One of the most common questions I’m asked is how we keep our house clean. We do all the cleaning ourselves (no cleaning service) so here are some cleaning tips and habits that help us!
We consciously choose to not own a lot of “stuff” and everything we own has a specifically designated spot it lives in. Our house rule (which was my parents’ rule while I grew up and that worked really well so I’ve continued it in our house) is that “anything you take out must be returned to where you found it, in the same condition you found it in”. It takes a while to make that into a habit but once you get into this habit, it eliminates a pile up of “stuff” around because you’ve put everything away when you’re done with it.
So a combination of not owning a lot of stuff, having designated homes where all your stuff lives, and a developing an instinctive habit of putting away anything you take out help to keep your home tidy.
Here are other habits we got into that help us out daily:
- Clean as you go as much as possible The purpose of this is to keep everything mostly tidy throughout the day so that when you go to actually properly clean, you’re more “topping off” the clean, rather than starting from scratch. In my opinion, this is the most important thing you can do.
- Set small timers for cleaning tasks. It’s amazing how much you can get done in sixty seconds, or as much as five whole minutes. Instead of dedicating massive chunks of time (or *shudder* whole days) to cleaning, I’ll just pick a room, set a timer for 1-2 mins and seriously you can get so much done in that time. I find that setting that little timer helps me mentally not get overwhelmed with the idea of “cleaning” as this huge impossible task. This way feels more manageable and achievable when you’re only having to find an extra two minutes in your day instead of two hours.
- Multitask. Anytime I go from A to B in our house, I just quickly ask myself if there’s anything else I could do at the same time. For example, if I’m on the main floor but I need something from an upper floor, I’ll see if there’s maybe a load of laundry I can carry up at the same time or whatever else is needed. I’m already needing to make the trip from point A to point B in our house, but doing two things at once, doubles my productivity and saves me time/energy in the long run.
- End-of-day tidy-up. This is strongly linked to the clean-as-you-go habit because if you’ve been mostly cleaning as you go throughout the day, then you shouldn’t have too much left to tidy up at the end of the day. But right before bed, just do a quick walkthrough and put away anything still left out of place so that when you start your day the next morning, you’re waking up to a tidy house. If this sounds like a lot, then start with doing this in just one room (I recommend the kitchen) and once you’ve formed that habit, expand this habit to the rest of your house too.
One more thing is that if you’re married or have a family, then it can’t just be you cleaning up after everyone. Get your partner on board with the same cleaning/tidying habits as you and/or designate certain tasks between you. And also teach your kids to follow suite both by teaching them, and by leading by example. Everyone old enough to participate should be involved in keeping your communal living environment (your home) tidy. Most of my own cleaning habits were ones I learned as a kid from my mom – not only through practice, but also by observing my own parents keeping a tidy house and watching their habits, so it’s never too early to start and habits formed early on are the easiest ones to make and to continue. But whether these habits are something you grew up with or something you’re just starting now, it is possible to form these habits if you put your mind to it and make it a priority.
As for actual cleaning sources, these are mainly what we use:
- Robot vacuums: We have 2 different styles of these for different parts of our house. First is this: Walmart | Home Depot (regular vacuum, manual disposal). Second is this: Walmart | Home Depot (automatic disposal). We specifically have these because we have five rescue cats but my husband is allergic to cats to we have these to control the allergens in our home and they both have high-efficiency filter systems and they cover a lot of ground. We run them both 4-6 times a week in different parts of our house but I should note that the purpose of these in our house is to remove cat hair from our floors – like the subtle stuff that you don’t even see – and they do a fantastic job at this in particular. But in terms of actually cleaning floors after a mess or a spill, or like cleaning under the dining table after a meal, cleaning up crumbs, or cleaning an entryway mats etc, that stuff we still need to do ourselves because the roombas honestly just aren’t as good at it. So in our house we use them specifically cat allergen controllers, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have them.
- Cordless vacuum: Amazon | Walmart. We have 3 of these for different parts of our house. It’s very smooth to use and has multiple attachments and overall it’s my favorite and most used vacuum. We keep our entire house clean with this vacuum. If you are looking for a single, awesome vacuum recommendation, this one is it! If I could choose to only have one vacuum, I would choose this one.
- Corded vacuum: Amazon | Walmart. We’ve had ours for many years (ours is the slightly older version of these) but since getting our cordless vacuum cleaners and robot vacuums, I’ve used this corded one less and less. It’s a very good vacuum though and I’ll use this once a month or so for a deeper clean, but that’s it. If you have pets, this is a great vacuum for deep cleans.
- Floor mop: Amazon | Walmart
Grooming the cats regularly makes the biggest difference as far as keeping the house free of fur. I use this grooming tool and I groom all our cats at night before bed every other night. If I’m late by even one day, I notice a difference. This is the best way to get ahead of keeping your house free of fur. Note: this also helps with allergies. To learn more about How to Cope with Cat Allergies, click here.
I hope this helps answer your cleaning questions!
If there’s something else you’d like to know, just leave me a comment down below and I’ll answer!