10 Simple Habits to Keep Your House Clean
Do you ever wish you could keep your house clean and organized without spending hours on it every day? Today I’m sharing 10 simple little habits that will help you keep your house clean with no extra effort on your part!
I have a confession: I’m a bit of a neat freak.
I am a tiny bit obsessive about having a clean house, and I tend to get a little stressed when things aren’t in order at home. Of course, between work, parenting, and life it can be more than a little bit challenging to find time to actually keep my home clean. However, I’ve gotten more and more efficient over the years at keeping my home clean without a ton of extra effort – it just takes a little bit of practice!
Here are my best tips for keeping a tidy home with minimal effort:
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How to Keep Your House Clean – 10 Easy Habits
1. Set a timer.
This is my most frequently-used strategy for keeping my house clean when I’m not in the mood to actually clean. I’ll set a timer for a short amount of time (usually 10 or 15 minutes) and force myself to do nothing but clean until the time is up. When I’m in a good habit of doing this every single day, my house stays so much cleaner and it only takes a few minutes out of my evenings. I’m always amazed by how much can be accomplished in 10 minutes!
2. Baskets, baskets, baskets.
Baskets are my secret weapon for keeping my home looking clean and tidy with a two-year-old running around. We have several of them all over our house and they all have very specific purposes (like books in the living room, Jackson’s trains, Jackson’s Legos, etc.). If I need to clean up in a hurry I can just throw everything in a basket and suddenly it looks like I have it all together. It takes about 5 minutes to clean up my living room even when it’s a disaster zone! My favorite types of baskets are big, deep woven ones and fun patterned ones.
3. Utilize the two-minute rule.
If you can accomplish a task in two minutes or less, do it now rather than waiting until later. If you have this mindset, you’re a lot more likely to stay on top of the little things around the house and those annoying tasks won’t pile up. I’ve also heard of it as the “one-touch” rule – try to only touch things in your home once before they’re put away. Meaning, don’t move clutter from one room to another before finally putting it away – put it exactly where it belongs the very first time.
4. Focus on the major traffic areas.
Not every space in your home needs to be perfectly clean at all times. Reminding myself of this is a great way to ease some of the stress when we’re having people over and helps my home feel cleaner overall. When I need to get things looking nice in a hurry, I tackle the living room, dining room, and kitchen and forget about the rest – if the main pathways of your home look good, it’ll give off the impression that your whole home is clean! Check out this post if you need ideas on how to get your home clean in a hurry!
5. Do a pick-up before bed.
Every night before we head up to go to sleep, I try to do a quick sweep of the house and make sure things are at least slightly in order before I turn in. Then, when I come down the next morning I don’t feel like I’m walking into chaos – having everything put away makes my whole home feel more peaceful. Sometimes it feels like a lot of effort to do this, but then I remind myself that it takes 5 minutes or less to actually get it done, so there’s absolutely no reason not to!
6. Tackle one room at a time.
When I’m actually cleaning, I find that I’m so much more efficient if I only allow myself to focus on one room at a time. So, if I find something that belongs in the living room while I’m cleaning the kitchen, I’ll just set it in the right room and go back to the room I’m cleaning. When I don’t do this, I end up wandering from room to room intending to put things away but actually getting distracted by other little tasks that need to be done. So while I feel like I’m cleaning, I’m usually doing more puttering around than actual work. When I focus on just one room at a time, I’m more likely to stay focused and get everything done.
7. Have a routine – and stick to it!
For a while, I had a cleaning chart for Corey and I of nightly cleaning tasks that needed to be done – we ended up falling out of the habit of doing it, but our home was so much cleaner when we were doing it! I’m trying to get back in the habit of a cleaning schedule this summer, though, and I’ll stick to it this time! For example, I might mop on Mondays, clean the bathrooms on Tuesdays, deep clean the kitchen on Wednesdays, etc. This helps me make sure that I’m actually cleaning all parts of my house on a regular basis, and breaking it into smaller chunks makes it feel more manageable.
8. Make your bed.
There’s just something about a bed that’s made that makes a whole room feel clean. It takes about 2 minutes for me to make my bed each morning, and it makes me so much happier to have it done. Quick tip: Do you have a hard time getting the duvet cover back on your duvet after you wash it? Here’s my super fast method for putting it on that will make your life SO MUCH EASIER!
