Having paid cleaning help may be an ideal solution for people. Professional cleaners are fast and efficient, they clean rapidly and correctly – it is their job after all! However the sad fact is that is probably unaffordable for the majority of people. And unless you cannot spare even twenty minutes a day for light housework to keep on top of everything, paid help is entirely unnecessary. There’s no secret to rapid, effective cleaning – but there are a few hints and tips that can make it a lot easier for you. The first thing to remember is that professional cleaners have a schedule of jobs. Nothing is left to random chance or just when they ‘have a minute’. So you should take the same approach. Write down a list of tasks that need doing and specify the days when they will be done – and stick to it! Housework is made so much easier by doing the cleaning regularly rather than being left with a tremendous mess to clear up at the end of every month. Take one room at a time and deal with it properly. Clutter needs to be cleared. You wouldn’t try and iron your clothes with bits of jigsaw puzzle on them so treat your surfaces in the same fashion. They need to be empty for you to clean them properly. So take five minutes before you start to order the room ready for you to clean, and then make sure that you have all the tools handy that you will need. This can include dusters, clean polish cloths, sponges, feather dusters, a vacuum cleaner, a mini vac and dustpan and brush. You will save a lot of time if you prepare this before you start so it is all to hand when you need it. You should also simplify the products that you use to clean. You do not need multiple products which are all specific to one thing. For example avoid special sprays for windows only and invest in a multi-surface cleaner. Make sure you stay focussed on your task. Switch off the TV, let your phone go to voicemail and if you really can’t work without noise then put the radio on. Imagine that you are being paid to clean and harness the same energy that you would bring to your day job! Next, ensure that you are cleaning methodically. Take the bathroom for instance. Stand in front of the basin and clean it – taps, plughole, basin bowl, the mirror above it if there is one, and make sure this is all completed before you move a single inch. Professional cleaners do not go around a room more than once – because this would be a sign of ineffective cleaning. Another simple but useful tip is to use both hands to clean at the same time. One can scrub while the other rinses. It seems obvious but two hands really do lighten the workload. Another handy hint to bear in mind is that professional cleaners rarely work alone. They generally work in pairs or groups; many hands make light work! Therefore, do try and get all of the family involved. Delegate a bit of housework to each individual and you will see the amount that needs doing disappear before your very eyes. And the biggest tip? When you have finished, get everything ready for next time! This means cleaning any brushes or sponges used, emptying the vacuum cleaner, refilling any sprays and making a note of any products that need to be purchased. This sort of preparation means that you can hit the ground running next time you choose to clean.