How to keep house cleanPosted on: 2022-08-30 Last updated: 2022-11-05
The idea of keeping a house clean might be intimidating or impossible, but it is an easy task when the right habits are consistently applied. The key word here is consistency. Small habits which take seconds or a few minutes could make a drastic difference in the long run. Start small and enjoy the compounding effect as you go. The initial goal should be to reach the "I clean more than I mess + 1" point. After that compounding will make the magic happen.
Ultimate clean house principles
This block is a collection of some core principles to follow for great clean-house results. Apply them consistently and it will become easier over time just because there will be virtually no need for large effort to keep it all clean and organized.
Everything must have a single place
Every item in the house should have it's place. Figure out what it is for everything you have. If some place is full of similar items, think of decluttering, reorganize items or figure where else they should be stored if absolutely necessary. The end goal should be complete clarity whenever there is a question about where a certain thing is located. This principle is well applied whenever you can think of a single place where a thing is AND when the thing is actually always there.
Put everything to it's place right after use
This one and the previous are the very core principles of a clean house. Everything should be either used at the moment or sitting at it's place. If this principle is followed, there will be no such problems as lost items or mess. Whenever you take anything in your hands, right after using it, put it back where it belongs.
Clean things on the go
Whatever you are busy with at a moment, try cleaning things around you or putting things where they belong. It could be as little as throwing away a piece of paper, putting away car keys, or wiping a table that has little dust on. Such little things take very little time spread across every day. Yet they really make a difference. The end goal is to always clean after yourself and after others all the time without waiting for the right time or a mood to come. Instant action yields instant gratification.
Throw things away. Period. Do you need this dress which is never worn for years? Will you use that plastic bag in the corner of a cabinet? Do you really need that toy purchased on sale? What about some empty jars collecting dust just in case? Donate or throw it all away!
Whatever you have no definite use for must leave your life for good. Don't buy stuff, don't keep stuff, don't take stuff. Family should have only what is used. Forget the "Just in case" excuse for a spirit of a clean house.
Organize and Line things up
Whenever you see something misaligned, fix it. Aligned items look more pretty to the human eye than the ones randomly placed. It could be as simple as moving a single book to make it inline with others. Or maybe it is a dish which is slightly off from others. Clothes when folded and stacked aligned look way more accurate than the ones in a messy wrap. Shoes are something else what you might want to align for better looks.
Use house slippers
On the shoes topic, never wear them inside the house. Shoes tend to carry little particles of dirt and dust on it. Stones and sticks could be brought in as well. Having house slippers for all family members is a good idea which will keep your floors and carpets clean longer. It in turn will lower the effort needed to keep them clean.
Do not try to make it perfect
Perfection is counterproductive when it comes to cleaning. You might want to stick to the 20/80 rule where 20% of effort gives 80% of results. If pushing for perfection, you will burn energy into unnecessary activities. Then in few hours nature will make it imperfect again. Instead of pushing for 100% cleanliness in a house better aim for a "clean enough" house at much less of an effort cost. This is more sustainable practice than wasting every day polishing your walls with chemicals just because of a spot in a corner.
Get the Whole Family Involved
If there are multiple family members living together, get everyone on board. Investing personal effort into keeping it all clean is the only way to value the effort it takes. And it definitely should not be just on the shoulders of a wife or even both parents because it is the direct way to burn out and give up on the idea of keeping it all clean. Consider explaining the core concepts to everyone and give some specific tasks for the beginning. Then some reminders and family cleaning routines will do the job of making sure the clean house is at value and all family members are invested in it.
Following are some specifics which could make a difference. See if any of those are overlooked in your house. Or think about what else could and should be done.
Make a bed every morning
As straight as it sounds, every morning right after waking up, do the bed. All the time. Weekends and holidays inclusive. The made bed looks so much better. It is also a good habit to have if you want to avoid the effects of the broken window theory.
Keep clothes away
Never leave clothes where they do not belong. All the clothes should be in clothing cabinets or in wardrobes. Moreover, they should be well folded, aligned or hung inline. Hanging a jacket in a closet rather than on a chair at an entrance makes a huge looks difference when it comes to evaluating how clean the house is. And socks... Just keep them all folded and put them away. Having them all around the house could be fun, but it is not esthetic nor does it feel clean.
