How To Clean Your House In 60 Minutes

We're about to take a trip just north of Sydney to Central Coast, so I've starting to do the weekend pickup for the entire apartment. There's nothing I hate more than coming home to a messy house. When we get back, we should be able to take a shower and lounge on the sofa with nothing to do. I've been stressed out after a relaxing vacation before and I don't want that ever again. What are the main things to clean if you don't have time to clean the entire house? 

"Tidy house, tidy mind."

– Unknown


So we don't all have time to deep clean before a vacation, but have no worries! Here's a 60 minute session that should help keep you with a great peace of mind. Ready? Set. GO!



Before I start off in any specific room, I do a sweep of the house with a trash bag and throw all the little trash away. Go to every single room in the house and get those little scraps of paper or receipts that we really don't need and toss it! Next, I grab all the mugs and cups that somehow made it past the kitchen and hid. I take those to the kitchen for later. I think this is the most important step and makes everything else easier. DONE! What's next?



The extraneous cups and trash should be gone, so now you're free to arrange the coffee table books and remotes with all that free space. Clean your table with a damp cloth (keep that with you for the entire house). Put your couch cushions in order and throw stuff like sweatshirts and electronics somewhere else. In my apartment, I put them on my partner's side of the bed (if it belongs to him). When I lived with my parents back in the day, my mom used to pile our stuff on the stairs to bring to our rooms the next trip up. See what works for you. After this, you should be set! NEXT!



Assuming you're already packed, you don't need anything out (except maybe your cute outfit or your jacket and purse). Make that bed if you haven't! Throw everything on your floor into the hamper; It probably needs a clean anyway.Wipe down your bedside tables with that handy cloth. Close the closet doors, because what's out of sight is out of mind, right? Boom. Done. Getting easier isn't it? 



Not the most fun bit, but scrub that toilet and do a nice wipe-down. I like to have my towels freshly folded and on the rack, just because it looks nicer, but that's just me. Put away the hair straightener and dryer and get the millions of hairbands and bobby pins in a drawer. Take the trash to the front door (or wherever you go out). Off to the kitchen. 



Here's the fun part, all the dishes. Get cracking on the last set of dishes before your trip. While you have your spare mugs and cups, go water your plants before you go! Now you can forget them. We're lucky to have a dishwasher, so we do a last load and put it away before we leave and hand-wash the mugs and whatever other little things are left. I take off what I can from the counter-top so it's empty and ready to use when we get back. One last wipe-down of the countertop makes it sparkle a little too. Take that trash and your bathroom trash out! Almost done!



This is the first place you walk in and see your house weather you're coming from the front door or the garage if you have one. Put your shoes in order or put them away. Do your last check of "keys. phone. wallet." and take a deep breath while looking at your beautiful, clean house! 

Photo by Webvilla

Photo by Webvilla

Now assuming you've got a bit more time on your hands, here are some other things to clean before you go. 



I always forgot about this thing in the midst of a quick clean and I'd come home to brown sludge at the bottom of the veggie drawer and rubbery carrots waiting to be sadly wasted. Instead of throwing it all away before leaving, I try to make a fest out of it. I use all the veggies and other soon-to-be outdated foods I can in a meal the night before. It feels great to not let things rot and be wasted and you can probably make a great meal out of's why you bought it in the first place, right? If you're taking a road trip, pack some of those foods as snacks on the journey. I've got carrots and hummus and cherry tomatoes packed for us!



Ugh. Who doesn't hate laundry? I like to get it out of the way and do a load of colors and whites before I head off. Get them folded and put away, so your hamper is set for all of your dirty travel clothes when you get back. 



It's certainly one of the lowest priorities for me, but I do like the come back to a relatively clean desk. Tidy up the paperwork and make sure you don't have anything outstanding (bills, appointments, birthday cards...etc.) that need to be sent out before you go. 



I always think of these last, but they make such a big difference. Cleaner windows mean more light and happier demeanor (usually). Get the toothpaste flecks off the mirror and clean the grease off the backsplash in your kitchen (ours happens to be a mirror). These final touches make it feel like you've just had a professional cleaner over, but you just saved about $100.


I'm easily overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning my entire home before I leave, but once I broke it down, it definitely felt manageable and exciting for once. I hope the same goes for you and that you get to come home to a place that makes you happy. Happy travels!


Carolyn | Sydney, Australia
architect + designer + artist + blogger + graphic designer + always hungry

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