Most people wouldn't think so, but the basics of cleaning start with planning. If you want to use your cleaning time in the fastest, most efficient way possible, planning comes first. Before you walk into a room and just start randomly cleaning, you should start by planning how you will clean the room in the quickest manner.
For instance, if it's the bathroom you want to clean, think about what will take the longest to do and start there. Usually the toilet is what takes the longest to get clean, so you would start by adding the bowl cleaner and then spraying the rest of the toilet to allow the cleaner to do its work. After that, move on to something else in the bathroom, perhaps spray and wipe the sink area. Since you always want to give your cleaner time to work, the best approach is to spray the sink and faucets, and then let that sit while you clean the mirror.
Giving your cleaners time to do the work for you is probably the most important part of cleaning. Work smarter, not harder. By allowing the cleaner to sit on the surfaces that need to be cleaned, it will begin to break down any build-up of soil (toothpaste, hair spray, etc.) which will make wiping everything down a snap. Always use two dry cleaning rags; one is to wipe off the cleaner and soil, the other for polishing.
Once you have finished with the sink area, spray down the tub/shower. Again, this will give the cleaner time to soften the soil and start the sanitization process which is a very important part of cleaning. Once you have sprayed cleaner on the tub/shower, move on to the toilet. By now the cleaner should have had plenty of time to soften the soil on the toilet. Starting with the toilet seat down, wipe the tank. Be sure to wipe down the sides as well as the top of the tank. Working your way down, clean the hinges and toilet seat top next. Lift the seat cover and wipe down the inside as well as the ring. Lift the ring and wipe down the underside as well as the bowl top.
Next, use the toilet brush and clean the inside of the toilet, flushing when done. After that, continue wiping the outside of the bowl, paying attention to the front of the bowl. Lastly, be sure to wipe the floor around the bottom of the toilet. As part of the basics of cleaning, you should always spray and wipe any walls or partitions near the toilet to eliminate urine over-spray. After you have wiped down everything, discard the rag used. Take your other cleaning rag and use it to wipe the toilet again, this time going from the outside of the bowl back up to the toilet tank.
Once you've finished with the toilet, move on to the tub/shower. By now, the cleaner has had plenty of time to soften the dirt and cleaning should be relatively easy. Start with the walls and wipe them down. If you have hard water stains on your faucets, you can use a Brillo pad to remove them. Rub gently with the pad as you don't want to scratch the chrome. Using your hand-held shower head, rinse the cleaner from the walls and faucets. To remove tub rings, apply a scratch cleanser to the surface and use a green scrubbie to remove. After scrubbing the tub, rinse again with water.
The last part of cleaning the bathroom is to clean the floor. Sweep the floor and then, using your spray cleaner, spray down the floor, paying particular attention to the area around the toilet. Let the cleaner sit for one minute, then use either a mop or your cleaning rag to wipe down the floor.
All told, this method of cleaning should take only about 20-30 minutes to do. Planning is the key to cleaning. Remember to always let your cleaners do the work for you.