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Clean House Faster: Great Cleaning Shortcuts

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Have Good Cleaning Tools

If you have cleaning tools you like, you may find you dread cleaning a little less. Smallin recommends trying different cleaning products until you find the ones that work for you. "And keep looking, because new products are coming out all the time," she says. Her current favorite? An extendable duster that allows her to clean ceiling fans without standing on a chair.

Smallin also uses disposable wipes for quick cleaning jobs. She keeps containers of wipes around the house -- under the bathroom sink, for example -- so she can give the sink or the bathtub a quick wipe down without hauling out the bucket and sponge. "What I like about the wipes is that you aren't just getting rid of dirt, you're getting rid of germs as well," she says. Smallin recommends biodegradable wipes to minimize waste.

If you avoid using your vacuum cleaner because it's heavy, unwieldy, ineffective -- or all of the above -- consider buying a new one. Many new models are lighter than their older counterparts, with ergonomic design features; they also clean more efficiently. "You're more likely to use your vacuum if it's easy on your back," says Smallin, who uses a lightweight, full-power canister vacuum cleaner. If you purchase a new vacuum cleaner, consider buying a model with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters trap smaller particles better than regular filters, thus helping to reduce dust and allergens in your home.

Store Cleaning Tools in a Convenient Spot

If you have to hunt down your supplies before getting started, cleaning will be even more of a chore. Instead, keep all your products and tools together, and put them back in the same place when you're done.

Beyer recommends storing products and tools in a container with a center handle. She keeps a set of cleaning products in different spots around the house, so they're easily accessible for quick jobs.

And keep it simple, Smallin advises. "If you pare your products down to the basics, you'll have less to tote around," she says. "There's a lot you can do with a multipurpose cleaner -- you can wipe counters, scrub the shower, and use it to clean the toilet."

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