a clean and organized house
15Sep

The Smart Girl’s Guide To A Clean & Organized House | 10 Ideas

Written by in Cleaning Tips, Organization Tips
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There is an overwhelming amount of tips and hacks online to help you figure out how to clean and organize your house. Unfortunately, it’s tough to find tips that are actually useful and practical — and for real people, looking for long term results. So let’s cut to the chase — if you’re ready to learn the things you need to have to have a clean and organized house, keep reading!

But I need to share one thing with you. I am not sharing cookie-cutter cleaning tips. I don’t think they are effective. Consider these cleaning and organizing tips below as lifestyle changes you’ll need to make. To take your home from soul-draining to a place of eternal bliss — and keep it that way most of the time — you need to think long term.

So if you’re ready to learn the 10 simple things you need to do to easily clean and organize your house, let’s dive in!

Recommendation for a vacuum cleaner

 1. LIVE BY THE TOUCH RULE

It does not matter whether you need to clean and organize your entire house or just a pantry.  There are always going to be things that are simply out of place – and you need to handle that if you want your house to stay clean and organized. This is where you need The Touch Rule

What’s The Touch Rule? Well, it’s actually deceptively simple. Whatever you touch, you put away. Like all the way away. When you walk into the house, instead of dropping your jacket on the couch, you hang it up. You put the mail in the mail spot & put your shoes wherever they go. You put everything you touched away. Simple right?

Kind of like decluttering except it’s not a big project. The Touch Rule is more of a lifestyle habit – something you just do. When you touch something where should it go? Don’t overthink it.

Now with all that being said, if you want a step-by-step guide to declutter your entire house, read my post, A Pragmatic Decluttering Method For Practical People!

2. YOU NEED LAUNDRY HACKS THAT WORK

Laundry is a headache for most people I know. The most common thing I hear is that there’s just too much of it to handle!  Keeping laundry managed is an often overlooked part of keeping a clean and organized home. But if you can keep the laundry managed, you can keep the entire house under control!

Think about how messy huge mountains of clothing look. How much of your time does it take to get the laundry under control? Do you ever get it under control? Let’s solve this problem once & for all with simple laundry hacks.

START HERE TO STAY ON TOP OF LAUNDRY

  • Creating a laundry schedule is a great place to start! Be sure that no matter when you wash, you follow through and get those clothes folded & put away within 24 hours! 
  • I personally do one load of laundry a day. One load a day is very manageable for even the busiest people.
  • Have a spare laundry basket ready for items that need to be “washed now.”  This is typically going to be your workout clothing, the kids’ team uniforms for soccer or whatever, or super soiled clothing in general – you get the point.  Anything that can get a little funky if left sitting for too long should be washed immediately.
  • Your jeans really don’t need to be washed after every wear.  Unless they are terribly smelly, spray them with a fabric refresher & hang them up – you can get at least 2-3 wears between washes.  Not only are you unnecessarily adding to the laundry, but you’re shortening the life of your jeans. 
  • Another item that can be used a few times before washing – bath towels!  You can use those 3-5 days before swapping them out for a new one. But please swap out and wash your kitchen towels just as often if not more. Those are often overlooked big-time.
  • Wash all of your clothes together! That’s right, I’m telling you not to sort your clothes. You can only do this with special types of laundry color catchers but it can be done! This will save you so much time by eliminating the need to sort everything. Before you investigate this, just know I would still wash my new clothes separately.

If you want to learn the secrets to cleaning your entire house fast, you should check out my post: how to clean your entire house in 2 hours! It’s a game changer!

 3. EASILY HAVE A CLEAN AND ORGANIZED HOUSE BY EMBRACING MINIMALISM

The true spirit of minimalism is simply having items that bring value to your life & discarding what no longer serves a purpose in your life.  Yes, you can still get the crazy Harry Potter mug – you just don’t need twenty! Basically, stop filling your house with junk & useless items!

I like to think of minimalism in terms of buying behavior. I used a minimalistic approach to help me curb my impulsive buying when it came to beauty products. Now, instead of buying whatever catches my eye on a whim, I only buy a new product once I’m officially done with my current one. Can this approach help you too?

The other side of minimalism, kinda like decluttering, is making sure you’re getting rid of things you’ve outgrown. By doing this, your house is always a current reflection of where you are in life. Less junk makes for a cleaner, easily organized house – minimalism for the win!

GET INTO THE RIGHT MINDSET ABOUT YOUR HOUSE

Make your home look the way you want it to look. You see the drool-worthy pictures of other people’s homes on social media – so why not recreate that look for yourself? Cute decor is everywhere at all price points. Make your home loveable & you’ll definitely be motivated to keep your baby clean and organized!

