Keeping a home comfortably clean can be a challenge. But, it is possible! Use these 5 simple everyday tips to help you keep your house cleaner and more organized, so you can relax more and “emergency clean” less.
You know that panicky feeling you get??
The one when someone drops in, and EVERYTHING in your house is a complete and uttter disaster?!?
The racing pulse. The sweaty palms. And the mad dash to hide the clutter and catch your breath before guests reach the door…
I am WAY too familiar with that harrowing experience.
Some some people can’t relate. For them, keeping a home clean and organized just comes naturally.
But, for the rest of us, it can be a struggle.
We want a cleaner home, but we just don’t always know how to make it happen.
But the good news is, it CAN happen! Trust me! If I can do it, than it is completely, 100% possible for you too.
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So, how CAN you keep your home cleaner on a regular basis without spending all of your time keeping house?
Here are some practical tips that can help.
1) CLEAN UP MESSES AS THEY HAPPEN
Do you ever spot a mess, then walk away and think “I’ll get to that in a minute.”
And three days later, you’ve walked by the same mess so many times that you can’t even see it anymore?
Like that dust bunny that has been on the floor so long the kids have given it a name?
Around here, we seem to have trouble with those hand-wash only kitchen items. No one wants to wash them. So, they just sit, and sit, aaand sit.
Then, I think how much easier it would have been just to wash them right away to begin with. Not only are they harder to clean, but they’ve been cluttering up the counter this whole time.
Then, there are the times I think “well, it’s just a small mess and it can wait.”
But small messes add up to big messes and that adds up to overwhelm.
Try to pick-up, wipe, and clean-up messes as you see them. If you practice it, it will become habit.
2) GET RID OF STUFF
One way to keep your home cleaner and more organized is simply to have less stuff.
Cluttered spaces never look or feel clean. And too many “things” make it impossible to keep things tidy.
You don’t have to become a minimalist. But, if you have things sitting around that currently serve no purpose, just get them out of the way.
Around here, we purge clothes and shoes, kitchen items and housewares regularly. There is almost always a “thrift store bag” or two by the back door ready for the donation center.
In the past, we had an insane amount of toys and junk everywhere. There was a nearly cataclysmic event that caused us to rethink the whole “more is better” mentality. That is a story for another time.
Just try cleaning out a few things at a time. Lightening your load feels so good.
It will quickly become a habit to re-home things that aren’t serving you and your family.
3) MAKE “SHORT LISTS” OF TASKS
Making a manageable list of housekeeping tasks will help you to keep your home cleaner and more organized.
I find that short lists are easier to tackle than a full-on to-do list. So, it’s more likely that all of the things will get done.
And, our brains tend to thrive on the reward of having finished something.
You can pull tasks from a longer to-do list to make up your short-list, or you can jot things down as you think of them. My list is normally a mixture of both.
I like to these 3″ x 3″ size super sticky notes. You can fit just the right amount of to-do’s on there without it being overwhelming. Plus, the colors make me think of sea glass and tropical island beaches while I’m wiping counters and washing dirty dishes.
For me, getting a few of the next day’s important tasks down on paper the evening before helps to take my mind off of the next day’s to-do’s. Which, in turn, makes it easier to relax and enjoy the evening, rather than worrying about things that need to get done tomorrow.
4) DIVIDE AND CONQUER
You are gathering an armload of towels from the bathroom hamper when you notice that the counter needs to be wiped down.
And the tub. THAT will take awhile. Oh, and you can barely see yourself in the mirror.
“When will I ever find the time to clean that bathroom?” you wonder.
So another day goes by and the grime builds up.
But what if you did ONE of those tasks at a time?
Breaking big jobs into smaller chunks works infinitely better than not getting the job done at all.
Here’s how I break it down for my bathroom:
I do the shower one day ( usually as I am showering.) The counters and sinks another. The toilet gets cleaned randomly several times a week when I have a spare minute.
The tub is actually my least favorite so I do have to schedule that in sometimes so that it gets done. But you get the idea.
If I had to wait for a large enough time block to do the whole thing, it might never get done.
5) START A DAILY ROUTINE
If strict schedules aren’t your thing, I’m with ya!
But, it’s probably fair to say that people with clean houses generally have more routine built into their day than people who have…ahem…less than clean houses.
An evening routine of tidying the kitchen and the living spaces, plus a little prep work, can give you an amazing jump start on the next day.
Have a set of productive tasks that get done early each morning. For me, that includes making my bed, loading the washing machine and unloading the dishwasher. It feels good to get things checked off the list and it helps set the tone for the rest of the day.
Author James Clear writes in his book, Atomic Habits, “We often dismiss small changes because they don’t seem to matter very much in the moment.“
So, don’t underestimate the impact that these “small changes” and new daily habits can have on your home.
What habits or small changes have you made that have had a positive impact on your home?