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I know you want and, more importantly, deserve a clean house. Who seriously wants to walk into a messy house after a hard day of work or life? Absolutely no one!
So guess what? I’m going to show you what you need to do in order to keep your house clean and tidy — for life.
But before I tell you how to get a clean house, I’m going to tell you what the number one issue is that’s keeping you from having a clean house. Are you ready?
the problem is – take a deep breath – you.
Your house is a mess because you are working against yourself. You want a clean house but your habits say otherwise. And by not lining up how you live with your goals, your house will always be messy & you will spend the rest of eternity looking for cleaning tips & hacks to clean your house.
By making simple swaps, following routines & stopping certain bad habits, you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to ALWAYS have a clean house!
If you’ve ever moved, then you know what it’s like to start going through your stuff and realize how much of it is actually random crap that should have been thrown away a long time ago.
The true spirit of minimalism is making an intentional effort to only posses items that bring value to your life. If you had to leave your home forever but could only take one carload of items, what would make the cut?
The 50 coffee mugs in the pantry or all the random papers & bills probably won’t make it. What else is in your house that really is either excessive or simply serves no purpose? Look around — you’ll be surprised.
Some people have made minimalism technical & centered on having a specific number of items in the home which is unnatural in my opinion. However you practice minimalism, it should be a reflection of your personality & done in a way that brings you happiness.
Think of it this way – the fewer areas you use, the less you have to keep clean. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment or an eight-bedroom mini-mansion, the same principle applies.
If you hate cleaning, this is especially for you. You can make the actual experience of cleaning more enjoyable by buying products & tools that are high-quality or even fun.
Kinda like riding in a car — a Honda will get you where you need to go but a Ferrari will have you speeding down the highway, whipping your hair back and forth and enjoying every second of the ride!
CLEANING ITEMS YOU WON’T REGRET SPENDING A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY ON:
BUYING TIP: Make sure you are buying floor tools that are appropriate for the size of your home. And be sure to have the right tools based on the condition of the floors you’re cleaning!
Let’s face it, if you keep your toothbrush in the laundry room, will you really brush your teeth twice a day? I seriously doubt it. It would be too far away — a total inconvenience. Location (or accessibility) is everything!
MAKE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:
Supercharge your cleaning efforts by building mini cleaning routines into your day. The more small routines you have, the easier it’ll be to keep the whole house clean.
HERE’S HOW TO MAKE A ROUTINE WORK FOR YOU:
If you have a family, this is a powerful idea that will change your home for good — everyone that lives in the space cleans! No exceptions!
No amount of activities, homework or resistance changes this requirement! These days, everyone is busy but by working as a unit, you can accomplish more with less effort.
IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED:
You’ve heard this before and it’s smart – buy furniture that does more than just look good! You want it to double as hidden storage or serve another useful purpose around the house. The key here is to do more with less. Just remember extra storage is not for storing more junk.
GREAT IDEAS FOR FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE
Keys, mail, random papers – where do they all go? Create one designated area for these items to be temporarily stored.
GETTIN STARTED WITH A LANDING ZONE
After you brush your teeth, wipe out the sink. Just finished eating? Go ahead and wash your bowl and spoon. After you use the toilet, swish the brush around with a little cleaner. You get it right? None of these tasks take more than one minute to complete.
The more you clean after yourself in the midst of creating the mess, the less you have to do later — point-blank.
Wash, fold & put away in one day – no exceptions guys. Now on the bright side, you don’t have to do all of the laundry in one sitting. If you can only handle one load, then one load it is.
You never want to leave dishes in the sink overnight. But I get it, sometimes you have to. Instead of just leaving the dishes in the sink as-is, take 30 seconds and blast food off. This one step will make clean up a whole lot easier in the morning!
I think that having a high-pressure kitchen faucet is game-changing! I could blast cement off a sidewalk if I wanted to – yeh, my faucet is ridiculous. If you have a low-pressure faucet, fix it & thank me later! This swap will save you so much time in the kitchen.
