45 Rock Solid Tips for a Clean and Stress Free Home

So you’ve tried everything.

You tried the “clean on the weekends” thing and it didn’t work.

You tried to “knock it all out in one day” but that only left you stressed during the week and dreading the cleaning day.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.)

When it’s time to clean it’s a struggle because you’re just not feeling it.

And let’s face it…

You’re not really getting much help either.

stressed vacuuming

(Shoutout to my wife for her artistic skills)

No matter what you try it seems like you will never be able to have that clean house we all want.

You know the one I’m talking about.

A house that has you smiling like one of those people in those old Folgers commercials.

That kind of house.

Well, I have some good news for you today.

I put together 45 tips you can use to get rid of the mess for good.

And let me tell you…

I got some good stuff!

Motivation, routines, tips, tricks!

It’s all here and it’s coming from some of your favorite bloggers, professional organizers,  mothers-in-law, and things I’ve learned over the years.

I know you are as excited as me so let’s get started!




1. Start a morning routine- Ruth Soukup from Livingwellspendingless.com wrote a great article on creating a morning routine that works. Try waking up before the rest of the house is moving and taking some time to plan out your day.

2. Start a night time routine- One of the best ways to get ready for the next day starts the night before. A simple night routine is the best answer. Each night we make sure the dinner table is cleaned and set. The dishes are washed and put away. Countertops are clear and wiped, and any toys or loose items are put away. If night time is crazy for you Crystal over at MoneySavingMom.com has a great course on how to take control of your evenings. 

3. Fanblades to Baseboards Fridays- During the week you can do some light cleaning but save the heavy duty, gloves in hand, I’m bout to go in stuff for Friday. My mother-in-law Linda swears by this method. Here’s the trick. Everyone and I mean everyone in the house is cleaning something. If I was at my then girlfriend’s house (now my wife) on Friday then guess what. I was cleaning. No exceptions. I was 17 at my girlfriend’s house cleaning windows on a Friday.?

4. Zones, Zones, Zones- Sometimes just thinking about cleaning the house is overwhelming. All those rooms, the kitchen, the floors! It’s enough to make you want to quit before you even start. Don’t worry though Jen from HowJenDoesIt has a boss way of getting stuff done around the house. She separates the house into zones and then focuses the cleaning ONLY in that zone. This way you can get more done in less time.



5. Pick three– We’re not talking about the lotto here. Pick three areas in your house that you can’t stand to be dirty. For me it’s the kitchen, the living room, and the toy area. This is where you will focus your daily cleaning. With your top 3 areas staying clean you will find it less stressful and easier to get other things done in the house.

6. Surface clean- This is something you could in 10 to 15 minutes. Go through each room and clear the surfaces of any trash and do a quick wipe down.

7. Out with the old- But not in with the new. Clutter sneaks up on us out of nowhere. One day you look up and your buried under a pile of stuff. Clutter doesn’t allow you or the home to breathe. It restricts you from creating the right environment in the house. Every three to six months we like to do a purge in my home. We go through old clothes, toys, tools, anything that can be thrown…we throw it out. If we can donate it then that’s what we do. It’s important to get rid of the clutter in the home and see things more clearly. One of my FAVORITE sites on all things home is www.organisemyhouse.com. Chrissy has so many great articles on decluttering and getting organized to simplify your life. Check out her advice on making decluttering less emotional.

8. Tidy up- A clean house is a constant battle and half of it is just keeping things nice and neat. Throughout the day keep an eye on the condition of the house. A quick pick up here and there will maintain your sanity and the look of your house.

9. Power hour- Set aside one hour a day to do a focused cleaning. What do you do in that hour? No worries. Nikki from AtHomeWithNikki has the answer. She shows you her 1 hour home cleaning routine in this video.

A clean house is a constant battle and half of it is just keeping things nice and neat.



10. Music- Music is a great motivator to get up and get moving. My family knows that if my wife and I are in the kitchen and the JamBox gets powered up, that probably means we are about to go in on some cleaning. If you are just not feeling it one day but you know some cleaning needs to get done. Try this.  Pull out your favorite playlist. These HAVE to be songs that get you going. We don’t need any slow love songs right now because you are about to go into battle. If your speakers turn up to 10 then turn them up to 11. Open some windows and get some fresh air blowing in the house. Grab your cleaning products and lose yourself.

11. Relax a bit- You put way to much stress on yourself to keep things perfect. I hate to tell you but it’ll never be perfect. Kids will be kids and they are going to make messes. Your husband is going to leave his clothes on the floor. The dog is going to drag dirt from outside in the house. That’s life. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Learn to relax and take things as they come. 

