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7 Tips to Always Have a Clean Home – Even with Young Kids!

We all know those people that seem to always have a clean house.  The secret to keeping your house clean are cleaning habits and routines that are easy to stick to!  Let’s dig deeper and take your home from cluttered and messy to always company-ready and clean!

How to Keep Your House Clean

First, some tough love.

Unless you’re one of those lucky people who just loves to clean and organize, I have a quick heartbreaker for you…

Cleaning sucks.

It sucks now and it always will.

Your goal isn’t to develop a love of cleaning, it’s to have a clean house.

You have to keep this in mind as we work through this process.  Cleaning sucks, especially for those of us that it doesn’t come naturally to.

The good news is that you CAN develop habits and put some routines in place that will keep your house clean all the time.

How to Keep Your House Clean All the Time

No matter how hard you try, your house will likely not be clean all the time.

You have to learn to cut yourself some slack without completely throwing in the towel.

Unless you don’t have kids or a job or hobbies or any life commitments, your home will fall apart from time to time.

It happens to absolutely everyone.

The secret of people with constantly clean homes is that their habits and routines keep their homes from falling to shambles, even when life strikes.

Yes, your home may appear dirty or cluttered from time to time, but because you’ll have the right systems in place, it will be SO much easier to get back on track.

Tips for Keeping House Clean

  • Declutter before trying to deep clean
  • Make cleaning up part of your routine – habits will make or break your clean home!
  • Do a load of dishes every day
  • Wash a load of laundry every day
  • Make putting things away as you use them part of your habits
  • Push through the first few days of regularly cleaning so your brain develops the connections necessary to make these habits stick!
  • Mop and vacuum before your floors appear to need it
  • Don’t allow shoes on in the house
  • A place for everything and everything in its place

My House is Always Messy

I hear this one ALL. THE. TIME.

You have little kids, a crazy busy schedule, and way too much stuff.  Keeping your house clean feels like a pipe dream.

Believe it or not, even with a busy family, you can get even the most disgusting house in order again with these steps.

Cleaning Habits

The number one thing that sets people with clean homes apart from people who are completely overwhelmed with the mess are habits.

More specifically:  routines.

If you have a routine that allows you to follow certain habits throughout your day, you can get your house in order and keep it that way.

To start, I want you to make a list of your top 3 hot zones that always end up messy.

For me, this is the kitchen island, another counter in our kitchen, and our mantle.

The stuff just seems to accumulate.

Try these cleaning habits to get a routine going that will makeover your house in no time!

Spend two minutes on every hot zone, every single day.

If you are holding a rag to clean something, just keep cleaning.  Clean the counter you started to clean, for example, but use the same rag to wipe down any smudges you see on your cabinets, polish the faucet, etc.

Wash every dish off before you put it in the sink and keep silverware separate.  Keep knives separate too.

We have two glass jars like these near our kitchen sink.

We put all of our silverware in one and all of our sharp knives in the other.

Make loading the dishwasher part of either your after dinner or bedtime routine.

Make unloading the dishwasher part of your morning routine.  You can do this while you drink your coffee or make breakfast.

Clean home with kids - secrets that really work!

I Can’t Keep My House Clean What’s Wrong With Me?

If you feel completely overwhelmed by mess and clutter, believe me when I tell you that I’ve been where you are.

You’re not alone and change is possible.

Let me start by giving you some tough love.

First, a clean, cluttered home isn’t possible.

You have to declutter before you can have any hope of having a clean house.

Second, you can’t conquer clutter with a trip to Target to buy plastic bins.

I love organizing things neatly into well-labeled bins as much as the next person, but the sad truth is that if you have too much stuff, no amount of bins is going to help your home appear decluttered and cozy.

You simply have to resign yourself to the fact that if your home is a complete disaster, a complete overhaul might be necessary.

Try these three quick tips for some fast wins:

Fast Cleaning Tip #1 – Paper Clutter

Gather ALL of your paper clutter and put it in one place.

Don’t go through it, don’t stress about organizing it, just contain it in one spot.

This is the fastest and most stress-free way to tackle one of everyone’s biggest problems – paper clutter.

