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How to Keep the House Clean When You Work Full-Time


When you’re out of the house for more than 40 hours a week, and you have kids, pets, and, you know, a life — it can be super hard to keep your house clean and organized, even if you want to. But with a few simple strategies, you can tackle your to-do list and have that clean house you always dreamt of.

First, divide household chores into daily habits and weekly tasks. Daily habits are things that you’ll do every day to keep your home clean, and weekly tasks are bigger, more time-consuming chores that you do once a week (or less regularly!).

Weekly Tasks

Set a cleaning schedule of weekly tasks to ensure that, as well as being tidy, your house is clean. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive (or exhausting). It could simply be:

Monday — vacuum floors.

Tuesday — wash floors.

Wednesday — clean bathroom.

And so on. To make it even easier, when you’re doing these tasks, set yourself a 15-minute timer. Tackling jobs quickly means you’re more likely to actually do them!

Daily Habits

We get it: you’re not going to do all of these every day — and that’s OK. You’re not perfect (more on that later). But here are some daily habits that can help keep your home clean and tidy. They take very little time and effort, and mostly, they’re simple enough to become part of your routine.

  • Do a load of laundry before you go to work, and hang it out when you come home.
  • Fold laundry in front of your favorite Netflix show.
  • Keep biodegradable wipes in your bathroom and use them to wipe down surfaces daily (or as needed).
  • Wash your dishes ASAP, or stack them in the dishwasher.
  • Tidy before bed. Before you head to bed, do a 10-minute tidy around the house. Wipe the kitchen counters, put away books/DVDs and so on, hang up towels.
  • Use the two-minute rule: if it takes less than two minutes, do it now. Wash up a plate. Put away your dirty clothes. Put the recycling in the bin.
  • Clean as you go — always. This is the easiest way to build cleaning into your day. Pick up your clothes instead of leaving them on the floor. Wipe down your kitchen counters when you notice they’re dirty, not later. Put away your clean dishes while the kettle is boiling.
  • Make your bed every day. Simple. Super effective.
  • Tackle your entrance, aka the landing strip, daily. File your mail, put away your shoes and bags, and hang up your coat. Easy!
  • Don’t wear shoes inside the house. Your time spent cleaning the floor will be drastically reduced.
  • Keep a squeegee in the shower to wipe down the glass regularly.
  • Use your hair dryer to blow floor dirt into the corner of your bathroom (where it seems to build up quickly!) and then use a dust pan and broom to sweep it up — an easy way to keep your floors clean every day.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of peppermint/eucalyptus oil in the shower before you turn it on — at least that way, your place will smell clean!

Here’s the thing: as lovely as it is to have a clean home, it’s not the most important thing in your life. You have a job. You have a family. You have a life. So strive for perfection if you like, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t get there. It’s all good!

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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