It can be difficult to keep up with daily housekeeping, but it doesn’t have to consume all of your time. It’s not about how much time you spend cleaning your home, but about developing good habits that will last. You can just start following your instincts. There are times when things get chaotic and I am not always able to complete daily cleaning. However, these 11 habits help me keep my house tidy and clean. It’s easy to do if you keep at it! You don’t have to choose all the items on this list. Start with a few and add more as you go.
Make the bed.
Although some may think making the bed is a waste, it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the room and takes only a few minutes. It’s a great way to start the day and I love getting into a clean bed at night. Make your bed as simple as possible to make it easier. Our top sheets were cut out because they would end up in a big pile at the bottom of our bed. We decided to use a duvet with a washable cover. You can reduce the amount of pillows you have on your bed, or use a comforter or duvet large enough to cover your sheets.
Only Do 1 Load of Laundry per Day.
Depending on how many loads your do each week, this may not be necessary. However, for us, at least 7 loads are done per week. Do one load of laundry every morning. If you are working outside the home and don’t have time to dry your laundry before you leave, you can set your machine to delay (if this is a feature) so that it will be ready for you to load when you return. You can also put the load in the machine the morning before you go to work and then turn it on at home. Complete the load and put it away.
Feel Happy with “Clean Enough”
This is the most difficult task for me as a perfectionist. While you want your home to be clean and tidy, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything has to be perfect. I try! To follow the 80/20 rule, which means that I’m happy with at least 80% of the cleaning done. It is easy to get caught up in the details that make up 20% of cleaning. They not have to be cleaned. However, it is a good idea to include them in your weekly cleaning schedule.
All cleaning is not created equal. You can make a list of the things you want to do and then prioritize what must be done. Take a look at the time you have and make a list of your top two or three realistic’ priorities. Prioritize cleaning and sticking to them before you try other things. Although I used to hate making lists, I have found that it helps me stay focused.
Get Your Whole Family involved.
This is something I’ve really been trying to improve on recently. It is sometimes easier to do the job yourself but it will be much more beneficial for both you and your children to spend the time teaching them age-appropriate jobs. Begin by teaching your children to clean up after themselves. This includes putting away their shoes and coats, cleaning up their rooms, and putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Add in as many chores as you can. You’d be surprised at the difference these little things can make to the overall cleanliness of your house. You will need to keep an eye on your children for the first few weeks. But, it will become a routine and they will be more comfortable doing this.
Perform a 15-minute nightly clean-up.
It’s a good idea to make it a habit to do a 15-minute nightly clean up. It doesn’t seem so difficult to clean up after everyone else has done the same thing. Set a timer and stick to the top cleaning priorities. Children can help with small household chores or clean their rooms while you do the laundry or finish up the kitchen. You should start with the most difficult items or those that create a lot of clutter. My bObi robot vacuum is always running during this time, usually in high-traffic areas.
Keep basic cleaning supplies close to where you use them.
All of my bathrooms are stocked with basic cleaning products – microfiber cloths, a polishing cloth and a toilet scrubbrush, as well as a spray bottle with water, vinegar, or a multi-purpose cleaner. It is much easier and quicker to clean the toilet or remove the toothpaste spit from your mirror. These simple tasks can be done as often as you want.
Never leave a room empty handed.
This one habit can make a big difference in how tidy your home is. You can do a quick scan of your home as you move from one room or floor to the next to check if you have anything you can take that belongs there. You should only take what you have the time to put away. Moving a pile from one area to another without actually putting it away is not a good idea. You might have a few dirty dishes to put in the dishwasher, or laundry that must be put upstairs. Keep in mind the “one-touch rule”, which means that items should only be touched once before being put away. You are wasting precious energy and time every time you move an object around. Make sure you put it away immediately. It is more about habits than having the time.
While this one will take longer to implement, it will significantly reduce the amount of cleaning time. It’s much easier to clean up your home if everything is in one place. It’s easier to clean up and dust less if you have fewer items on your counters or surface tops. You can also read my 6-Week Decluttering Challenge to help you get started.
Find High Traffic Areas.
You can prevent dirt and dust from spreading throughout your house by focusing on cleaning high-traffic areas on a daily basis. To remind everyone to remove their shoes and keep the dirt from getting everywhere, create a designated area for shoes at each entrance to your home. You can also trap dirt in small areas by placing rugs near doors. You can keep your furry friend’s paws clean by keeping a towel near the door. These areas should be swept or vacuumed daily. You don’t have to do it all at once – just take 5 minutes.
As Clean as You Can.
Although this may seem obvious, I believe it is something we often neglect. Although it doesn’t take much time, it can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Hang your clothes by the closet, or hang them up and put them in the laundry. Instead of putting dirty dishes on the counter, load them directly into the dishwasher. As soon as you enter the house, put your shoes and coat behind you. Get your family to help clean up after dinner so that you don’t have a messy kitchen to deal with when it’s time to go to bed. These little habits can be made with some planning. There will be times when it is impossible, but you can save yourself tons of work in the long-term.