Speed Cleaning is a concept originated by Jeff Campbell’s Clean Team. Their website (http://www.thecleanteam.com/) says “Home of Speed Cleaning – Keeping House with Time Left Over to Enjoy It”.
It is time we take back our weekends. Old fashioned housecleaning is time-consuming hard work. They claim there’s an easier, less tiring, more thorough, and much faster way. Sign me up!
Here are their speed cleaning rules:
- Make every moment count. That means work around the room once. Do not backtrack. It also means you must carry your equipment and supplies with you so you do not make trips back and forth across the room. Walk around the room once and you are done, except the floor.
- Use the right tools. You need a cleaning apron to hang tools on and store cleaning supplies in as you move around the room.
- Work from top to bottom. Dirt follows the law of gravity. When you start at the top and work to the bottom, you will not be constantly re-cleaning surfaces with dirt from above.
- If it isn’t dirty, don’t clean it. For example, vertical surfaces are almost never as dirty as horizontal surfaces. Upper shelves and molding have less dust than lower ones. Often all that is dirty about a surface is a few fingerprints, so do not clean the whole area.
- Don’t rinse or wipe a surface before it’s clean. You will just have to start over. In other words, when you are cleaning a surface, do not rinse or wipe just to see if you are done. If you were wrong, you will have to start all over again. Learn to check as you are cleaning by “seeing through” the gunk to the surface below. Then you can tell when it’s dislodged and ready to be wiped or rinsed.
- Don’t keep working after it’s clean. Once you have reached ground zero, stop. You are cutting into VLT-Valuable Leisure Time. Rinse or wipe and move on.
- If what you’re doing isn’t going to work, then shift to a heavier-duty cleaner or tool. You are going to get very good at knowing what tool or product to use without having to throw everything in the book at it. You will be learning to anticipate what to reach for before you start a task so you will not have to shift.
- Keep your tools in impeccable shape. Dull razors scratch-they do not clean. Clogged spray bottles puff up and make funny noises-they do not spray.
- Repetition makes for smoother moves. Always put your tools back in the same spot in your apron. You can not spare the time to fumble around for them. And you can not afford to leave them lying around in alien places for the dog to carry away. You will quickly get so expert you will become aggravated if the tool you expected is not in the right spot when you reach for it. Progress, progress.
- Pay attention. Almost everything else will fall into place if you do. Do not think about the revisions in the tax code. Or anything else. In Latin: Age quod agis-“Do what you are doing.”
- Keep track of your time. Get a little faster every time.
- Use both hands. Your work force is half idle if one hand is doing all the work. Finish one step with one hand and start the next step with the other. Or, wipe with one hand while the other steadies the object.
- If there are more than one of you, work as a team. You are what the biologists call a “superorganism.” If your partner gets done ten minutes faster, the team gets done ten minutes faster. And that is a wonderful thing. You can not stop being vigilant for one moment about what will speed up or slow down your partner’s progress.