 4. CLEAN YOUR HOUSE WITH PRODUCTS YOU’LL ENJOY USING

HOW TO HAVE A CLEAN AND ORGANIZED HOUSE

If you hate cleaning, this is huge! Having nice tools will certainly make the tasks wildly – ok maybe just noticeably more – enjoyable! Spend a few extra dollars on a better vacuum or just some decent cleaning towels & you’ll see what I mean.

PURCHASING POINTERS

  • Your floor tools, including your vacuum, broom and/or mops, should be able to bring a smile to your face.  Splurge a little and you won’t regret it. Never buy the cheapest! And always buy wide, XL or long floor mops or brooms — doing so will speed up your floor cleaning time.
  • There are a lot of great non-toxic cleaners available. Something about using natural cleaners makes me feel good inside. I actually love Method and Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose & wood cleaning products!
  • The Shark vs Dyson debate has a clear answer – in my humble opinion.  If your home is mostly carpeted, get a Shark.  If it’s mostly hardwoods, get a Dyson.  Just be sure to shop around because prices for these bad boys vary wildly from store to store.     
  • Get inspiration for how you are going to organize certain areas before purchasing containers. Make whatever area you want to organize beautiful by buying pieces or sets that are complementary to your home and current decor. Large baskets always come in handy!

5. FOLLOW CLEANING ROUTINES TO BUILD LASTING HABITS

Remember, the key to having a clean and organized house is building good habits. Following routines are the intentional way to do that – basically, you’re setting aside time to do something over and over again until eventually, it becomes a habit.

Set aside 30 minutes a day to clean something in the house. Set aside 30 minutes a day to make sure everything is still organized in a particular area of the house – like your desk. Mine get’s crazy so I have to stay on top of it!

Just remember that you’ll need to perform the routine quite frequently in order for it to really “stick” and become natural. 

You may want to check out my very popular Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedule With A Simple Morning Routine (built into the schedule).

MAKING CLEANING ROUTINES WORK FOR YOU

  • When following a routine, try it as-is a few times and see how everything flows.  From there, mold and tweak that routine until it’s a perfect fit for you!
  • Don’t overload yourself with too many routines at once!  In your quest to get your house (life) together, take it one step or routine at a time.  If you take on too much, you’ll run the risk of not making any of your routines stick or worse, abandoning all the routines and making zero progress.  

You may want to read my post How To Have A Clean House For Life.  It’s a huge list of simple ideas & habits you can start using literally today to help you have a house that virturally stays clean forever!

6. BUY FURNITURE THAT IS FUNCTIONAL TO KEEP YOUR HOME ORGANIZED

It’s a great idea to buy furniture that doubles as storage, but I want to give you a word of caution.  Sometimes, having too many storage options can turn into trouble so just make sure you’re storing items that add value to your life and not junk.

However, if you approach this wisely, it is a great way to keep items in your home neat, tidy & organized. Below are four ideas for furniture & decor that are both beautiful & functional!

  • Storage benches and ottomans are an absolute must-have.  Luckily there are plenty of trendy options available which means you can really have fun with these options & use them anywhere in the house!
  • Storage baskets — I truly can’t live without baskets! They are in every single room of my home. Big, small, short, tall – they are the secret weapon to creating a more organized home. When in doubt about where something should go, drop it into a basket!

  • Clear containers are also huge for organizing. If you’re like me and have a hundred pair of shoes, clear containers are heaven sent! Wait, I also use clear containers in my pantry & bathroom cabinets. Ok, so I stand corrected – clear containers are life-changing!

 7. PREP WHENEVER POSSIBLE FOR BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT

To keep a clean & organized house requires time. If you’re not organized – I’m talking about your life here – you probably feel like you never have enough time to do anything, but you do.

Take cooking for example. If you are in the kitchen cooking a 3-course meal every night, you’re going to have a kitchen that requires a heck of a lot of clean-up! That’s a lot of time. Food that’s been cooked & is waiting in the fridge is a huge time saver throughout the week & much better than take-out – in my opinion!

Keep this same principle in mind and apply it in other areas of your life. Where can you prep to save time throughout the week?

HERE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN PREP TO HELP BALANCE WORK + LIFE + HOME FOR BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT

Getting outfits ready for the week, meal prepping, gathering everything you’ll need in the morning at night and planning out your days more precisely with time blocking are excellent ways to prep. Doing these things give you more time to balance work, life & home which is absolutely necessary for a clean house.

 8. PREVENT & TREAT STAINS ASAP WITH A STAIN REMOVER

No matter how clean or messy your house is, stains will always stick out like a sore thumb!  The next time you get a stain on your shirt, sofa, carpet or where ever, be ready by always having a stain remover ready to grab.  Stains scream dirty so let’s make sure we don’t let stains hang around! 

