The average American spends one hour a day cleaning their house, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between work, errands, parenthood and the chaos of everyday life, you might wonder if there’s an easy and effortless way to keep your house clean, especially if you work full-time.
While it sometimes seems impossible to manage everything on your plate, there are some quick and easy tips to help you get your house (and your life) in order, and make sure tidying your house becomes a daily or weekly habit. Read on for everything you need to know about how to keep a house clean.
How to Keep a House Clean Tip #1: Put everything away after use.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but failing to put away your belongings is the main culprit of untidiness. When you fail to put things back where they belong once you’re done using them, clutter starts to pile up around the house, making the cleaning process that much more stressful and time-consuming.
As you move from one room to another, do a quick scan to see if there’s anything that you can take with you. Go out of your way to make sure that anything you wear, use, or move ends up where it belongs. It’s easy to leave a pair of shoes near the front door, a few shirts on your bed and some dishes in the sink until tomorrow. But remember, those tiny piles can quickly turn into big messes.
If you’re lacking space, consider some DIY closet organization ideas like tension rods and shower curtain hooks. Use over-the-door organizers to extend existing spaces in your bedrooms, bathrooms and hall closets. Corral your smaller belongings with decorative baskets and organize your paper items with a mail sorter. And try to keep in mind that it takes much less time to put away your belongings each time than to frantically run around looking for them when you need them again!
How to Keep a House Clean Tip #2: Tidy one room at a time.
The easiest way to keep your entire house clean is to tackle one room at a time. By splitting up the cleaning by room (or even by day), you can accomplish a little bit at a time instead of tackling every task at once. Not only does this save time, but it also makes keeping a clean house schedule more manageable and less overwhelming. And when a task feels easier to accomplish, you’ll be more likely to keep up with it for longer periods of time.
Here’s how to keep your house clean by focusing on a one room at a time schedule:
Source: Callum Mundine, LED World
From toothpaste dribbles and mirror stains to wet floors and shower grime, the bathroom will always endure a variety of messes throughout the week because we constantly use it each day. It’s easiest to clean up after yourself instead of waiting a few weeks later for a bigger mess.
How to keep your bathroom clean on a regular basis:
- Clean the sink
- Scrub the shower, tub and toilet
- Remove mirror spots
- Mop the floors (don’t forget those corners)
- Dust shelves and disinfect any other surfaces
Looking for a natural, easy-to-make cleaner for your home? DIY cleaners are a cost-effective way to keep your house, and specifically your bathroom, clean.
Try this simple DIY cleaner recipe:
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 2 tsp. dishwashing liquid
- 3 tbsp. white vinegar
- 10 drops essential oil
After you use the sink or step out of the shower, take your natural cleaner and spray down the surface. Run the water again to wash all the cleaner off, and you’re done! Keeping surfaces clean on a regular basis means you can go longer without having to do a full deep clean in your bathroom. The essential oil will also keep the room smelling fresh for several days.
For best results, ask everyone in your household to make this a habit.
The key to keeping bedrooms clean is all about storage solutions. If you have proper places for all of your clothes and accessories, your bedroom will be less cluttered overall, and you’ll be more likely to keep your personal space clean.
If you’ve noticed that you don’t seem to have enough space, you may want to invest in storage containers or baskets that can fit under your bed. Having a complete change of linens under your bed makes it easier to change them while your other set is being washed.
Picking the right nightstand helps to keep your room more organized as well. Store your journals, books, and magazines in the drawers rather than on top of the nightstand to help reduce clutter in plain sight. If it’s large enough, your nightstand can also double as a work desk.
How to keep your bedroom clean on a daily basis:
- Make your bed
- Fold blankets and throws
- Put away clutter in appropriate locations
- Dust and disinfect desks, nightstands and shelves
- Vacuum floor and area rugs
- Keep your bed sheets and linens clean by washing them regularly
Dishes tend to be the biggest culprit of a messy kitchen, especially if you have family members who like to let dishes “soak.”
To help reduce dish clutter (and smells!) in the kitchen, simply prepare one side of your sink with water and a few drops of dish detergent. Throughout the day, add dishes to the soapy side to effortlessly lift most of the grease and food off of the dishes. By the time you go to actually wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, they’ll be cleaner and less overwhelming than they were before.
The kitchen also is a great place to stick to a cleaning schedule by applying the 20-minutes-per-day rule. Spend a few extra minutes cleaning your kitchen after each meal, and you’ll never have to deal with a huge mess in one of the most important rooms in your home.
How to keep your kitchen clean on a daily basis:
- Put away dishes—always have an empty sink!
- Clean and disinfect countertops
- Organize your pantry and refrigerator
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Use steel cleaner for appliances
The living room often receives the majority of foot traffic in the house. If you’re not careful, it can easily become littered with an assortment of everyday items like books, games, bags, dishes, and other everyday items that create clutter. Make sure you place your items where they belong once you’re done using them so your living room can stay tidy and leave a great first impression on visitors.
