How I Keep My House Looking Clean All the Time

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I’ve always been a bit of a neat freak. In fact, I remember as a kid going over to my friend’s homes for sleepovers and I would clean their rooms because I thought it was so fun. Yes, I was a bit of a strange kid. But even back then I loved the thrill of the “before and after” and couldn’t help but organize all of my friends’ stuffed animals neatly in their bedrooms. 

Luckily, I no longer tidy up after my friends (ha!), but I do keep my home looking neat a majority of the time. And I’m grateful that my roomie, Mr. Finn, is clean and organized as well. But a common question I get when posting a photo on the blog or Instagram is, “does your home REALLY look like that all the time?” And honestly…it usually does! Of course it’s not perfectly styled 24/7, but most of the time things are put away, beds are made, and things are clean.

As Bridget & I discussed in this post, we both have cleaning ladies that come twice a month. We felt a bit of guilt over it at first, but soon realized that the time we gained on the weekends not cleaning was money well spent! Less cleaning = more blogging. It’s nice to have the pro come over to do the bathrooms and really get things clean, but I do still have to pick up and do light cleaning during the week to keep things looking good. 

For me, it’s all about small habits that I do on a daily and weekly basis to keep things looking their best. Here’s what I do to keep our house tidy and fairly clean at all times.

Make Your Bed Everyday

I make my bed every single day and it’s a task that I actually enjoy doing. The last thing I want when I come home from work is to see a messy bedroom with pillows all over the place. So I take the extra 5 minutes in the morning to make my bed. It’s nice to accomplish something (even if it’s small!) right away in the morning.

Don’t Leave Dishes in the Sink Overnight

Finn does all of the cooking in our household (I know…I’m one lucky gal!), so I always volunteer to do the dishes. Sometimes I don’t do them immediately after dinner, but I always try to get them done before going to bed for the night. The last thing I want is to wake up and come out to a dirty kitchen. So taking the time to wash the dishes, load the dishwasher, and wash off the countertops is a nice way to end the evening. Plus, once I’m done with those tasks I’ll light a candle and join Finn on the couch for some R&R.

Do Laundry…Constantly

Instead of waiting for my hamper to get jam-packed with dirty clothes, I do laundry a few times a week. It is way more manageable for me. I’ll often get home from work, throw in a load, and then go about the rest of my evening. I’ll often end the night sitting on the floor folding clothes after dinner. Folding clothes is my least favorite task in the entire laundry process, but by keeping the loads small it’s never an unwieldy amount.

Mop Your Floors 1x per Week

For 2 people who don’t have kids or pets (and who take their shoes off at the door) it’s amazing how dirty our floors get! Maybe it’s because our hardwood floors are a dark stain, but they truly show everything and it drives me bonkers to see dust bunnies all over the place.But I just added a new cleaning tool to my arsenal that is making this chore a heck of a lot easier! This ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop is now my go-to item to keep our hardwood floors clean. The mop head is way larger than my old mop, so I can zip around our 1,200 square foot condo in no time. Plus, I used to go through 2 pads on my old mop…but this one is double-sided and flips 180 degrees. So once one side gets dirty, I flip it on over without having to change the mop head.

I use a mixture of vinegar, warm water, and a few drops of lemon essential oil (to cut the smell of the vinegar) that comes in a fine mist out of the dispenser. By the time I’m done cleaning, the mop head is usually filthy, so I just throw it in the laundry and it’s good to go for the next week.

It’s so funny because whenever it’s mopping time, I always give Finn a 5-minute warning so he can go to the bathroom, get all of his essentials, and park himself on the rug in our living room to work or watch sports. That way he won’t step on the wet surface and I can zip around covering every nook and cranny of our hardwood floors and bathroom tiles. Mopping like this 1x a week makes our house look much cleaner and it gets rid of all those dreaded crumbs and dust bunnies that quickly accumulate.

If you’re looking to up your cleaning game, this mop has been a game changer in the Finn household.

Put Items Back in Place

When you live in a small space, things can get hectic quickly if you don’t put things away. That’s why it’s so important to have an organizational system in place for all of your items. A place for your keys, a place for your bag, a place for the mail, etc. By putting things back where they’re supposed to go, your home will naturally much tidier.

In the mornings, I often do a quick clean up before heading out to work. I’ll put the remote control in its spot, fold the blankets on the couch, fluff the pillows, and generally just make sure everything is in its “home”. That way when I come home from work our place is a calming retreat away from the chaos of my day.

Get Rid of Clutter

Both Bridget & I have embraced minimalism in our homes and in our closets and it has truly changed the way we live. We haven’t gone to any extremes, but we have both learned how to live with less. The “one in, one out” method is a good way to make sure you’re never accumulating too much stuff, as well as my paper bag method. Plus seasonal purges are always a smart idea…especially when you live in a small home.

I definitely won’t say that our home is always clean and perfectly tidy, but following these habits keeps the mess at bay. Now I’m dying to know…how do you keep your home looking good? Any other habits I should add to the mix?

Casey

  • Whitney Regeth

    I love these tips! You never know when friends and family are going to stop in. If all else fails, light a candle (:

    • haha you are so right! And I’m candle obsessed too!

  • This is pretty much exactly what we do! I am fastidious about ALWAYS making the bed, even when I’m sick, even when I was on crutches. I cannot stand to have it unmade. We have a 4 year old and he makes messes but we try to have him clean up before his quiet time and before bedtime. If we get surprise visitors while he’s up though, there will probably be toys every where but I can live with that.

    • Diana…happy to hear you can still stay clean even with kids! Love that you have already instilled clean up time into his routine. So smart!

  • Love these tips and I too am a neat freak and I find myself tidying and arranging things in the weirdest places…like sometimes when I am shopping and a display has gotten picked over I find myself straightening it up without even realizing it! My challenge is that several of my roommates – my husband and kids – are not naturally tidy and organized, so that makes me a bit crazy. I at least have 1 kiddo on my side, my youngest is my mini me and is extremely tidy and organized. I have been in the process of purging our home for what feels like forever, and sometimes I get discouraged. It seems like I tackle one pile or area and I turn around and there are 2 more piles!
    I love that mop, I have a swiffer wet jet, but Casey yours is a reusable, non toxic version, sign me up!

    • haha cracking up over here at the thought of you straightening up displays when shopping! Hilarious!

      And yes, love that the mop is a bit more eco-friendly than what I was using before.

    • Erin M

      I have a Swiffer wet jet, too. I got some washable fabric “refills”, and followed a tutorial online to make the cleaning liquid refillable. I just fill it with vinegar.

      My 4 year old loves to mop our kitchen, but he uses the entire thing of cleaning liquid each time. Vinegar is cheap and non-toxic, so I’m okay with that. (it’s also not a perfect job, but it means I don’t have to mop, so I’m okay with that!)

    • that is hilarious! Love that your 4-year-old helps out. haha.

  • Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I’ve recently gone through and purged our entire house of clutter. It was so liberating! Not only did i get rid of things we don’t use, I seriously pared down on the decorative items in my home. I found I really like the clean look a lot more, and using shelves for more practical purposes.

    You’re way better at mopping than me…probably the chore I hate most next to cleaning the shower!

    • That is amazing Alysia, I need to do the same with decorative items, but it can definitely be tough!

      And I agree…cleaning the shower and mopping are the suckiest!

  • 4Justice

    Your home is absolutely beautiful. I grew up in large house with “collector” parents, and I must admit I feel bit uneasy without a bit of clutter. But I feel most uneasy in a home with no books, so yours looks quite cozy to me. Kudos.

    • haha that cracks me up! It’s always good to be surrounded by items you love!