If you want to know how to keep your house clean, I’m sharing my best tips below, so keep reading! Big thank you to Endust for sponsoring this post.
Trying to keep a clean house while raising young children seems like an oxymoron. Am I right?
I have not one child, not two, but four children at home with me, all day long, as we homeschool. Their current ages are 2, 4, 7 and 7. They aren’t exactly super responsible for their own messes they make every day, especially the two-year-old who is notorious for making a lot of the messes around this home each day. They’re kids. I get it. Play and mess-making is a huge part of their life.
But, my husband and I really do like keeping a clean house anyway.
While our house is far from spotless and even farther away from being featured in some sort of home design magazine, it is clean and mostly organized.
If you’re wondering how to keep your house clean, especially with young children at home, may I suggest following the following cleaning habits that keep a house clean!
How to Keep Your House Clean
While there is the obvious answer of outsourcing your house cleaning, letting a professional clean your house for you (and there are some legit reasons to hire a maid) on a regular basis, not everyone can afford that or wants to spend their money on that when they could do it themselves.
The second cheat on how to keep a house clean is to use a robotic vacuum and/or robotic mop to automatically and regularly clean your floors for you.
I have never purchased or used one of these new cleaning robots, but do know several people that love them. Obviously, they won’t be scrubbing your toilets or shower walls anytime soon for you, so you’ll still have lots of cleaning to do yourself, unfortunately. But, if cleaning your floor regularly is difficult or too time-consuming, you may want to consider one of these gadgets to help you out.
Really though, the best thing you can do to keep your house clean is to embody certain habits and patterns in your daily life.
Secrets to Keeping a Clean House
1. Make It a Family Effort.
It is not the wife’s or mom’s sole responsibility to clean the house and do the laundry. Absolutely not. Everyone contributes to the mess in the house so everyone can help do at least something to clean it up and keep it clean (babies and inept individuals excused).
I’m a firm believer in chores. There is so much research out there stating the amazing benefits of chores for children, so don’t rob your children of them! Start your children young with various age-appropriate chores and tasks. Let them know early on that you clean up after themselves and show them how to clean.
And bonus: you don’t need to pay kids for doing chores.
Work together as a family to take out trash, fold and put away laundry, load and unload the dishwasher, clean up after dinner, pick up the house, and clean the bathrooms. Make it a group effort, put on music, set timers, reward yourself with a little treat afterward, whatever you want to do, but clean as a family.
2. Prioritize a Clean Home.
It’s one thing to want a clean home, and it’s another to make it happen. People who maintain a clean home do it because it is important to them.
If you hate the constant messes, disorganization, tripping over crap that isn’t put away, and so on, then the only course of action is to take action. You have to make it a top priority or it just won’t happen, as we all like to put off tasks until later. Cleaning later leads to more overwhelm as more things continue to pile up.
3. Declutter Ruthlessly and Regularly.
It is very hard to keep your house clean and organized when it is overflowing with stuff. More stuff leads to more overwhelm and feelings of “why even bother.”
That’s why it is so important that you get rid of as much stuff as possible and to stop bringing in more things than you really need.
As a homeschooling family of six, living in a small 1292 square foot townhome, you better believe we declutter regularly! We don’t buy new toys for our kids except for birthdays and Christmas by and large, nor for ourselves.
Part of this decluttering regularly includes:
- Taking care of the mail daily, rather than letting it pile up.
- Throwing away papers/art/school stuff daily.
- Packing away non-essential and seasonal items. We have a storage unit for this, as well as boxes and tubs and closets.
- Donating or selling items we no longer use or no longer want or need.
4. Organizing and Assigning Everything Its Own Place
It’s hard to “put something away” if that something doesn’t have a place to be put!
It’s very important in order to maintain a clean home that there is a place assigned for everything. You do not need to have cute coordinating containers, bins, or cubby holes to be organized, but you do need assigned places and some way of storing various items.
This is especially true for high-use items like shoes, jackets/coats, purses, keys, clothes, toys, books, important papers, and food.
