Wish you had a clutter-free, clean home all the time? Jealous of all the “Instagram moms” who seems to have their stuff together and not piles of mess throughout their home? Let’s chat through 3 ways how to keep a clean house.
We just wrapped up with our #6bagsfor6weeks Challenge where we purged and organized our entire home. Going through an area and completely transforming it is an amazing feeling, isn’t it? You no longer are stressed out each morning because you can’t find the shirt you planned on wearing, you can’t find your keys as your about to leave and you continuously trip over toys, shoes and stacks of paper because nothing has a home.
Now, your closet is clean and organized and finding clothing is easy again! Your kids are beginning to learn where the puzzle drawer is and toys and games are beginning to find their way home after being played with.
But will it last? Yes! Like most things, you can’t just set it and forget it. There is a bit of upkeep to an organized home but if you follow these simple tips, it won’t be too hard!
How to Keep a Clean House
1. One Touch Rule
This is probably the most important rule when it comes to keeping the clutter at bay. Only touch an item once. How does this work? Here’s a few examples.
You go out to get the mail. Rather than throwing it on the kitchen counter to only grow into a giant mound by the end of the week (or by the time you get to it), go directly near a trash can and sort it. 90% of the items will likely be discarded (junk mail, flyers, catalogs, etc) so you can immediately take care of a good chunk of it.
Any magazines you get can be immediately placed in their home, which we discussed about during the living room week along with some great beautiful options for magazine holders.
Bills should be taken care of right away rather than added to a pile to tend to later. Other important papers should be filed once opened.
Yes, getting the mail could turn into a 10-15 minute activity when you factor in opening it all up, hopping on your computer to pay a bill or heading to your file cabinet to put away an important paper but wouldn’t that be better than sifting through 100 pieces of mail at once? This way you’re not dreading the activity all week, tripping over a growing stack of papers or missing deadlines. You pick up the mail once and put everything in its proper home.
Here’s another example. You pick the kids up from school and you all come storming in the door, hungry and ready for dinner. Rather than kicking shoes off and leaving them in the middle of the room, leaving jackets, hats and mittens on the floor and lunchboxes in backpacks on top of the outwear heap, touch each item once.
As shoes come off, put them in their place. Maybe it’s on a plastic mat to dry off from being in the snow or immediately into their respective crate. (Each of my kids have their own crate of shoes that’s easily accessible to them – at ages 2 and 3 they can not only get their own shoes but also put them away without my help!) Jackets get hung up right after being removed. Lunch boxes get brought right to the kitchen and washed while backpacks get hung up.
Each item is touched once and put away to their home rather than wasting extra time and energy picking them all up at the end of the day!
2. Leave the room as you found it
This can be more of a difficult task if you have kids, but getting them involved in the process helps! When you leave a room, look around. Are there toys out? Is the book you were reading on the couch? Did you use a blanket that’s now on the floor? Put it all back to where it belongs.
Make it a habit to check the room before you leave and put it back the way you found it. Then when you’re in the room the next time you won’t be overwhelmed by the clutter or mess since everything is back in it’s proper place.
3. Start the week off clutter free
Every Sunday I make sure to clear all the clutter from our home to start the week off right. Most weeks I start upstairs in the morning while I’m getting the kids ready for church and make sure laundry is put away, toys are picked up, books are where they’re supposed to be, my own bedroom and bathroom is neat and tidy.
Then in the afternoon I tend to the main level and basement. I make sure our kitchen island (which is the most prominent spot for clutter build up) is completely clean of any papers, projects or odds and ends. I double check my office to make sure bills are paid, important papers are filed and there’s no build up there.
I redistribute toys that accumulated to certain areas and make sure each kids’ bins are full of their toys and not each others. Check through areas that seem to get to be messy and annoying and make sure everything is taken care of.
Part of having a clutter free, clean is creating good habits. Remind yourself of the one touch rule as you go to throw the stack of mail on the counter or as you drop your purse on the floor when you walk in.
Make it a habit to look around as you leave a room to make sure everything is back in it’s place. And make it a habit to clear the clutter every Sunday so you start the week with less overwhelm and more joy.
Arin also has a post with ideas on how to keep a tidy home so be sure to check hers out!
And don’t forget about all of our previous organizational posts to reference if you ever need to get a bit more organized in your home. It’s 100% worth it, I promise!