31 tips for keeping your house clean.


By Jarrett Hensley

We all want a clean house, but finding the time to keep it clean can feel impossible in an increasingly busy life. Our daily lives are more active than ever, and cleaning seems to be the first thing cut when faced with a full schedule. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep a clean house without taking up an entire day.

Keeping your house clean is critical to a happy and healthy home life. The following cleaning tips make it easier to maintain a tidy living space. These room-by-room recommendations can help improve your home’s cleanliness and decrease the time needed to make it happen.

General tips to keep your living room and entire home clean.

Keeping your home clean takes work, but there are things you can do to minimize the amount of work it takes, thus saving you hours’ worth of time each week. Let’s be clear: there’s no getting out of cleaning completely. But if you implement these tips (and stay disciplined), you may find cleaning to be more enjoyable and less time-consuming.

The following three tips are general in nature and should be used in tandem with the tips that follow. If a particular tip isn’t compatible with your schedule and cleaning style, that’s fine. Just adapt it to fit your needs.

1. Establish a weekly routine cleaning schedule.

Weekly cleaning is a smart way to guarantee your home stays clean amid day-to-day activities. Most people that clean every week leave it until the weekend and do everything in one day. While this is a possible solution and, in some cases, a necessary one, I find it best to space my cleaning tasks out over the entire week. Doing so makes the task of cleaning significantly less daunting and much more likely to get done.

2. Clean as you go every day.

I learned this while living alone, but it works just as well in a house full of people. Although it’s easier in the moment to leave that bottle of water on the end table, taking the time to clean and put away things as you use them is better in the long run. Cleaning as you go can also decrease clutter and save you from having to commit large blocks of time to clean your home.

For example, consider these scenarios:

  • If you make a meal, go ahead and wash the dishes by hand or put them straight into the dishwasher after you’re done eating. 
  • Did a load of laundry? Fold your clothes instead of letting them sit at the foot of your bed. 
  • Did you binge-watch a show all day long? When you get up, put away your snacks, vacuum up the crumbs on the couch and floor, fold your throw blanket and return your decorative pillows to an organized position. 

Cleaning as you go is the most effective way to ensure you keep the house clean for as long as possible.

3. Do light cleanings in between deep cleanings.

Do you find yourself doing a deep cleaning every week or so? That’s probably because you’re not cleaning as you go and doing a little bit of light cleaning throughout the week. So, in addition to cleaning as you go, squeeze in the following tasks in between deep cleaning these areas, appliances and surfaces:

  • Countertops: Wipe down your counters with an antibacterial wipe every day.
  • Floors: Between mopping your floors or deep cleaning your carpets, pick up loose dirt by lightly sweeping and vacuuming. 
  • Showers and bathtubs: Wipe down your bathroom tile to remove soap scum and spray a shower cleaner on the glass after you take a shower or bath. 
  • Oven & microwaveWipe up spills and crumbs after each use.

4. Invest in a few smart, high-tech cleaning devices.

Technology has come a long way to make cleaning your home easier and faster. Do a bit of research, and choose a few appliances that can help you keep your house clean. For example, you may want to get:

  • A robot vacuum cleaner and mop
  • Self-cleaning dog pad and litter box
  • Electric scrubbers and brushes
  • Self-cleaning toilet system
  • Self-cleaning countertop dishwashers
  • Self-cleaning kitchen appliances (dishwasher, oven, etc.)

5. Strategically place mats and rugs. 

Cleaning your floors can be a pain. Placing mats and rugs is the key to keeping them clean for as long as possible in between mopping and deep cleanings. For example, you should place a mat:

  • In your entryway by your front door
  • Right outside of your front door 
  • Outside in front of your terrace or patio doors 
  • In front of your patio doors inside your home
  • In front of your toilet, shower and bathtub
  • Underneath your sinks in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room

6. Utilize storage and organizational tools.

Inspect every room in your house, and think about ways you can better organize them. Perhaps this means installing more shelves, cabinets, racks or cubbies. When you have more storage, it’ll be easier to keep your rooms tidy and mess-free.

