Maintenance Monday: The quick clean

You guys would see me using this phrase for the last few years (ok, more like 6 or so) to sum up the stuff that goes down around these parts most Mondays. I don’t know what it is about a Monday that makes me so productive, maybe it’s the laziness (yeah right) of the weekend but when that Monday morning comes around I just want to restore order and try and the get house sorted. It involves trying to clear the washing pile (which usually involves either visitors or entertaining remnants), a tidy of the girls rooms (although they do that themselves now) and a quick clean.

This clean is what I like to call the HALF HOUR OF POWER CLEAN which I have written about on the blog before. This is not a deep cleanse clean that I rarely do these days (you know the full monty clean and scrub and floor mop and vacuum situ) but more like a quick, superficial clean which doesn’t take long and will make you feel like you have done more than you have. Think of it as the clean before someone comes over. The quick clean that can trick you into thinking that your house is fully clean when it’s not. This clean is not for the faint hearted, you have to RUN. It’s a dead set work out! You have to move fast. You have to have your wits about you. Go hard and then you can move on. It requires focus. It requires momentum. You cannot get distracted. Check your phone/email/social media or answer a call. The only concession is that you can Instagram your efforts at the end.

I suggest that you look at what is achievable in 30 mins. It might just be the kids room. Focus and move on. It could be the kitchen only. Wash up, wipe and put away, wipe the benches and move on. Think about what is going to piss you off the most and deal with it. And move on! For me, on most Mondays, I can’t cope with the toilets, the carpet, the kitchen and the beds. The dust usually also proves a problem.

Here’s what it looks like for me and how long it takes to do each task (adding up to 30 mins):

So let’s do this shall we?


Throw open all your windows. The fresh air is like a free cleanse for inside of your home. Sunshine will disinfect everything and at least the cobwebs will be broken when you open the windows. Small victories.

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Strip the beds and get washing. Fresh sheets tonight will convince me that I have worked harder than I did. That said, the girls have bunk beds so there will be an aerobic work out getting those bastards back on later this afternoon. This will also stretch out the half hour time slot somewhat. If you have spare sheets whack them straight on, otherwise deal with the dirty sheets on another day. You don’t have time for that shit today. This time does not really include the remaking of the bunk beds. I can re-do our bed in that time though. RUN PEOPLE.


Get a hot wet cloth and wipe over every surface that is concerning you. This is not a thorough dust just a wipe over to deal with immediate areas of concern. For me it was kitchen, and bedside tables that had a layer of dust so thick on it the girls were drawing patterns on them.



Wash up everything in the kitchen. Wipe benches. Move on.



Throw toilet cleaner in the bowl and give a quick scrub. This is not a deep clean but merely a scrub. DIG DEEP.



Vacuum high traffic areas that you will see the most. For me that is the entrance way, my bedroom and the bathroom & kitchen floors. You will be sweating now because you are running against the clock. YOU CAN DO IT.


Throw something new in a vase from the garden. Don’t have flowers? Cut a tree branch. Anything will do and it will trick your mind into thinking that the house is fresher and cleaner than it really is.

LOOK AROUND. It looks clean! It smells clean! It’s Kinda clean!
What’s your trick for fake cleaning?
Don’t you think those 10 minutes before someone comes over are the most productive 10 minutes?


  1. God I love a fake clean. It’s the only kind I’m capable of these days. My top tips are from you, actually – air out the house and clean the toilet. Amazing how fresh everything instantly becomes!

    Another tip is to have a room where you can chuck everything and deal with it later. For me, it’s the laundry. Guests coming at short notice? CHUCK EVERYTHING IN THE LAUNDRY AND LOCK THE DOOR – ahhhh so cleaning looking with half the room removed…!

  2. All your tips plus burn candles!

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