Declutter, sort and store before you start cleaning. Place a cardboard box and 2 or 3 garbage bags in each room and fill them as you go.

Breeze through your spring cleaning with these top tips for efficient, effective cleaning. Plus, the four things that will make this year’s spring cleaning even better.

Reduce your cleaning cache to a few multiuse supplies. Microfiber cloths are effective for both washing and drying. All-surface cleaners work on any washable surface, so use the same one on countertops and glass.

You might like working alone, but consider enlisting a partner. Washing windows (one of you inside, the other outside) and vacuuming (have someone move furniture items as you vacuum) are especially productive team tasks.

Start with the most affordable, most convenient cleaner available: tap water. It takes care of most grime, so you won’t go through purchased cleaners as quickly. Before using an expensive cleaner in your bathroom, run a hot shower and fill a sink with water so it can soak.

Give cleaners time to work. Spray, then wait, and you can wipe instead of scrub. Drop a denture-cleaning tablet in the toilet; it will dissolve and clean the bowl’s surface. Let a warm, wet sponge soften a dried-on spill.

Shake Up Your Spring Cleaning Routine

Common household items used in new ways will help you take your spring cleaning routine to the next level. Add these dirt-fighting weapons to your arsenal before you start.

  • The right duster can clean more than your floors. Use a microfiber mop on walls and ceilings. Run the duster along crown moldings to grab particles you can’t see.
  • Used fabric softener sheets are great for removing soapy residue from glass shower doors. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the sheet and scrub-a-dub-dub.
  • A new soft-bristled paintbrush makes a great addition to your cleaning caddy. Use it to brush dust from window tracks, clock radios, wicker furniture, and lampshades.
  • To prevent clogs in the kitchen sink, pour 1/2 cup baking soda then 1/2 cup white vinegar down the drain. After a few minutes, pour in hot water.

From Better Homes and Gardens