Take the bathroom, for example. If you’re anything like me, your bathroom counter is full of bottles, lotions and other things that make it look cluttered and messy. The good news is that this is an easy problem to fix. Storage furniture, vanities, cabinets and shelves all make for a more organized and decluttered bathroom. 

However, simply having them isn’t enough. You have to stay disciplined in their use and clean as you go. In other words, put things back when you’re done with them.

7. Hire a house cleaner.

If you have the budget but not the time and energy it takes to establish a cleaning routine, you might need more help. Consider having a cleaning service come in once a week (or 1-2 times a month) to perform routine cleaning tasks. 

You can also hire a house cleaner to do a thorough deep cleaning of your home. During a deep cleaning, the professional will tackle hard-to-reach areas (like dirt behind appliances and dust on ceiling fans) and scrub off hard-to-remove grime. 

Related: 12 signs you need to hire a house cleaner.

How to keep your bathroom clean.

clean bathroom

Bathrooms get a lot of use and, in many cases, end up being the dirtiest rooms in the house. As such, keeping a clean bathroom requires a little more attention than other rooms, but if you follow these tips, your bathroom will stay clean.

8. Keep a few cleaning products and supplies in your bathroom.

A running theme in these tips is to set up cleaning tasks in a way that makes them less daunting and increases the chances that you stick to them. You might think about cleaning your bathroom and then immediately think yourself out of it because you don’t want to walk to the supply closet to grab the cleaning products. The best way to prevent this from happening? Keep cleaning supplies in your bathroom.

I recommend you keep your favorite multi-surface cleaner, a rag and a microfiber cloth under your sink or in your nearby linen closet. Having these items close may increase the likelihood of you performing a routine cleaning. I have found that a quick spray and wipe down of the counter and mirror after my morning routine keeps my bathroom sparkly clean all week long. So when cleaning day comes around, all I have to do is mop the floor, and I’m done.

9. Dry the floors and surfaces immediately.

Sometimes, you leave behind wet footprints on the floor after you step out of the shower. Or, your counters and mirrors get wet after you wash your face and brush your teeth. When this happens, grab a towel and dry the area ASAP. If not, you run the risk of mildew and mold growth, which will require a deeper cleaning down the line. 

Related: How to clean and mop every type of floor in your home.

10. Utilize bath mats and shower curtains.

Prevent water from spilling over onto your floors by making sure your shower curtain is properly installed and that your shower door is tightly closed when you’re bathing. You should also place absorbent bath mats or rugs in front of your tub, shower and bathroom counter.

How to keep your kitchen clean.

clean kitchen

If there’s only one messy room in your house, there’s a good chance it’s the kitchen. Cooking, eating, and doing dishes create the perfect recipe for a dirty room. But the following tips will help you keep your kitchen clean and remain a space to be enjoyed rather than dreaded.

11. Clean the dishes as you use them.

Whether you have a dishwasher or do your dishes by hand, the best approach is to clean them as you go. Washing a few plates and pans after a meal is better than washing 20 plates at the end of the week. When you clean dishes as you use them, you keep your sink free of dirty, smelly dishes and improve the overall look of your kitchen.

12. Clean while you wait.

Your food is prepped, and the oven is preheating. What should you do with your spare time? While it might be easier to grab your phone, prop your elbows on the counter and scroll away, these few minutes of downtime here and there create the perfect chance to get some cleaning done.

In the amount of time it takes for some things to cook, you can wipe down the counter, clean prep dishes and sweep the floor, all before you ring the dinner bell. If you follow this up by cleaning your dishes after the family eats, your kitchen should always be clean and ready for use.

13. Sweep up crumbs every night.

At the end of the night, quickly sweep your kitchen floor with your broom. Get under the tables, sink and fridge. And grab a paper towel to wipe up any spills that may have occurred. That way, when it comes time to do a deeper clean with your mop and cleaning solution, you won’t break your back while scrubbing away dried food and liquids.