PRO TIP | PREVENT STAINS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN

  • Do yourself a huge favor and pretreat upholstered furniture in the home with a stain repellant so that stains don’t get a chance to set in!  The application process is usually pretty straightforward and will greatly extend the life of your furniture or carpets.  A mega win in my book!
  • Here is a great, 5-star option for a stain guard product that you may want to take a look at called Trinova Stain Guard from Amazon. I have three kids running around so this or a little 3M is always close by.

9. HOUSE RULES CAN HELP YOU CREATE A CLEAN & ORGANIZED HOUSE

Your home is your castle, but that doesn’t mean you can live without order your majesty!  If your house is unorganized and dirty, you can easily get it cleaned once you know where to start.  But in order to keep it clean and organized, you’re going to need to set some rules! 

A FEW GOOD HOUSE RULES TO HELP KEEP THE HOUSE CLEAN

The people you see that have seemingly perfect homes don’t get them by wishing for them – they work for it but it’s easier to do than you think!  Here are a few good rules to follow:

  • Keep shoes at the door to help cut down on dirt and grime tracked throughout the house.
  • Limit eating & drinking to designated areas. This cuts down on the chance of stains and other avoidable messes.
  • Make your mornings easier by making sure dishes are placed in the dishwasher or hand washed every evening before going to bed.
  • Personal items in common areas at the end of the day is a no-no. Take your crap to your room.
  • Toys are a pain to clean up so limit them to bedrooms or toy rooms. And make sure your kids get into the habit of picking up after themselves.

10. LET’S GO LABEL CRAZY

Creating new habits to create a clean & organized house is exciting & fun – until you get busy, start to forget, lose enthusiasm, forget it was even a goal, and then wake up one day with the goal to get your house clean & organized once and for all – again lol.

Regardless of what anyone else says, the #1 key to keeping a clean and organized house is labels – oh and signs too. Do it now, while you’re excited!

WHY YOU NEED LABELS ASAP

Imagine your favorite grocery store. You know that you can always find bread on aisle 10 – not aisle 10 today, aisle 5 tomorrow and maybe aisle 12 next week. The bread will always be in the same spot. You can probably go straight to it with your eyes closed. Labels are the key to achieving this level of organization at home.

Labels take the guesswork out of figuring out where things belong. Once the spot is chosen, that’s it.

If one of your drawers in the kitchen is labeled specifically for silverware, you’ll always know where the silverware is but here’s the genius part of it – you’ll think twice before dropping sauce from your favorite Chinese spot in there! Why? Because you immediately recognize it doesn’t belong!

When you see that label, not only will it stop you from dropping an item in the wrong place, you’re going to want to find the perfect home for it. Thus a spot will be picked & a new label will be created just for that item. Genius right!

WHY YOU NEED SIGNS

When you are just getting started keeping your house clean & organized, consider yourself in Basic Training. You’re going to need in your face reminders of what you should be doing. Signs are your Drill Sergeants.

Whatever new habit you’re working on or rule you’re trying to follow, make a sign for it – and post it everywhere! Doors, mirrors, cabinets, your computer, inside your car, etc!

If you want to get in the habit of turning on the dishwasher every evening at 7pm, make a sign & plaster it everywhere. Want to make the bed every morning? Make signs & you guessed it – plaster it everywhere!

When I say signs, it can be anything from printer paper to a dry erase board, to a sticky note. Just make sure that you have physical signs – not just digital notes or reminders.

IDEAS FOR USING LABELS & SIGNS TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN & ORGANIZED

Use a paint pen to quickly & easily label containers – this is so cute!

Photo + Tip + Cred

Easily recreate this super cute look even if you’re short on time! All you need are: Paint Pens + Glass Jars With Airtight Lids!

Who would think that one of the wildest places in the house, the linen closet, could be tamed with chalkboard labels + baskets!

Photo + Tip + Cred

This is a fabulous example of doing more with less! You don’t need a ton of baskets & containers to tame your wild spaces. To pull off a look this look, all you need are chalkboard labels + small square baskets + large square baskets + a hamper + an over the door hook!

If you want an idea of how to use signs, boom! Create attention-getting signs anywhere in the house with chalkboard or dry erase boards.

Photo + Tip + Cred

What I love about chalkboard signs is that they go with almost any decor & they have a way of making your house really feel like home. If you want to recreate this look you can try chalkboard paper so that you turn any surface into a sign or just grab a chalkboard sign – oh, and don’t forget to get chalk markers!

And of course, if you found this content useful, I’d love it if you share this by pinning it on Pinterest or your favorite social media spot. It’s kind of like giving me a virtural high-five! You’re the best, XO — Victoria!

a clean and organized home in 10 steps
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I’m so glad you stopped by today!
I’m Victoria!

My mission is to help you find & unleash your hidden cleaning superpowers so that you can stop wishing for a clean house & finally create one instead!  And yes, it can be done inspite of your wild family or busy schedule! 

P.S.  I also run this cleaning service so if you’re in Columbia, SC & would rather book a cleaning instead, you’re definitely in the right spot!