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5 hacks for deep cleaning your house with the least amount of effort

A few simple adjustments can make cleaning less of a chore.

Photo by Katie Pearse on Unsplash

Cleaning doesn't have to be a dreaded chore.

There are some people who actually enjoy cleaning, but it’s fairly safe to say that most people don’t. Most of us like things to be clean, but we don’t necessarily like the actual cleaning part it takes to get there.

Not everyone can afford to hire professional cleaners, so we’re stuck doing the cleaning chores ourselves—the normal everyday housekeeping as well as the seasonal/occasional deep clean. Some of us were trained by our families to do it, while other people have to learn on their own.

For the latter folks, crowdsourcing some tips for making the cleaning process go more smoothly with less effort is a great way to make it less daunting. Someone on Reddit asked people to share their best hacks when deep cleaning the house, and more than 1,000 responses yielded some best practices worth trying out.

Here are people’s most popular cleaning hacks:

Declutter, declutter, declutter

The more stuff you have to clean, the more cleaning you have to do. That may sound obvious, but it’s not something we necessarily think about when we’re looking at our belongings we’ve either become attached to or have mindlessly collected over the years.

So the first step in deep cleaning is to get rid of things we don’t actually use or want anymore. You don’t have to become a total minimalist, but less is more when it comes to keeping a space clean.

“Declutter, declutter, declutter. Having fewer things to collect dust makes general cleaning so much easier, let alone the awful stuff like vents or behind heavy appliances.” – WassupSassySquatch

“Definitely. I realised when I treated us to a one off cleaner after 4 years of having kids that I spent the whole day prior decluttering and tidying so they could clean most efficiently. Well, if it was always that tidy or empty we could deep clean every week without overwhelm. So, it's the stuff. Moving the stuff before you can even clean.” – aga8833

Carry Hefty bags as you go

As an addendum to the "declutter" advice, have bags on hand for donating and for throwing away. Be ruthless about your belongings. Most people have too much stuff and hold onto things they'll never use because they think they might someday or because they don't feel like it's worth throwing away. If you don't have bags to put them in, you definitely won't move past those lines of thinking, so keep them with you as you clean and use them liberally.

"Lots of hefty bags and don’t be precious- throw it all away/ donate it." – trou_bucket_list

"Don't hold on to junk that you never use, because you don't want to create waste by throwing it out. It's already waste, it just lives in your house instead of a landfill. Donate it if you can, sure, but sometimes it's easier to just throw it away and give yourself grace for it." – happypolychaetes

One room at a time, from the top down

Cleaning one room at a time breaks the whole house into smaller parts, which makes it seem less overwhelming. And starting from the top down means you clean any dust or debris that falls as you go, ending with the floor so nothing gets left behind.

“Top down. One room at a time. Pace yourself.” – Straight_Calendar_15

“If you clean the counters first, you don’t have to worry about messing up the floor since you’re saving it for the end. If you clean the floor first, you could end up dirtying it again as you clean the counters.” – o_in25

Wear a headlamp

Headlamps aren’t just for camping or spelunking—they can be super handy for cleaning as well. Even in a lit room, there are nooks and crannies in bookshelves and corners where you can’t see dirt, dust or cobwebs unless you shine a light on them.

Why bother if you can’t see it normally anyway? Because dust can create a mild, stale odor that keeps your house from smelling fresh. This hack may not save you time or energy, but it will make the end result far more satisfying.

“Clean wearing a head torch - if it looks good under such good light, it'll look sh*t hot under normal lighting. It's great for finding cobwebs on walls / ceilings too as they throw an obvious shadow.” – Dougalface

“I’ve done this while cleaning inside my car. I kept cleaning and cleaning and it still looked dusty and awful so I gave up. When I came back the next day under normal lighting it looked brand new again.” – Potatobender44

Pump up the jams…or ‘Hoarders’

Yes, cleaning is a chore but that doesn't mean it can't be fun and energizing. Turning on some of your favorite music, whether that's upbeat dance tunes, powerful symphonies or fun fiddle music, can make cleaning a whole lot more enjoyable. Turn it up loud to drown out any grumbling thoughts and get moving.

Alternatively, put on episodes of the television show “Hoarders,” which can be a great motivator, especially during the decluttering part.

“Listen to music while you do it (earbuds or headphones while vacuuming).” – SRB112

“This is a little strange but I like to put on runway show music in the background when I clean, usually its super long and kinda questionable energetic music so you can do 25 minutes of cleaning and feel like a supermodel all in one. (balenciaga has some good soundtracks imo love or hate the brand)” – NickyThePerson

“I play a hoarders marathon in the background while cleaning…” – Last_Sundae_6894

“Put Hoarders on the TV while you clean. I stg within 10 minutes I'm ready to throw everything away.” – Halbbitter

Happy cleaning, everyone!


2 photos of a woman's bedroom reveal just how powerful depression can be.

"We need to be able to talk to each other about our feelings, even the bad ones."

