We all like a clean house, but who wants to spend hours cleaning it? Here are some tips for speeding up the process.

Make every moment count

Set aside dedicated time, and then don't get distracted. Have all your tools ready and at hand; wear them on a tool belt for even faster cleaning times. Make a circuit around the room and don't backtrack.

Use the right tools

Pick up professional cleaning tools - they may cost more initially but they work better and last longer. That's why the pros use them. And keep them in good shape. Clogged spray bottles are annoying and waste your valuable time.

Skip it if it isn't dirty

Some things, like vertical surfaces, only need occasional cleaning, or spot cleaning.

Here's how to clean a kitchen the fast way. (This is a quick clean, not a deep inside-the cupboards clean.)

1. Remove anything on the floor, such as garbage cans or rugs, and set them in another area.

2. Work clockwise, from top to bottom. The cabinet is the highest, so start there. Spot clean fingerprints - mostly around the handles.

3. Move to the countertop underneath. Pull items (like canisters, toaster, etc.) forward, wipe behind, clean the items, then push them back into place.

4. Go down to the lower cabinet and spot clean.

5. Move around the kitchen in this manner, clockwise.

6. When you hit the fridge, clean the top first, then the front. Clean the hinges and around the nameplate with a toothbrush.

7. Wipe down the stove as you come to it in your clockwise circle.

8. End at the sink. Clean around the rim of the sink with spray and a cloth, and the inside of the sink with cleanser. Don't use cleanser above the rim or you'll spend too much time rinsing. Feel the bottom of the sink with your fingers to determine if you've rinsed well enough.

9. Last, do the floor. Sweep or vacuum it first, then mop. How you do that depends on what type of surface your kitchen floor has, but work your way outward. While the floor dries, vacuum any kitchen rugs and then replace.

Other areas of the house can be cleaned quickly by using the same idea. Work clockwise, from top to bottom, except for the floor. Try to make one pass. With practice, you'll get faster, and it will be quickly apparent that the actual cleaning isn't so time consuming - it's getting everything put in its place that creates the cleaning obstacles.

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