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, learning how to keep a house clean can be one of the toughest lessons we learn. 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. 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. 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. 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 remember: 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: Do 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 (and by day), you can accomplish a little bit at a time instead of tackling every task at once.
Here’s how to keep a house clean by focusing on one room at a time:
From toothpaste dribbles and mirror stains to wet floors and shower grime, the bathroom will 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.
Areas to focus on for a clean bathroom:
- Clean the sink
- Scrub the shower, tub and toilet
- Remove mirror spots
- Mop the floors (don’t forget those corners)
Looking for a natural, easy-to-make cleaner for your home? DIY cleaners are a cost-effective way to keep your house 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. Voilà—you’ve prolonged your time until you have to do a deep clean in your shower! 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. If you have proper places for all of your clothes and accessories, you’re more likely to keep your personal space clean.
If you’ve noticed that you don’t seem to have enough space, invest in storage containers or baskets that can fit under your bed. Having a complete change of linens under your bed also 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. If it’s large enough, it can double as a work desk.
To keep your bedroom clean, make a habit of these steps:
- Make your bed
- Fold blankets and throws
- Put away clutter in appropriate locations
- Dust desks, nightstands and shelves
- Vacuum floor and area rugs
Dishes tend to be the culprit in a messy kitchen. Have family members who like to let dishes “soak?” Simply prepare one side of your sink with water and few drops of dish detergent. Throughout the day, add dishes to the soapy side and it will lift most of the grease and food off of the dishes. By the time you wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, they’ll be clean.
The kitchen is a great place to apply 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.
Focus on these areas when it comes to cleaning your kitchen:
- Put away dishes—always have an empty sink!
- Clean countertops
- Organize your pantry and refrigerator
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Use steel cleaner for appliances
The living room receives some of the most traffic in the house. If you’re not careful, it can easily become littered with an assortment of everyday items. Make sure you place your items where they belong so your living room can leave a great first impression on your family and friends.
Simple steps to regularly take for a clean living room:
- Clear the room of any clutter (toys, games, books)
- Fluff pillows and fold blankets/throws
- Dust mantel, coffee tables and end tables
- Vacuum floors and couches (especially if you have pets!)
Storage solutions like these will 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, vertical shelving can help display your things in an organized way. Storage ottomans are also perfect for minimizing clutter and storing things out of sight.
How to Keep a House Clean Tip #3: Stick to a schedule.
It’s one thing to give each room a thorough clean, but how do you make sure your house stays clutter-free every day of the week? Believe it or not, easily: a cleaning schedule. Create a list to keep on your fridge, your wall or your desk to help keep you and your household organized. Your 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 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, allowing you 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. Throw out scraps and empty packages as you use them. 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, pick up the coffee cup on the counter and 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 and debris. 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 cleaning! No matter how successful you are with the small daily tasks, you’ll still have a few 20-minute tasks to complete once a week.
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!
Example weekly cleaning schedule:
Monday: Laundry and dusting
Tuesday: Bathrooms and vacuuming
Wednesday: Living room and mopping
Saturday: Organizational and miscellaneous tasks
Aside from consistent daily and weekly cleanings, you should also keep monthly and quarterly cleanings in mind. This could include 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.
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.
Here are some key areas to keep in mind:
- Shoes in the entryway
- Dishes in the sink
- Items on the bathroom counter
- Coffee table clutter
- 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. 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!
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This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 6/27/16 and was revised on 7/20/18 to provide new information.