How To Clean Like A Minimalist: Essential Supplies And Advice

Clean Like A Minimalist


If there’s one thing I hadn’t fully anticipated as an adult, it’s that no matter how tidy I am, the cleaning seems to never end. Developing a minimalist cleaning routine will make your cleaning regimen easier to get through, save you money, and help you maintain a space you feel good about.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Life is too short to spend it endlessly cleaning. I want to get in, get out and then move on with my day. To keep things simple, I only use a few staple products when it comes to cleaning my house.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How To Start Cleaning Like A Minimalist: Expert Tips

Expert Tips to Clean Like A Minimalist

Cleaning like a minimalist means creating a cleaning regimen that makes the most of your supplies and gets the most work done in the least amount of time. Minimalist cleaning is a tool in our toolbox to keep things tidy and clean, so we can make space for the things that really matter.

I’ve found that these tips reduced the hassle of cleaning as much as possible, which means I’m more likely to do it often. Fewer hurdles and less hassle reduce excuses, keeping the clutter and dust at bay.

Build Your Cleaning Caddy

Build Your Cleaning Caddy

Building my own cleaning caddy was one of the smartest decisions that I ever made for my cleaning routine. Having all of the cleaning supplies that I use on the regular in one central location in my caddy makes it so easy to grab what I need and get started. When I’m ready to clean, I just grab my caddy and knock out all the cleaning in under 30 minutes!

I only keep the essentials in my caddy so it doesn’t become cluttered itself. It also means less to haul around the house while getting things done. A caddy is key because you can take it to where you’re cleaning and have everything you need easily within reach. It’s been a game changer!

put together a cleaning caddy

Put Cleaning On The Schedule

Put Cleaning On The Schedule

Scheduling an exact time and place for the things we don’t want to do is one of the biggest life hacks for being more productive. I definitely apply this thinking to my cleaning routine.

When you know you have a ton of cleaning to get done quickly, setting a time and place beforehand is key. Then, make sure you hold yourself accountable to getting the tasks done when you planned to.

sunday reset minimalist routine

Try Monotasking

Try Monotasking

Another minimalist life hack that I love is the concept of monotasking, which basically means focusing on one task and only one task at a time. Studies about multitasking reveal that switching tasks frequently actually causes you to lose up to 40% of your productivity.

Monotasking is an effective way to knock out your chores and cleaning tasks. When I monotask when doing chores, it could look like devoting one entire day to cleaning the kitchen and the next day to cleaning my bedroom without giving in to the tendency to switch between rooms.

Other days, it looks like giving one weekday to cleaning tasks and another day to logistics like paying bills or making phone calls. It’s important to find what works for you.


Try Pairing Your Tasks

Try Pairing Your Tasks

Not to completely contradict everything I just said about multitasking, but doing two things at once when cleaning is a strategy that can keep you motivated while doing chores you don’t enjoy. Pairing your tasks can also make the entire cleaning process go a lot faster.

pair doing dishes and laundryIntentionally pairing something you hate doing, like laundry or dishes, with something you enjoy can help keep you engaged when you want to quit. In your cleaning routine, this might look like listening to a podcast or audiobook, or watching a beloved TV show while you clean.

This can also look like doing chores alongside your daily tasks, instead of turning cleaning into a huge task at the end of a long day. Maybe try washing your dishes as you cook dinner instead of afterwards, or putting office supplies away immediately after you use them instead of after a long work day.

Deciding whether monotasking or multitasking works better for you in the long run depends on your own needs and personality. If you’re looking to increase your speed, productivity, and efficiency, monotasking is the move. If you’re having trouble staying motivated and engaged doing menial tasks, try pairing your chores.

Have A Place For Everything, Then Keep Everything In Its Place

Have A Place For Everything Then Keep Everything In Its Place

There are two types of people in this world: those who put things back where they belong and others who seem to put things down wherever they are. This is one that I’ve noticed has been a real challenge with people I’ve lived with.

desk organizerIt starts with having a home for each item. If it doesn’t have a home, ask, “Is this actually important enough to have a home?” If not, declutter it; if it does, designate a home for it.

The trick to keeping your sanity is then whenever you use something, put it back when you’re done. This practice alone will keep most spaces tidy. And if you notice certain places collect odds and ends, ask yourself why. Identify problem areas and workshop solutions.

Just Do Five Minutes

Just Do Five Minutes

Breaking large, daunting tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks is music to any minimalist’s ears. If you’re feeling lethargic and unmotivated, or overwhelmed by how much you have to clean up, just give it five minutes.

time yourself cleaningI find that working from home gives me the perfect excuse to take five minutes to tidy as a way to get away from my desk and out of my chair. Going into the kitchen and wiping down the counters, changing over the laundry, or dusting one room only takes a few minutes and is a healthy break from work.

Literally time yourself, and clean for five minutes straight, then take a break. Five minutes may not sound like a ton of time, but you’ll be surprised by how much you can get done in such a short amount of time.

Minimalist Cleaning Styles: Find What Works

Minimalist Cleaning Styles

No aspect of minimalism is one size fits all. There are many different types of minimalists, each of which bring different goals to their personal minimalist cleaning routine. It’s important to find the minimalist cleaning style that resonates best with you.

The Efficient Minimalist Cleaning Style

If your goal with trying minimalist cleaning is to save time on your cleaning regimen and expedite the process as much as possible, you probably want to tailor your cleaning routine to put efficiency first and foremost.

This might mean monotasking for maximum productivity, leaving your supplies in an accessible location to get started quickly, and taking fewer breaks to power through and save as much time as possible.

The Serene Minimalist Cleaning Style

Now, if your goal isn’t to get your cleaning job done as quickly as humanly possible, but is instead focused on taking the stress and overwhelming feelings out of your weekly cleaning process, think about ways to make your regimen more serene.

