10 Tips for Keeping Your House Clean

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Are you a neat freak who loves to clean, or a not-so-neat freak (like me) who could use a little motivation? Either way, do I have something for you. Check out these great tips from Christine of I Dream of Clean.

You may not realize it, but your habits either encourage messiness in your home or help you keep it clean.

Think about it. Do you drop your bags, coats, keys and whatever else is in your hand by the door when you walk in? Do you eat in front of the TV and leave your dishes all over the house? Do you throw clothes in the floor when you change outfits?

Trust me, I’m not judging if you do because I’m guilty of all of the above…and more. Unfortunately, those bad habits encourage other family members to do the same and keep our home in constant need of cleaning. For someone who loves to clean, that may be fine. For me, it’s not because I’d rather be doing just about anything other than cleaning!

To make cleaning less of a chore, we just need to implement a few good habits. Here are 10 good ones to get you started…

1. Shine Your Sink

Several years ago I was on the flylady email list and the first thing I learned was to “shine your sink” every night. (Unfortunately, that’s as far as I got with the flylady. Maybe I should try again!) Anyway, the shine your sink concept is a great habit to begin! Every night take five minutes to clean your kitchen completely. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, clean off the counters, and scrub and dry your sink until it’s shiny.

2. Wash One Load of Laundry Daily.

Instead of waiting until the weekend to wash several loads of laundry, get in the habit of washing one load every day. As soon as you wake up, put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Then, before you leave for the day, transfer the load to the dryer. When you get home, fold and put away the clothes.

You may need to modify the routine if you’re worried about your clothes getting wrinkled or you have more or less than seven loads of laundry every week. Just make adjustments and find a way to make laundry part of your daily routine.

3. Process Mail Immediately.

Does the paper pile in your home make your head spin? It does mine! Purging paper has been my biggest hurdle in trying to keep a clean home. Now that I’ve finally gotten it under control, my best advice is to go through mail daily. As you walk in the door, open all envelopes, throw away or shred junk mail, and put bills and other action items in your in-box.

4. Create a Command Center.

A command center is an area in your home that can be used as a catch all for items that need to be processed (i.e. bills that need to be paid, cards to send out, etc.). It’s also a place that can house items that need to be picked up quickly as you walk out the door like keys, bags, and phones. Some also benefit for having a calendar in this area. Customize the command center to fit your family and life!

5. Throw Away Trash.

Throwing away your trash seems so simple right? But how many times have you (or someone in your family) taken something out of a package and put the package on the counter beside you? Or maybe you’ve taken tags off clothes and just placed them on the dresser instead of the trashcan? Instead of waiting until later, just take a few extra seconds and immediately throw away trash in the trashcan.

6. Straighten Up Every Night.

Waking up to a clean home can make the start of your day more pleasing and productive. Take a few minutes each night to pick up around the house. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but straightening up nightly helps to keep the mess from becoming overwhelming.

7. Create a Cleaning Schedule.

Depending on your personality, a cleaning schedule can be as detailed or scaled down as you want it. You may want to clean bathrooms on Monday, mop and vacuum floors on Tuesday, dust on Wednesday, cut the yard on Thursday, and something else on Friday. Or you may prefer to do everything on the weekend. In either situation, a plan will help you move through the list much more quickly. Just like other areas in life, a plan will encourage, motivate, and enable you to reach your goal for a clean home.

8. Become a Minimalist.

Reducing clutter reduces stress. You’ll have less to clean, less to pick up, and less to maintain. You may even be able to live in a smaller house! Or at least not feel like you have to move into a bigger one.

9. Do One Thing.

Sometimes the list of household projects can seem so overwhelming. If you have a list of 10 things that you need to replace, build, or update, just pick one thing to complete. Then do one thing that will move you closer to finishing that project. For example, if you need to organize your closet, start with your pants. Then move onto skirts the next day, and tops the following day. Break down a large project by just doing one thing.

10. Use a Junk Drawer.

Yes, I think a junk drawer is a must for a clean home. In some cases, a cabinet or closet may be more reasonable! Having a place to store random items that don’t have a home can be so freeing. Plus, when you’re in a hurry, sometimes it’s just easier to dump everything into one place. Of course, the only downfall is that you must clean it out periodically!

You probably have the junk drawer thing down pat, right? How about the other habits? If you are the overly ambitious type, check out the 31 Days to make cleaning a Habit series for a few other options!

You guys, I shined my sink the other day and I have to tell you, it totally made me feel productive.

Okay, so maybe that’s all I did, but 1 out of 10 is better than nothing! Oh wait – that could also fall under #9 “Do One Thing!” (Okay, okay, I know that’s not what she meant).

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is I found myself motivated to clean after reading her blog. Maybe it will motivate you, too.

You can find Christine at I Dream of Clean. You should also note that, she is gearing up for a spring cleaning series that will involve some significant prizes. If that sounds like your thing, then you should probably “like” her facebook page so you can stay in the loop!

Thanks, Christine, for sharing your expertise with TheMommyhood! 


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5 Responses to 10 Tips for Keeping Your House Clean

  1. Beth @ Free Stylin' January 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I read this while a mountain of laundry stared at me, the lunch dishes on the table gave me a dirty look, and the vacuum cleaner hid farther in the closet. ;) Thanks for the tips…and encouragement. Christine, great post! Heather, thanks for the motivation!

    • Heather January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      I’m with you, Beth. I’m sitting in a messy office as I write this. Sigh. As for the rest of the house, pretty much as soon as I clean something and walk away it’s destroyed – unless I forbid anyone to go in there. Sometimes I do that so I won’t lose it.

  2. Diana Hatcher January 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    A friend of mine recently imparted some great cleaning advice. Keep some cleaning supplies in the bathroom and while your kids are taking baths do a little cleaning in there. It keeps you in close proximity of them while being productive….even if it is just wiping the toothpaste out of the sink.

    • Heather January 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      Good idea, Diana! Thanks for sharing that. I am totally going to put a container of wipes in there. You know what I am always cleaning is the exterior of the toilet (thanks to my son’s middle of the night miss-wizzes. At least I have those seats that come off. Diana, if you don’t have that for Aiden’s primary toilet, you might want to look into them. http://themommyhood.com/wordpress/2011/03/23/5562/
      Hope you guys are doing well.
      Hedda

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