When you have many things going on in your life, such as a job, a lot of travel or perhaps kids, it’s hard to keep your house clean… even more so, if you don’t like cleaning and organizing.
In this post you will learn how to have a clean and organized home quickly and easily, so you can incorporate it in a busy life.
2 daily priorities
You don’t have to be doing everything all the time to keep your house clean. There are two tasks that have priority over everything else. They will make your home look neater if you do it daily (or let’s be realistic, at least 5 times a week).
Two things that will make your home less ‘livable’ and looking untidy are:
- Dirty dishes
Having dirty dishes at home is inevitable. I’m not going to advise you to use paper plates and cups for the sake of eliminating dishes. The dishes are something that we just have to do, not only because of cleanliness but because you don’t want to run out of plates and mugs to use!
If you have a dishwasher, you really shouldn’t be making excuses for not having a clean mug to drink your coffee from. Although in many western countries a dishwasher is standard nowadays, it’s actually a luxury, and you should regard it like that.
All you have to do is load and unload it. Make it a habit to load your dishes immediately after you have used them, so you will keep a clean counter.
Unloading your dishwasher will just take 5 minutes. Determine what’s the best time of the day for you to do that, so you will have a fixed moment for unloading every day.
Here in Hong Kong, apartments and thus kitchens are pretty small, so unfortunately there’s no room for a dishwasher… meaning that I have to do the dishes by hand.
I usually try to clean right after using them, so the dishes won’t pile up. If I’m not washing them immediately, I put it in the sink and quickly rinse with hot water. This will get most of the ‘dirtiness’ off and makes it easier to wash later.
The best way to tackle washing your dishes by hand is to start with the items that are easiest to clean. For me, those are plates and glasses. Once you’ve started, you will automatically move on to the rest and finish the task.
If you have pots and pans that are caked up: soak them first in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
Now, what will make your dishwashing life also easier is using:
- a good dish soap. I always use Fairy, in the US branded as Dawn.
- a functional dish rack: if you hate doing the dishes because of the water ballet on your counter, you need (a better) dish rack. My tip is to use a rack with two levels, so it doesn’t take up too much space.
It’s not necessary to dry your dishes with a kitchen towel, you can keep it in the dish rack until they’re dry.
I’ve made it a habit to clean out the dry dishes out of the rack when I’m waiting for my tea water to boil.
Set aside time every day, or at least 5 times a week for a 10-15 minute tidying up session to keep your house clean and organized. You will be surprised how neat your place looks after a quick spruce up.
Try to set a fixed time or moment, such as when you come back from work, right after dinner, or in the morning.
Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and just start wherever you want or think is necessary. Can’t see your dinner table anymore because of the mess? Got stuff lying all around the house? Start picking it up and put it back to where it belongs.
Do as much as possible within this timeframe: time pressure works wonders!
When you do both the dishes and tidying up on a daily basis, your home will look cleaner and more organized. Even if those are the only things you do on most days. Doing both will take 20-30 minutes tops.
I know there will be days where you’ll be out of the house most of the day: it’s okay if you skip a day, just pick up the routine the next day. You don’t even have to extend the time to work on it. Since you were out all day, you wouldn’t have created more dirty dishes or mess!
And of course, if you have a partner, involve them too. Make it ‘house rules’ to have done the dishes and tidy up every day. You can alternate days between the two of you or split the tasks, for example.
Keep your house clean and organized by doing laundry regularly. If you never have time to do your laundry, then you should definitely not let it pile up.
If you do find that your laundry often piles up, it would be a good idea for you to set fixed days to do your laundry. You could, for example, wash your colored clothes every Tuesday, white clothes on Wednesdays and towels, etc. on Saturdays.
I recommend separating your clothes by (dark/light) colors, whites, and towels and others. Wash your towels on 60°C/hot, colors on 40°C/warm, and whites on either one.
It’s easiest to sort your laundry beforehand, which you can do with a sectioned laundry hamper. With a 3-bag laundry hamper you can separate colored and white clothes, and towels and bedding. Next, you can pick up each bag and bring it to the washer. Easy-peasy!
If you never have a full load of bras or delicates within a week, you can just add them to a 40°C/warm colored or white load in a mesh laundry bag.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you might not have a problem with keeping up with laundry… but with folding it. You can ‘force’ yourself to fold it, by putting it on your bed, so you will have to fold it before you get into bed. You can also ask your partner to help you. It’s a good time for a catch-up chat.
Or entertain yourself! You can ‘reward’ yourself for folding the laundry by watching your favorite Youtuber for example, or a show you like.
You could consider getting a washer/dryer combination, where you have the option to choose wash+dry in one cycle. We have one and I find it particularly useful for towels, bedding or clothes that can be put in the dryer.
Kitchen & bathroom
The kitchen and bathroom are used daily, so they need regular cleaning. However, this is quite a dreadful task for most.
You should make cleaning as easy as possible for yourself if you have little time (or simply don’t like cleaning!) to keep your house clean.