We have a shoe rack on the inside of our closet door where everyone is supposed to keep their shoes, and on the outside of the door we hang jackets and purses and hats. We have bins and plastic storage for toys and library books, and cabinets for homeschool supplies, and so on. Even our small apartment has organization systems in place.
5. Use Better Cleaning Products and Cleaning Techniques
Cleaning can take longer if you don’t use the right products or the right cleaning methods and techniques.
If you are familiar with my site at all, you know that I regularly share cleaning tutorials that test out various cleaning agents and methods to clean whatever stain or mess in your house (which I compiled into my ebook Speed Clean the Deep Clean).
I’m a huge believer that you need to know what works and what is a waste of your time. Some cleaning products simply aren’t worth the price or effort to use them.
That’s why I like using products like Endust Lemon multi-surface spray which doesn’t just remove dust, it’s also a cleaning spray that removes dirt, fingerprints, allergens, and smudges. Plus, it can be used on multiple different surfaces including furniture, cabinets, countertops, paneling, window sills, non-fabric blinds, car dashboards, and more.
I’ve been using it in my kitchen and other places around my home for over a year and love the smell and how well it works. It helps keep the dust at bay off my flat surfaces, and removes all those tiny little fingerprints at the same time.
Work smarter, not harder people!
One of my favorite cleaning hacks is to sweep off my carpeted stairs and my rug downstairs rather than pulling out the vacuum!
Vacuuming stairs is time-consuming, and our vacuum is heavy to lug up and down the stairs (we only have carpet upstairs so it’s stored in the upstairs closet). To save time and still have clean rugs and carpet, a quick sweep with a broom works really well!
6. Create and Maintain a Cleaning Schedule
I feel like this is the big one secret to keeping a house clean. You need to have some sort of system, pattern, routine, or habit of cleaning certain items at certain times or days.
While we can all, and likely often do, frantically clean our house top to bottom before company arrives, it will not stay clean and put together for more than about a day or two (especially if you have kids) if you don’t maintain it.
Way back in 2012, my husband and I created a Household Cleaning Checklist for ourselves that included daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, and monthly cleaning tasks.
Each day we had set things to clean and do as well as one weekly chore, depending on what day of the week it was.
Each day of the week was then assigned a specific, slightly bigger cleaning job, with Saturday being left for the big cleaning jobs like the bathrooms, cleaning out vehicles, washing all the bedding/blankets/linens, and vacuuming all of the carpeting.
We’ve more or less followed this cleaning schedule for the last five years. We aren’t always perfect about it, but somethings, especially the daily cleaning tasks, have become habit and routine at this point.
I encourage you to download our template for yourself by entering your email in the box below that way you can edit it to fit your family’s needs. If you have problems more with cleaning your bathrooms, I also have a handy bathroom cleaning checklist too.
How to keep a house clean is very much dependent on the cleaning tasks you do each day.
As the kitchen is the lifeblood of the home, I make sure that every day we:
- Load, run, and unload the dishwasher.
- Wipe off the tables after every meal.
- Wipe down the dining chairs.
- Clean and wipe down the countertops, stove, and sink.
- Wash pots and pans by hand after dinner every night.
- Sweep the floors every night (sometimes multiple times a day).
- Pack up all leftovers and put away all boxes and cooking supplies.
- Take out the trash and recycling.
If you are having a big dinner party at your home, then be sure to clean these seven things before you go to bed.
In addition to the kitchen, we also do these household cleaning tasks every day:
- Make our beds (even the kids).
- Pick up toys, shoes, books, papers, and other items and put them away.
- Put dirty laundry in our baskets (the kids are working on this one still).
- Hang up wet towels instead of leaving them on the floor or beds (kids definitely still working on this).
- Clean our bedrooms (mostly the kids).
7. Clean as You Go During the Day.
During the day, if you come across something that doesn’t belong in its current resting place (like that sock, shoe, toy, crayon, or blanket lying on the floor), then pick it up and put it where it goes.
