I’m sure you’ve at one time or another gone into a friend’s house and thought to yourself, “How on earth are they keeping their home so clean?” They are probably just as busy as you are with a job and kids, yet they seem to be able to keep a clean and well-organized home at all times. How is this possible when your house looks like it was hit by a tornado most the time? Well it is possible to always keep a clean house just by doing six basic tasks every single day.
First you have got to get in there and give your house a thorough deep cleaning. This isn’t easy but it must be done. Then every day after that you do the simple chores and cleanups that keep your home clean and well organized so that you are never embarrassed to welcome in guests.
Make sure the beds are all made – Depending on how old your kids are they can be responsible for making their own beds. Go room-to-room making sure the sheets and blankets are all neatly straightened, comforters are folded and pillows are fluffed on every single bed. Once a bed is made the room looks clean, even if there is a little clutter here and there.
Before retiring at night, go through your bedroom picking up the clothes and other things that might be lying around and put everything where it belongs. When you awaken to a tidy bedroom your morning chores seem a lot easier.
Cleanup your bathroom – Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your bathroom it will only take you a few minutes in the morning to keep it that way. As you finish your shower take a second to wipe the walls and shower doors. This will keep mildew from forming. When you’re finished brushing your teeth, wipe the countertops and put everything away. Wipe down the toilet and take a brush to the inside. Pick everything up from the floor, hanging the towels up and putting pajamas in the hamper. Use air freshener on an as needed basis.
Cleanup while cooking – While preparing breakfast, cleanup as you go along. If you’re having scrambled eggs, wash the bowl right away and put it in the dish rack, or rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher. Continue to do this with all your cooking implements as you go along. This gives you plenty of counter space to do your thing and makes for a very quick final cleanup.
Explain this method to your kids and anyone else in the family who cooks. If they accidentally spill something it needs to be wiped up immediately. That way there won’t be any dried sticky messes to scrape off later.
Clean countertops and wash dishes everyday – After every meal make sure the dishes are rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher, or washed and dried by hand. Do not let dishes pile up in the sink. When someone in the family prepares a snack, they should clean up after themselves.
Do not let things build up on the kitchen counters. Put everything away after using. Having clean, uncluttered counters and no left over dirty dishes in the sink will allow you to invite people over without being embarrassed. After doing the dinner dishes, take a broom to the kitchen floor. Daily sweepings keep particles of food, dirt and grime from building up, which make weekly mopping a whole lot easier.
Control the clutter – A messy home with clutter all over the place gives the appearance of being dirty. Get into the habit of noticing things when they’re out of place, picking up and putting items in their proper place. If you have kids, keep baskets around to hold some of their clutter, like the toys they’re always playing with. Just get everything off the floor.
Everyone in the family should be taught to pick things up and to put them away. If someone takes something out to use, they need to put it back where they got it. Getting into the habit of doing this will control the clutter1 and make your home a lot more comfortable. Having the mail buildup is another source of clutter. Go through every piece as it arrives and toss all the junk mail. Put personal mail and bills where they belong, and take care of them as soon as possible.
Do the laundry – Dirty laundry can easily pile up so if you can manage to do one load a day this can be avoided. Each member of the family should have their own hamper and when it’s full they should take it to the laundry area. If your kids are old enough, have them separate out the whites and the colored clothing, placing them into the designated baskets. Older kids can be responsible for doing their own laundry.
If you follow these rules on a daily basis your home will stay clean and free of clutter. Just getting in the habit of picking things up when you enter a room, will make all the difference in the world. It’s just a matter of being aware and making sure that everything stays organized.
All household items and clothing should have a proper place and when not being used or worn, should be properly put away. Just following this daily routine will not take a lot of extra time and the payoff is that you can relax and enjoy your home that much more. There will be no more worrying and scurrying around when family or friends show up unexpectedly.