14. Prevent spills and splashes.

There are a few things you can do while cooking to keep your kitchen clean. For example:

  • Place foil at the bottom of your oven when in use.
  • Use a lower water pressure when washing your dishes in the sinks. 
  • Cover your food and drinks when they’re heating up in the microwave. 
  • Place dripping food on a pan or rack instead of directly on top of a counter or table.

How to keep your bedrooms clean.

clean bedroomIt’s easy to skip cleaning your bedrooms on cleaning days because, well, who’s going to see them? Even though your room is closed off to the rest of the world, keeping a clean bedroom has several benefits. A clean room has a positive impact on your mental state and creates an environment that is conducive to a night of restful sleep.

15. Make your bed every morning.

There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day at work, taking a shower and heading off to bed only to find your blankets and sheets tangled up in a jumbled mess. There’s one easy solution to this problem: make the bed before heading out in the morning.

Making your bed in the morning leaves you with a clean room all day long and a comfortable, ready-for-sleep bed to come home to. Not only that, but making your bed first thing in the morning fills you with a feeling of accomplishment that sets the rest of your day up for success.

16. Don’t eat in your bedroom.

It’s a feeling that evokes the same emotion as nails on a chalkboard. You lay down after a long, hard day at the office and are greeted by the crispy crumbs from that snack you had earlier. 

Eating in your bedroom is not conducive to keeping a clean space. Bottles accumulate, plates stack up, and all this invites unwanted pests into the home. When you keep the snacks in the kitchen, you’re one step closer to keeping a clean bedroom.

17. Make the most out of your closet.

Do clothes, shoes, bags and other items tend to find their way on your bedroom floors? Perhaps it’s time to re-think the organization and storage in your room — starting with your closet. 

Consider getting more hangars, adding more shelves, installing cubbies and trying other storage hacks to optimize the space in your closet. Need help coming up with a solution? You can hire a professional home organizer. They can help you come up with a system to make your bedroom (and other rooms in your home) more organized and tidy.

Tips for keeping a house clean when you have kids.

clean kids playroomIf you have kids, you know how big of a mess they can cause. They may even be the reason you’re reading this article in the first place. 

You always seem to be cleaning up after them, and their disregard for the constant cleaning you put in can be a significant source of frustration. However, despite kids’ ability to dirty a house, you can also encourage them to join your fight to keep a clean one.

18. Get the kids involved.

Do your kids like to help out? If so, you can use this to get them involved in the cleaning process. 

Get your children used to things like making their beds every day and picking up their toys at night before bed. When you involve your kids, it’s essential to present cleaning as a fun, enjoyable and beneficial process. If you approach cleaning as a chore to be avoided at all costs, they will likely follow suit and not look forward to lending a hand when you need one. Getting your children involved in the cleaning process teaches them responsibility and makes them realize they have a stake in the benefits of cleaning up after themselves.

19. Reward and praise the kids when they help out.

Incentives like gifts, tech time or an allowance act as additional motivators and teach your children that work pays off. 

But don’t always rely on a physical reward. General praise goes a long way in reinforcing desirable behavior. Express extreme gratitude when they do help out to reinforce their good behavior, and make it more likely that they will continue to help in the future. 

20. Create chore lists.

When I was a child, I had regular chores. Although I despised them at the time, I now realize they were a small price to pay for a roof, three meals and a bed to sleep in. If I could exchange a rent payment today for chore duties, I would do it in a heartbeat.

In addition to establishing productive behavior and lifelong habits, chore lists can drastically lighten your own cleaning responsibilities. 

I recommend hanging the list on the fridge or in some other common area so they can’t say they forgot or they didn’t know. And when you’re creating the list, get the kids involved. Allow them to write in a few chores on a poster board in their favorite color and decorate the board with stickers.

21. Give them a playroom.

Keep the children’s toys, games and art supplies confined to one area to keep your home tidy as long as possible in between cleanings. Perhaps this area is their bedroom or an unused guest room that can be converted into a playroom. If you don’t have an extra room, designate a part of the kitchen or living room for them to play in. 