In the kitchen, I use kitchen wipes every other day, to wipe away grease, etc. It’s super easy to clean the counter, the stove, the faucet, etc.
Doing this at least twice a week will prevent grease from caking up, which would make it hard to clean. You don’t have to deep clean or procrastinate on deep cleaning anymore! With wipes, it only takes 2-3 minutes to get a clean kitchen.
Be mindful that you get wipes specifically for the kitchen, so they are able to lift grease.
You can use the same tactic for bathrooms.
Personally, to clean the sink, toilet, shower set, and bathtub, I just grab a sponge and bathroom cleaner spray and rinse afterwards. It always surprises me how quickly that works. Especially when I’ve been delaying the task and when I finally do it, I’m like ‘why didn’t I do that earlier, it wasn’t too much work.’
Another quite essential to keep your house clean is vacuuming and dusting, mainly because it’s quite visible when it’s not being done. It’s also important to maintain in case of dust allergies or sensitivities.
First off, vacuuming. Lucky for us, we live in a time with great technologies. My biggest recommendation is to get a robot vacuum!
We have a robot vacuum and it is ah-ma-zing. A robot vacuum will go around your house by itself and vacuum along the way, so you don’t have to do it. You can just turn it on and go do something else or even leave the house.
A great feature of our robot vacuum is that you can set a timer and select days for it to run automatically. So you can keep your house clean automatically!
We let it run every day at noon. Our long-haired cat and long-haired me lose quite some hair over the day, but because of the daily vacuuming, you will rarely find them on the floor.
A proper robot vacuum maps the area and knows how to go around chair and table legs etc. You do have to keep the doors open to the rooms you want it to vacuum, of course. It won’t be able to go into, for example, the tight space between your sofa and the wall, so you’ll still need a regular vacuum cleaner to clean those spaces from time to time.
Robot vacuums have buttons on them but are usually controlled via an app, and most of them are compatible with voice-control like Alexa or Google Home.
Some robot vacuums I recommend:
- Affordable ones, without an app or voice-control, but with a remote control.
- A robot vacuum with mop, works with an app or voice control. This one has a high suction power.
- A super all-rounder with great suction vacuum and mop and superior navigation system.
If you’d rather not use a robot vacuum, I highly recommend getting a cordless vacuum.
Besides our robot vacuum cleaner, we have the Dyson V7 Animal. It is incredibly easy to pick up the vacuum and have a quick cleanup. It almost makes it enjoyable to vacuum.
Our Dyson is not the newest version, but it is the best vacuum I have ever had. It has a high suction power, so you only have to go over a place once – making it even faster to finish vacuuming.
I researched several Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners before settling on the V7. My conclusion was that the V7 has many improvements over the V6 and that it was close in performance with the newer models at that time. But the price is much more accessible than the latest versions.
Once you go cordless, you will realize that the main reason you don’t like vacuuming is because of struggles with the cord and pulling the vacuum around.
The set also included a few useful nozzles, one of which I regularly use for dusting too.
A good duster should pick up dust instead of pushing it around, without having to sweep too often. That’s why I would recommend a (washable) microfiber duster to keep your house clean of dust.
Let me tell you, I hate dusting, so I have to make it easy for myself to actually do it (including outsourcing it to my husband, haha). So how to simplify the dusting process?
For some surfaces, I use the handheld part of our cordless Dyson V7 vacuum cleaner, but for the harder to reach parts, a duster is the best option.
A duster like this one:
- picks up dust with a quick sweep and without moving everything around
- is bendable, so it’s easy to reach all nooks and crannies
- extends a lot, making it easy to reach your ceiling fans and corners too
- is washable
All you have to do is move the duster around, it does the rest of the job by itself. As I said, make it easy for yourself!
Think about what the most annoying thing is about mopping. It’s the constant washing and wringing the mop in a bucket, and carrying that bucket with you around the house, right?
Staying in the theme of ‘making it easy for yourself’: a steam mop makes life easier. I first saw one at my in-laws, and since it was such a great tool, we decided to get one too.
You only have to fill it with water and turn it on. The steam will lift any dirt from the floor. All you have to do is just sweep it around the house. Steam gets rid of 99.9% of germs without the need for chemicals.
Cleaning your floors will no longer be a dreaded chore with a steam mop.
And what’s better, is that most steam mops are more than a mop alone. We have one that also has a handheld part that you can put different nozzles on. You can clean grout, tiles, hard to reach areas, the stove, the oven, anything basically! It’s a multi-functional and chemical-free way to keep your house clean.
I like to use it to steam our fabric headboard, for example, and our shower floor.
Or you could get yourself a robot vacuum with a mop function! Isn’t it amazing to live in this day and age? See my robot recommendations under Vacuuming.
Let’s get started to keep your house clean
We have now covered the basic tasks of how to keep your house clean.
As you have noticed, the overarching theme is to make each task as simple as possible for yourself (or outsource it to a robot!), so you won’t procrastinate or dread cleaning as much.
Share this post and these tips with your friends too!