10 Habits of People With Really Clean Houses
July 26, 2018
Ever walk into a friend’s home and immediately notice how clean it is? They don’t have a housekeeper, so how do they do it? And how do they keep it that way? To get answers, I surveyed friends with the cleanest-of-clean homes and asked them for tips.
They Keep High-Touch Surfaces Germ-Free
There’s no denying that wet wipes make disinfecting surfaces easy (and satisfying). Keep a container handy, and use wet wipes once a week (or daily during flu season) for attacks on light switches, remote controls, drawer pulls, banisters and doorknobs.
They Own a Broom They Love
A daily sweep of the home collects and keeps the dirt at bay, and if you have furry pets or are a family who wears shoes indoors, any efforts to clean the floors can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your home. Regular brooms may be fine, but buying my 24" microfiber dry mop was a life-changing experience. Its width makes it easy to wipe down the floors in our entire hallway in one swift back and forth, and it articulates easily to reach under beds and around dining room chairs.
If They Clean Anything Before Bedtime, It’s the Kitchen Counters
There’s nothing quite like waking up to a clean kitchen in the morning. Load the dishwasher, scrub down the sink, and make sure the countertops themselves get a complete wipe down so they’re free of grease, germs and crumbs.
Their Dedication to Mail Organization Will Make You Jealous
Make it a goal to spend 30 seconds with that stack of mail every day. Immediately recycle or shred anything you don’t need — and don’t feel bad about getting rid off any non-subscription catalogs that don’t warrant your time. If you have extra time, make a call to take your address off their mailing list. Get in the habit of using an app on your smartphone to scan and digitally organize important items so you have less paper trail — and then shred any of those personal items to minimize the amount of paper you're storing at home.
They Don’t Let Laundry Consume Their Lives
It’s easy to pause and ignore the laundry for a week, but it sure is a bummer when you spend a full eight-hour day rotating loads and folding laundry. Keep up with it by adopting a consistent routine, such as committing to running loads two nights a week, and put the clothing back on hangers and in drawers immediately to check the chore off your list.
Their Routine Includes Making the Bed
As soon as you roll out of bed in the morning, make an effort to make your bed, or at the very least, fold the comforter and toss the pillows back where they belong. Your room will always look presentable and clean, and it’s guaranteed to make you feel like you have your act together even if there are still dust bunnies hiding beneath the bed frame.
They Make Clean-Up As Easy As Possible
In two-story homes, there’s a perpetual battle of trying to keep things that belong upstairs, upstairs, and things that belong downstairs, downstairs. Adopting a system for moving items between upstairs and downstairs will make this chore easier since you're probably already running up and down all day anyway. Place things that eventually need to go upstairs in the basket, and then remember to complete the chore next time you hike up. Same goes for bringing items down — save yourself a trip, and carry the basket with items back downstairs with you on your next run.
They Commit to an Orderly Linen Closet
Commit to order in your pantry and linen closet. Storage spaces behind closed doors can quickly go from zero-to-chaos everytime you buy groceries, or wash sheets and towels. If your linen closet constantly spills out everytime you open the door, you may be less inclined to properly put clean items away. So take a few moments to organize the closet and enjoy the cleanliness and orderliness it brings to your life. (Psst... also, learn how to master the art of folding a fitted sheet.)
They Run the Dishwasher Every. Single. Day.
Owning a high-efficiency appliance makes this routine economical. Make it a habit of loading the dishwasher and running it every night after dinner, and unloading it as your coffee brews the following morning. If you only produce enough to fill some of the dishwasher, keep in mind that many appliances have a half-load setting that targets the top rack and uses up to 30% less water.
They Have Clean Refrigerators
Achieving refrigerator organization feels a lot like getting the high-score in Tetris, but keeping the shelves and drawers clean is a sure-fire way to level-up. Every time you’re planning a grocery run, take a moment to shift items off the top shelf, give it a thorough wipe-down, and then re-organize. Next week, focus on cleaning the next shelf down, and then shelf #3, and so forth. By the end of the month, you’ll be rinsing out the lowest crisper bins, and reveling in how clean your fridge has stayed by taking it one level at a time. Note that you'll never have to completely empty your fridge to get this chore done when you take it one shelf at a time!