For some, cleaning is practically second nature—an activity that you actually look forward to every day. For others, it’s the most exhausting and stressful task you could ever do.
No matter what side of this spectrum you’re on, you can’t deny that there’s is something immensely satisfying about coming home to a clean house. Stepping into a clutter-free hallway, fixing up supper in a tidy kitchen, relaxing in an immaculate living area, and retreating to a neat bedroom with fresh sheets.
Realistically, however, there will be times where you simply can’t help but leave dishes in the sink or let the laundry pile up before you get a move on. Life gets busy and you just can’t prevent it. In such cases, these helpful little habits can really help you maintain a neat and tidy home.
Cleaning habit #1: A quick sweep
Kitchens, main hallways, living rooms — these spaces tend to get the most traffic daily and track in a lot of dirt. A quick sweep of these areas before you go to bed means you get to wake up to clean floors the next day.
Cleaning habit #2: It’s about those dishes…
Nothing makes your house feel more untidy than a pile of dirty dishes. Remedy this by taking the time to unload your dishwasher in the morning. If you do the dishes by hand, make it a point to finish them in the evening before going to bed and letting them dry overnight so you can make sure they’re dry enough to put away in the morning.
Cleaning habit #3: Put it away!
Pulling down the cookie jar after dinner? Grabbing a packet of chips for a snack? Making a quick cup of tea before bedtime? Don’t leave the cookie jar out, leave a half-eaten bag of chips on the counter, or simply dump dirty teacups in the sink when you’re done. These little things can easily pile up if you let them. Before you know it, you’ll have to tidy a mountain of kitchen clutter if you don’t clean as you go.
Cleaning habit #4: High touch surfaces
Sinks and faucets are some of the most overlooked elements in bathrooms and kitchens. We don’t usually notice just how much gunk gets built upon these high-touch surfaces. Be more conscious about wiping them down so you don’t have to deal with harder to clean stains later on.
Cleaning habit #5: All that laundry…
It’s so easy to let dirty laundry pile up in one corner of your home. If you set a regular laundry schedule, however, you can make sure that you do a manageable load of laundry instead of facing a giant pile at the end of your week.
If there’s more than you, develop a schedule… bed linen on Sundays, towels on Wednesdays.
Cleaning habit #6: Fold and hang!
After you’ve sorted out your dirty laundry, make time to fold and put everything away. Don’t just let all your washed clothes gather on your bed either or they will make your room look messy and cluttered and add to your unhappiness.
If you have children, teach them to sort the washing along with you so that they can take over that job. It’s easy and it is a good ‘life skill’.
Cleaning habit #7: Leave your shoes at the door
Your shoes will inevitably track in dirt and dust collected from outside into your home if you choose to wear them around your house. To keep interiors tidy, slip out of your shoes and into a pair of house slippers once you get home.
This is also a great way to ensure that your rugs and mats stay clean for as long as possible.
Cleaning habit #8: Those flat surfaces!
Clutter tends to gather on flat surfaces around your home such as countertops. Organizing countertops will help you prevent random items from piling up.
Make it a point to check and throw out all unnecessary items to minimize mess. You’d be surprised at how many things can accumulate when you’re not making a conscious effort to declutter.
Cleaning habit #9: Sort the trash
Sorting out your trash can be tedious. It really helps if you segregate your recycling as you go so that you don’t feel like you have to do it all in one go or rush it all on the day of pick-up.
In our home, we use a three-bin system – trash, recycle, and compost. It works well.
There are some more excellent sorting systems available here…
Cleaning habit #10: Do you vacuum or ‘Hoover’?
Either way, it can be a drag (literally) to get it out, plug it in and then drag it around behind you as you suck up the week’s dirt.
There’s a much better and much easier solution… a good stick vacuum! And before you think “Dyson = money = later”, there are some excellent stick vacuums available for much less. Mine cost less than $100 and it’s a fantastic time-saver.
Because stick-vacuums are light, easy to use, and instantly accessible, they can be used at any time in any room by anyone in the home! Note that last line, Mom!
Quickly vacuuming areas of your home that tend to gather dust makes it so much easier to maintain overall cleanliness.
If you prefer to stay with your ‘conventional vacuum model, make sure your vacuum is easy to access so you don’t have to dig through your closet to get this done. This makes it feel less like a chore as well since it’s simple and accessible to do.
Cleaning habit #11: Make that bed!
Making your bed should be the first thing on your to-do list every day. Accomplishing something productive first thing in the morning sets the tone for your day. Plus, an unmade bed can quickly make your entire room look and feel untidy.
It only takes a couple of minutes to make your bed and coming home to a neat bedroom will make the effort totally worth it.
Cleaning habit #12: Be organized!
Cleaning and tidying up is so much easier if you know where to find everything that you need. Keep all your tools and supplies in a handy caddy so you don’t end up having to look all over your house before you can start cleaning.
Do you find any of these tips helpful? Are there any more that you want to share? Let us know and leave a comment below.