If you’re not already doing this, what are you waiting for!?! Sticky floors & unsightly stains on your carpets & upholstered furniture can make your house look dirty even when it’s not!
GOOD WAYS TO PREVENT STAINS
If you let your children have free reigns to your house, you will pay for it later. Just think of the amount of time you waste having to clean crayon off the sofa or gathering toys from all over the house.
IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED
From food to diapers to lady products, trash cans are an obvious source of major odors. You may want to check out this post all about odors & how to make your house smell good!
Anyone that comes to your home will get a good strong whiff of whatever you’ve left brewing in your trash cans as soon as you open the front door if you’re not emptying trash cans on a daily basis.
HOW TO PREVENT TRASH CAN ODORS
I am guilty of indulging in a bowl of ice cream on the couch only to have the special moment ruined when I look down and see a big chocolate ice cream stain looking back at me. #BuzzKill
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you don’t have a mudroom, focus on sprucing up your entryway so that you can collect & organize shoes, bags, jackets, etc., easily. You’ll also be stopping dirt, sand, and grime from being tracked all over the house which will shave minutes off your cleaning time and extend the life of your floors and carpets.
A FEW TIPS TO FOLLOW
When you see fresh carpet lines, the room immediately screams clean! For an instant pick me up, set aside 15 minutes to vacuum your carpets and rugs. Carpets can become downright disgusting & stinky if neglected so don’t ignore this one.
GET STARTED VACUUMING
No matter how busy you are, you always have time for the things you want to do! And if you want a clean house for life, short cleaning routines are a great way to achieve that.
I like cleaning routines because they keep you focused & productive which is very useful if you get distracted easily.
Is the bathroom a major headache for you? I wrote an awesome post that teaches you how to clean your bathroom – and how to do it fast! If you want to read the post, click here to read: How To Clean Your Embarrassingly Dirty Bathroom Fast – And Keep It Clean!
BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE 30-MINUTE CLEANING ROUTINE | ITEMS 19-23
Grab a basket or a box and collect everything that is somewhere it doesn’t belong! Think of this as an intensely rapid decluttering session.
Take the pillows on your sofas and beat them together like tambourines! This will put a little life back into worn down pillows and make the sofa more inviting.
DON’T FORGET THE FOLLOWING
Floors are one the most neglected parts of the home but they really need more attention than almost anywhere else! You ever noticed how much better your house smells after cleaning the floors?
ADVICE FOR CLEANING FLOORS
It’s super quick to do & will definitely deodorize the bathrooms & house. I like to leave a little cleaning product in the toilet after I clean it for long-lasting freshness.
TOILET CLEANING TIPS
Empty every single trash can and be sure to put extra liners inside the trash can. Simple enough right?
You may want to check out my very popular Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedule With A Simple Morning Routine (built into the schedule).
Again, if you want a clean house for life, you have to clean smarter. You have to be selective of how & where you spend your time cleaning. Stay on top of high traffic areas – it’s a must!
You can get a lot of decluttering & cleaning done in an hour! Just be sure to plan out your time wisely. I recommend using a timer to help you stay on track but something else you may want to have is a little music. Surprise!
Below is an awesome example of an hour-long cleaning routine that focuses on high-traffic areas. Items 24-30
Now is the time to have a plan in mind and stick to it! You only have one-hour so you want to make sure you tend to the areas that need that most attention. Where are your high traffic areas?
If you haven’t noticed, I am always going to suggest that decluttering your house should be the main priority! Why is that? A house that’s cluttered will never really look clean — even if it is clean.
UNLESS YOU HAVE EXTRA TIME
Don’t worry about finding proper homes for all of the misplaced items right now — you’ll do that later when you have more time.
You’ll be surprised at how much dust you’ll see when you look up & when you look down! Once those high areas are done, you can concentrate on the low areas.
