Forget about cleaning your house all day when you could be spending your time doing other things you would prefer to do with the family! Here’s how to get a clean house and keep things clean, so you don’t need to live with clutter or spend all your time cleaning.
Since I often share pictures of our home to highlight our DIY projects, they probably give a false impression that our house is always pristine, perfect, and clean.
You may even think that I love to spend hours dusting, organizing, and folding laundry. But, I’ll tell you all a little secret—I hate cleaning just as much as most of you do!
Benefits Of Having A Clean House
Sure, there’s something strangely satisfying about a clean house. However, there are a hundred things I’d rather do than spend my free time sweeping or mopping or anything else.
Yet, Scott and I both need a clean house to function. Neither of us has the time to dig through piles of laundry to find a pair of wrinkled pants. Nor do we want to spend hours loading and unloading the dishwasher.
There are general benefits that come with having a clean home, such as:
- Increased productivity
- Lower stress levels
- Improved organization
- More relaxation
In addition to these benefits, we want to have a welcoming, open home for our friends and family, too. So, it’s important for us to keep things put away as much as possible.
I know it sounds a tad dramatic, but we feel lighter, enjoy our home more, and we aren’t constantly stressed. In other words, we have personally experienced the benefits of having a clean house.
6 Simple Tips To Have A Clean House Forever
We’ve worked hard to develop new habits that have changed our lives!
And we’ve developed a simple system to help us keep the house clean, so we spend less time devoted to cleaning.
NOTE: I’m not a cleaning or organization expert. Instead, I’m just a normal girl who got tired of spending every Saturday in addition to other random hours of panicked cleaning. And honestly, I got tired of searching through stuff and having stacks and piles everywhere.
So, I figure that if these tips can help us turn our life around, they may help you too!
I know cleaning is exhausting, so I am sharing what has worked for me. I can happily say that this system has made a world of difference in our lives!
Here’s a little tough love that’s as harsh with you as I was with myself: if you want to be FREE, you have to get serious.
Here are the six simple ways that FINALLY helped us get (and keep!) a clean house forever. Ready or not, here we go!
1. Work Smarter, Not Harder
I know that’s kind of cliché these days, but hey, clichés exist because they’re true!
When it comes to having a clean house, gather supplies ahead of time. Beyond that, use supplies that will do double duty (or that you enjoy using). Here are a few of my favorites:
- Roomba – This little guy vacuums our house, so we don’t have to. We have it set up on a schedule, and every day while we are at work, he cleans our house. Then, he docks himself back on his charging station. It’s magic – no wonder it’s the best cleaning item I own…it gives me the gift of time!
- Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner – I love that I can use one spray to clean all my surfaces. And since it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, it’s good for the environment, you, your kids, and your fur babies too! My favorite scent is lavender.
- Viva Paper Towels – These are the BEST paper towels. They are the strongest ones I’ve ever used, which means we use fewer of them at once and save time and money. Win/Win!
- Trash Bags – I can’t stand cheap trash bags because they always manage to rip open and spill nastiness out everywhere. So gross. Well-made trash bags are worth the splurge.
- Cleaning Gloves – I don’t like touching gross stuff. So I use gloves. 😉
- Disposable Toilet Wands – I know this is a weird favorite supply, but I love these Clorox toilet wands. You simply toss the disposable end when you are done by clicking a button on the handle. No touching anything or keeping anything that’s been in the toilet.
2. Get Rid Of Things You Don’t Need
One effective way to solve the messy house problem is to have fewer possessions that cause clutter.
I know you’ve probably heard it before, but I will tell you from personal experience—it is pretty much impossible to have a clean, organized home when you have piles everywhere.
I know it’s hard to get rid of things, and some people will say to put them in a box and stick it away for a season. But I say, just get rid of it. Hold a giant yard sale and use the proceeds to tackle a dream home makeover or toss those things into the trash or a giveaway box.
Whatever you do, just get those things out of your house!
How To Deal With Doubt And Guilt
If you have doubt about getting rid of certain objects, chances are that you don’t need them. Especially if they are things you can buy down the road if you really need them.
I used to give myself all this false guilt and say, “As soon as you get rid of that (mango pitter/wicker basket/tray/whatever), you’ll need it again. And then you will have to spend money to re-buy it, which is a total waste of money!”
But, I’ve become a lot more cut-throat with my decluttering. And do you know how many times I’ve really needed that thing I was so scared to get rid of? Zero. Zip. Zilch.
If you have sentimental items you are holding onto, assess if it’s something you want to keep. One option I like is to take a picture of many sentimental items and put the photo into a book of special memories. Then I get rid of the item and don’t feel an ounce of guilt.
There are, of course, certain personal mementos that I would never ever get rid of, like letters from Scott or old journals. Do I keep them? YES. Because they’re worth it and 100% irreplaceable. I keep those kinds of things instead of a stack of 1990s DVDs all day, every day.
