Maintaining a clean house can be easy. Use these six simple habits to keep your home neat and clean – in just a few minutes a day.
I’m convinced that cleaning schedules on Pinterest are designed to make me feel bad about the state of my house.
I know I’m not the only Pinterest-addict who has hung a lovely little printable cleaning schedule on my fridge in a fit of delusion. These typically include crazy ideas like scrubbing baseboards on Mondays. Or really, scrubbing baseboards any day.
But I don’t typically make it very far. Why? Because those guides are NOT designed for lazy girls.
And I am a Card-Carrying Lazy Girl.
But can I let you in on a secret? I’ve learned to keep a clean house. I even welcome unannounced guests. (They keep me on my toes and sometimes bring wine.) Yes – guests may stumble upon a load of clean (or dirty) laundry, find some stray toys or spot some dust. But I think my house looks pretty darn good most of the time.
Instead of tons of cleaning, I established a few quick habits that I do throughout the day. They take very little time and have become second nature. They help me keep my house clean without making myself crazy. And I don’t have to spend designated time cleaning, because our space stays presentable despite everything my family throws at it.
So I thought I’d share some of my tips to keep your house presentable (nearly) every single day.
Don’t worry about doing everything now. Take a lazy girl’s approach and start integrating these habits into your day. You may find, like I did, that you can keep your house clean and still be a little lazy. 😉 (This post contains affiliate links.)
And if you want to have a realistic checklist to get started, sign up here.
Make your bed.
If you are going to make one habit, make it a bed-making habit.
I know you are rolling your eyes.
Seriously. Stop rolling your eyes.
Here’s what I’ve found about making my bed:
- It takes less than a minute. This isn’t House Beautiful. Just pull up the sheets and comforter and give the pillows a quick fluff.
- It gives me control over one thing. Because God knows that my toddler just drew all over my table with a Sharpie (again).
- It makes my room look clean. Even if the shelves are covered in dust and jewelry and there’s a pile of laundry near the door. The neat bed draws your eye away from everything else.
(P.S. The same goes for your kids’ bedrooms. A quick bed made – by you or them – is a surefire way to make the room look neat.)
Do your dishes. Immediately.
I’m a bit of a dish Nazi.
At our lazy house, there are (almost) never dishes in the sink. They get washed or they get stashed in the dishwasher (when we had one).
My scientific studies have found that a sink full of dirty dishes actually multiplies. Rapidly.
But seriously – when there are dirty dishes in the sink, they seem to build and build and build. And eventually, it’s so overwhelming that it seems positively IMPOSSIBLE to do the dishes because it will take forever.
Instead, I wash our breakfast dishes when we are done eating breakfast. I wash our lunch dishes when we are done eating lunch. And my husband washes our dinner dishes when we are done eating dinner. (Holla at the awesome husbands out there!)
And I rarely have to cower in fear or scream in fury at the state of my sink pile.
(P.S. You are NOT allowed to tell me you don’t have time to wash your dishes after breakfast or lunch. I timed myself and it took me 2 minutes and 32 seconds to clean up after lunch.)
Wipe down the bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
In the bathroom and kitchens, make a habit of wiping down counters with a wet cloth or antibacterial wipe.
I’ve found that a quick wipe-down can hide many a sin. It also ensures that gunk gets cleaned off before it gets hard and impossible to clean.
I do this several times each day after using areas – and it honestly takes seconds. When I use the restroom and wash my hands, I wipe down the sink and counter top. When I wash my face before bed, I wipe down the sink. After I do the dishes (because I actually do them right now), I wipe down the counters around the sink.
An added bonus is that it forces you to keep stuff off your counters. Ha. It’s a sneaky trick. Your house looks cleaner because there is less stuff on your counters because you are lazy and don’t want to move the stuff when you wipe them down.
Find a place for everything.
I find that a big part of having a house that feels presentable is having less stuff cluttering every surface. And once you have less stuff, you have to find a home for it all. And the home is never on counters or on the floor.
In our house, paperwork, toys and electronics are the biggest sources of clutter. So, we make sure there is a designated spot for each.
A few examples of our clutter busters:
A simple home for some of my son’s toys ensures I don’t trip on them in the middle of the floor. There’s plenty of room for everything and, while not perfect, I think it looks presentable.
Bathroom countertops are a magnet for stuff. Instead of letting the counters gather toothbrushes, makeup and other supplies, I always have a spot to stow baskets. It’s much easier to hide away all the clutter, but it’s also easily accessible.
In the past, I have a used a wall-mounted system for mail, bills and other paperwork. This keeps it from cluttering the counters. (This is from the Real Simple line, formerly at Target.)
Focus on the floors.
You’d think it would have been EASIER to keep my floors clean in a tiny space. But actually, our floors would always look dirty if I ignored them. They show every single dog hair and dusty footprint. And when floors are dirty, the entire house looks dirty.
But if I just spend a little time daily on the floors, it makes the whole house look better.
I just have it set to run every day and the majority of the dog hair, dust and dirt is gone.
When we were in our tiny home, there just wasn’t room for the robot vacuum. So I hid a stick vacuum (the Hoover 2-in-one stick vacuum) in plain sight. This is a great solution to a giant oversized vacuum in small spaces.
I ran it almost every day and it takes minutes. I didn’t have to mess with cords – which meant I can move around without plugging and unplugging, and winding and rewinding. Also – no tripping, tugging or tangling!
Plus, my little superhero can even help.
Can I get an AMEN?
And because I believe that floors are truly one of the most important ways to keep your home clean, I’m also in a romantic relationships with my Norwex microfiber mop. It’s a great way to keep hard surfaces clean – with only water. I run it every few days and my floors always look clean.
And I know. I KNOW. Mopping gets a bad rap.
But a microfiber mop uses a dry and wet mop pad, without buckets of water and spills and messes. It’s quick and simple – and it’s totally worth the effort. (Plus, if you have kids, you won’t have to worry about what they are crawling through every day.)
I find that by spending a few minutes daily on my floors – either with a robot vacuum (HOLLA!) or a simple stick vacuum (WOOT!), it’s easier to keep the house looking presentable. And a quick and simple mopping makes a world of difference.
You don’t have to do it all. But do something.
Focus on maintenance to keep a clean house.
Making your bed, doing the dishes, cleaning floors and wiping counters are all maintenance items. Instead of spending more time later, I spend a few minutes right now. If it takes less than 5 minutes, I think it’s easier to do now than put it off until later.
Examples of maintenance tasks:
- Spraying the shower with shower spray every day instead of scrubbing the shower every few weeks.
- Hanging towels after use instead of throwing them on the ground.
- Sorting through mail when you get home instead of piling it for later.
- Putting away toys before moving onto another activity instead of doing it at the end of the day.
The more you can focus your time on maintenance items, the less time you’ll spend cleaning or scrambling at the end of the night.
But, I also give you permission to give yourself a break.
If you hate a task, consider how you can avoid it or make it better. For example, I hated vacuuming when I had to drag it all over and mess with the cords. So, I found robot vacuums and cordless vacs to make me hate it less.
You also have my permission to delegate your hated task to your kids, husband or cleaning professional. Seriously.
In other words, you don’t have to do or love everything. But maybe by making a few simple habitual changes, you’ll look around and find that you have a clean house.
And you can still retain your membership to the Lazy Girl Club.
Do you want a printable checklist that will actually help you keep your house clean?
And here are a few of my tried-and-true, lazy girl approved, supplies for a clean house …
What are your best lazy girl cleaning tips?
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