What’s the secret to keeping a clean and clutter-free home? Well, the secret is there isn’t one! It’s being intentional every day. Cleaning up messes before they get out of hand, following through with routines, and putting a few simple systems into place will definitely help.
There are 9 things I do on a daily or weekly basis that help our family maintain a clean and clutter-free home. These are things that took effort in the beginning, but have since become habits that now are part of our regular routine. If you are struggling to maintain a clean and clutter-free home, I highly recommend starting with these 9 tasks.
1. Complete a Morning Routine
Our morning routine is so important to getting our day off on the right foot. It not only gives me a jumpstart on a few daily tasks we have to do in our home, but it also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something right away. This in turn gives me a boost of energy to get more done that day!
My morning routine doesn’t take long. About 20 minutes is all it takes to really get the ball rolling. I make my bed, start a load of laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, wipe down the bathroom counters after I finish get ready, and then do a quick pick up of our living space with my boys. That’s it. You can read more about how I created this simple, yet effective morning routine in this post.
2. Finish Each Night with your Evening Routine
Just like your morning routine is the perfect way to start your day, your evening routine will help you set yourself up for success the next day. Just like my morning routine, I like to keep it simple. I only do the absolute necessary things. These include cleaning up the dinner dishes and setting the dishwasher to run overnight, finishing the load of laundry I started by drying, folding, and putting it ALL away, completing a quick pick up of our home, and making a short to-do list for the next day.
I’ve found that if I do nothing else throughout the except completing my morning and evening routines, my home stays clean and clutter-free.
3. Have a Weekly Cleaning Routine
While I love having a weekly cleaning routine, I’m not super strict with it. Life happens, Some days are busier than others, and if I’m too rigid with myself then I just won’t do it at all.
So instead of having a specific day each week that I clean my entire house or having specific chores assigned to different days of the week, I tend to do something completely different. I have a list of 5 tasks I want to complete throughout the week. As I have time, I check a task off my list. Some weeks this means getting everything done in one day. Other weeks I’m sporadically cleaning my house throughout the week. But that’s okay. It’s all getting done eventually and my home stays cleaner because of it.
The tasks I try to complete each week include dusting (I actually only do this every other week), vacuuming, mopping the floors, scrubbing the bathrooms, and changing the sheets on all the beds.
One other thing that has made cleaning my home so much easier is simply decluttering. When I have less to clean and less to clean around, this task takes much less time. Before simplifying my home, dusting took me over an hour so I would put it off. Now I can dust my entire home in about 10 minutes. Removing the furniture and decor I didn’t really need or love made such a difference.
4. Meal Plan Consistently
You might be wondering how meal planning can help you home stay clean and clutter-free. But hear me out! If you are consistently meal planning, then you should always know whats for dinner each night. So instead of feeling frazzled and crazy trying to get something on the table, you will know exactly what to prepare.
Sometimes we don’t realize how stress and anxiety affects us until we step back and make changes. If you are putting all of your energy into trying to scrap together a meal at 6pm at night, you will be less likely to clean up the dishes or finish that evening routine. Your energy levels will already be depleted. However, if your night is on auto-pilot, you have a plan, and you can move through it like clockwork, then the extra 10-15 minutes of cleanup will be a breeze.
5. Create a Budget
Creating a budget for yourself or your family will help you not only stay organized with your finances, but it will also help you keep your home clean and clutter-free. When you have a plan for your money, bills and mail will stop accumulating in piles on your counter…or worse stuffed inside a drawer.
A plan for your money almost always creates a trickle down effect. When we feel in control of our finances, we will start to take control of other areas of our life including our home. Get your finances organized today with the 2019 Budget Binder system! Learn more about this system for budgeting your money in this post.
6. Create a Mail System
Paper clutter, particularly mail, is one of the most common struggles I hear people have in their homes. It seems like it’s a constant, never-ending battle. Instead of fighting this battle, try creating a mail system!
Having plan for everything as it comes into the door is essential to keep it from piling up. For us, we try to recycle as much as we can first. We are then only left with approximately 1-3 pieces of mail that actual need our attention. If it’s a bill, we try to pay it right away. It then in the mail before it’s due date. If it’s a magazine, we have basket where those are stored. When we receive something that needs to be filed away for later, it goes into a hanging wall file to be filed away later that week. This covers most of our bases. By having a system in place for each type of mail that comes in our house, I can quickly sort through the mail. This only takes about 60 seconds and eliminates the paper piles from my home completely.
7. Setup a Purging Station
This can sound much more complicated than it actually is. We use a simple $5 latch-style storage tub. It’s in our garage where we have very easy access to it.It we find things that we no long want or need, we don’t let them continue to take up space in our home. We grab that item and immediately take it to the PURGE STATION. Once the tub is full, we place all of the contents in a large bag so it’s ready for drop-off . The next time we’re out running errands we drop it off at our local donation center.
We are in the maintenance phase of living clutter-free. This is one of the most important things we do to keep clutter from creeping back into our home.
8. Declutter Your Kitchen Counters
Have you ever heard that clutter attracts more clutter? It’s so true. If a space already has a bunch of stuff on it, our eyes can visually block out a few extras. Soon those few extras become permanent fixtures and then more arrives. Before we know it the space is overrun by stuff. I’ve seen this happen over and over again in kitchens. Countertops are a breeding ground for clutter if we don’t stay on top of them.
Store appliances in a cabinet, put your utensils in a drawer, and simplify the decorations down to just 1-3 of your favorites. If your thinking, “I don’t have room in the cabinets or drawers to store these things,” it’s time to declutter those spaces. If something is setting on your countertop right now, it’s probably because it gets used regularly. However, those things in your cabinets probably aren’t getting as much attention. Let go of those things you aren’t using to make room for the things you actually DO use.
9. Create a Simple Command Center
A command center will help you stay on top of all the things that need to be done with your family throughout the week. It’s the perfect place for you to keep a master family calendar. This is the perfect place to record sporting events for your kids, appointments, school dismissal times, etc. If it’s in a spot where everyone has access to it (as opposed to a planner) then everyone in the family can be on the same page with the schedule.
I also like to store our weekly meal plan, a running grocery list, a folder for school paperwork, and our family’s budget binder in our command center. You can learn more about how we setup our simple command center in this post.
Remember, a clean and clutter-free home doesn’t happen by accident. It takes daily intention. But simple systems you can put into place overtime will make a big difference!