22. Create toy baskets and cubbies with labels.

Make the toy clean-up process easier for the kids to complete on their own by installing cubbies and shelves for them to house all of their belongings. Or, buy a few big baskets or containers for their toys and games. Put labels on them to help the children understand where each item should go after they’re done playing with them. 

Tips for keeping a clean home when you have dogs and cats.

clean home with dogsMan’s best friend is often man’s messiest friend. Whether your pet drools, chews, smells or sheds, cleaning up after them can seem like a never-ending task. However, the companionship pets offer makes the work of cleaning up after them worth it ten times over. 

The following tips can minimize the need to clean up after your pet and consolidate all necessary cleaning to a single area.

23. Create a designated pet space.

While you can’t prevent the messes that your pet causes, you can keep the mess confined to a designated space. Whether you give them their own couch, corner in the living room or even their own bedroom, designating an area for your pet makes cleaning up after them easier than ever. You can clean this designated space during your weekly cleaning schedule or more often as needed.

24. Make storage for your dogs’ toys and supplies. 

Just like kids’ toys, your pets’ toys need somewhere to go, too. Buy a few storage containers or toy boxes for the chew toys, pet shampoo, dog brushes and other important items so that your home remains tidy in between cleanings.

25. Work weekly grooming into your cleaning schedule.

Whether you do it yourself or let a professional take care of it, regular grooming is key to keeping a clean house with a pet inside. Regular grooming keeps your pet smelling good and prevents their fur and shedding from dirtying up your home. My dog sheds a lot, and I have found that working a weekly bath into my cleaning routine makes the fact that I have a dog nearly undetectable.

26. Invest in a good vacuum. 

If your dog or cat sheds, make sure you have a good vacuum cleaner that can easily remove hair from your furniture and carpets. For example, consider getting a vacuum with a good brush, strong suction, crevice tool, upholstery tool and HEPA filters.

Tips to keep your home clean if you have messy roommates.

messy roommate

If you have messy roommates, it doesn’t matter how much you clean because you’ll never be able to keep a clean house for long. This can be a challenging problem to address because some people just live messier lives than others. 

27. First, have a sit-down conversation.

Most of our roommate problems can be solved with a simple conversation, but it can be a frightening thing to approach. Don’t let your annoyance build up and turn into rage. Just bring it up casually in conversation and suggest you come up with a cleaning schedule, so neither roommate has to do more cleaning than the other. If you present a cleaning plan as something that makes both of your lives better rather than as an attack on the hygiene and cleanliness of the other party, you are more likely to be met with success.

28. Create a cleaning schedule.

Creating a cleaning schedule is just as important (perhaps even more) when you’re living with someone else. Write out a schedule on paper and assign a deadline for when you both should complete every task.

29. Agree on what each task should involve.

It’s not unusual for people to have different cleaning standards. Be willing to compromise and agree on what each cleaning task should include. For example, you both may have different opinions of what it means to “clean the bathroom.” Write down exactly what you expect to be done when cleaning the bathroom, and have your roommate do the same. Look at both of your lists, and decide what should be done when either of you is cleaning your shared bathroom.

30. Everyone cleans as they go (including you).

A recurring theme in these tips is to clean as you go, and it’s no different when you live with messy roommates. If everyone cleans as they go, you can expect the house to stay clean and tidy, and neither you nor your roommates will be left cleaning up after the other person.

31. Maximize your space.

With roommates, you may find that the mess is actually due to the fact that there’s not enough space in the home for everyone’s belongings. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get creative. For example, use storage solutions that take up vertical space. This means installing a few shelves on the walls, hanging a shoe organizer over your bedroom and utilizing stacking containers in bedrooms and closets.

Need help? Hire house cleaning services on Thumbtack.

All of the tips mentioned above will go a long way in helping you maintain a clean home for a longer period of time. If you still find yourself struggling to keep your home clean, you can always hire a professional cleaner through Thumbtack.

A professional cleaner will enable you to experience the benefits of a clean house without the burden of keeping it clean. Cleaners do cost money, but the amount of extra time you save as a result may make it well worth the investment.

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