Do you find yourself constantly struggling to keep up with your house? I mean, does it feel like every time you turn around there is another mess to clean up?
Or do you live in a home where you hope no one ever shows up unannounced because your house is rarely ever ready for company?
Well, there are a lot of people out there in the exact same boat as you. I used to be one of them. About 5 years ago our family grew. We had 5 members in our home to keep up with! This just about drove me into the ground when it came to keeping a house that was well maintained.
So after lots of frustration, I began learning new things here and there that helped me keep my sanity and a clean home (even with 3 kids running around.)
Now, I want to share what I’ve learned in hopes that it will help others too. Here are my tips on always having a tidy home:
Having a Clean Home: Yes it's Possible!
1. Laundry is a Pressure Point
I’m going to be extremely transparent with you in this post about my struggle to keep a clean home. My family is a blended family. I have one biological son and two sons that began as my stepchildren but have since basically been adopted by me and raised as my own.
However, this is a difficult adjustment to be made when you go from one child to three children living with you full-time in a matter of three years. I had three very active boys on my hands.
Now, I’m definitely a ‘boy mom.’ I love the roughhousing, outdoor adventures, and all around sweet disposition of boys.
But boys also make some rather large messes without thinking twice about it. To say my hands were full is an understatement.
However, I learned my biggest weakness that could drag my home from manageable to catastrophic in one day was laundry. I would begin doing laundry, then something else would happen and before I knew it I’d have mounds of laundry waiting to be folded all over my bed that would get dug through, thrown on the floor, and then I’d feel totally defeated.
So if you want to constantly keep a clean home, then I highly recommend doing one load of laundry every day.
But here is the kicker, you need to make sure that you actually complete the load. One load of laundry shouldn’t take that long to wash, dry, or fold.
Then deliver them off and see to it that everyone puts their clothes away that day. That way you never have dirty clothes piled up, or worse, clean clothes piled up waiting to be folded.
2. Beds Were Meant to be Made
This was a shocker for my husband. When we first got married, I remember he would try to get by without making the bed.
Finally, I had to tell him that I just wasn’t okay with climbing into a messed up bed at night. How would I know if something had crawled in the bed during the day? Stranger things have happened, I’m sure.
So now ten (almost 11) years into our marriage, my husband has finally figured out that I will gladly make our bed every day, but that it is a chore I will probably not skip over unless I am literally deathly ill.
As a matter of fact, when I had the flu recently, that is how my husband knew how truly sick I was because I didn’t even make the bed that day.
So if you want to keep a super clean house all of the time, then make your bed every day. It takes only a matter of minutes and has a way of making your home look and feel clean without putting in a ton of effort.
3. Feather Dusters Are Your Friend
When it comes to dusting your home, I’m sure there are going to be huge differences in opinions. For instance, when I was growing up, my mom was the type of person to use an old rag and some furniture polish to dust the house.
However, my grandmother was always one to use a feather duster when she dusted. I won’t get into the opinions of which one does a better job.
But I will tell you which one is more efficient to keep your home looking and feeling tidy. You probably guessed it, the feather duster is my preference.
So there is nothing more embarrassing than having over company and suddenly you notice a thick layer of dust hanging over your furniture.
Well, you can stop this from happening by simply investing in a feather duster to sweep over the furniture in the most visited areas in your home.
In my case, I make sure that I dust our living room and dining room every day. This keeps the dust down where so much traffic goes through those rooms in our home.
Also, realize that this won’t take a ton of time. I spend less than ten minutes a day dusting these areas in my home. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is just a quick run through to knock the dust off of the furniture in those areas of your home.
4. The Daily Sweep
This is a big part of making your house look and feel clean all of the time. Dirty floors don’t just stand out visually, but you can feel them when you walk.
Now, if you live by yourself, then you may not need to sweep your floors daily. In my house, with as many pairs of feet that we have running through it, daily is a must for me.
So adjust the frequency as needed.
But realize that sweeping and/or vacuuming your floors frequently will help cut down on the cruddy feeling of a dirty floor and should help diminish some dust in your home too.
Again, this doesn’t have to be a super time consuming part of your day. If you just sweep the areas of your home that get the most traffic, then it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so to complete this task either.
5. Catch-All Baskets
The ‘catch-all’ basket was something that saved my sanity when it came to maintaining a tidy home all of the time.
See, my boys are the world’s worst for dragging things out and just leaving them. In our old house, it was all one story, and I would constantly pick things up and take them back to their rooms.
However, when we moved, our home is now on two floors (since we have a basement.) The basement is the boys’ floor. While the upstairs is the area that I try to keep tidy all of the time and make it feel more ‘homey.’
So when the boys were bringing their toys upstairs and cluttering everything up, I knew I had to think of something because climbing up and down the stairs all of the time to deliver the toys or expending the energy it was taking to stay on top of the kids to pick up their own messes, was just not feasible with so much else that is always going on around our house.
But then I got creative. I decided to put one basket in the stairwell. That way, when the kids walked off and left shoes, clothing, toys, etc. upstairs, I could just place that item in the basket.
