Cleaning can be a tedious chore. Who has the time or energy to wipe down every kitchen appliance and bathtub once a week? Well, according to Andre Lewis, manager of Alpha Living, a green cleaning service in New York City, having a plan, moving quickly, and never going back to a room are the keys to cleaning fast — and well.

All you have to do is start with the bedrooms and work your way to the bathroom, kitchen, and living room. After some sweeping, scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, your house will be spotless within the hour.

Zone 1: Bedrooms

Approximate time: 10 minutes per bedroom

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1. Do a clean sweep.

Strip dirty linens and toss them in the hamper. Stash any garbage or miscellaneous items clogging your dresser or nightstand in nearby drawers or closets. Empty the wastebasket. Think "hotel" — you want spotless surfaces to make the room look tidier.

2. Make the bed.

Take a tip from hotel maids: Rather than trying to tuck sheets under the end of the mattress, lift up each corner of the mattress with one hand and tuck with the other. It's much faster.

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3. Deal with dust.

Using a dry microfiber cloth, start with a piece of furniture in one corner and work your way around the room clockwise. Dust each surface, working back-to-front and lifting knickknacks as you go, and dump the dust right onto the floor.

Your cloth should only touch each part of the surface once (no constant back-and-forth). If there's a lamp on the nightstand, clean it top-to-bottom first, then dust the tabletop. Use a long-armed duster to reach mirrors and wall art.

4. Vacuum.

Start from a back corner and vacuum your way out the door, using long firm strokes. Save time by only running the vacuum over each strip of carpet once — not twice. Don't worry about missing an inch or two.

Zone 2: Bathroom

Approximate time: 9 minutes

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1. Do your prep work.

Spritz the sink, vanity, shower, and tub with your all-purpose spray and let it sit.

2. Tackle the toilet.

Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, give it a thorough scrub with the toilet brush, and then flush. Next, spray a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe down the outside of the toilet and tank.

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Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner

3. Clean the mirror.

Spray glass cleaner on the mirror and, starting in the top corner, wipe in a circular motion to hit every smudge.

4. Go back to the sink.

Use a toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach spots around the fixtures. Then, working back-to-front, start in one corner and move horizontally, wiping the counter, vanity, fixtures, and handles with a cloth or paper towel.

5. Wipe down the shower and tub.

No need for a full scrub — just give them a quick swipe with a dampened cloth, then pull the curtain shut.

6. Mop the floor.

Using a water-dampened microfiber mop, quickly scrub your way out of the room, beginning in a far corner and ending at the doorway.

Zone 3: Kitchen

Approximate time: 12 minutes

how to clean house fast
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1. Do the dishes.

Load the dishwasher with dirty dishes and start the cycle.

2. Declutter.

Spend a minute or two removing any clutter from countertops — put items back in the cabinets and stash papers in a drawer. The emptier your counters, the cleaner your kitchen looks.

3. Pretreat.

Notice hard-to-remove gunk on your stove or countertop? Scrape it up with the credit card. And use the eraser sponge to tackle any stubborn stains.

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4. Clean the counters.

Wet a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe countertops back-to-front, brushing crumbs onto the floor.

5. Wipe down appliances.

Swipe the fridge, dishwasher, and stove with a damp cloth.

6. Tackle the floor.

Starting in a far corner, sweep your way out. Then, give the floor a fast once-over with a water-dampened microfiber mop, again working your way out of the kitchen.

Zone 4: Living Room

Approximate time: 15 minutes

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1. Clear the clutter.

Quickly scan the room to see what's out of place. Then, stash scattered items like remotes and DVDS in drawers. Neatly stack magazines on the coffee table.

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OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster

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2. Grab the duster.

Start in one corner of the room, and follow the same system as in the bedrooms. Work top-to-bottom and back-to-front so that the dust falls onto the floor. If you have blinds, swipe them with the long-armed duster.

3. Make glass gleam.

To clean glass surfaces, spray a microfiber cloth with glass cleaner and wipe in wide circular motions, working from one back corner to the front.

4. Vacuum.

Speed-vacuum yourself out of the room, starting in the farthest corner.

Arianne Cohen is a contributing editor to Woman's Day and author of Help, It's Broken!: A Fix-It Bible for the Repair-Impaired.

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