Cleaning Routine Hacks When You Don’t Have Time to Clean – Clean Mama

February 24, 2021

If you think you want to try a cleaning routine or are having trouble adding one to your weekly schedule, you may need a few hacks or tricks to get you started. The Clean Mama routine should be completed in minutes a day. It’s easy and takes the guesswork out of what and when to clean. If you feel like you don’t have time to clean but want a clean home, I’m happy to help and am here with all of my best tips and tricks. If you haven’t read it, this post, A Manageable, Realistic Cleaning Routine For Any Schedule, is helpful to read first. When you’ve read this, read on and see what will be helpful to you.

Start with daily chores

I say it all the time and I will repeat it all over again. Start with daily chores. These five tasks are vital to the Clean Mama routine and the secret to getting started with your clean home! Daily tasks can be done in any order that works for you. I like to make beds first and have a load of laundry started first thing in the morning. The other tasks take place throughout the day and only last a few minutes each.

DON’T LET THE LAUNDRY DOWN – Do one load a day!

If you’re skeptical or not sure where to start, here are some ideas to make this work for you at home.

  • At the end of the day, collect all of the laundry around the house or just have one basket in the laundry room and wash what’s in it daily. With three children we easily have one load of laundry every day, on some days there are several loads. (This is not the method I use, but a lot of people use this method!)
  • Do not separate children’s clothes into white and dark, throw everything in the cold. I have never had color transfer issues with this method. The two older children fold their own clothes and put them away – that is very helpful! Use the summer to teach your children how to do their own laundry.
  • For my husband and I I make separate clothes (white, dark, training clothes) and we each have our own basket so that our clothes are washed separately. We both train a lot, so I usually have a lot of workout clothes for each of us every week.
  • If you work outside the home, set your washing machine to start about an hour before you wake up. As soon as you get up, toss it in the dryer and fold it before leaving or when you get home.
  • Don’t have enough laundry for one load a day? Try to do a load every other day or every third day.

Here you can get a free laundry plan to print out.


If you want to do a cleaning routine but know that you have snippets of the day to get things done (before work, after work, napping, etc), here are my top tips. I do most of these things because when I get personal, I’m a bit tidy. I find this to be best for me from the standpoint of productivity and getting things done. Don’t underestimate those 5 and 10 minute bursts of cleansing energy! You can find more information about the weekly tasks here.

  • Vacuuming and washing the floor can be a hang-up – They are time-consuming on their own and with the Clean Mama routine we do them on the following days. Here are a few ways to split them up: I vacuum late in the day on Wednesday and wash the floors early Thursday morning. Split half your house in one day and vacuum and wash the floors in one half one day and the other half the next.

  • The bathrooms can feel overwhelming. With the Clean Mama Routine, we clean the bathrooms on Mondays – get them out of the way and get on with the week! We’re saving floors for Wednesday and Thursday to make it even easier. If you think bathrooms are a struggle, set a timer and follow my simple Monday is Bathroom Daily Routine.

  • Bathroom Speed ​​Clean – If you’re having trouble cleaning your bathroom, use my method to cut this down to 15 minutes. You can view the entire method here and download a free printable version to work through.

  • Link tasks together – I talk about this at length in my latest book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home. When you associate a “happy task” with a “pain point” it is easier to get things done. I unload the dishwasher while I make coffee – it makes me move faster and put that task out of the way.

  • Simplify your cleaning supplies – Less is more with many things, but this definitely applies to detergents. You can make your own detergents with just a handful of safe ingredients. You don’t have to worry about what’s in your detergents and you have the ingredients you need on hand. Start with this post.

You are overwhelmed with a to-do list – do only one thing

If you’ve heard of choosing three things in a day and would love to do just ONE THING, this is a perfect start for you! Here are some mindset changes to get you started.

  • My personal favorite: “What kind of thing would make me do it tomorrow itself feel better?’
  • What A cleaning job Can I do today will make a difference in our home?
  • What AN organizational task Can I do today will make a difference in our home?
  • Is there anything i can reward myself with? could motivate me doing one thing?
  • Which ONE task can I do in the 5 minutes I have? I have a free printable version of tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes if you need help getting started.
  • Ask yourself, “If I can only one thing What will it be today ‘
  • Or how about this: what’s the only thing? I HAVE to finish today? ‘
  • Clear and clean straight ONE surface. Here’s how!


  • Start in the worst area first and keep going with this dynamic. That’s why I clean the bathroom on Mondays. If this setting doesn’t work for you, start with something simple first!
  • Choose detergents that you like to use. Color coordinate or just choose consumables you like – I think cute consumables make cleaning more fun!
  • Don’t postpone it – Overcome it and move on with your day.
  • listen to a podcast, audiobook or your favorite music – think of it as an escape.
  • Give someone a call and chat while you clean. Chances are you’ll enjoy the conversation more than you find yourself cleaning.
  • Make it a game – Set a timer and race yourself.
  • Invite someone over – you will likely get more done in less time.
  • Reward yourself with something that motivates you when you reach your goal.

  • Be consistent. If you find it helpful to do a quick clean each day before rest or nap time, take the 5-10 minutes that this little cleanse takes. Being consistent helps build habits and makes it easier to clean up when you do it regularly.
  • Write it down. When you feel like you have reached the end of the day and haven’t achieved anything, check things off a list. I use my HOMEKEEPING PLANNER and love to be able to refer to it all year round.
  • Don’t sweat the little things. It’s trite and exaggerated, but it really is that true. What if you have to order pizza because everything was going south? Didn’t you do your laundry every day this week? No big deal! That’s why I built Fridays into my routine as a panacea. A grace day built into a routine that leaves room for life. It’s refreshingly simple – just use the next day to start over, or the next week – there’s always room for the unexpected.

Ready to try? Start with these 3 free prints – you can find them at the top of the free prints page. There you will find the calendar of the month, instructions, and tips and tricks for incorporating the Clean Mama routine.

You can find these and all of my free printouts here

Ready to start?

Check out the links below – I share daily reminders on social media, follow suit!

Start Here Page – This page will help you get started!
Read my latest book – Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home
Get the homekeeping planner
Join my subscription, Homekeeping Society
Follow Clean Mama on Instagram

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