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

Dealing and not dealing with a messy room

This article originally appeared on September 7, 2016

Jonna Roslund is a 26-year-old from Sweden who lives with depression.

Living with a mental illness affects many areas of a person's life, including one annoyance most of us can relate to: the dread of household chores.

But for Roslund — and many people living with depression — the process of cleaning can be about so much more than simply tidying up.

"I suffer from severe depression and have a really hard time with cleaning and doing other kinds of household work," she wrote in a post on Imgur.

household chores, suicide, Jonna Roslund

Selfie taken by Jonna Roslund.

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

"My room [has] been this messy for several months [because] I can't push myself to take care of it," she explained. "But this Friday I decided to finally do it!"

She posted two photos of her bedroom — one before cleaning up, and one afterward.

This was Roslund's bedroom before she cleaned:

self care, positive attitude, cleaning

This can be considered messy.

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

And after she cleaned:

mental health, household chores, motivation

What a difference some elbow grease can make, huh?

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

"You can finally see that I have a floor!" she wrote. "Say hi to my teddy Nalle on the bed!”

"I know it's not a big victory, but for me it means the world to just be able to have my door open if people come over. I feel so at peace right now ... Me 1 — Depression 0!”

The comments on Roslund's post are filled with words of encouragement, as other users expressed how relatable it is to see a messy room so perfectly symbolize their own form of mental illness:

"I too suffer from depression and I know how hard it is to function. You rock and you're an inspiration!"

"I've been suffering from bouts of depression and dealing with an eating disorder and my place is in disarray. This is inspiring."

"Good on ya! Cleaning is the first to go when my depression flares and cleaning is one of the things that can feel good in the depths."

"Good job, [Roslund]. 1 step at a time, 1 small victory after another, is what will get you through this (: I wish you the best.”

Roslund's experience with depression and struggling to stay on top of household chores isn't all that unique.

Feeling as though you have little energy and motivation is a common characteristic for those living with depression. Everyday tasks — from the bigger things like staying productive at your job to the smaller (but still important) things like completing household chores — can feel impossibly difficult at times.

depression, mental illness, suicide prevention

Dirty kitchens happen.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

That no-energy feeling is one that Roslund knows all too well.

"When you're depressed, it's a struggle to just get out of bed," she explains over email. "It makes other things that other, healthy people do, so overwhelming. It's like trying to run a marathon when you've been in a coma for years."

That's why Roslund's post resonated so widely. It touches on an important point: Sometimes small victories aren't so small after all.

Roslund wants the world to get better at how it addresses mental illness — and that starts with all of us.

"We need to be able to talk to each other about our feelings, even the bad ones," she writes. "And we need to be better at listening when someone is trying to talk to you about it, even though it's hard to hear."

It's a vital message to remember, especially since it's National Suicide Prevention Week. Depression and the risk of suicide are closely related.

"Be patient with yourself or the person you know who is going through a hard time. And it's important to remember that there is help out there!"

The Queen of Cleaning improves people's lives, one kitchen at a time.

Ever watched a cleaning TikTok? Man, are they satisfying. There’s nothing like seeing the grubby bathroom getting scrubbed and buffed into something spa worthy. It’s just so cathartic. Is there such a thing as visual ASMR?

Not to mention that having a clean home just feels so good. Having things tidy makes the daily stressors of life seem more manageable.

But for many of us, this basic comfort is an impossible luxury. Things pile on, both literally and metaphorically. Being a single parent, having depression and illness are among the many obstacles that can drain someone of their time and energy to really take on a thorough cleaning. And once things spiral out of control, it can be very hard to get back on track again.

Cleaning enthusiast Aurikatariina proudly describes herself as “The Queen of Cleaning” on TikTok and YouTube. Yes, the transformations are wild. Yes, she has some great tips and tips. But the truly remarkable thing is that this woman uses her passion to help others: by offering to clean their homes for free.

Her free home makeover videos not only feature the Queen of Cleaning doing what she does best, they also share the stories of those she’s helping. And watching them feels like a good soul cleansing.


This lovely was crying from happiness 🥺👵🏻🙏 I just LOVE to help people ❤️ ##elderly ##helping ##homecleaning ##takecare ##satisfya ##satisfyingvideo

♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

Like when she helped an 80-year-old couple who had no support to manage their home. So Aurikatariina got to work, and made the kitchen immaculate (in the video above).

Her caption reads “my heart melted when this lovely lady was crying from happiness.”

I mean, it’s one thing to get this much joy from cleaning your own home. But for a stranger? That’s next level. And it really goes to show that giving to others rewards everyone involved.


One of the saddest but the best cleaning ever 🥺👩‍👧‍👧❤️ ##cleaningtiktok ##cleaning ##makeover ##oddlysatisfying

♬ Survivor - 2WEI & Edda Hayes

In another video, Aurikatariina helps out a single mom. She explains that the father left her alone with two kids, and (understandably) the home had gotten in bad condition.

