Keeping a home neat and tidy requires a fair amount of work and dedication. Now let’s add a full-time job, taking care of the kids and other activities to the mix and there it is – a one way ticket to ‘burnout city’. Trust us, you are not alone if you are having trouble keeping the house clean. You worked all day and you are tired, and yet, you want a decently clean home in case someone pops at the door unexpectedly.
Yes, keeping up with the daily house cleaning can be challenging and it could be a tiresome chore. However, we’ve got some good news for you! Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to take up all your time. There is actually a secret to keeping a clean home. It’s less about the time involved, and more about adopting some good habits that you eventually start to follow with time. So, if you struggle to keep your house clean, there are some tips and tricks to help you without really noticing that you are doing it!
Every home needs ‘deep cleaning’ at least a few times a year. However, in order to learn how to keep the house tidy on a daily basis, we will approach a different method. Let’s learn how to maintain control over the chaos, so that when the time for a more thorough cleaning comes, it’s a lot easier. There are a few things we need to know for this cleaning approach to work:
Every object around the house should have its place. Otherwise you can have a serious problem when you try to keep everything neat. Just think about it, how can you put things away if they have no ‘away’?
You probably know this already, but let’s just remember that clutter is the house’s worst enemy. The more stuff we have, the more we need to put away. This doesn’t mean that we should all keep things minimal. It’s about avoiding to keep stuff we don’t even like or never use. So, if you have too much stuff, it’s time to do something about it. Trust us, you will be a lot happier.
There are two types of people: those who make their bed first thing in the morning and others who think that’s a waste of time. Trust us, making your bed makes an enormous difference in how tidy the bedroom looks. Plus, it will only take a couple of your time. As the days go by, you won’t even feel like you are doing a dull chore. Instead you would do it without even realizing it. Just as Admiral William H. McRaven says in his speech: ‘If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.’
Tip: To make it even easier in the morning, simplify your bedding as much as you can. You can minimize the number of pillows on your bed. Or simply use a large duvet so you don’t always need to tuck in the sheets.
Of course, this varies depending on the number of loads you already do on a weekly basis. Besides, it depends on how many people you live with, so you don’t have to do it every day. Our point is that you should try doing it regularly so you avoid the pile of clothes we all hate to see each time you are in the bathroom.
Tip: Try putting the load in the laundry machine in the morning or before you get to work. Then, turn it on before you go to work, or once you get home in order to avoid leaving the clothes in it for too long.
This would probably be very hard as far as perfectionists are concerned. We all want our homes to be clean and smell nice. However that doesn’t always mean that every little thing must be perfect. There is an 80/20 rule that you can try following. This means that you are happy with 80% of the cleaning done around the house. Details like making sure that every little thing is cleaned up off the floor or dusting all the places that are hard to reach belong to those 20%, which are probably details that no one, including you, would really notice. We are not saying that they should be never cleaned. You can make them part of the ‘deep cleaning’ schedule, instead of your regular daily or weekly cleaning routine.
We understand if you consider it easier to do the cleaning yourself. However, spending time to ‘teach’ the rest of your family to do age appropriate chores will turn out to be more practical and useful in the long run for everyone in the house. You can start light – work on having your children pick up themselves. They can put away their shoes, toys, coat and then you can move on to teaching them how to put dishes in the dishwasher, clean their room and so on. You would be surprised by the difference it makes in the overall tidiness of the house.
Tip: If your spouse and kids weren’t used to helping with chores, you will likely need to be reminding them a lot in the first two weeks. Eventually, they will adopt these simple things as habits and will be able to carry them out with minimal reminders.
For example, you can have your bathroom stocked with the essential cleaning supplies. Keeping a polishing and microfiber cloth, a toilet scrub brush and a multi-purpose or any other cleaner of your choice within reach is really practical when you want to give the toilet a quick swipe. Try to wipe down the mirror or cleaning up that toothpaste leftover in the sink when you see the need. Most of these tasks take only a few minutes, and will reduce the need to do a top-to-bottom deep bathroom cleaning.
Yes, this is THE habit that can make an enormous difference in how tidy your house is at the end of the day. Before you leave a room do a quick scan to see if there is anything that should be put away or that belongs to the place you are going. Moreover, why leave the dirty dishes on the counter when you can load them in the dishwasher? Or take off your clothes and leave them in a pile when you can either hang them back or put them in the laundry? All of these little tasks are simply habits that can be adopted with time with a bit of intentional planning. Of course, you can’t do this always, but try to do it whenever you can and you will eventually save a ton of cleaning up!
Tip: Teach all the family to help you out in cleaning up the kitchen after dinner to avoid being stuck with a pile of dishes when it’s time to go to bed or even worse, in the morning.
We have dedicated a whole article to the ‘art’ of decluttering, as we consider it to be the key to an organized home. This will drastically cut down the amount of time that you usually spend to clean your home. As we mentioned above, having a spot for everything makes it a lot easier for you and the whole family to keep the house neat and tidy.
Tip: Make sure that things used on a daily basis are kept in easily accessible places. At the same time they should be easy to be put away.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. Not all cleaning is created equal and you don’t have to do everything at once. If it’s easier for you, make a list of what you want to get done during the week. Then prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait for the following day. Make realistic cleaning goals for you and the whole family and stick to them before you do other things. Some people find it really helpful, as they say making lists helps them stay focused and organized.
For those of you whose daily agenda is busy overflowing with tasks, we understand. You worked all day, and tossing yourself in front of the TV in the evening just seems like the right thing to do. At the same time, you want a clean, sparkling house. Spending time on cleaning just sounds like it requires too much work and energy, though. However, adopting these few simple ‘cleaning’ habits within time can make your life a lot easier. Plus, they will take only a few minutes of your time, but will make a huge difference in the long run. So, start lightly now, and take a piece of paper and a pen to write down the things that need to be done tomorrow.