7 Daily Habits That Will Keep Your House Clean and Tidy
We all want a clean and tidy house, but very few of us have the time (or desire) to spend our days cleaning. I don't know about you, but I want to spend as much time as I can playing with my kids, enjoying my hobbies, and living my life. I don't mind cleaning, but it's not something I want to spend every spare moment doing.
I've found that by implementing these 7 simple habits into my daily routine, my house stays cleaner and tidier without my spending all day surface-cleaning my house.
Obviously, these 7 habits alone aren't going to magically make your house magazine perfect, but who wants to live in a magazine?
No, these habits wont make your home perfectly clean and tidy, but doing them everyday will make your home "clean enough" on a regular basis.
"Clean enough for what?" you ask?
Clean enough to invite the neighbor in for coffee.
Clean enough to free up your regular cleaning time for that deep cleaning chore or home project you never find time to do.
Clean enough to serve your family and function for you the way it's supposed to-- your dining room table: inviting your family to sit and enjoy a meal together, your living room: welcoming you to sit and relax, and your kitchen: ready for you to cook your favorite meal.
Daily Habit # 1: Make Your Bed
No list for daily housekeeping habits would be complete without including this tip, so I know you knew this one was coming: make your bed.
Making your bed takes just a couple minutes, but its effects last all day. A made bed makes the room feel restful and inviting, not to mention, instantly much cleaner. Try to get into the habit of making your bed each day and while your at it, grab that glass and your laundry from the night before.
Daily Habit # 2: Wipe Down the Bathrooms
I got into this habit when my daughter was in First Steps and we had therapists coming to the house every day. It made such a difference that I have done it ever since.
After everyone gets ready for the day, there's inevitably toothpaste on the sink, and a mess on the counter. I take a minute to make sure everything is put away and then, I simply take a cleaning wipe and wipe down the counter, sink and toilet (lid, then seat, then under the seat) in that order.
It doesn't take more than a minute for each bathroom, and if you've ever had a last minute guest ask to use your "unprepared" bathroom, you'll understand why I find it a minute so well spent!
Back to those cleaning wipes, I use Greenworks Compostable Cleaning Wipes. They work well, without all the extra chemicals--You can read more about the problems with chemical cleaners here. I keep a canister under the sink in both bathrooms so I can quickly wipe everything down every morning and whenever needed.
And with 4 kids and 3 pets, it's needed A LOT.
Daily Habit # 3: Do One Load of Laundry
Next on my list of daily habits that will keep your house reasonably clean and tidy without a huge amount of work is to do a little laundry every day.
I know. Our grandmothers had "laundry day" rather than "daily laundry," but when I've tried this I was overwhelmed by 5 loads of laundry to fold all at once. Who has time for that?
Instead, I start a load of laundry while I'm getting ready for the day. One load a day is manageable, even on my busiest days and ensures that everyone has clean underwear.
By the time the kids get home from school, I try to have the load dried, separated and ready for everyone to put their clothes away before dinner. Instead of spending an hour separating laundry, I spend maybe 10 minutes.
Daily Habit # 4: Keep Your Sink Empty and Dry
Moving into the main spaces in your house, this next tip does for your kitchen what making the bed does for your bedroom. Make it a habit to keep your sink empty and dry. Ten years ago, Fly lady promised me that keeping my sink empty and shiny would not only make my kitchen look tidier, but would also encourage me to keep the whole kitchen cleaner.
She was right.
Start each day by unloading your dishwasher so it's ready to receive your dirty dishes all day. Breakfast dishes go straight into the dishwasher. Same with lunch. If all the kids are home, I will usually need to run and unload the dishwasher after lunch and then again after supper.
At the end of the night, I take my towel and dry off the sink and the counters around it. It's lovely to walk out to my kitchen the next morning and fill my coffee pot from a bright, clean sink.
Daily Habit # 5: Keep Your Counters Clear
A clean sink alone won't keep your kitchen tidy and functioning well, no matter how shiny. So, this next habit addresses your countertops.
We all know that keeping your counters clear is important. We need a space for things like meal prep, coffee with a friend, or homework, and wouldn't it be nice to not have to move things around to make space first? We all have good intentions to keep our counters clear, but somehow mail, kids' toys, and the most random things end up taking up residence there. You can beat the clutter monster in your kitchen. Commit to keeping your counters clear so they are always ready for you to use.
Start with the basics: Make it a habit to put away all food after using it, putting the dishes in the dishwasher, and asking your children to put away their toys. Is stuff still accumulating there? Try keeping a small basket in one corner of your counter for all the small random items that make their way to your counter and don't have an easy-to-remember home.
If I'm in a hurry or feeling overwhelmed--and I usually am--I just toss all little random items in the basket Once a day or every few days, go through the basket and empty it out, putting everything away or throwing it out.
To keep paper corralled, try using a second basket in a cabinet or nearby closet to hold all the paper that makes it's way into your house. Once a week, on Sundays maybe, sit down with a cup of coffee and go through the basket, filing or acting on the papers.
These two tricks will help you keep your counters clear and your kitchen much tidier.
Daily Habit # 6: Sweep your Floor
Want to have a house that is effortlessly cleaner? Sweep your hard floors every day, especially if you have young children or pets. I know. I was resistant to the idea at first also--but I quickly learned that with small children and pets, it really is a necessity to keep up with pet hair and kid messes.
I used to sweep the "old fashioned way," with a broom and dustpan, but about a year ago, I bought a Black and Decker battery powered stick vacuum that made this task so easy and quick that it takes maybe five minutes to quickly sweep the main areas of my home.
It's super lightweight and is great for picking up dog hair, grass, dirt and small debris. The battery lasts about 15-20 minutes between charges, which is plenty. I usually sweep the floors and then use the upholstery attachment to sweep the couches as needed. The canister is small, but I just empty it after each use--no big deal.
The best part? My husband, who would never offer to sweep with the broom quickly vacuums our hardwood floors every evening. Yes, it's like the easiest chore, but at least now it's one I don't have to do. If you have hard floors throughout your house, I highly recommend a hard-wood-floor vacuum.
Either way, it's well worth the time it takes to sweep your floor every day, especially after mealtime if you have littles in the house.--Does any of that food even make it to their mouths?
Daily Habit # 7: Play the 10 Minute Pick-up Game
This last habit, is definitely one for the whole family to jump in on together. The 10-Minute Pick-up game is pretty much just what it sounds. Set a timer, turn on some music and have everyone rush to pick up as many things as they can within the set amount of time.
We actually play the 10-minute clean up game multiple times a day, usually before lunch, before dinner and right before bed. If you have younger children, you may want to work on each room or area of you house together. As my children have gotten older, I can now assign each of them a room to work on independently.
This works great for helping your kids keep their bedrooms a little bit cleaner too, by the way!
Remember, you are only tidying up during the 10-minute game. Don't get sidetracked organizing or dusting. Yes, that shelf really needs dusted, but you can do that when the game it over. Stick to putting away everything that is out where it doesn't belong and you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in just 10 minutes.
Have these tips been helpful? I'd love to hear from you. What daily habits have you found to be helpful for you? Share with me in the comment section! Happy homemaking.