What seems like a million toys litter the floor. A Coke can in the medicine cabinet. An ironing board that’s become a table for junk. Yeah, it’s bad. But Aurikatariina cleans it all, staying kind and compassionate the whole way through.

Her video ends with “if there is a mother struggling I‘m here to tell you that you are not alone.”

One person commented “as a single mom of 4 thank you for helping her. These messes get outta hand so quickly when you’re the only one doing literally EVERYTHING.”


The reaction of the cat at the end 😭😻👏🏻 ##story ##storytime ##touching ##forfree ##happycat ##homecleaning ##homemakeover

♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

Aurikatariina cleaned the home of a cat owner, who was really sick. Both kitty and the young girl were swimming in mounds of food packaging and cat hair. But with Aurikatariina’s help, along with some generous donations of supplies from her followers, the home became spotless.

You’ll wanna stay for the end of this one if you want to see one happy cat lounging in a pristine bathroom sink, after being thoroughly confused to see his new home.

As many people noted in the comments, the cat was also clearly healthy and well loved. This woman was able to take care of her cat, just not herself.


Hope is the best medicine of all 🙏 ##forfree ##homecleaning ##satisfying ##hope ##cleaningtiktok ##deepcleaning ##kitchen ##kitchencleaning

♬ Summer - Instrumental - Devinney

Aurikatariina captions this one with “hope is the best medicine of all.”

As she declutters and scrubs, Aurikatariina explains that this homeowner suffers from anxiety, depression, a physically demanding job and financial problems. Yeah, that’s a lot.

“He didn’t have the strength to put effort into his home…so here I am,” she writes.


THE MOST AMAZING TRANSFORMATION EVER!! 😍😍 ##forfree ##cleaning ##clean ##beforeandafter ##motivation

♬ Cinematic Trailer - Saltonbria

This home was labeled “dirtiest house in Europe.” A cleaning job this massive would have cost about $15,000, Aurikatariina tells us. And she did it for free.

She even flew from Finland to Switzerland to do it. Cleaning brand Scrub Daddy paid for her plane ticket and hotel. But still, that kind of generosity is beyond inspiring.

Aurikatariina is offering people not only a freshly cleaned home, but a fresh start as well.

As the saying goes, “helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.” And that matters.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go organize my closet.

Some people are neat freaks and some people aren't. Most of us prefer a clean and tidy space, but not all of us are able to maintain one. Not only do people go through various stages of life that make keeping house trickier than other times, but some people have neurological, psychological, and emotional realities that make it harder than it is for others.

The problem is, a messy house is often a source of judgment and shame.

Licensed therapist and TikToker Kc Davis is turning that notion on its head with videos that explain how her own ADHD impacts her messiness and how she's learned "to clean as a messy person."

Davis shared a video showing her doing "a full reset" of her space while explaining the various reasons why some people don't have the executive function capabilities to "clean as they go." From ADHD to physical disabilities to having experienced abuse surrounding cleaning, some people find it impossible to keep things neat and tidy. For people who don't struggle with executive dysfunction, this video may not make sense, but for those who do, it's extremely validating.

"I don't often go into specifics about why my house is messy that day because at the end of the day it doesn't matter," she said. "It's not about me proving to some internet stranger that my house is messy for an acceptable reason. It's about getting a message of compassion and hope out there to anyone that struggles. Regardless of your level of functioning, you deserve kindness."

Her caption may be the most validating of all:

"Mess is morally neutral and shame is the enemy of functioning."


Mess is morally neutral and shame is the enemy of functioning. #strugglecare #findyourway #selfcompassion #cleantok

That video was viewed more than a million times.

In another video, which has been viewed more than 9 million times, Davis explained how she changed how she viewed cleaning.

"For the longest time, I thought what I needed was for someone to teach me how to not be messy," she said, "but every attempt at a ritual or routine that was aimed at making me not messy failed, and I thought I had failed.

"What I needed was not someone who was going to try to turn me from a messy person to a neat person, but someone to teach me how to clean as a messy person. Someone to give me the freedom to just live my day the way I wanted to live it without thinking about things and the tools to create a routine at the end of the night to reset the space to functional without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted."

As she's explaining this, she's "resetting" her kitchen space with the help of a 15-minute timer. Even just calling it "resetting" is a helpful mind-shift for people who feel overwhelmed by the idea of "cleaning."


The key to a functional home does NOT include changing who you are. #strugglecare #messy #LoveMeMode #cleantok

"The key to a functional home does NOT include changing who you are," she wrote in the caption. That permission to live as a messy person with tools to stay functional is huge, judging from the comments. While some naturally neat folks were mortified by the mess in her video, those who related to it felt seen and heard. Those are the people she's trying to reach.

Thanks, Kc Davis, for giving a voice to those with executive dysfunction and for helping everyone be more compassionate and understanding of one another.

See more of Kc Davis's videos on TikTok.

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