at our favourite sushi place because he has seen us do it so many times!

  • Barb

    I moved out of my parents’ house two years ago into my house with nothing but a carpet and lots of utensils my mum donated. Hehe.

    I have discovered that the less stuff you have, the easier and quicker cleaning is. It’s amazing! So that’s one tip – if you have a lot of junk, get rid of.

    Another thing like Mario pointed out is making a little bit of effort each day really helps too. Make your bed each morning, empty the sink with each meal rather than letting dishes pile up, use and immediately return stuff around the house to where it’s supposed to be etc etc. Future You will thank you.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I recently tried just leaving dishes for 3 days, and I found that my optimal point is 2 days. I can clean it in a decent amount of time but I don’t feel like I am constantly cleaning and letting things dry… I need to steal time where I can.

  • Mao

    It’s really true that you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it. It’s unbelievable that much the space looks better even when you just put in a little bit of effort everyday.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      This I need to remember.. I just feel like my whole desk is a whirlwind of crap right now with papers from his preschool, my work, my personal life, blog, bills. I want to shove it all in the garbage.

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