‘It is what it is.’ Those are the words I hear from so many women as they surrender to the never-ending mess in their homes.
The good news is keeping a clean house just got a whole lot easier.
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6 Brilliant Secrets to Keeping a Clean House
Keeping a clean house is just part of life. While we may dread the seemingly mundane tasks, there’s a lot we can do the simplify the process and make it more manageable.
When I stop to consider how I keep a consistently tidy home, I identified what I consider my six secrets to keeping my own home clean.
What is a Clean House?
The first secret is to shift our mindset and establish our own definition of clean.
Regarding mindset, I know we sometimes wonder if we’re lazy because we don’t feel like cleaning the house. You’re not lazy. We only have the mental capacity and physical ability to do so much before we meet our threshold. More often than not, cleaning is the first thing to go. I share that to say, you’re not alone.
Next, take some time to decide what clean means to you.
As I discuss in Home on Purpose: Mindful Living in a Hectic World, you get to create your own definition of clean, and it’s up to you what should be cleaned daily. I encourage you to pick the tasks that matter most to you as you create your own cleaning routine.
My definition of clean is picked up and tidy.
Once you have a clear definition, it’s much easier to make cleaning a priority.
Declutter Your Home
The second secret to keeping a clean home is to declutter. Not having to keep up with items you no longer need or want makes cleaning house so much easier.
Decluttering your home isn’t going to happen all at once. But, you can work on it room by room until the clutter is gone. If you need help, I highly recommend the Declutter-in-a-day-Challenge.
It’s designed to guide you through the decluttering process step-by-step, without any judgement. Because clutter happens.
Once the clutter is clear, you’ll have space for everything and be able to put everything in its place as you tidy up.
Identify Clutter Zones
Every home has clutter zones. And nothing can make you feel more defeated in keeping a clean home.
It’s usually the most high traffic areas like the entryway/mudroom/foyer, and any counter or surface that attracts the most clutter. Those areas tend to get taken over by shoes, jackets, backpacks, paper piles and who knows what else you’d find if you went looking.
The best way to tackle that clutter is to create organization systems for the people and paper clutter. I created Chaos to Calm help you do just that.
Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
Secret number three is keeping your cleaning supplies organized.
You can create a cleaning caddy that is stored in a centrally located area. Or you can keep bathroom cleaners organized under the bathroom sink and kitchen cleaners stored under the kitchen sink.
Organize your cleaning supplies in a way that makes it easy to grab and go.
Create Morning Rituals
The next secret to keeping a clean home (that’s secret number four if you’re counting) is to maintain a daily cleaning routine. I’m not talking about heavy duty cleaning, nor do I mean cleaning all day. Instead, I prefer to divide basic cleaning tasks between morning and evening.
My morning rituals set the stage for the day, boosting my mood and productivity.
Make Your Bed in the Morning
When you get up for the day, pull your bedding back to let your sheets air out. Sometimes, I also spray my sheets with a linen spray.
Once I do that, I make my way into the bathroom to brush my teeth and get dressed for the day. I make my bed on my way out of my bedroom after getting dressed.
I know some people say they prefer a messy bed, but I’m going to challenge that.
What really happens is you get used to having a messy bed and it becomes background noise; visual clutter that you don’t necessarily notice on a conscious level, but that your brain takes note of every time you pass it. This small act unwittingly taps into your mental and emotional energy, draining your capacity to focus.
On the other hand, making your bed makes your bedroom feel like the restful retreat that it is meant to be. And, it’s so much more inviting to climb into a made bed at the end of a long day.
Quick-Tidy the Bathroom
Before leaving the bathroom, I recommend picking up dirty laundry, putting away anything left out on the counter, and wiping down the sink and mirror. This takes just a few minutes, especially if you have an organizing system for toiletries and beauty products.
One of my favorite organizing methods is the daily basket. This basket contains everything (and only the things) you need to get ready each day. The basket is easy grab while you’re getting dressed, then to put away when you’re done.
An alternative to the daily basket is to have a daily drawer.
Do one load of laundry each day
I find it’s very easy to grab a load of laundry to take with you on your way out of the bedroom.
Doing just one load a day makes doing laundry more manageable. The key is to wash, dry, fold and put away the clean laundry over the course of the day so it doesn’t start to pile up and take over. (This is what I struggle with the most.)
Depending on your household, you might need to do two loads a day, or you may be able to skip a day or two.
And that’s your morning. The house feels clean, you look good, and you’ve got the whole day ahead of you!
Now for the evening routine.
Establish an Evening Declutter Routine
My fifth and favorite secret to keeping a clean house is our evening tidy up routine. This is such a simple and quick practice that resets your home from the day and gives you a clean slate for the morning.
Clear Clutter from all Surfaces
I prefer to do this at night right before we go to bed. It only takes a few minutes, especially if everyone in the family is responsible for putting away their belongings and messes. Involving everyone in your household is key to success with any routine.
Quick-Tidy the Kitchen
After dinner, wipe down the kitchen counters, sweep the floor and empty the sink of all dishes. Depending on your kids’ ages, they can be responsible for kitchen clean up.
Fluff the Throw Pillows and Blankets
As you walk through the living room on your way to bed, put all of the throw pillows and blankets back in place, giving the pillows a little fluff. If there are kid toys strewn about, have the children put them away before their bedtime. Now the room is fresh and ready for a new day.
This simple routine is easy to stick to, which is the goal of a good house cleaning routine.
Ask for Help With Cleaning Your Home
My final secret is to delegate. I’ve already touched on this, but it bears repeating because we women tend struggle with asking for help.
Some of the best feedback I ever received was when a friend told me I was doing too much for my family. She then suggested I delegate some chores and give my family more responsibilities.
I can tell you I fretted over it; I didn’t want my daughter to feel overwhelmed.
Turns out she wasn’t.
She told me that she used to feel so mature and grown up for knowing how to do her own laundry. And given my early childhood background, I knew that shared responsibilities provide kids with a sense of ownership and belonging. (It’s one thing to know something professionally and another to implement it as a mom.)
Another option is to hire outside help. I’ve hired cleaning services off and on over the years, and it’s such relief to have the cleaning taken care of.
You could also consider hiring a professional organizer to help you declutter and create organizing systems. I’ve been the organizer and a client in this situation, and I can tell you it’s very worthwhile.
Whether it’s your family or outside help, sometimes having someone to come alongside you is just what it takes to start keeping a clean house.
For more help establishing household routines, read:
- On Sundays We Reset: A Weekly Household Reset Day
- How to Create A Simple Household Schedule You Can Stick To
- How to Create A Weekly Planning Routine That Works for You
Wishing you simplicity and ease in keeping a clean house.