Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleaning Shortcuts in the Bathroom

As a busy mom who likes to spend too much time on the computer (oops!), I try to find shortcuts to my daily tasks when I can. Of all the rooms, the bathroom gets a bad rap for being the hardest to clean. I don't find this to be true at all. I'd rather clean the bathroom than any other room in my house because it is generally the quickest room to clean and there's less clutter than any other room (perhaps these two facts are related?). Our house has only one bathroom and it is very tiny, so that helps, but here's a few things that help me get in and out of the bathroom in record time and may be useful to you as well:

  • Eliminate frills. In light of my former post, you probably envision my bathroom as having lots of pretty decorations in it. Truthfully, it's the last room on our list to remodel and is badly in need of it. However, I've cut out (and will keep it this way after a remodel) all the extra little things that make cleaning take longer. There are no rugs, toilet tank covers or fancy toilet seats. I don't have decorations on the vanity or the back of the toilet. The necessary supplies like extra toilet paper, bath toys and bath soaps are in baskets that are easily accessible but quick to pick up and clean around.
  • Accessible cleaning supplies. I keep the cleaning supplies I need for the bathroom in a tub right under the bathroom sink. It's easy to just wipe and swipe while I'm already in there instead of waiting for a big cleaning day when it will take much longer to clean the room.
  • Know where to cut costs. This is different for everyone, but I find it better to invest in liquid soap (sometimes I use cheap shampoo and recycle the dispenser), disinfectant cleaning wipes and trash bag liners (um...recycled grocery bags, but still...I could have used them somewhere else, y'know?). These little things add up to get me in and out quickly.
  • Streamline the cleaning routine. I have a daily, weekly and every-once-in-awhile routine for cleaning and stick to them. No, I'm not so organized that I have certain days and times, but I can tell when the work needs done, so this is a general idea. By routine, I mean that I clean in a certain order in a certain way to minimize the time needed. My daughter timed me on my daily cleanup once and it took 2-3 minutes. The weekly takes a little longer because it involves dusting and floors, but it's still around 10 minutes. The every-once-in-a-while includes blinds and scrubbing the tub (no shower) and windows and baseboards, but I think it's only around 30 minutes...40 tops.
  • Don't expect perfection. We have decided what is an acceptable level of clean for our family and try to keep to that standard. Thankfully my men do well at aiming so that helps a lot, and I have a lot less surfaces to clean than most people because of the size of my bathroom and absence of a shower. Having green fixtures in the bathroom helps everything look cleaner (came with the house, we didn't install them), but I wouldn't recommend it for aesthetic purposes.
What are some shortcuts you use in cleaning the bathroom?


  1. That's my problem...I'm too much of a perfectionist I think...GRR... But I'm learning quickly how to just wipe and swipe! LOL

  2. It'll come when you have kids--by necessity. LOL