How to clean every room in your house in just 15 minutes

Cleaning feels good: fact. From a boost in self-esteem for completing the job to unintentional exercise and peace of mind, giving your place a good once over has a heap of benefits for your brain and wellbeing.

It’s not everyone’s favourite pastime though, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy or time (or both!) to spend hours decluttering and scrubbing surfaces. While Marie Kondo taught us all about taking time to rifle through literally everything we own (a daunting and tiresome process), a new cleaning method is taking the organisational world by storm and we’re here for it.

Created by author Marla Cilley, the FlyLady cleaning method is one we’re going to try this week because it encourages us to spend just fifteen minutes in each room before moving on. That sounds totally doable, right? Marla’s method is all about creating easy wins and clearing the clutter that accumulates from everyday life, so you’re not going to be turning the place upside down each time you tidy. You simply set a timer and focus on the room until it’s time to move on. These are a few of the simple things you can achieve this week using the method.


Marla has broken up each area of the home into a particular zone and from there, gives us an indication of the types of areas we should be focusing on with our fifteen-minute time limit. The entryway of your home—arguably the most neglected area—is a chance to set the tone of your entire place and project an uplifting vibe. Marla’s whole purpose is to stop you from feeling ashamed when you answer the door or have friends over, so her tips are designed to give you quick wins that’ll make you feel good. The aim is to declutter the area as much as possible but not beat yourself up for not leaving it sparkling clean. So, focus on putting shoes away, stashing bills and documents in a drawer and tidy bags that may have accumulated on the floor. After fifteen minutes, give yourself a five-minute breather and move on. These are a few other things to make your way through at your own pace:

  • Dust furniture 
  • Wipe down the door handle
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor
  • Add your own personal touches to make it more welcoming.

Living room

When you’re ready to tackle the living room, it’s important that you don’t begin the detailed cleaning list below until you’ve first used your time to declutter. This is surface-level tidying that will leave you with a blank canvas to begin digging a little bit deeper. Some of the specific cleaning tasks Marla lists are listed below and should act as a working list over time, not something you should aim to complete in fifteen minutes. It’s all about baby steps and building a routine and a healthy cleaning habit you’ll stick to.

  • Clean cobwebs
  • Clean windows
  • Clean coffee table
  • Wipe fingerprints from walls
  • Clean out bookshelves
  • Clean under cushions
  • Move furniture and vacuum
  • Shampoo carpet


I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I clean the kitchen it returns to its usual state in just a few hours. For those of us who aren’t keen on spending an entire afternoon reorganising the whole room, this clever method tells us to simply focus on one specific area for now. For example, turn your attention to your kitchen sink and empty everything out, fill it up with soapy water and wash any dishes you have then give the taps and sink itself a good wipe down. After that, some things to pay attention to over the month include:

  • Empty fridge and clean thoroughly
  • Clean microwave inside and out
  • Clean stove/oven
  • Wipe fingerprints off walls
  • Wash inside windows
  • Clean fan/vent-a-hood filters and hood

And so on – the goal of this method is to identify the areas that may not be cleaned as often, or that act as dirt and/or clutter magnets. Giving over 15 minutes a day to one one extra cleaning job – and particularly those extra jobs that you put off because they aren’t hard but also aren’t that important – will make every space in your house feel so much better. Sticking to a cleaning schedule that requires only 15 minutes at a time is also very doable – queue up five songs, or pick our a podcast, start a timer, and get to work!

Written: 24 July 2021

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