12. Reward yourself- Take some time each day to congratulate yourself. Seriously. What have you done for yourself lately? Everyday you give yourself to others either family, friends, work, your church. But how many times do you stop and do something just for you. A little time out of the day just for you won’t hurt anyone.

13. Change your perception– Not many people get excited thinking about cleaning the house. In fact most people immediately give you the head up/shoulders down/loud sigh when it comes time to clean. This can change just by doing one thing. Changing the way you THINK about cleaning. I use cleaning as a time to tune out and relax. I’ll put headphones on and zone out. By thinking about cleaning as relaxing you can trick your mind into wanting to do it more. Even Buddhist Monks use cleaning as a way to calm and focus the spirit.

14. Start with the end in mind- I loooove a clean house. It makes me feel calm, more focused, and just comfortable. Knowing how a clean house makes me feel is enough to get me up and cleaning. Do I want to clean most days? Not really. But knowing that when we are done we can finally chill and sit, we get it done.

15. Take a picture- This may sound silly but sometimes after my wife and I get done with some cleaning I’ll snap a pic. Its a fun way to congratulate yourself for a job well done.

16. Move things around- Sometimes all the motivation you need can come from just changing things up a bit. Looking at the same ole furniture in the same ole living room in the same ole position can get boring quick. Moves things around. Try a new arrangement. Take something old and use it in a different way.

17. Try some new products- If you’ve been using the same boring cleaners for the last ten years go out and try some new products. We recently began using Method brand products in my home. They are non-toxic plant based cleaners that have been great for us as we have been transitioning our house into a more “green” environment.

18. Don’t whine- Whining. Making excuses. Complaining. It’s never gotten anyone anywhere. Yeah it may suck but you gotta do what you gotta do. So put on some gloves. Knuckledown. And get to it.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Learn to relax and take things as they come




19. Set a timer- Don’t have much time. No problem. Pull out your phone or use the microwave…anything with a timer. Set it for ten minutes and focus on ONE task or ONE area. For example. I’m going to set my timer and do the dishes or set the timer and clean the kitchen. Got it. Go hard for that amount of time and when it’s up STOP.

20. Take advantage of free time- Anytime the house is empty or you are free use that time to tidy the house. If the babies are napping. Perfect. The kids are outside playing. Perfect. 5 minutes here and there goes along way in the end.

21. Clean as you go- The old saying goes “don’t leave for later what you can do now”…or something like that. Anyways. Keeping a clean house is a constant process. If something is on the floor pick it up. If there is a spill wipe it up. Saving it for later will eventually lead to it never getting done. By the way, as a side note, when I say you should be doing this stuff I really mean everyone in the house. It’s not your responsibility to clean after everyone. #AmIRiteorAmIRite

22. Set up mini cleaning stations- In each bathroom of my house we have a cleaning caddy with only the essential cleaning products we need. It’ll contain glass cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner, gloves, a rag or two…etc. This way you have easy access to cleaning items wherever you are in the house.

23. Make a calendar- The easiest way to stay on track is to schedule when things will get done. The hard part is to find a schedule that works for you. Becky over at www.cleanmama.net is a pro at this and her great printables and daily cleaning schedules will have your house shining in no time.

24. Use your resources- Take a look around. Do you have enough hangers? Would an extra laundry basket help? Are you using the dishwasher? How about storage bins to organize? Use what you can to save time and be more organized.

25. Set boundaries- Having boundaries helps you keep the mess under control. Some boundaries in my home include no shoes in the house, no toys upstairs, and no eating in the living room. Here is an IG post I did about boundaries in the home.

26. Crawl before you walk- If you are struggling to get your house in order the best thing you can do is to start small. Trying to do too much all at once leads to overwhelm. Small task first then move on to the big stuff.

27. Choose one thing and do that- If there is a recurring theme in this list I would say this is it. Just starting is usually the hardest part when it comes to doing new things. So instead of looking at the big picture, think small. In “The One Thing” written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan they ask this question: What’s the ONE thing I can do right now such that everything else becomes easier or unnecessary? Read that again. Ask yourself this question and do that.

28. A place for everything/everything in its place- This is home organization 101. Everything in your home needs a “home”. If not you will have shoes in the kitchen, papers on the table, and random stuff everywhere. Have a place to put things and make sure everyone in the home knows where it goes.

29. Leave the space better than when you got there-  Here is a tip that everyone in the household could adopt. If you are leaving a room try to do one thing to make that room better. Whether it is picking up a cup or straightening up some pillows.

30. Pickup before you leave- If you know you will be out of the house for awhile do a pick-up before you go. We usually make sure their are no dishes, nothing on the floors, and the house is overall tidy. That way when you come home you can smile because you know the house is nice and clean.