This could look like putting on music or a podcast while you clean, making a whole zen-like day of your cleaning process, lighting candles while you clean, and taking frequent breaks.

The High Power Minimalist Cleaning Style

Maybe your goal with your minimalist cleaning routine isn’t about speed or your mental state, but about making sure your cleaning job is as thorough and effective as possible.

In this case, you’ll want to tailor your minimalist cleaning routine to being ultra efficient. This might look like cleaning one room at a time until each space is completely spotless, using products that clean thoroughly, and taking the extra time needed to do the job well and completely.

types of minimalism

Simple Minimalist Cleaning Routines Worth Trying

Simple Minimalist Cleaning Routines

In the minimalist world, it’s pretty common for routines and rules to circulate. There are several fairly helpful minimalist cleaning routines that have gained popularity in the last few years that I wanted to share with you.

Sunday Reset Routine

Developing a Sunday reset routine is one of the best things I have integrated into my weekly cleaning routine. A Sunday reset routine is a simple list of tasks, chores, or cleaning rituals to make time for every Sunday night to “reset” your week and get your mind and home in order, so you start your week right.

sunday reset minimalist cleaning routine

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning is another minimalist cleaning ritual that can help you get your home in order. It was started by Margareta Magnusson and is discussed in her self-help book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.

Unlike the Sunday reset routine, which is a quick and repeated cleaning process, Swedish death cleaning is a much longer process where you clean your entire house from top to bottom over the course of several months. However, the end result is worth it.

The 20/10 Cleaning Method

Started by Rachel Hoffman, the 20/10 cleaning method for minimalists is all about timing. The approach here is to do an intensive cleaning “sprint” for 20 minutes straight, then immediately follow that with a 10-minute break. Rinse. Repeat.

This method is newer to me, so I have yet to try it out for myself. However, it seems like an awesome way to break out the grueling cleaning process into smaller sections that are easier to conquer.

how to organize a small house

The Most Effective DIY Minimalist Cleaning Products

Effective DIY Minimalist Cleaning Products

Minimalists are all about cutting costs while maintaining quality. If you’re following a minimalist cleaning routine, there’s really no need to waste funds on overly expensive cleaning products when you can easily achieve similar results with household products that are already in your cupboards.

Make A Vinegar Kitchen Sanitizer

Make A Vinegar Kitchen Sanitizer

Don’t shell out for a pricey kitchen disinfectant when you can make a DIY kitchen sanitizer solution with simple household products.

Vinegar Kitchen Sanitizer

DIY Kitchen Sanitizer

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil

Combine all these ingredients and add the solution to a spray bottle. Then, you can use this spray on kitchen counters and other surfaces. They’ll wipe clean easily! However, it’s important to note that this disinfectant spray only works when made fresh; it won’t keep over long periods of time.

Make A Multipurpose All-Surface Solution

Make A Multipurpose All Surface Solution

Everyone needs an all-surface multipurpose cleaner in their cleaning kit. This easy DIY cleaner is simply made form white vinegar and tap water. It’s a super simple solution to make and use.

multipurpose cleaning solution

DIY All-Surface Solution

  • 1/3 spray bottle full of white vinegar
  • Tap water

All you need to do to create this all-purpose cleaner is fill 1/3 of your spray bottle with white vinegar. Then, fill the rest of the bottle with basic tap water and shake. You can use this cleaner on any hard surface in your home as long as you wipe it dry after.

DIY Microwave Cleaning Solution

DIY Microwave Cleaning Solution

Nothing is worse than old food residue in the interior of your nice, clean microwave. You can easily get rid of microwave stains with lemon water and baking soda.

cleaning solution for microwave

DIY Microwave Cleaning Solution

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons of baking soda
  • ½ cup of lemon juice

Mix the baking soda and lemon juice with the water in a microwave-safe glass container. Then, microwave the mixture until it boils and leave the boiling mixture sitting in the microwave for two to five minutes to let the steam begin to rise.

The steam from the mixture will loosen the grimy food residue in your microwave. After this, a simple wipe down with a paper towel or cloth will do the trick.

Conquer Tough Shower Mildew

Conquer Tough Shower Mildew

Shower mildew is another awful culprit that can make your bathroom dirty fast. You can easily clean the grime in your shower with this easy, natural remedy.

cleaning shower mildew

Homemade Mildew Cleaner

  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • ½ cup of Borax
  • Warm water

All you’ll need to do is pour the Borax and vinegar into a spray bottle full of warm water. Then, spray it in the grout and surfaces of your shower and bathtub to break through tough mildew.

Essential Minimalist Cleaning Supplies Checklist

Essential Minimalist Cleaning Supplies Checklist

When cleaning your house like a true minimalist, it’s important to note yet again that you really don’t need to own every single cleaning product out there. I’ve created this cleaning checklist for you to ensure that you have the supplies needed to get the most out of your minimalist cleaning routine.

Essential Minimalist Cleaning Supplies Checklist

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle solutions
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Mop
  • Vacuum
  • Dish sponge and soap
  • All-natural cleaning soap
  • Thieves cleaner concentrate
  • Stainless steel scrubber
minimalist cleaning supplies

Ryan’s Favorite Minimalist Cleaning Supplies

Ryans Favorite Minimalist Cleaning Supplies

I also wanted to include a checklist of my favorite minimalist products and tools. These are the items that I keep in my Sunday sweep bucket and use every single week.

Ryan’s Cleaning Caddy Weekly Supplies Checklist

Your Turn!

  • What minimalist cleaning tips will you try?
  • What cleaning supplies will you use as a minimalist?

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