GET IT DONE QUICKLY
Very small things can make a huge impact on how your house looks. Just like a restaurant, presentation is key! Before I leave my house, I always stage it, or make it pretty by doing the things below.
GOOD PLACES TO START
I put it in this routine but it’s something that really should be done every day. Make sure you use a rinse aid to make sure dishes are clean & dry when it’s time to put them away.
UNLOAD THE DISHWASHER FASTER
Remove & carry the caddy that contains all of the silverware instead of walking back and forth pulling a handful of forks & knives out at a time.
We’re giving the toilets more TLC this time. Spray that baby down from top to bottom, inside and out, and then proceed to wipe her clean! With this hour-long routine, be sure to clean the floor around the toilet & the pipes.
When you have more time, try out my ultra-through bathroom cleaning routine in this post. It’s everything you need to clean your bathroom better, smarter & faster!
The eye is naturally drawn to corners meaning you’ll see dirt and dust there first. And because those are often the most neglected areas of the floor, you should start there to ensure you don’t forget about them later.
To really get your corners clean, spray them with your cleaning solution & wipe them out. It’s truly the best way if you really want your house to have that wow factor!
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!
When you have the time, the entire house is getting cleaned — but I have a warning for you. I’ve seen so many people spend the day cleaning only to realize they could have finished hours sooner had they not been distracted. If you want to learn how to get the whole house cleaned fast, read this!
LET’S CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE
Because there is an endless number of tasks you can complete when cleaning, you need to make a hit list of the things you want to clean. And then pick a task and stick to it until the end!
Music. Bet you weren’t expecting that were you!?
Seriously, a little music will supercharge your cleaning session so that the time literally flies by and you’ll be done cleaning before you know it.
You’ll be dusting and twisting and dipping and before you know it, you’re all done – it works like magic. Trust me!
This is the third section dedicated to a routine. Guys, routines are just that powerful because if you stick to them, they stop being routines & they become habits.
The key to keeping your house clean isn’t cleaning it for hours every weekend. By following short, daily & weekly routines, you don’t allow your house to become messy.
Making your bed first thing in the morning is a terrific way to start your day! It’s like your very first act of the day is a productive one which can set the tone for the rest of the day.
WHAT I DO BEFORE I MAKE MY BED
The very first thing I do before I get out the bed is I think about everything I should be grateful for – and I do that for 1-2 minutes. This is really helpful when my mood is crappy. Then I chug an entire bottle of water. Now that wakes me up! I’m not a morning person, but I’m working on small changes to eventually become one. My days are just soo much better when I get up early – after getting a good amount of sleep of course.
The night-stand has a tendency to turn into the upside-down if we don’t keep it clean. Remove trash, take dishes to the kitchen and straighten the other items on the night-stand surface.
If your room looks like a tornado came through, but really it was just that you were looking for an outfit, this is for you.
HOW TO TACKLE THIS
Coming home to wet towels on the floor is not very welcoming. Hang your towel in the morning after you shower so that it can dry properly and keep the floor clutter-free. Try an over the door hook to easily hang damp towels & keep your bathroom tidy.
WHEN IS A BATH TOWEL DIRTY?
Don’t huff – it has to be done at some point. While you’re making coffee, start unloading the dishwasher. When you come home in the evening, you’ll be so glad it’s already done!
Just think, the same amount of time it takes to brew coffee is about how much time you’ll need to unload the dishwasher!
You may want to read my post How To Clean Your House Like A Pro if you don’t know where to start cleaning your house or if you’re unorganized and need a little direction.
Ok, get your game face on! Everything goes straight from the stove into glassware or plasticware. And yes you heard me right! This means you will be washing the pot not sitting it in the fridge!
