Simple strategies for keeping your house tidy

How to keep your house clean without spending all of your time cleaning.

How to Keep Your House Clean All the Time

Don’t you wish it was possible to keep your house clean all the time?

You run out of energy by dinner, and dread waking up to a mess the next day.

You’ve tried doing your cleaning over the weekend, but you just end up missing out on everything.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

Here are 7 tips from Tanya of Tidy Life Happy Wife to help you keep your house clean everyday.

Define what clean means to you

This is an important one and sets the tone for everything else.

Clean means very different things to different people, and depends heavily on each person’s lifestyle and priorities.

Your mother-in-law might raise her nose at that crooked cushion or the fingerprints on your window but remember, she’s retired, doesn’t have any children at home, and can keep her house clean all day long.

Your new neighbor on the other hand is swamped working 60 hour weeks and chasing 3 toddlers.

She considers it a win when there’s enough room on the kitchen table to set the dinner plates down.

There’s no right or wrong definition of clean, only what’s right for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Once you decide that, you can figure out the rest.

I keep my house fairly tidy, but it isn’t spotless clean.

You won’t find a lot of stuff piled up, but if you look, you’re bound to find a little dust on a lamp shade and a few fingerprints on the stainless steel.

That’s ok with me.

Create a weekly cleaning routine

Once you’ve decided how clean you need your home to be, create a realistic routine to keep it that clean all the time.

The most common cleaning routines are daily, weekly, or monthly, and are arranged by task or room. 

I prefer a weekly cleaning routine that’s organized by room and involves a general surface clean of each room with a deep cleaning once or twice a year. 

The weekly cleaning routine gives me enough flexibility that I can skip a room one week and it’s not a big deal.

I just make sure I don’t skip the same room several weeks in a row.

You’re welcome to check out my cleaning routine and download a copy to try out if you think it’ll work for you.

Get the entire family involved

Who appointed you the housekeeper anyway?

Everybody participates in messing the house up, so it’s only fair they participate in cleaning it up.

Even if it’s just picking up their own dishes and laundry, every little bit will help.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to get the rest of the family involved is to post cleaning schedules and checklists throughout the house.

That way they know exactly what needs to be done and when. 

You can even go so far as to assign each family member a specific task, room, or day depending on their age, skills, and abilities.

One way to trick your adolescent children into helping out is to assign them a task you know they’ll hate.

When they start complaining, give them the choice to pick 2 other tasks as a trade.

You might get stuck cleaning the bathroom, but they’ll be taking 2 other tasks off your list.

Clean up messes right away

Most messes are quicker and easier to clean up if you clean them as they occur, especially kitchen and bathroom messes. 

Take the dishes for example.

Remember the last time you stacked the breakfast plates on the counter and washed them later?

You probably had to scrub pretty vigorously to get the crusted egg off the plate. 

Had you hand washed or rinsed them off and put them in the dishwasher right away, the scrubbing wouldn’t have been required and you would have saved a ton of time.

Don’t forget to clean the sink when you’re done.

What about that nasty, dried on toothpaste in the bathroom?

That stuff gets everywhere and it’s almost impossible to clean off once it dries. 

When everybody finishes in the bathroom, I use my damp ‘hair’ towel and give the mirrors, faucets, counters, and sinks a quick wipe.

It takes less than 3 minutes, but if I let that stuff dry, I have to spend at least 10 minutes spraying everything down, letting it sit a bit, then scrubbing it clean.

Quicker clean up means less time spent cleaning.

This includes your bed too, make your bed as soon as you get up in the morning, then you don’t have to think about it again that day.

Store things near where you use them

Organize and store things as close to where you use them as possible.

It makes it a lot easier and more convenient to put them away when you’re finished using them.

It wouldn’t make sense to keep your bras in a kitchen drawer, so don’t store your crockpot in a spare bedroom.

Store it as close to the kitchen as possible.

Central linen closets have never made sense to me because they’re usually not located where you use any of the stuff stored in them.

Try keeping your sheets in your bedroom, your towels in your bathroom, and your kitchen linens in the kitchen. 

If space is an issue, get creative.

You can tuck a set of sheets between the mattresses at the foot of a bed, store kitchen linens in the bottom of a drawer, and keep bathroom towels in a basket on the edge of the tub or hung on the wall.

Don’t forget your cleaning supplies.

I suggest keeping a small cleaning kit in every room that has a sink to help you clean up small messes as they happen. 

Your cleaning kit can be as small as a microfiber cloth, a small bottle of multi-purpose cleaner, and a pack of disinfectant wipes. 

Do a load of laundry each day

Laundry is one of the most daunting housekeeping tasks, and letting it build up until it’s completely overwhelming doesn’t help.

Worse yet, if you let it sit too long, it starts to mildew and gets even harder to clean.

Start doing one load of laundry per day to make it less overwhelming.

I put a load in the washer when I get home in the evening, put it in the dryer after dinner, and put it away before I go to bed.

If you have a larger family, assign each family member a day of the week for their laundry.

This will eliminate the sorting and make folding go much quicker. 

Remember that tip about storing things near where you use them?

Fold your laundry in the room it belongs in to avoid the week of it sitting on the couch waiting to be put away.

Do a quick bedtime tidying up

Coming home to a mess is frustrating, but waking up to one is a terrible way to start your day.

Before everybody changes into their pj’s and brushes their teeth, have them walk through the main areas of the house and tidy or clean any of their leftover messes from the day. 

A clean home all the time

Keeping your house clean all the time is achievable for anybody.

Decide how clean your home needs to be and create a routine that will help you achieve that.

Try creating schedules and checklists to get the entire family involved.

Make it a habit to clean up messes and they occur, and do a load of laundry each day to avoid the overwhelm of bigger messes.

Store things near where they’re likely to be used so they’re easier to put away, and do a quick tidy up of your main living areas before everybody gets ready for bed. 

Most importantly, enjoy your clean home.

More Cleaning & Home Management Resources

How to Get Started with FlyLady Zone Cleaning
How to Get Better at Home Management

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