There are plenty of people out there who never panic at the thought of a visitor, and whose homes just seem to, dare we say it, stay clean without effort. We all know someone like this, whose house seems to exist in a permanent state of spotlessness, even when you happen to drop in on them unexpectedly.
So what's their secret to keeping things clean?
Turns out, the key to keeping a consistently clean house is staying on top of chores a little bit at a time and developing habits that keep their homes clutter free without thinking twice. In the process, they exert less energy than those of us who resort to binge clean-ups. Rather than attempting to clean the entire house all at once, try tackling small tasks — like wiping down counters, starting a load of laundry or putting away stray items — when you have a few minutes to spare.
Here are 15 things people with tidy homes do regularly:
They Make the Bed
As soon as you roll out of bed in the morning, make an effort to make your bed, or at the very least, fold the comforter and toss the pillows back where they belong. Your room will always look presentable and clean, and it’s guaranteed to make you feel like you have your act together.
They Don't Wear Shoes in The House
Even when your shoes seem clean, they are still covered in dirt and bacteria. This means that when you wear them in the house or rest them on the furniture *gasp*, you’re spreading those germs around your home. Removing your shoes when you enter your home (and requesting guests do the same) not only reduces the amount of actual dirt trekked into your home, but also limits your exposure to the "other stuff" you walk through.
They Open Mail Everyday
Make it a goal to spend 30 seconds with that stack of mail every day. Immediately recycle or shred anything you don’t need — and don’t feel bad about getting rid off any non-subscription catalogs that don’t warrant your time.
They Invest in Quality Products
People with well-kept homes also invest in quality cleaning products that make the job easier, and they don't let clutter get out of control.
They Clean as They Cook
Forget what you've heard about leaving dishes to soak in the sink. By cleaning up while you cook — even if that means giving cutting boards and sauce pans a quick rinse — you'll break down food particles more easily and minimize the mess.
They Run the Dishwasher Every. Single. Day.
Owning a high-efficiency appliance makes this routine economical. Make it a habit of loading the dishwasher and running it every night after dinner, and unloading it as your coffee brews the following morning. If you only produce enough to fill some of the dishwasher, keep in mind that many appliances have a half-load setting that targets the top rack and uses up to 30% less water.
They Put Appliances Away
We're not saying that your coffee maker can't sit on the counter. But, we are saying that your coffee maker doesn't need to be accompanied by your blender, slow cooker, air fryer and toaster. Having all of these appliances next to each other will make your kitchen look cluttered and leave little room for meal-prep, so tuck them out of sight after you're done using them.
They Keep Up with Laundry
Keep up with laundry by adopting a consistent routine, such as committing to running loads two nights a week, and put the clothing back on hangers and in drawers immediately.
They Wipe Down Surfaces
A quick wipe-down can do wonders. If you clean the surface you've used after each task before walking away, you'll keep counters and glass surfaces clean and ready to go. From swiping your glass shower door to running a towel around your sink after washing the dishes, a short clean can prevent grime build-up and keep your surfaces spotless.
They Regularly Assess the Pantry
Instead of saving baking ingredients and canned goods long after they've expired, check their sell-by-dates on a regular basis. A weekly sweep of your pantry will not only remind you which items you still have in stock, but will also help you get rid of anything that could potentially make you ill.
They Put Things Away Immediately
They never leave a room empty-handed, have a place for everything and don’t allow clutter to build up. Remember growing up when your parents would stop you and tell you to take your dishes with you as you left? Turns out they were right…again. Getting into the habit of putting items away as you leave a room leads to an effortlessly clean house. No more jackets on the bed, shoes on the floor or keys on the counter. If you want a clean house, you have to get into the habit of always putting things away immediately. This is imperative. And if you have too much stuff without a place to go, the clutter and piles in your home become impossible to actually clean.
They Keep High-Touch Surfaces Germ-Free
There’s no denying that wet wipes make disinfecting surfaces easy (and satisfying). Keep a container handy, and use wet wipes once a week (or daily during flu season) for attacks on light switches, remote controls, drawer pulls, banisters and doorknobs.
They Keep the Air Fresh
If you’ve ever walked into your friend’s home and been blown away by how clean and fresh it smells, odds are that didn't just happen. Whether they diffuse essential oils, light a fragrant candle or simply open the window every once in a while to beckon fresh air indoors, keeping the air fresh isn't just an afterthought.
They Straighten Up Before Bedtime
Do a quick sweep through your most lived-in rooms before you call it a night. Tuck away any toys, shoes, or blankets, and make sure backpacks and bags are ready for the next day. You'll thank yourself in the morning.
They Make Chores a Part of their Lifestyle
Folding clothes while watching TV, doing a quick sweep while dinner is cooking or simply organizing the fridge when you reach for your next snack are all good habits to get into to help keep your house constantly clean. And clean throughout the year. Seasonality doesn’t need to dictate when we decide to clean our homes, so forget you ever heard of "spring cleaning." Instead, make purging a routine (monthly, or quarterly) to keep the excess to a minimum, and keep minimalism at the forefront. Keep donate, hand-me-down, and recycling bins in well-marked and convenient spots to help make it easier to master an ongoing method that works for you.