12/19/2013 11:59 am ET Updated Feb 18, 2014

Making Time to Clean in 4 Easy Steps

Cleaning, an activity that is vital for good mental and physical health is an activity that you must carve out time for. The good news is that you don't need as much time as you might think, just 30 minutes to one hour a day. Although - fair warning -- cleaning is so therapeutic that you may find yourself wishing you could spend more time maintaining your clean home.

Step 1: Schedule cleaning time and stick to it
Anyone who's ever attempted to go to the gym knows that it can be hard to fit it in with work and family obligations, but the results are worth it. The same principles can be applied to cleaning - schedule daily cleaning time and stick with it. Just like at the gym, you'll see results - a clean house - and you'll burn calories. According to the Self magazine calorie calculator, a 140 pound person will burn 100 calories during a half-hour of general cleaning.

Step 2: Organize your cleaning products
Gather your green cleaning products - we use Ecospirit natural cleaning solutions, but you can use any plant or vegetable-based cleaner - into a recyclable carry-all so you can bring your supplies with you as you move throughout your living space. Don't forget to add microfiber cloths - avoid paper towels whenever you can. Keep in mind that you don't need dozens of cleaning products to keep a sparkling clean home. We recommend using general-purpose products to cut down on the amount of cleaning solutions needed and the money you spend to buy them.

Step 3: Plan your cleaning strategy
Your cleaning buzzword is: Efficiency. Consider the fastest easiest way you can get the largest amount of area cleaned before you start. We recommend moving from the back forward or the top floor down. You'll be carrying your cleaning supplies, including large garbage bags, so you can toss the trash room-by-room. Just like the whole-house cleaning method, you'll want to clean from the back of the room toward the front and from the top down. That means counter tops and fixtures should be wiped down with the microfiber cloths first, empty the trash second, and clean the floors third. When all the rooms are wiped down and garbage has been collected, go back through with the vacuum - ditch the broom - and clean the floors of dust and debris. And extra long extension cord will come in handy when you get to this step!

Step 4: Maximize your mental health at the same time
Use your cleaning time as a calming activity. The act of throwing away the trash and cleaning counters and surfaces can be very relaxing. In a hectic day, this is your time to take control and create change. Keep the TV off if you can and work quietly, letting your mind focus on one task instead of stressing over several small concerns can be good for your mental health. Don't worry about cleaning every nook and crevice, you can do that once a month or schedule a regular deep cleaning professional service and avoid it completely. Allow yourself to relax and complete your task without pressure or stress. When you do it regularly it will become an anticipated activity - good for your home, good for your health.