HOW TO CLEAN AS YOU GO
Ok so how often should you really vacuum? To answer that question, I have to ask you another question.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU VACUUM
It is very easy to forget to start the dishwasher so make it a point to always start the dishwasher at the same time every day. Set a reminder on your phone – that’s what I do because sometimes things get hectic around here but I don’t want to forget to press that start button!
Make sure you are not putting dishes with food on them in the dishwasher! That’s a one-way ticket to a clog and Stinkville!
Planning in the evening gives you the early morning win you need to coast throughout the day!
THINGS YOU CAN PREP FOR A MORNING WIN
I know you’re tired after a long day at work but when you take off your work clothes, put them in the appropriate place – not the floor.
Anytime I don’t want to take the time to do something like this, I ask myself, “how much time will it really take me to do this?” When I realize it’ll only take 30 seconds, that’s usually enough to motivate me to do it right then.
Once it’s time to shut the house down for the evening, let’s take the trash out so that we can start fresh in the morning. Waking up to a fresh house will definitely give you a little pep in your step throughout the day.
The bathroom must be cleaned regularly to keep it in order. But like you, I get busy sometimes and have to do what I can when I can. If you can set aside just 3-5 minutes to clean something while you’re already in there, it’ll make a world of difference. I like to call this micro-cleaning & I talk more about it in this post.
Your bathroom will virtually stay clean without you cleaning the whole thing at once.
If you notice your bathroom smells like urine you only need one thing to clean it. Not an all-purpose cleaner and not bleach. You need vinegar.
Urine needs an ezyme cleaner to break up the molecules responsible for the smell and thankfully, vinegar is nature’s answer. Using straight vinegar or a 50:50 mix in a bottle, spray the area that smells like urine & let it sit 20-30 minutes. Then wipe it clean. That’s it!
And don’t worry, the vinegar smell will disappear as well. Whenever there’s urine, grab vinegar!
A lot goes on in this spot – it only takes 10 seconds to scrub away any evidence you were ever there. Plus a fresh bowl really freshens up the entire bathroom.
If you have unsightly rings in the toilet, a pumice stone is the secret weapon you didn’t know you needed. Easy to use and non-toxic, it’s full of surprising uses for around the house!
I actually use the pumice stone frequently in my cleaning business. It’s our go-to for toilet rings and a total lifesaver when cleaning inside ovens!
If it’s in the shower, you can easily spray and wipe down surfaces when you hop in. Of course, it’s best if you use something non-toxic since you’ll be in the middle of all that cleaning action!
GOOD THINGS TO DO IN THE SHOWER
Hair is like a gift and a curse! And while we’d all prefer to keep our hair on our heads, unfortunately, quite a bit can be found on the bathroom floor graveyard.
THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD DO IT
Shake them out regularly, vacuum them if possible and replace them when needed. Bath mats are overlooked but if you give them regular TLC, you’ll extend their life greatly.
You can always clean shower curtains and liners by hand – which is a hassle even for pros, or…you can put them in the washing machine. All you need is a minimal amount of detergent, a normal spin cycle & then you’re done.
If you use bar soap, you’re making your life harder than it has to be! If you wonder where the thick film in your shower is coming from, that’s the main culprit.
Swap the soap bar for liquid soap to help prevent excessive soap scum in your bathrub or shower ASAP!
Hair in the bottom of the shower is not only unsightly but leads to clogs which are no fun! Hair traps are an easy way to collect and remove hair. If you know someone living in a dorm, this is a must-have!
No matter how clean you are, mold and mildew do not discriminate – it loves warm, wet places and unfortunately, your shower is the perfect escape!
HOW TO STOP IT
Yes, I know you will be rushing in the morning, but if you can take just 5 seconds, grab a paper towel and wipe excess toothpaste out of the sink. Doing this on a daily basis will help keep your sink from turning into a bowl of grossness.
If your counters have lots of loose items, there’s a strong possibility that things can get a little unsightly from time to time. Plus, it can make cleanup difficult or even impossible.