How to keep your living room clean on a daily basis:
- Clear the room of any clutter (toys, games, books)
- Fluff pillows and fold blankets/throws
- Dust and disinfect mantel, coffee tables, end tables, and knick knacks
- Vacuum floors and couches (especially if you have pets!)
- Keep blankets clean by washing them regularly
Looking for storage solutions for your living room? Here are a few organizational ideas to help keep this area of your house clean:
Shoe rack. If your living room is carpeted, the constant foot traffic can wear your carpet down significantly. Make sure you have a place for your family and guests to store their shoes before they tromp dirt and grass through your clean home.
Hidden storage. If you don’t have a home for items like toys, books, and games in your living room, vertical shelving can help display everyday items in an organized way. Storage ottomans are also perfect for minimizing clutter and storing things like blankets and extra pillows out of sight.
How to Keep a House Clean Tip #3: Stick to a cleaning schedule.
It’s one thing to give each room a thorough clean once in a while, but how do you make sure your house stays clutter-free every day of the week? Try implementing a cleaning schedule! While there’s no “best” time to clean your house, you can create a cleaning plan that works best for your family’s unique schedule.
How to create a cleaning schedule for your home:
Create a list of important chores to keep on your fridge, your desk, or anywhere in your line of sight to help keep you and your household organized. Your cleaning schedule should include not just what needs to be done, but when it needs to be done.
By splitting your small household tasks into daily, weekly, and even monthly cleaning routines, you can keep your house in perfect shape year round.
How to Keep a House Clean Daily
Most people wait until their house is messy to start cleaning. The trick is to put in a small effort every day to keep your house as tidy as possible. These daily tasks are small but effective reminders of how to keep a house clean.
Six easy ways to go to sleep with a tidy home each night:
- Make the bed. The best way to start your day is by making your bed. Simply making your bed each day will have a domino effect, leaving you more motivated to keep everything else neat and tidy.
- Clean as you cook. As you learn how to keep a house clean, pay close attention to clutter in the kitchen. Wash pots and utensils while dinner roasts in the oven. Make sure dishes are put away before sitting down after meals. Cleaning as you go saves time and keeps your kitchen in tip-top shape.
- Grab as you go. Make it a mission to minimize clutter by picking up your belongings whenever you leave a room. Bring a pair of shoes with you when you go upstairs to put them away in your closet, pick up the coffee cup on the counter and bring it to the dishwasher, or take dirty laundry with you on your trip downstairs.
- Wipe up messes as they happen. Try not to leave any spills or small messes unattended. Take a few minutes to wipe them up with a damp cloth so you’re not dealing with set-in stains at the end of the week.
- Sort the mail. We receive mail every day, and most of that mail turns out to be junk. Instead of letting it pile up in your mailbox or on the counter, sort it the second you walk in the door. Place bills, coupons and personal correspondence in their appropriate places the moment you bring in the mail and recycle junk mail.
- Sweep the kitchen floor. The kitchen often sees more traffic than the rest of the house, meaning the floor collects a lot of dirt, debris, and food crumbs from cooking and eating. Spend a few minutes each day sweeping the floor, and you won’t see dirt being dragged through the house all week long.
How to Keep a House Clean Weekly
Never underestimate the power of a weekly deep cleaning! No matter how successful you are with the small daily tasks, you’ll probably still have a few larger tasks to complete once a week.
Here’s an example of a weekly cleaning schedule for your home:
Monday: Laundry and dusting
Tuesday: Bathrooms and vacuuming
Wednesday: Living room and mopping
Saturday: Organizational and miscellaneous tasks
While a weekly cleaning schedule isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s an easy way to carve out one room at a time. As long as you follow a routine that permits you to focus on one major section of your home each day, you’ll never feel overwhelmed. Cleaning your home will practically take care of itself!
Aside from consistent daily and weekly cleaning schedules, you should also keep monthly and quarterly cleanings in mind, too. This could include disinfecting mattresses, lint lines, air filters, blinds and more. By starting with your smaller tasks, you can fill in the gaps with these larger, less frequent tasks.
How to Keep a House Clean Tip #4: Believe in a “power clean.”
Nobody likes to go to sleep knowing their house is a mess. By spending 10-15 minutes on a nightly “power” cleanup, you can prevent piles of clutter from forming in your home, and sleep easier knowing you’ll wake up to a tidy space.
If you can involve your family members, the more the merrier! Put on a timer, have some fun with it and focus on your top cleaning priorities. Focus on the items that pose the biggest mess (whether it’s your kitchen, kids’ bedroom or foyer) first. Then chip away at the areas that see the most traffic.
How to keep your house clean on a nightly basis:
- Store shoes in the entryway
- Place all dishes in the sink
- Clear all items from the bathroom counter
- Pick up all coffee table clutter
- Put away toys on the living room floor
Think you’ve mastered how to keep a house clean?
Figuring out how to keep a house clean may seem like one of life’s many mysteries, especially for families and individuals who work full-time. But with a little time and effort, you can easily create great cleaning habits to keep your nest tidy year round.
How do you keep your house clean? What are some of your most useful tips? Let us know in the comments below!
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 6/27/16 and was revised on 7/20/18 & 9/23/22 to provide new information.