In other words: make room for what matters and get rid of what doesn’t. Then, you’ll have less to tidy in order to keep a clean house.
3. Change Your Mindset
Here’s the mindset I want you to adopt: treat your house like you’re a guest.
Well, sort of. Treat it as your home in that you come home and take off your make-up and put on sweats and relax. But when it comes to picking up after yourself—act like a guest.
For example, I used to come home every day, chat with Scott, and then head straight into the bedroom. Then, I’d peel off my workout or work clothes and leave them in a pile on the floor. I thought, “Eh, I’ll get to them later.”
Guess what? I usually didn’t. I just kicked them in the corner and made a bigger pile of all my clothes.
We did the same thing with the dishes. After having dinner, we’d think, “we deserve to relax,” and just leave pots, cutting boards, etc., covering the countertops.
This habit would lead to a massive pile of dirty, crusty dishes that we’d be forced to do 2-3 loads of at the end of the week. I would never, ever go to someone else’s house and act that way!
I was always raised to believe that when you are a guest in someone’s home, it’s a treat. You respect them by keeping your area spotless and leaving the home better than when you found it.
Dishes are immediately washed and put away, the bed is made every morning. And absolutely no piles of shoes or clothes are left on the floor. And as a result, our home is always cleaner!
Lesson learned: give your own home the respect you would someone else’s!
4. Leaving Little Messes Creates Bigger Ones
Cleaning basics 101: if you make a mess, clean it up.
Duh, right? But not for me. I would do my makeup in the morning and rush out of the house without the “time” to put everything away. I’d leave out all the brushes and eyeshadows I used. Not only is that kind of gross, but it’s also silly.
I can take 60 extra seconds to put away something if I make a mess. If you spill food on your counter or splatter grease on the stove, take time to wipe it up. Every time you use your bathroom or kitchen sink, take 30 seconds to wipe it down.
What’s the alternative? Leaving all these little messes adds up. That means that instead of doing minor normal household tasks like vacuuming up the dirt and cleaning the floors, you have to spend extra time picking up rooms, washing items, and putting things away.
Doing a simple task like cleaning up small messes over the course of a week takes almost no effort and pays off in dividends as far as time saved (and gained down the road).
5. Get Up 15 Minutes Earlier
Really, get up hours earlier if you can! (I’m still working on this one.) You will be surprised by the difference that 15 extra minutes can make every morning to give you a clean house.
That’s enough time to empty the dishwasher so dishes can be immediately rinsed and put in to wash after dinner instead of piling in the sink. That’s enough time to fold and put away a load of laundry. Or, wipe down your countertops and cabinets and whatever else you need to do.
I am actively working on trying to become a morning person. To motivate myself, I put on some fun music while I do my 15 minutes of cleaning. Then, I am so grateful I don’t have to come home and do it after work. 😁
6. Do The Task You Hate Most First
I know…some of you might think this is the worst idea ever. I used to think that too. But I’ve found ways to make cleaning more enjoyable, or at least not as horrible.
This tip may be the last on this list, but it’s a top tip for me when it comes to cleaning our house: start with the chore you hate the most.
Do whatever you need to do to make that the easiest chore you have, and do it first. My least favorite chore (and sadly, also Scott’s least favorite chore) is laundry. We hate it.
We hate loading it and moving it to the dryer. And we super, super hate having to put it all away when it’s done. So we used to just avoid it like the plague, only do laundry when it reached emergency-level. Then, we’d leave clothes in piles on the guest bed or dresser top.
That’s no way to keep a clean house!
However, we finally decided it was just making it worse to have a giant, wrinkly pile of clothes. So, we started taking turns every day doing a load of laundry and putting it away immediately when the dryer stopped.
We like to pile it all on a wood counter in our kitchen and fold, sort, and hang it right away. It takes 15 minutes. It’s totally a horrible, boring 15 minutes, but then it’s DONE. I like to listen to music or a podcast while I do it to help pass the time.
Also, laundry is easier now that we’ve gotten rid of a ton of clothes we didn’t like! (See tip #2)
Check out these answers to common questions I see readers ask!
When it comes to decluttering your home, get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t useful.
Think about throwing away things like:
Stained or torn clothing that you don’t use
Carry out menus
The biggest reason, I think, is that we all tend to have too much stuff. It’s much harder to keep a house clean when it’s full of stuff.
Also, I think motivation plays a large part. If you really want a certain outcome (like a clean house), you’re more likely to do what it takes to make it happen.
Turn Your Home Into A Clean House
I hope these tips were helpful for you! Some of them take some work to implement and turn into new habits. Believe me, I know! But it’s 100% worth it.
I’d much rather do this than spend my entire weekend cleaning and shoving piles of stuff into closets. 😂
I still have lots to learn, so I want to hear from you all! What about you guys? What are your best cleaning tips? Share!