Instead of having to clean it up later, you can do many small pickup tasks as you simply go about your day. I am much better about this than anyone else in my family, which is likely unsurprising if you know kids ages 2-7 who are seemingly oblivious to stuff currently under their feet that they shouldn’t, in fact, be standing on.
I also recommend embracing “the one-touch rule.“ This means that if you touch something it goes immediately to its proper home, not to another holding area.
If you get the mail, go through it right away, and throw away or file it accordingly. If you take off your shoes, put them away immediately. Instead of walking in the door, taking off your coat and draping it on the back of a chair, hang it up in the closet instead.
Also, make it a rule that you clean up after yourself as soon as you are done with whatever you are doing. We are trying to instill this in our kids, but also to make sure we do it ourselves. This means putting away all the crafting supplies after you’re done with a project, packing up the board game when you’re done playing it, placing the train tracks and LEGOs back in their respective homes when done playing, and so on.
And if you make a mess, clean it up right away. Don’t leave milk spills, water spills, cereal, food, and other spills for later. The sooner you clean it up the less scrubbing and elbow grease you’ll put in later. I’ve taught my kids from toddlerhood that “if you make a mess, you clean it up.“
8. Create Clean Habits and Patterns
When it comes to maintaining a clean home, it helps if you buy items that are naturally easier to clean and care for, and use items which limit the spread of messes like door mats and entry rugs.
You should also establish some household rules that limit messes.
For example in our home we have the following rules that help keep it cleaner:
- Take your shoes off as soon as you come inside and put them away!
- Food and drinks are only to be consumed at the dining room table.
- Shoes are not allowed on the sofa or beds.
- Toys stay in the toy room and bedrooms. While the kids can bring down toys during the day, the toys’ home is not downstairs.
- Drinks are poured after the food has been served and meal blessed. They stay in front of their plates, not near the edge of the table.
- No toys allowed at the table, especially while eating.
- No eating in dress-up clothes or wearing them outside to play in.
These rules help keep messes to certain areas of our home, letting us clean less often. Big win for sure.
9. Keep on Top of Laundry
I don’t love doing laundry. I detest putting it away, but I religiously do our laundry every week anyway. I have adopted a 3-day laundry system where I wash everything in the house on Mondays, fold it all (with help from the three oldest) on Tuesdays and either put it away the same day or the next, leaving me with several days without having to wash, fold, or put away laundry, which is a total win for me.
This laundry system won’t work for everyone, but for our family, it works pretty well. Regardless, having your own system is important! You can assign different days of the week to specific family members or rooms in the house, or gather all the laundry each day and fold and put it away in one go.
The important thing is that you create a system that prevents laundry piles or baskets full of clothes to sit around your house (couch or bed the most likely culprits) for days or weeks. It leads to more messes as dirty clothes end up all over the floors as the baskets are occupied with clean clothes.
Find a system and stick to it.
10. Tackle Big Cleaning Projects One at a Time
I don’t love spending my entire Saturday cleaning my entire house. I’d rather spend it doing something fun!
Thus, if you can break up your bigger cleaning projects into one-off jobs, you will avoid getting cleaner burnout (which is a thing, right?). Deep cleaning one specific thing in your home, like cleaning out and washing the car, removing pee stains from mattresses, removing mold from shower caulking, or cleaning the bathtub, will make it seem more feasible to complete.
11. Keep Your Cleaning Supplies Stocked and Clean
It’s hard to keep your house clean if you don’t have the right cleaning tools on-hand or your cleaning supplies aren’t actually clean!
It’s important to regularly swap out and wash your kitchen towels, cloths, sponges, and brushes. Be sure to clean out the various cleaning supplies you have, and make sure you have your favorite cleaning tools in stock so you can maintain your cleaning schedule.
Those are most of the tips I have on how to keep your home clean! I do not promise your house will be spotless if you do all of the above, because it won’t. Life happens. Things come up, things much more important than cleaning the toilet. Give yourself some grace from time to time, and remember that developing new habits takes time! Convincing your family that a clean house needs to be a priority takes time and effort as well.
But, your house can for sure be much cleaner if you embrace the above tips.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Endust. The opinions and text are all mine.