Interiors, Organization

How My Home is Always Clean

It only takes getting ready to head out the door to take your house from mostly clean to a complete disaster. Between makeup on the bathroom counter, pile of laundry on a chair, dishes in the sink, and skipping making the bed, it’s often the case that we return to a messy home at the end of a long day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I am often asked how my home is so clean, and being a Type A neat freak helps, but my secret is that I don’t really let my home get messy . I do a little bit of cleaning each day and spend a few minutes tidying up before bed every night. That’s it. Waking up to a clean home each morning feels so good – it’s a great way to start a productive day, and makes me feel better on days I’m at home.

Make your bed

I have done this every single day for forever – even throughout college. It’s the first productive thing you’ll do all day and for me, sort of sets the tone for the day, and for a cleaner bedroom.

Clean up as you go

There isn’t always time to put everything away, but more often than not, that’s what I try to do. On the days that can’t happen, clean up when you get home or before bed. Wipe down anything that’s dirty, hang clothes up, and put away anything you’ve used. It’s a lot less work than deep cleaning once a week.

Clean your countertops

I clean my kitchen counters almost every day and bathroom counters every few days (as needed). It takes just a few seconds and makes both rooms feel so much cleaner. I quickly dust my dresser, nightstand, and mirrors once or twice a week, too.

Put things away

Instead of throwing your coat on a chair and piling shoes by the door, hang your coat on a hook or in the closet. Toss junk mail, put away makeup after getting ready, and fold and put away your laundry. Have a home for everything and put whatever you’re using away when you’re done with it.

Tidy up before bed

Spend a few minutes cleaning up before bed. I make sure kitchen counters are clean, dishes are done, that there isn’t crap all over our counters, and that the sofa and banquette pillows are fluffed. Might sound crazy but I really like walking into a clean living room in the morning. And I never spend hours cleaning every weekend!

Don’t let dishes pile up

Don’t want to do your dishes right away? NBD. But commit to doing them before you leave the house or go to bed because doing 1 or 2 is so much better than doing 10. I don’t know why I hate emptying the dishwasher so much, but if you get it done while making coffee, catching up with a friend on the phone, or doing basically anything to distract yourself from this mindless chore, it makes it a lot less painful.

Do the laundry

Whether you have laundry in-unit or not, if you’re spending the evening at home, put a load of laundry in the wash right when you get home.

Sweep or vacuum 1x a week

I live in a small 1 bedroom so this is another quick and easy one for me, but I vacuum once a week and sweep the floor with this once or twice a week.

Get rid of clutter

Owning less = cleaning less. Whenever you notice something you don’t need, haven’t used in a while, or have duplicates of, set it aside to donate or sell. Having less stuff means organized closets and fewer “things” that will collect dust and dirt. And it really does set the tone for a more organized home. It’s so much easier to stay organized when you own less.

Embrace the junk drawer

It’s ok to have a junk drawer or box of the stuff that doesn’t have a home, but commit to going through it before it looks like this.

Cleaning may not be your favorite thing, but doing a little bit each day is a lot less painful than spending hours doing a deep clean every week. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: when Conor and I moved in together, we hired someone to clean our place every other week, but that’s the first time I’ve ever had help keeping my home clean. And if you’ve followed me on instagram for a while, you’ll notice that I’ve always had a clean home. We have had so much going on and splitting the fee 50/50 felt worth it. I also have laundry in-unit but have done without that, too.

  • While my apt may not always be without dust it is always tidy, as a fellow Type-A personality, it helps the mindset that everything is orderly. I, however, never make my bed except if company is coming over. I find an unmade bed to be so much more cozy and like my sheets cool so I never have the duvet pulled up during the day (because I’m crazy and think it’s makes the sheets warm). Ha. My #1 tip from my grandma was “always do the dishes before bed” because there is nothing worse than walking into the kitchen first thing in the morning and already feeling like you have something to do. And it is so true, when I forget, it’s the absolute worst to have to clean dishes at 8am.

    • Ohhh I love cold sheets. I used to have a chillow! (look it up if you haven’t heard of it) 🙂

  • Frances

    Danielle, these are all such good tips, but I would love to know how you deal with the thing that drives me nuts: paperwork! Even with doing so much online, I still seem to have a ton of it. As a fellow one bedroom dweller, I’d love any tips you have for organizing/keeping it under control. Thx!

    • Yes, same! I’m drowning in paperwork! And puppy dog paraphernalia! Thank you!

      • I have a drawer for any papers I need to hold on to and toss everything I don’t need. I do e-bills whenever possible, too. We have one dog bed, Buddy doesn’t play with toys, and Tucker only has a handful of them that we keep in a basket. Hope that helps!

  • speedychick

    Curious, as we are both multiple dog homes, vacuuming and mopping once a week keeps the dog hair in check. We have to do this multiple times a week and even more with three small children running around (and I don’t even have big shedders, just BIG dogs a Dogue de Bourdeaux and a Bulldog). I agree a little goes a long way! Dishes in the sink and laundry are the bane of my existence. I love looking at your home!

    • My dogs are really small so maybe that’s the difference? I notice dust over dog hair! Now Buddy’s hair all over our white sheets? That’s a whole other story.

  • Kelley

    Every post I read I feel like we would totally be friends in real life. So much in common. This is exactly what I do and it makes being at home so enjoyable. I also have someone who comes every other week and that has been such a blessing. I highly recommend it especially if you work out of the home. I can always cut back somewhere else!

    • I never had anyone clean my place until I put my old apartment (2 places ago) on airbnb and needed help keeping it up. Life. Changer. Then we moved in together so it’s basically a 50% discount, right? Ha. Helps so much!

  • I’m like you, Type A and a neat freak. On Monday I was feeling sick so I deep cleaned my house and I felt better, I know I’m crazy. I love a clean home. I love knowing that even the little corners and baseboards are clean in the least used rooms. Clutter is literally my enemy. I just don’t let it happen. You have so many great tips here, my favs are make your bed every morning, I do it and it sets the pace for a neat day and tidy up before bed, you’ll thank yourself when you come downstairs to a clean living room the next morning.
    http://www.forthewonderer.com

    • Sounds like something I’d do! We just did a massive closet overhaul and it feels so good in here! Hope you’re feeling better.

  • Heidi Bennett

    Oh yes, I remember these days. When I was single, my apartment was immaculate. Neat, tidy, smelling good, flowers, etc… But now that I live with bad roommates (read: Husband + stepchildren) these days are over! As much as I try and nag and lecture, it’s just hopeless. Enjoy your clean home while you can!

  • I’m definitely the clean-as-you-go type and I also recommend it. Also, I too hate emptying the dishwasher. Nice post! I meant to read it yesterday, and time sure got away from me to head over. Glad I could check it out today… though I was hoping you were going to share a Fairy Godmother spell or something 😉

    With Love & Style,
    ♥ Amber
    ALL THE AMBIENCE

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