Maintaining a clean and organized home can be a daunting task, especially if you’re short on time or feel overwhelmed by clutter. However, with the right tools and techniques, keeping your house clean doesn’t have to be a chore. In my book Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master, I provide practical tips and strategies for keeping your home spotless in an efficient and sustainable way. Here are 8 tips that will help you get into the mindset of having and keeping a clean home.
Set A Schedule
One of the keys to keeping your house clean is to set a regular cleaning schedule and stick to it. Whether you prefer to clean a little bit each day or tackle everything at once on the weekends or once a month, the important thing is to be consistent in a way that feels good for you. Setting aside specific times for cleaning tasks will help you stay on track and ensure that your house stays clean and tidy on your own terms.
But what exactly is a schedule? Sometimes, setting a schedule just sets us up for failure and getting or feeling behind. I don’t recommend check-lists for this very reason. Even when we feel our worst, we can understand that order around us can give us a lift. If you can choose one thing each day that will inch you closer to making your home a space that gives you peace, just choose one thing. A “schedule” can be as simple as this:
Monday I use the wet wipes I keep by my bathroom sink to wipe down the sink fixtures and water from the counter and the basin of the sink. I won’t leave toothpaste spit in the sink and I’ll use the toilet scrubber that I keep behind the toilet in a neat and clean holder to scrub out the bowl. Cleaning the shower can wait until a day I’m feeling up to a bigger job.
And there you have it. A simple plan for Monday that can improve your spaces and take only 2 minutes of your morning or evening can leave you feeling accomplished for that day. You don’t need a cleaning caddy full of products or a bag full of tools to get this done. Everything is at your fingertips.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
Having the right tools on hand can make all the difference when it comes to cleaning effectively. In my book, I recommend keeping a few essential tools such as microfiber cloths, a vacuum, and a mop where you need them most, so cleaning prep isn’t a bigger job than the cleaning itself. Having everything you need where you need it will make it easier to tackle tasks without going back and forth to gather supplies.
In the example above, I mention keeping disposable wipes in the bathroom for easy cleaning in the moment. Have what you need in the space you need it, so clean-up takes a minute and is finished in a flash.
Different tasks require different tools and equipment. For example, you may need a different type of vacuum if you have carpets that require deep cleaning regularly than you would for cleaning just hard floors. Make sure you have the right tools for each task, and consider investing in high-quality equipment that will last for years. Remember, this does not necessarily mean more expensive! Even vacuum cleaners, which are really important for a clean home, can be inexpensive and efficient. Some of the tools recommended in “Get Your House Clean Now” include a Shark Rocket Corded Stick Vacuum and a Kenmore canister vacuum. Check out my full Product Guide to learn what tools and products I recommend for your home.
Use Minimal Products For Maintenance
Opting for natural, eco-friendly cleaning products is not only better for the environment, but it can also be safer for your family and pets. However, these products often just can’t get tough messes cleaned without a lot of labor on your part. And we all know that the harder a task is, the less enthusiastic we’re going to be about getting to it. In my book, I do recommend an all-purpose cleaning recipe that is less costly and better for the environment and you. But I also don’t mince words on the need to tackle tough messes with tough products. My Product Guide will help you find what you need to get any job done without spending a fortune and wasting your money on products and tools that don’t work.
Take Care of Messes In The Moment
The number one way to clean your home and keep it clean is to take care of messes in the moment. Don’t think of this as cleaning. Approach each spill or task, like laundry or cooking clean-up, as simply another thing we do in our lives. Using the example above regarding brushing your teeth, just add cleaning out the sink as part of the routine of brushing your teeth. You put toothpaste on the toothbrush, you brush your teeth, you rinse your mouth, you rinse out the sink. See? Not a cleaning job, not a task. Just another quick step to something you’re doing anyway.
Areas where water collects are especially important to tackle in this way. Standing water can do more damage and create a bigger mess the longer it sits. Simply wiping it up as part of rinsing food or washing your hands avoides further damage and staining.
As soon as you notice a spill or stain, take care of it right away. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove. Keep a bottle of the all-purpose cleaner recipe I share in my book and a roll of paper towels on hand for quick clean-ups. For bigger messes, consider investing in a portable spot cleaner like the Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner for carpets and furniture, and always have a product like Resolve Stain Remover for difficult food spills and stains. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. (Tip- I use the Resolve Carpet Stain Remover on my laundry too!)
Keep a Clean Home by Preventing Clutter
One of the keys to maintaining a clean home is to prevent clutter from building up in the first place. This means taking the time to put things away as soon as you’re done using them, rather than letting them pile up on surfaces or in corners. This mindset is similar to the idea of cleaning up messes in the moment.