If you want to do some serious decluttering, check out this post. It’s a refreshingly pragmatic method for decluttering the whole house!
First, you have to make a few rules & then you have to follow them. Staying motivated is the key here. No one typically likes “rules” but just remember, you are only doing this to get rid of bad habits that are making the house dirtier than it has to be.
Always, get rid of anything that is peeling, chipping, broken, or solo. That means old pots and pans, dishes that you can’t eat off of, plastic containers without lids or plates not in a set are all items that can go on the chopping block.
And of course, anything old in the pantry or things you just won’t use should be given away or thrown away.
The contents of your fridge are like an expression of your life. If you look inside and realize it’s a mess, you’ve got some work to do my friend!
Keeping your fridge clean will reduce random odors and waste, help you stay on your food plan and make you feel good in general. I’m a huge fan of using natural odor absorbers in my fridge in addition to wiping it out a few times a week, just to keep things sparkling clean.
Do not leave dirty dish towels or sponges filled with food and grease balled up on your sink. Rinse them out after each use so that they are clean. Then fold them and hang them on the sink to dry – or just place in the hamper if they are dirty.
Another major source of odor is the garbage disposal. Simply rinsing dirty dishes is how a lot of the food ends up just sitting there, so be sure to run the disposal regularly.
A FEW GREAT TIPS TO FOLLOW
Don’t wipe it out. Keep a scour sponge & soft scrub close by to easily scrub the sink clean in the evening.
Carpeted surfaces in a kitchen hold on to everything from grease to odors. The best way to clean them is to wash them regularly. But most of us don’t have time to do that so let’s just swap the carpeted mats for a rubber mat that can easily be wiped clean.
So much happens in the kitchen! Just look at the floor! By not cleaning it daily, you’re just spreading crumbs & gunk throughout the entire house. This is definitely a high-traffic area so you should sweep the kitchen floor every day and mop it weekly at a minimum.
One of my secrets to keeping a clean oven is a pumice stone. When I need to do a light cleaning, I just use that stone and in 1-2 minutes, the oven is perfectly clean without the use of heavy fumes or lots of scrubbing.
And my other favorite oven cleaning hack? Just run the self-clean option! Be prepared to wipe out a little ash after the cleaning cycle completes. Run it regularly to keep the oven maintained.
Whether you’re going to do all of the laundry on Saturdays or dedicate Tuesdays & Thursdays to this task, having a routine will definitely keep your laundry under control.
Towels are bulky so they take up a lot of space plus they can make it seem like you have much more dirty laundry than you really do! Keep a separate hamper just for towels because even though they take up a lot of space, they are super easy to wash, fold and put away compared to clothing.
Let’s have a moment of truth here – have you ever smelled your workout clothes? Do it once and you’ll never wait to wash your gym clothes again. Wash workout clothing or sports uniforms as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the stronger they’ll smell.
The laundry room can easily become the eye-sore of your house if don’t put energy into keeping it clean, organized & decluttered. If you are using your laundry room as a catch-all with no organization, here are a few simple things you can do to clean that space up a bit.
START HERE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM
If it’s normal to have powder or liquid detergent spilled everywhere in your laundry room, you should switch to pods which are 100% mess-free. I alternate between all 3 but I can say pods save me so much time since I can’t make a mess with them.
SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Getting this room organized is a great way to kinda get your feet wet when it comes to organizing! A laundry room is a small space so if you can get this space organized, the rest of the house will be a piece of cake. Best advice I’ve heard when it comes to organizing? Invest in baskets that are similar for a seamless, designer look without much effort!
Guys, this is a big list so do not try to do all of these tips at once! (That would actually be impossible!) Instead, simply choose 3-5 to ideas to follow every week and build on that over time.
If you fall off the wagon (and everyone does), figure out what happened but don’t dwell — keep moving forward! By changing your habits, little by little, you will truly be able to enjoy a house that stays clean!
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!