There's a few time-saving strategies that can not only keep your mess to a minimum, but also prevent your spare time from becoming an all-day cleaning marathon.
A few to consider:
If possible, do the dishes after every meal. A sink full of dishes will look messy and will drive the bugs indoors. Always try to keep 'on top' of the dishes. If you have an automatic dishwasher (lucky you!), load the dishes directly into the dishwasher (some appliances may require you to rinse the dishes off first). If you are the dishwasher, load the dishes into the sink or dishpan, add dishwashing liquid and then, let everything soak for about 5-10 minutes before you actually start cleaning. Pots and pans? Soak those also (just add the liquid detergent and water inside the pot or skillet). You'll be surprised how quickly everything goes (in minutes)!
Now if you're working, you obviously can't wash dishes after every meal; just soak any dirty dishes in enough water to just cover them; that'll still be enough to get some dirt off until you're able to clean.
What's that? You're welcome!
Clean the microwave regularly. Because the inside of a microwave can get dirty quickly. And if you don't clean a microwave out as the dirt and residue occurs, the crud tends to 'stick and stay.'
You can keep a stack of paper towels near the microwave or on top of it, or as you're washing dishes, just take a damp dishcloth and do a couple of swipes inside the microwave.
Work from the top down. Dirt and dust tends to settle at the lowest level, so it's best to start any cleaning task high up, then moving downward. In other words, for example, any dirt from ceiling corners first, then tables and other surfaces, then floors.
Use baking soda and vinegar. These two kitchen staples can clean many things: A baking soda/vinegar mixture can open up a clogged drain; it can be added to a wash to freshen towels and linens. A paste of baking soda can scour tough stains; vinegar is well-known for neutralizing pet odors from accidents.
Consider other items for cleaning purposes. For example, a can of Coca-Cola can be used for cleaning out the toilet. If you have a dishwasher (the machine kind), an unsweetened package of Kool-Aid lemonade can be used to clean and freshen it up-while empty (the citric acid will scour the inside and get rid of any hard water stains).
Source: “Time-saving cleaning tricks” by MetroServices, Valley Homes-The (Sunday) Vindicator, July 21, 2013