Do laundry ever day
However much or little there is, it takes almost the same amount of effort. We also have washing machines, so pressing a few buttons, moving clothes to a dryer and putting them away is not a hard daily task. For all those steps it could take as little as 5-10 minutes for the actual effort. The rest is done automatically by appliances. And it is much easier to tackle a little daily load rather than a weekly pile of dirty clothing.
Keep surfaces clean
Do not leave things laying on surfaces. Should it be a dish on a table, a ball on a floor, or a key on top of a cabinet, put it away right there and right then. Like many others, it is a little effort - big results practice. Don't let that little thing turn your nice countertop into a messy nest.
Wet wipe surfaces
Did someone make a juice drop on a table? Wet wipe the table! Did you notice the floor getting dirty? Wet wipe the floor in that area of the house. Did you just finish washing your face and made a splash? Wet wipe the surfaces around the sink. It takes little time and little effort yet yields an ever clean environment where anyone wants to be.
Eat only at the dining table
Crumbs are produced in volume when food is eaten. Having food on a couch or in a bedroom is not the best decision when it comes to having a clean house. It is many times easier to wipe a table and possibly underneath it than it is to clean crumbs in a carpet by a couch or in a bed. Having food exclusively at a designated table is a good idea from a cleanliness perspective.
Wash dishes right after use
Should it be a dishwasher or hand washing, does not matter. Wash dishes right after use. Did you just cook some eggs? Wash the pan before going to a table. Did you just finish eating? Wash all the dishes and cutlery before going anywhere else. It takes close to no energy to wash a few things. Also, things are not collected dirty this way. Do this little effort at first and in no time the habit will kick in. As a result, dishes will always be clean.
Put those dry dishes away now
Do you walk past the kitchen and noticed dishes did dry up? Put them away now. Total time invested: 30 seconds. Benefit: a feeling of satisfaction for a clean house.
Declutter the refrigerator
If there is any food that is due or you will not eat, throw it away. No need to keep a hold of that 2-year-old stake in a far corner of a freezer. Keeping your fridge stock at a minimum feels so much cleaner and more organized than having a fridge that is hard to close due to the amount of items in it.
Throw away every little garbage
If you see a little thing which is waiting to be thrown into a garbage can, throw it away immediately. It will cost you seconds but is essential to keep up in a struggle for a clean house. It is no matter how big or small the thing is, don't let anything sit around ruining the clean house picture.
Keep cleaning supplies handy
If all the mops, spay bottles and sponges for cleaning are stored in a garage, there is a high chance you will do cleaning less often than needed. Make convenience serve you in a journey of a clean house guard. Have a set in a kitchen, have a set in a washroom. Make it so, that moping a floor in a room takes you 5-10 minutes total. Convenience is your friend. Bring the friend in so that they could assist you.
Fast clean shower after each use
Whenever you are done with the shower, do a 2-minute cleanup. Spray off any shampoo off a wall, remove all hairs, and give it a fast wipe. It does not take long, yet a left hair or soap laying in a corner could ruin the nice picture of cleanliness you are trying to achieve.
Mop the floor at least weekly
There is always some dust. No air filtration system could keep it away from your house. So moping floors is a must. Giving it a quick mop with nice chemicals will make it smell nice in the house and will keep away so much dust. Air in the house will also be cleaner and fresher. No need to go crazy every week hitting each and every corner with a mop. But 95% of the floor space you want to wash. The other 5% you can get to once a month one room at a time.
Don't let outside dirt hit your floor. Katch it with door mats. They are easy to clean in a minute or two yet they really make a difference. They also provide a clear line of where outside shoes can't go. Guard that line of cleanliness in the house for clean floors and dust-free surfaces inside.
Schedule cleaning checks
The actual schedule and details are up to you, but you might want to have a routine of checking every that often every corner of the house. For example, before going to bed you could check one room every other day. Or maybe it is a general house check every Saturday morning. Whatever it is the goal is to make sure there is no corner in the house which gets no attention on a regular basis.
Take out the trash
Every day at least. Trash belongs to trash bins outside. Inside the house, you could have multiple trash cans, but they should not collect much of trash. And never leave compostable garbage inside for days. It should be thrown away before anyone could smell it even exists. This is the primary practice related to the air quality in the kitchen, so give it the attention it deserves. Some pro tip is to have small table trash cans if people spend much time in a room working online for example. They are extremely handy because there is always something to throw away. Small trash cans take in whatever otherwise ends up on the floor.
The above principles and practices will definitely turn your house into a world of cleanliness if applied consistently. Give it some effort and it will become easier the longer you do it.