Then they now know that the first thing they have to do every day is unload their basket and bring it back for me to refill it with whatever they leave hanging around that day. This saves our home from being cluttered, and it also saves a lot of me yelling downstairs for the kids to come clean up their mess.
6. Everything in its Place
This is another big thing that will make your home feel clean all of the time. Clutter is one of the biggest distractions to a home’s cleanliness. When you have stuff everywhere it is really difficult to clean and clean well.
Also, it makes it really hard to clean quickly too.
So you need to begin focusing on the clutter in your home. Find every item a home. If it doesn’t have a home, then you need to either work on creating one for it, or ask yourself if you really need that item. My family pokes fun at me because I am the world’s best or worst (depending on how you look at it) at purging a home.
Basically, I’d rather have less clutter in my home by getting rid of items that I know would never be used again in our home. I’ll try to upcycle the item first, but if I really see no use for it at our home, then I’ll give it to someone that I know will use it.
However, my husband and boys will hang on to something forever even after knowing they have no intention of ever using it again.
So I encourage you to downsize on your clutter. Find homes for what you want to keep and the things you know you’ll never use again, try to find them a new home so your home can flow better, be more functional, and make it much easier for you to clean in a hurry.
7. 15 Minutes a Day
Now, I realize that clutter just happens. Your pantry will become disorganized, your kitchen cabinets will become disheveled, and closets have a way of becoming completely out of control.
So that is why instead of stressing over things becoming cluttered, I simply jot down the places in my home that are becoming cluttered.
Then I’ll set a time every day or so for about 10 to 15 minutes. I’ll begin going down the list of clutter and work on organizing it as much as I can until the timer goes off.
Realize, when you keep a list going and you make it a priority to declutter your home a few times a week (for only the set time frame), your house stays much tidier and things rarely get horribly cluttered to where it takes hours to straighten them out.
8. 5 Minute Wipe Down
Some of the areas in a home that will get dirty the fastest is the kitchen and bathroom. If you can keep these areas in your home clean, then you’ll be well on your way to having a clean home all of the time.
So what I do is I take 5 minutes after cleaning up dinner and simply wipe down my kitchen. I’ll spray down the counters, stove top, the front of the appliances, the sink, and the kitchen table. This keeps everything looking shiny and fresh for the next day.
But I do this as well for our bathroom. I live in a home that only has one bathroom. Yes, one bathroom for 5 people.
Oddly enough, it isn’t much of an issue.
However, because we all share the same bathroom that means that it gets a lot of use, a lot of germs, and has a lot of opportunity to get filthy very quickly.
So I don’t let it get that way. Every day, I spend 5 minutes to spray and wipe down the counter, sink, toilet (all the way around), and I wipe down the inside of the shower too.
Again, this takes very little time but can make all the difference between your home staying clean or not.
9. Break it Up!
When my friends come into my home, they usually make comments about what a ‘neat freak’ I am. Truthfully, they are right. I’m a total neat freak.
But then they always say, “ I don’t have time to keep my house this clean.”
Well, actually, yes most of us do. My total daily cleaning routine is around 30 minutes, and I don’t do it all at one time. I’ll do ten minutes here and ten minutes there until the job is done.
So if you look at doing 30 minutes worth of upkeep to your home a day to keep it tidy, neat, and functional, then it seems like very little time actually invested in something that can make such a difference.
But don’t overwhelm yourself when trying to get started. Carve out three ten minute sessions throughout your day where you can do some of this.
So even if you work a full-time day job, maybe you could make your bed, sweep the floors, and start a load of laundry before you leave for work.
Then when you get home, put the laundry in the dryer and wipe down your bathroom.
Finally, after supper is done, wipe down your kitchen, vacuum if you need to, and spend a few minutes decluttering.
If you divide up your tasks, it doesn’t seem nearly as difficult to do or maintain a clean residence.
10. Do It and Get It Over With
Finally, it is so important if you really want to keep a clean home all of the time to not let tasks build up on you.
For instance, we all know dishes must be done every day. If you let those dishes pile up in the sink for days on end, then it is going to be harder (and more disgusting) when you actually do the job.
Also, the same goes for laundry. It is easier to take the 10 or 15 minutes to fold one load of laundry each day instead of allowing load after load of clean clothes to come out of the dryer and pile up.
Then it takes much longer to fold them all, and it is frustrating when you can’t find what you need because the clothes are all in a big disorganized pile.
So when you finish dinner, clean up the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, then keep it unloaded. If you need to fold laundry, do it. Take out the trash when you see it needs it. The list goes on and on, but just doing what needs to be done when it needs it can truly make all of the difference in the level of cleanliness your home maintains.
Well, those are my ten tips for keeping your home clean all of the time. I don’t want to set some unrealistic expectations for anyone. Our homes all become messy at times, but if you have a routine in place, then it should make it easier to keep your home clean more often than it’s not.
But now I’d like to hear what you do to keep your home looking and feeling spiffy all of the time? Do you have a specific routine? Does it include anything not mentioned here?
We love hearing from you, so leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.