How to Keep a Clean Home Even When You're Busy

Have you ever looked around your home and were bummed out because it was so messy but you are way too busy to keep it clean?  I know because I have too.  But with these tried and true tips it is possible to Keep a Clean Home Even When You're Busy.   

How to Keep Your House Clean Even When You're Busy Pinterest Pin.

What's one of the first things that flies out the window when you're schedule is full?  If you're anything like me, it's keeping up with the housework.  I know how hard it is to take kids to school, work, pick kids up, grocery shop, meal plan, make dinner, drive to practices and help with homework.  With a schedule like that, it doesn't leave a lot of time for ... well, anything.  

Tips for Keeping a Clean House Even with a Busy Schedule

With a few little tweaks to your routines, it is possible to keep a clean house, even when life is hectic.  I know, because these are the things I do to keep my house straight.  

Narrow down your definition for what a clean house is and what it looks like for you and your family.  

My brain does not function at capacity when my spaces are cluttered and chaotic.  I can't find things and I can't think clearly.  I didn't understand this when I first became an adult.  It was only after a bunch of trial and error (aka crankiness) that I realized I needed tidy spaces.  So that helped me narrow down my definition of a clean house.  

  • Figure out messy hotspots and come up with a plan for them
  • Clean counters
  • Keep sink dish free
  • Parking place for coats, backpacks and keys
  • Sort and discard/file mail 
  • Do small/quick housekeeping tasks daily
  • Regularly purge cabinets, drawers and closets
  • Have a plan for laundry
  • Plan a day to deep clean and enlist family help

Figure out Messy Hotspots

Walk around your home and look at all of the places that clutter seems to pile up.  This usually happens near entrances, kitchen counters, and don't forget that chair in your bedroom.  Those messy places or hot spots are a clue that you need to have an action plan for the spot.  Most of the items in this list are ways to deal with the hot spots.  

Keep kitchen counters and sink clean.

Clean Counters

Can we all just agree that we need to keep our kitchen counters clean?  Ew.  According to this site, kitchen counters tend to be the dirtiest spot in the house, even more than the bathroom.  Double ew.  Because of this, I keep my kitchen counters clean at all times.  I do not let mail, receipts, homework, permission slips, bills, or even groceries sit on the counter and I am very strict about it.  One could say that it's a bunch of extra work for me, but I am ok with it.  For one thing, I don't have a ton of counter space so every bit I do have needs to be used for meal prep and cooking.  Also, since kitchens are the place that meal prep and cooking happen, those counters need to be clean and sanitary.  I have systems in place for all the stuff that comes in through the door so that my counters stay clean.  Read on for more tips.  

Never Let Dishes sit in the Sink

Just like clean counters, this is non negotiable for me.  Dishes NEVER get left in our sink.  We run the dishwasher every night and it gets emptied every morning.  Then through out the day, dirty dishes go directly into the dishwasher.  I encouraged my kids from an early age to put their dishes in the dishwasher.  And they do without too much prodding from me.  Thankfully my husband is totally on board with this.  Every now and then I have to remind my family, but for the most part, it's become a habit.  I clean up as I go when cooking too.  My dishwasher broke during a really financially tight time in our life and I used every last penny I'd saved to buy a new dishwasher because it's that important to me.  I would even give up thrifting for a month if that's what it took.  

Use hooks for jackets and backpacks.

Make a Parking Place for Often Used Items

How many times have you been almost late for work because you couldn't find your keys?  Or do you struggle getting your kids out the door for school because they can't find shoes or backpacks?  That's because you need parking spaces for all of those things.  Hang a rack near the most used entrance to your house for backpacks.  Get a basket for shoes.  Use a dish or key rack for keys.  And ENFORCE it.  That is the most important part.  You are going to have to remind everyone, including yourself over and over again.  We hang backpacks on the hooks, we put shoes in the basket and we put keys on their spot.  Once again, you will have to remind everyone but eventually they will get into the habit.  

Sort and Discard/File Mail

In the days of email and online bill paying, there isn't as much snail mail as in days past,  But there will always still be mail and paperwork coming into the home.  You MUST deal with it immediately.  The more it piles up, the more overwhelming it is.  Here is how simple it is.
  • Go to your mailbox and pick up the mail.  
  • As you are walking back inside, sort through the mail.
  • Immediately open it and then separate it into 2 piles - toss or file
  • Toss (or recycle) advertisements, envelopes from bills, and any junkmail. Be ruthless.  You really don't have to keep very much I promise.  All of those coupons can be tossed and then you can sign up for texted coupons from all of your favorite places to cut down on the paperwork that comes into your house.
  • File bills to be paid (don't forget to write the due date on your calendar) and any other items you need to keep like tax forms or bank statements.  
It really is that simple to keep up with the mail.  

Ocedar mop with washable cloth.

Do Small/Quick Housekeeping Tasks Daily

If you put off the housework, eventually there will be so much that needs to be done that it is too much and overwhelming.  (As a side note, you can probably tell that all of my systems are in place to keep me from getting overwhelmed) I have found if I do small/quick housekeeping tasks often, it keeps my house clean and running smoothly.  When I notice the floor messy, I give it a quick sweep,  When the bathroom has toothpaste it the sink, I wipe it out really quick with the disinfecting wipe stored underneath the sink.  

Regularly Purge Cabinets, Drawers and Closets

Just like I talked about in this post, you need to get rid of your stuff on the regular.  The more often you purge, the less it will all pile up and become overwhelming.  I think one of the biggest issues we face is putting off clutter control until it becomes so huge that we need a bunch of time to tackle it.   And then we never have that time so it grows and grows.  You will never have all of the time you need to tackle it, but that doesn't mean it's hopeless.  The secret is to carve out small bits of time and purge one small spot.    
  • When you get dressed in the morning, spend 10 minutes going through one spot in your closet and put the discarded items directly into a bin for donation.  
  • When you make dinner, spend 5 minutes while waiting for the pasta to cook to go through your pantry.  Toss unused and expired items.  
  • When you put your makeup on, immediately toss anything you don't use regularly.  It doesn't matter that you spent money on it.  It doesn't matter if it was a gift.  If it is not serving you, get rid of it.  

Laundry Closet with baskets on shelves.

Have a Laundry Plan

Laundry is a given.  Coming up with a plan for how you would best like to tackle it with your schedule is a must.  You can do one load every day or choose a day to do it all at once.  For me, I do laundry as needed.  I found laundry baskets that will fit full load of laundry.  I have one for each Darks, Lights and Whites.  When one of them gets full, I do the load of laundry.  I used this same method when I had all of my children at home and now that I only have 1 child left at home.  

Plan a Day to Deep Clean and Enlist Family Help

Even if you do the small housekeeping tasks daily, eventually you will have to do deep cleaning.  The shower still needs to be scrubbed, the carpets vacuumed and the windows need to be washed.  I keep a running list of those deep clean tasks.  Then on a day that my family all agrees on, I sit out the list and everyone signs up for a task.  That seems so simple and dumb but it seriously works.  

With just a little bit of planning, You Can Keep a Clean House Even When You're Busy.

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