I’m convinced that there’s nothing magic or special about people who always have a clean home. Usually, they just have really good habits.
I am easily overwhelmed if our house gets too messy. Because of this, I work hard at maintaining and improving my daily “homemaking” habits.
I’ve zeroed in on five daily habits that make the biggest difference in keeping our home clean.
The best news of all is that once you get in the habit, these tasks only take approximately 31 to accomplish each day. A few minutes here and there throughout the day is absolutely worth it to me to keep our house from becoming a disaster zone!
5 Daily Habits for an Always-Clean Home
1. Make the Bed
I have slowly become a believer in the habit of making my bed.
I first started because it bothers me getting into bed at night if the blankets are all crooked from the night before. Then, I realized how nice it is to see our room looking neat and tidy throughout the day. Beds are usually the biggest thing a bedroom, so if the blankets are messy, the whole room tends to look messy.
When I read through the book “The Joy of Less” (loved it!), this quote stood out to me and helped me realize the magic of making your bed everyday:
“When the bed is undone, a mess in the rest of the room doesn’t seem out of place; everything just looks a wreck. In contrast, when your bedding is smoothed, tucked, and folded just so, the clutter has no camouflage and is much less likely to accumulate.” Francine Jay (The Joy of Less)
So true! I try to make our bed every day when I get up. It has become a great start to the day.
You can tell by the photo that I’m not aiming for perfection. I just take a minute to straighten things up the best I can and then I call it good. (The top blanket is only over part of the bed because that’s my side of the bed and I’m always cold)
Time it Takes: 1 Minute
2. Do the Dishes Once
Dirty dishes drive me crazy but I hate the chore of washing them. If I let them sit for too long, it becomes an overwhelming task.
This has been the hardest habit for me to develop, but I’m working hard at emptying the sink at least once a day.
I don’t usually take care of the dishes after every single meal like most people recommend. I’ve found that if I do the dishes once a day, it doesn’t take very long and I can stay on top of it. Listening to an audiobook or podcast helps make the chore more enjoyable.
Time it Takes: 15 Minutes
3. Wipe Down the Kitchen Counters
This is a quick task to add in after you do the dished for the day.
I quickly wipe down all of our kitchen counters and the table with a soapy washcloth. Even if it looks clean, it’s usually not. A quick wipe keeps sticky things from becoming invincible.
Time it Takes: 1 Minute
4. Tidy Up
My “dirty” secret of homemaking is that I’m horrible at cleaning. Lucky for me, I’m great at tidying up and decluttering.
It’s crazy, but picked up gives the illusion of clean. A home could be perfectly clean and sanitized but if it’s cluttered, it’s not going to look good.
I tidy up multiple times throughout the day. When I’m leaving a room I’ll glance around to see if there’s something that doesn’t belong. When I’m done working on a certain task I’ll pick up before I move on to something else. Before bed, I make sure that our house is back to it’s usual tidiness.
When I take a few minutes to tidy up multiple times throughout the day, our house never becomes a disaster zone.
Time it Takes: 3 Minutes – 4ish Times Per Day.
5. Clear Off and Wipe Down Bathroom Counters
Once a day, I try to make sure everything that doesn’t belong on our bathroom counter gets cleared off and I wipe it down (Ok, sometimes I don’t wipe it down. I told you, I’m a horrible cleaner. I’m working on it 🙂 ).
I’ve found that stuff tends to accumulate more stuff. If I’m not vigilant about clearing off surfaces, other people in the house start leaving stuff there too and then it gets out of hand.
This little task often gets done while I’m getting ready in the morning or brushing my teeth at night.
Time it Takes: 2 Minutes
Total Time it Takes to Have an Always-Clean Home: Approximately 31 Minutes Per Day!
Obviously, there are a whole lot more tasks that go into running a home. Weekly chores like laundry, vacuuming, and meal planning have to get done as well.
Since moving into our new house, I’ve been focusing on maintaining these 5 good daily habits that keep our home relatively clean and picked up all the time. It has made a huge difference in my mood and productivity.
I actually feel like I spend less time doing chores now. Instead of big overwhelming chores, keeping up with everything for a few minutes each day is so much better. It does take some effort to get in the habit, but it’s well worth it.