This system works flawlessly because you are sure to never lose a document you need.  If you really need to find something, you can spend the few minutes it takes to sort through your paper clutter bin and find it.

Believe me when I tell you that this semi-haphazard system works far better than having some papers attached to the fridge with magnets, some in a filing cabinet, still more in a mail organizer.

Just dump it all in a bin and move on.

Put away most of your dishes.

Keep out only one plate, bowl, and set of silverware per family member.

This way, you have no choice but to wash your dishes before you eat again.  Otherwise, you’ll use every dish in the cabinet or wait until your sink is overflowing before you tackle the dishes.

If you’ve tried everything and you still can’t get your house in order, save up the money if you have to, bite the bullet, and hire a house cleaner for a one time fee.

Sometimes, pushing through the mess can feel just too overwhelming and you simply can’t force yourself to begin.

When this happens, try these tips.

See also:  How to Clean When You’re Too Depressed

If it’s just not happening for you, PLEASE consider hiring someone to help just this once.

Maintaining your newly clean home will feel so much more attainable when you’re standing in a spotless house and have more motivation than ever to keep it this way.

How to Maintain a Clean House

When you finally have your home deep cleaned, you can maintain a clean house by following these steps religiously:

Daily Tasks to Maintain a Clean House

  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Wipe down all counters
  • Unapologetically refuse to allow clutter to re-enter your home
  • Rinse dishes after every use
  • Run a load through the dishwasher each night and unload it each morning
  • Wash and dry a load of a laundry

In my honest opinion, this is the best way to keep house clean.  You have to follow some daily tasks by building them into your routine.  Vacuum after breakfast, mop after lunch, etc.

How Do I Keep My House Clean?

I’ll stop here and say I realize how ridiculous it sounds to mop your house every day, so let me let you in on my biggest cleaning secret:

The timer.

With three kids and another on the way, timing myself as I complete tasks is my biggest and most valuable cleaning secret.

Here’s why:

When you think about mopping your floor, it sounds time-consuming.

You have to dig out the bucket, add soap, hope the mop head is clean enough to feel like you’re actually accomplishing anything, then there’s the actual mopping and waiting for the floor to dry.

I challenge you to do your most dreaded cleaning task while timing how long it takes you.

This will make you move faster than ever before.  Mopping your kitchen can take you a half hour, or it can take you 7 minutes.

Ask me how I know.

When I’m cleaning my house, I’m moving fast. 

I can drag my feet and slowly rinse dishes and load the dishwasher – feeling sorry for myself that I’ve spent 30 minutes cleaning up everyone else.

Or, I can bust my booty, move as fast as I possibly can, and knock out all of the tasks on my daily cleaning list in record time.

Why spend hours cleaning your house when you can minimize your time spent by cleaning with intention?

How Long It Takes to Clean a Room

3 minutes – Vacuum our living room (not including pulling out attachments to vacuum baseboards.)

7 minutes – Mop our kitchen floor.

5 minutes – Load and unload dishwasher

Seconds – Rinse dishes after a meal

10 minutes – Total to scrub all 3 toilets

How to Always Have a Clean House

Just get started!

Set a timer for 5 minutes and clean like your life depends on it.

Stop wasting time stressing about the state of your home and start doing something about it.

Ruthlessly purge your belongings.  Make like Marie Kondo and Konmari your house from top to bottom.

Keep simple cleaning supplies like vinegar, spray bottles, and baking soda on hand at all times.

Don’t wait until you have the “perfect” tools to start cleaning.

I use any kind of soap I have on hand in the toilet if I’m out of toilet cleanser.

I’m sure the germs know the difference, but I can’t tell if I’ve used toilet cleanser or dish soap after I’ve cleaned a toilet.  It sparkles the exact same.

Finally, keep a vacuum on each floor of your home and make one of them a lightweight for cleaning the stairs.

These simple tips and tricks help me maintain a clean home even with a growing family – and 3 kids aged 4 and under!


What is the one thing that your struggle with when it comes to keeping your home clean?  What tips can you offer others who just want their home to always appear clean?  Let me know in the comments!


How to maintain a clean house - even with young kids!