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.
How to Maintain a Clean Home
For me, it’s all about small habits that I do on a daily and weekly basis to keep a clean home. 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.
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 a clean home? Any other habits I should add to the mix?
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.