To reduce clutter before it happens, remember: the world won’t end if you throw out or shred a piece of mail that you won’t look at for six months or longer. If you have magazines or newspapers that collect without reading them, cancel your subscriptions. Sooner or later, we have to admit to ourselves and be okay with the fact that we are never, truly going to get to those things. Recycle them or donate them to a hospital or other place where people sit and need distraction from worry. This will end your worry about the mountain of paper trash taking over your home.
Clothing is a big clutter culprit. Unwashed or unfolded laundry and closets full of clothes we never wear contribute to clutter constantly. Reduce your wardrobe to what you absolutely need and only keep a few special things you always want to have to go back to is the key to ending this struggle. All of your clothes are not special! I devote a short chapter in my book, detailing my simple method for getting this done, so you can stop being overwhelmed by piles of clothes.
Knick Knack Clutter
Knick-knacks, trinkets, and souvenirs will fill our homes with so much clutter! Not only that, but how do we ever really dust around this stuff?!! I do share my thoughts on this in Get Your House Clean Now, and letting go of some of these items is totally doable, even if we have strong attachment to some of them. We don’t have to give up every prized possession, but there are ways we can enjoy them that take up less room; in a photo book, for instance!
We’re cleaning out our home right now for a move and we have a room that has housed shot glasses, lanyards, and coasters from our travels. No one really wants these in our family. No one wants to clean them up when we’re long gone. So a good solution for us is to take photos of them and put them in a printed book of our travels to add a little extra spice to the book and more enjoyment for us when we reflect on our past experiences. We won’t throw these items away yet. We’ll see if there’s someone else who can use them for an actual purpose other than collecting dust on a shelf.
What Does “Clutter” Mean To You?
“Clutter” is a relative term. What does it mean to you? Some people just feel at home with their belongings around them, and this is okay. We all have our reasons. But if you find that your belongings are creating feelings of overwhelm or becoming a danger that makes it difficult for you to get around your home, it’s time to make some changes that will be healthier for you overall.
Don’t Forget About the Small Things
While it’s important to focus on the big cleaning tasks, I focus on the little things that can make a big difference in the overall cleanliness of your home. This includes wiping down door handles, light switches, and other frequently touched surfaces, as well as vacuuming and cleaning food surfaces. Taking care of these small details will help you keep your home looking and feeling fresh and clean.
It’s easy to overlook small tasks when you’re in a hurry, but taking care of the little things can make a big difference in the overall cleanliness of your home. For example, don’t forget to shake out the rug by the door and stack shoes neatly where you first walk in. It can make all the difference when you enter your home and see order immediately when you arrive. I don’t have to mention all of the little ways you can improve your outlook by cleaning small things. Simply look around your home and notice the things that you always use or see and tend to those little things one-by-one first.
Work From Top to Bottom
When cleaning a room, it’s generally best to start at the top and work your way down to the floor. This helps to prevent dust and dirt from settling on surfaces that you’ve already cleaned. For example, start by dusting high shelves and fixtures, window frames, then move on to surfaces like tables and countertops, and finally, tackle the floor.
The home-cleaning method I describe in my book explains how to embrace this process efficiently and with enthusiasm, even on our hardest days.
Make Cleaning a Group Sport
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a solo task. Involving the whole household in the cleaning process can make it more fun and efficient. Assign specific tasks to each member of the household, or consider setting up a rotation schedule to ensure that everyone pitches in. In our home, we often did a “20-minute dash” cleaning where we all got together and devoted a quick 20 minutes to getting several important things done quickly. It’s amazing how much you can improve your space with a team effort in a short amount of time. If you have 1 person, you would be amazed at how much you can get done in 20 minutes; maybe even a whole room! If you have 3 people, that’s actually one whole hour worth of effort in 20 minutes. Think of what you can do in an hour!
If you live alone and need help, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or neighbor for assistance. Or, give yourself the gift of hiring a house cleaner to come and do a deep cleaning to get you started. There is no shame in sharing or outsourcing these tasks. Friendships and other relationships can be built when cleaning together or having someone else do it for you.
Get Your House Clean Now
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you map out new strategies for making your home, no matter how big or small, in a state that brings comfort and ease to you. The place you plant your feet and leave your belongings, whether it’s a shared room or a large house, is your place to find respite at the end of your day. Creating a welcoming spot to call your own is possible with some simple steps. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming project, just a series of small changes that will improve your mindset and your life. A clean home is within your reach!
For a simple approach for making it happen, get your copy of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master in Kindle or paperback today.