11 Examples of “Cleaning As You Go”

11 Examples of Cleaning as You Go

11 Examples of Cleaning as You Go

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When I first heard the term, clean as you go, I wasn’t sure what that meant.  But once I heard an explanation, I realized I did that all the time.

In case you’re not exactly sure what that means or want some more ideas about how to do it, here are 10 things I’ve noticed my husband and I do.

  1. While I’m waiting for my iPhone photos to upload, I tidy my desk – that mainly involves putting things where they belong and throwing things away. I’m always amazed at how much I can get done in just a few minutes.
  1. While my husband, David, waits for his oatmeal to cook in the morning, he cleans up the kitchen or packs his lunch.
  1. After he uses a dish that didn’t really get dirty, instead of tossing it in the sink, he rinses it and puts it in the dish drainer. You don’t really need to wash something that isn’t dirty.
  1. When I sweep the kitchen floor, I also sweep the base boards.
  1. When I vacuum, I usually do something extra. It might be vacuuming under the furniture, vacuuming the couch cushions, vacuuming a vent, etc. I don’t make a big deal out of – just a quick swish or two. Everything adds up!
  1. When a shelf in the refrigerator is empty, I clean it! Rarely do I clean the whole refrigerator at one time.
  1. When I’m doing laundry, I tidy the laundry room. Usually that means wiping off the washer and dryer, picking any hangers up off the floor, dumping the trash, etc.  Each time I go downstairs to switch a load, I do something.  Doing it this way means I never have to put “clean laundry room” on my to-do list.
  1. After I brush my teeth, I wipe out the bathroom sink.
  1. When I wipe the kitchen counters after doing dishes, I go ahead and spot clean the cabinets. It only takes a minute and it makes them look SO much better.
  1. We keep our dish drainer in the left side of our double sink. When the dish drainer is empty (it rarely is), I go ahead and clean that side of the sink. I wipe down the other side every time I do dishes.
  1. When you go from one room to another, take anything in the current room that needs to go to the room where you’re headed. It saves you a trip later.

These are just a few examples of ways David and I clean as we go.  We’ve discovered that it’s much faster to clean this way rather than saving all the chores until you have a block of time.  And an added bonus is that it keeps the house looking decent all the time.

If you’ve never done this before, here are a few things to remember:

  1. You shouldn’t need to go get something (a cleaning tool or cleaner) to do the extra task. It’s not cleaning as you go if you don’t already have what you need in your hand.
  1. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds or a minute to do the extra task (or the length of time you’re waiting for something else to finish – like my iPhone photo upload or David’s oatmeal). If it takes longer than that, you’re cleaning not cleaning as you go.
  1. It’s not usually an entire task but part of a task – like cleaning a shelf in the refrigerator or cleaning the left side of the sink or spot cleaning instead of cleaning the entire surface.
  1. You will NOT be cleaning ALL THE TIME. If you’re cleaning all the time, you’re doing it wrong.

If cleaning as you go  isn’t something you’ve done in the past, it’s definitely worth trying.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t take long for it to become a habit.  And I can almost guarantee that you’ll see a huge difference in the condition of your house AND the amount of dedicated time you spend cleaning (in case there’s any confusion, IT WILL BE LESS).

Do you clean as you go?  If you do, what are some of the things you do?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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7 thoughts on “11 Examples of “Cleaning As You Go”

  1. Clean as you go is not the same as multi-tasking.

    Clean as you go means you’re expected to clean up after yourself immediately following every task. It’s a big time saver, and sanity saver, especially if you are preparing a big meal in the kitchen.

    Another great saying is “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”. That one I learner in the military.

    1. Great point, Marcia. It’s not the same as multi-tasking. It’s not multi-tasking at all.

      I can’t believe I didn’t include “clean up after yourself.” That’s a big one!!!

      I like it: “Time to lean, time to clean.”

  2. I was taught to clean as I go at a very young age being a military Air Force BRAT! The man I married 38years ago was not taught this method. Early days of marriage he tells me he will clean up the kitchen for me after supper. He was totally amazed to find the kitchen CLEAN and a few pots soaking in the sink which he took care of and wiped the already wiped counters down again. He is a wonderful cook which I adore but he does not clean as he goes and has a major big fat mess to deal with after the meal is finished. His Mom is the same way. I hate spending so much time and energy cleaning up a big mess in the kitchen. Clean as you go makes so much sense to me. DH is not programmed this way but he will clean up after himself if I don’t get in the kitchen and do it myself which I often do for him if he has kindly prepared a meal for us. CAT

    1. And that’s why I hate stove top meals. I don’t have as much time to clean as I go as when I bake something. So after a stove top meal, the kitchen usually looks like it exploded. I try to clean as I go, but that kind of meal just doesn’t allow much of it and I’m a MESSY cook.

      Sounds like you and your husband have worked out a compromise, though.

  3. That’s the only thing I hate about cooking big meals, the cleanup. Its so much easier with takeout to just trash it. One of our neighbors cleans up after his meal and washes his dishes before he moves on. It takes a little discipline but you don’t have a sink full of dishes later on.

    1. I hate the mess a big meal makes, too. That’s why I prefer oven meals – I can clean while the food is cooking. Stove top meals, though – you have to babysit them so you can’t do much, if any, cleaning. Then I have a big mess. It’s not too bad if the dishwasher’s empty but it’s usually not. Yes, take out is easier to clean up.

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