You’ve finally managed to get the house right where you want it.
Everything is good to go and you’re ready to relax now.
Just like that *snaps fingers*. It’s back to the way it was and you can’t figure out what the hell happened.
(This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.)
It’s discouraging. I know. But, the good news is I’m going to give you 7 daily habits you can use to keep your house clean.
These are the daily habits that we use in my household to keep things clean and in order and I’m sure they will help you too. If you’ve struggled at all to keep your house clean and you want some simple things you can do every day to help, you’re in the right place. If you at least do these 7 things daily your house will stay manageable on autopilot.
Let’s get started!
Keep the Kitchen Sink and Counters Clear
For me, the kitchen is the focal point of the house. It’s also easy to have a messy kitchen because that’s where you eat, drink, and cook.
Every time you look around a new spill pops up. Ugh!
Here is what you can do.
I’ve noticed that when you keep your sink and counters clear throughout the day the kitchen overall looks kept. Make sure to put all dishes in the dishwasher and run it once at night #ForTheEnvironment. If you don’t have a dishwasher you’ll need to wash several times a day. I know this sounds horrible but after our dishwasher broke and we started handwashing I actually got used to it.
And if you stay on top of it you’ll only be washing small batches that should only take 3-5 minutes at a time. We don’t usually dry and put away dishes until the end of the night unless the rack gets full. Also, a good habit to have is to wipe down the counters after you wash dishes. This quick wipe down will keep your counters clean and spill free with almost no effort.
You’ve seen this on every list EVER.
You want to know why…
Because it really is one of the most important habits you and your family can have.
For several reasons.
It gets you in the right mindset as soon as you wake up. Once you pop out of bed and get it made you’ll start to notice if anything else is out of place or needs to be touched up. And honestly, it just makes your whole room look and feel better. Unless you sleep like a Tasmanian devil it shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes to make your bed. My wife and I simply pull up the sheets and blanket, pull out the wrinkles, and set the pillows. Done!
Clean up after each meal
This is a big one. After each meal, it’s important to get things back on track.
It’s easy to push it off until later but you know what…
Later comes and you still don’t feel like doing it, so things start to pile up.
Instead of letting it get out of control, get into the habit of doing these three things after each meal:
- Make sure all dishes are put away in dishwasher or washed
- wipe counters and clean any mess made from cooking
- wipe down dining table
- *Optional* Sweep up any food mess under and around table if necessary
Get everyone involved
You can’t be the only one in the house trying to keep it clean. This is a recipe for disaster.
Get your family involved in the day to day tasks and give your kids age appropriate chores.
If you have little ones (my kids are ages 11,8,7) teaching them how to clean up after themselves will only benefit them. When my kids were babies we would show them how to clean up their toys by singing the “Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere” song (I think it’s from Barney…not sure). But, they learned that after you are done playing you have to clean up.
Now that my kids are older we make sure they clean their rooms daily, make their beds, put dishes in the sink, wipe the table after meals, and whatever else they can do to help.
This takes some of the burden off of my wife and I, but it also teaches them responsibility and cleanliness. A win-win if you ask me.
Now if your spouse is the culprit here are some ways you can get them to help out:
- Sit down and talk: Yes, sounds simple but that’s not always the case. Let them know how you feel, why it’s important to you, and how they can help. Give your spouse that same space to speak as well. Getting on the same page can do wonders for the home.
- Use the G.A.D. factor: Some people call these pet peeves, I call it the Give A Damn factor. On a scale from 1 -10 what do you give a damn the most about? Do clothes not being put away bother you? Does your spouse always leave hair in the sink? Don’t just list off everything because that could come across as nagging. Find out what each of your top G.A.D. activities is and start there.
- Be realistic: If your spouse is the messiest person you know and you’re trying to get them to change, it’s going to take some time and patience. Don’t expect it to happen overnight and it probably won’t be done exactly how you want it. Don’t worry. Just keep at it.
Correct on the spot
Procrastination is the worst enemy to keeping your house clean.
Leaving things for later only makes it harder. Trust me.
You know how sometimes after you cook you’ll get those grease stains on the stove. Well, if you don’t clean those up immediately it makes it 10x harder when you do. You’ll have to put in all the elbow grease and it’s no bueno.
If you see something that needs to be done, just do it. It’s better to take a little time now than waiting and making it worse.
5 Minute Tidy up
Take a little time in the day to assess the “state” of the house. If things are getting messy then do a quick tidy up.
For example, in the living room make sure your pillows are in the right place and neat. This sounds trivial but I promise it makes a difference. We have throw blankets like these that we drape over our chairs in the living room and from time to time, we’ll refold them to keep things looking nice. That’s just a small example but you get the picture. A quick pick-up around the house (I’m talking 3-5 minutes) every so often will help you stay on top of things.
I’ve written about this in my post 45 tips for a clean and stress free home.
It helps to have some boundaries in the home that everyone is aware of and follows.
In my house we have a couple of boundaries we set that help keep everything clean and tidy.
Just to name a few:
- Shoes are taking off at the door and put onto the shoe rack
- No eating or drinking in the living room (with a few exceptions)
- Toys stay in the kids’ rooms. If they bring them out to play in the living room then they have to put them back once they are done.
- Cell phones stay in the kitchen when in the house. (this helps my wife and I focus on each other and the family)
If you’re a skimmer and you ended up here first 🙂 here is a quick recap of the list.
- Keep the Kitchen Sink and Counters Clear
- Make Beds
- Clean up after each meal
- Get everyone involved
- Correct on the spot
- 5 Minute Tidy Up
- Set Boundaries
That’s it. Just a few habits that I think will help you keep your house clean without all the hassle!
What habits do you think will help you most?
What else would you add to the list?