9. Know what matters to you.
I’ve learned that in order for my home to truly feel clean to me, my kitchen has to be clean. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the house is absolutely spotless, if the kitchen isn’t clean I feel like the whole house is a mess. I’m also very picky about our floor – I walk around barefoot 99% of the time, so if I can feel dirt under my feet when I’m going from room to room, I start to feel the urge to do some cleaning. So, when I just have a few minutes to tackle a cleaning task or two I know that I need to start with the kitchen or the floors – just taking care of those two things will make my home feel a million times cleaner to me!
10. Give yourself grace.
Above all, this is probably the most important habit to adopt. It’s also the hardest for me. Your home will not be clean all the time. No one’s home is. Sometimes the mess just means you’re having lots of extra fun! The less you stress about having a clean home, the easier it will be to actually find time for what matters – and I’ve also found that the more grace I give myself in this area, the more likely I am to find time to get cleaning done!
Need some more ideas for keeping your house clean and organized? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Easy DIY family command center
- 10 home hacks that will save you time and money
- Easy trick for organizing spices
- Design mistakes that make your house look cluttered
- 3 household hacks to keep things running smoothly
- Get your home guest-ready in 30-minutes
- 20 of the best cleaning hacks
- My favorite cleaning and organization products
- 30 Days to a Tidy(er) Home
As a quick bonus tip, here are a few of my absolute favorite cleaning products and tools. I’m a sucker for a good cleaning product – if I’m going to be cleaning, I want to enjoy myself while I’m doing it!
I have also in the past texted someone I know has the same reluctance as me and we have a race for specific tasks or rooms to see who gets done first. Works for us.
As someone who hopes to be cleaner and more organized in her next life, I pinned these hints because they are excellent. Just starting, setting a timer for a short time are all helpful for those of us who do not love to clean.
It definitely helps my husband, who is a very reluctant cleaner! 🙂
I love your trick of setting a timer and getting as much accomplished before it goes off. The 2-minute rule is amazing too! I never thought of it within a time frame like that, but it’s true. If i takes you a short amount of time then why put it off. Just get it done! Great tips!
Thanks Becca! It really does make a big difference!
I use to do my laundry and put it in front of the tv to fold(don’t have a laundry room). However, I got to where I would procrastinate and then decided to put my clothes on my bed and fold from there. It gets done quickly because, after all, we have to go to sleep at night and everything gets put away right then and there.
Yes! I get the laundry put away so much faster when I dump it all on the bed, haha
Thank you! I enjoyed reading this. I really think this will help my home.
I can’t agree with you more! Great pointers and ideas.
Great tips thank you and here is another – do not leave a room without picking something up – there is always something that doesn’t belong there.
What a great tip! Thanks, Kath!
Thank you for the tips, I’m like the other lady I’ll watch my programs then I get up at commercials, I get a lot done this time. So I don’t stress about cleaning. Linda
Such a great idea, Linda! I’m definitely trying this. 🙂
i really find this plan for cleaning is excellent
Hello everybody !
I loved your tips . Here is mine.
When i am watching my favorite series on tv and i am feeling guilty about not cleaning up my house, i get up from my couch during advertising and do as much things as possible! Very effective ! You can’t mop ALL the appartment /house but a incredibly big number of annoying things can be done this way.
I do that too!! That’s a great tip!
Hi, I am glad to see someone having similar style of cleaning. I would like to share a few things I follow. If I am going from living room to bedroom I carry one item that belongs to bedroom with me so that I have less to sort at end of day. And second if I am too tired,I put all things that belongs to other room in one basket and sort it when I have more energy to clean it.
Great tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Great tips! I’ll add one that an older coworker shared (nonverbal-just by example): empty the trashin all rooms. You won’t believe what a difference-up there with making the bed …
That’s a great tip!
I love all your ideas i set the timer for 15 minutes and finished my room thank you
Glad to hear they worked for you!
Great tips you have shared over-there. I love one with timer time because often I let other things amuse me so I forgot about cleaning.
That’s definitely one of my favorite tricks! 🙂
When I clean my house, I find myself working on multiple rooms at one time. It feels like I’m running around without a purpose half the time. It gets overwhelming. Thanks for the tips!
Yes! I always feel that way if I try to do multiple rooms at once too, Andy. Glad it was helpful! 🙂
These are so great! My husband is actually more of a neat freak than I am (no complaints; he loves to clean!). We definitely use the timer method…it’s great setting a time and seeing how much you can accomplish. Plus you know you’ll only be cleaning for that amount of time, so it’s helpful to have that deadline in place.