31. Make the bed- You’ve heard this one time and time again. You know why? Because it’s absolutely true. The simple act of making the bed in the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. May sound crazy but it’s true.

32. Bedrooms in the morning and night- An extension on number 31. This one is for the kids. Have them make their beds and clean their rooms every morning and before bed at night. This is a good habit for them to learn.

33. Get everyone involved- Don’t put this all on yourself. Get everyone in the house involved in taking care of the house. Teach your kids to clean after themselves and take responsibility. You and your spouse should be on the same page when it comes to household duties. This is not 1955 and I do not believe in “women in the kitchen” “men do the work”. I’m a husband and I will scrub the floors just as fast as my wife will wash the car. Come up with a plan both of you can agree on.

34. Hire somebody- Sometimes #aintnobodygottimeforthat. If things are too crazy and you know you need some help, hire.

35. In between commercials- Just like it says. During the commercials of your favorite shows you can do a little cleaning. It’s a good way to get up and move around a bit.

36. Do what you hate first- Just get it out of the way. If you hate cleaning the bathroom (raising my hand) then do that first. That way everything else is easy peezy lemon squueezy. (you can thank my son for that little rhyme)

37. Make it a game- You’re having a tough time getting your family to clean. Instead of getting frustrated and just doing it yourself, make it a game. To get my son (5 year old) to vacuum we like to pretend that we are explorers mining for gold?. Its fun and my kids clean so it’s a win win.

38. Laundry- Oh that dreaded word. Laundry is one of the least favorite chores in my house but we have a system that makes it a little easier. My wife will put a load of laundry in first thing in the morning and folds right away. She will take the clothes to each room and place them on the beds. Everyone is responsible to put away their own clothes. Then a load is usually done in the evenings. It’s work but doing this daily allows us to stay on top of it and not get caught in a mountain of dirty clothes. Small loads = less work.

39. I Robot- I’m a fan of daily vacuuming. My kids love to find ways to get stuff all over the carpet and when I’m walking around I don’t want to feel like I’m walking on the beach. Daily vacuuming may sound like overkill to you and honestly most of us just don’t have the time to do that. If that sounds like you I would recommend checking out the Roomba. It’s a self propelled vacuuming robot. You just sit back and it does all the work. I don’t own one personally but the reviews from friends is that it’s legit.

40. Racks on Racks on Racks- I have a family of five and there are a lot of shoes floating around our house. After tripping over shoes daily we finally decided to buy some shoe racks. We have a rack at the door and a rack in each of our bedroom closets. The kids know as soon as you step in the house your shoes go on the rack. If you are in for the day take them upstairs and put them away. This makes it easier for them to clean their room and to store the shoes.

41. Know your HABITat- Your habitat is defined as your natural surroundings. What I am talking about here is how do your habits affect your natural surroundings (aka home)? Do you clean spills immediately or wait until later? Do you allow dishes to pile in the sink or do you wash them as soon as your done? Is your day planned out or do you find yourself jumping from task to task but not really getting anything done? Learning how to develop the right habits can change things around drastically.

42. Buy a steam cleaner- By far the BEST investment we have ever made for the house is buying a steam cleaner. At one point in my life I had a 4 year old, a 1 year old, and a new baby crawling around my house. You can just imagine all the messes being made! My Bissell has saved my carpets and really my life (a bit of an exaggeration…but not really) so many times. Just the other day my wife was eating salsa in the living room and dropped the entire bowl on the carpet. Now most people would freak out. Nope. I just pull out my Bissell and watch the stains disappear. For real for real. You have to get one.

43. Oh oh it’s magic- I don’t know what the hell magic erasers are made of but they work. Keep these on deck at all times. They are good for cleaning up those odd messes in the house. Fingernail polish on your floor, marker on the wall. These are a must have for sure.

44. Vinegar has superpowers- Seriously. Vinegar will clean anything. Mix it with the right stuff and throw a little elbow grease in there and you’ve got all you need. Melissa Maker from CleanMySpace is a YouTuber, an entrepreneur, and overall cleaning badass. She has several videos on the different ways to clean with vinegar that you’ll find interesting.

45. Have fun- Smile. Laugh more. Love life. That’s all!

What tips do you have that didn’t make it on the list?

What’s the biggest frustration you have when it comes to keeping a clean and stress free house?

Derrick Deon

Derrick Deon

It's time to simplify homemaking. I write about practical ways to take the overwhelm and frustration out of your home and turn it into your own personal haven. You'll find tips on organization, cleaning, marriage, and everyday life that'll encourage and motivate you to create the home that is a real reflection of you.

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