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.
So take a deep breath. This is a hefty list of places you can start right here, right now to get back control of your home. All you have to do is choose one.
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
NEED A SIMPLE BUT COMPLETE CLEANING CHECKLIST FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE? // You should check out my Room-By-Room House Cleaning Checklist For Year Long Clean Vibes! Realistic weekly cleaning, deep cleaning & spring cleaning checklists for every space makes it even easier to keep a clean house!
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).
Instead of waiting for some magical time of the year to do a huge spring cleaning of my house, I make things easy and slip in spring cleaning tasks every week. I may literally have a few minutes and will use that time to wipe down, not just dust, baseboards or something in one room. Then the next week I may clean the windows in that room. Breaking the big cleaning up into smaller tasks makes it more manageable and doable even for the busiest person.
When you sit down at your dining room table, make it a scan your house – what do you see on the floor under your furniture? Chances are, there will be dust bunnies, trash and just random crap if you get down on all fours and take a peek. Either shift the furniture to the left of right for easy access to the floor or use a broom or a flat mop to clean that area.
Grab a shredder, get an idea of where you can donate your books and magazines and then get to work! Scan and upload papers, then toss or shred them. Gather up the unread books and mags, and send them off to a new home!
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. Grab a high-duster or broom and run it along the ceiling & corners of every room followed by the baseboards.
Get a little momentum going by just doing the whole house at once! Just hold the duster or broom up to the ceiling and walk…it’s that easy!
Very small things can make a huge impact on how your house looks. Plus keeping your house in tip-top shape will make you feel proud of your home – and actually want to keep it clean. All you need is a screwdriver – or a pair or scissors will work as a hack to tighten the screws. While you’re at it, be sure to knock out the bathroom cabinet knobs as well!
Luckily the dishwasher doesn’t need much since it’s constantly getting washed. But with that being said, you do need to do a little to keep it from stinking. Don’t worry, it’s super quick and easy to clean.
Remove the bottom rack, and wipe the floor of the dishwasher. You want to remove any food that may be lurking causing it to stink. Remove the filter, rinse it off and put it back. Spray and wipe down the inside of the door, sprinkle some baking soda inside and run it. And you’re all done!
Decluttering your closet can be a huge undertaking. Make the task easier by decluttering on the fly. As you do laundry, you see the clothing that’s too small, stained or worn right then. Don’t put those clothes back in your room!
Just make two piles – one for donation and one for trash. Socks with holes and worn clothing go straight into the trash pile. Other, gently worn items can be donated. Be sure to put the clothing ready to be donated in the car and drop them off within 24 hours!
Once a picture gets hung on the wall, it basically becomes invisible — so to speak. I’ve seen epic amounts of dust on frames and the poor glass is so not HD quality! But never fear, really make your house shine by first, dusting the picture frame & glass, then actually cleaning the glass. Just use your favorite glass cleaner & paper towel.
Remember, you only have to clean a few pictures a week – you can do one room at a time. Once they are done, you don’t have to do it again for another 1-4 months!
I’ve seen so many people spend the day cleaning only to realize they could have finished hours sooner had they not been distracted. Set a timer for however long you want to clean. It’ll help you stay focused.
YOU SHOULD READ // How To Clean Your House Super Fast if it takes you all day and night to get your house cleaned! You’ll learn the strategies and techniques you need to get the job done faster!
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!
Bet you weren’t expecting that were you!?
Seriously, if you want to clean your bathrooms in 1.5 hours and you have 3 bathrooms, set a timer and give yourself roughly 30 minutes per bathroom. The timer puts the pressure on you to move and helps you stay laser-focused on the task at hand!
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.
YOU MAY WANT TO READ // The Super Simple Morning Cleaning Routine For Moms if you’d love an easy to follow plan that will help even the busiest mom keep a house spic and span!
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.
I know you’re already struggling to get up but I’m telling you, it is totally worth it if you can do it! You don’t need to get up super early in order to do impactful cleaning. Part of being able to wake up earlier is going to bed on time so, let’s set a decent bedtime, get 7-8 hours of rest and get up ready to rock-n-clean a little before the kids get up!
In the morning, things tend to get a little crazy no matter how detailed and thoughtful of a planner you are! Make life easier on yourself by doing grab-and-go style breakfast options more often and using paper plates or napkins so that clean up is a cinch! You don’t want to come home after a long day at work to dirty dishes from breakfast, do you?
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
All it takes is one load of laundry a day to keep the doctor away! Seriously, the bigger your family, the more overwhelming laundry can be. One load a day is easy and manageable for most people. Be sure to get your family involved – spouses & older children – to make the task even quicker!
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.
YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ // How To Clean Your Dirty Bathroom Super Fast – And Keep It Clean for my advice on cleaning thoroughly in the fastest, smartest way possible. It also comes with an ultra-deep cleaning routine + checklist that will transform your bathroom!
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.
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 enzyme 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.
Oh and totally skip the charcoal toothpaste if you want to keep your bathroom cleaner. Let’s just say charcoal toothpaste splatter is not as forgiving as regular toothpaste splatter.
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. I don’t know anyone that isn’t wishing for more cabinet space so purge monthly to make some!
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 (my favorite product for this is Bar Keepers) close by to easily scrub the sink clean in the evening. I promise you, scouring makes a day and night difference in your sink.
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. Personally, I aim for a load a day and use Wednesdays as my catch-up day! That’s when I wash an extra load or two.
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.
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 1-5 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!
Good things are meant to be shared! Save this to your Pinterest account so you can actually find it later and so others can see you’ve got all the good stuff!