11 Daily Habits to Keep a House Clean and Tidy

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This post is sponsored by bobsweep.  As always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Keeping up with the daily house keeping can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to take up all your time.  I feel that keeping a clean home is less about the time involved, and more about creating some good habits that you {eventually!} start to just follow instinctively.  Yes, there are still times that things get crazy and I’m not able to always follow through with the daily cleaning, but, for the most part, I do try to follow these 11 habits to keep a house clean and tidy.  I promise – the more you do them, the easier it gets! If the list seems overwhelming to start with, just pick one or two to get started and then add in more as you are able.

Start by Making the Bed.
I know some people think that making the bed is a waste of time, but it really makes a big difference in how tidy the room looks and only takes a couple of minutes.  Plus, I think it starts off the day well and I love climbing into a made bed at the end of the day.  To make things easier, simplify your bedding as much as possible.  We ended up cutting out our top sheets {as they always just ended up in a big puddle at the end of the bed anyways} and just use a duvet and washable cover.  If you love your top sheets though, you can look at minimizing the number of pillows on your bed or using a large enough comforter or duvet that you don’t need to tuck in your sheets.

Do One Load of Laundry Per Day.
Now, depending on how many loads you typically do per week, you may not need to do this every day, but, for us, we definitely go through at least 7 loads of laundry per week.  Try to get in the habit of putting in one load of laundry first thing in the morning.  If you work outside of the home and won’t have a chance to dry it before your leave, put your machine on delay {if you have this as a feature} so it will be ready to put in the dryer when you get home. Alternatively, put the load in the machine in the morning and just turn it on when you get home.  Make sure you save some time somewhere in your day to complete the load – including putting it away.

Be Happy with “Clean Enough”.
As a perfectionist, this is probably the hardest one for me.  You want your house to be relatively clean and tidy but that doesn’t mean that every little thing has to be perfect.  I always {try!} to follow the 80/20 rule – meaning that I am happy with 80% of the cleaning being done.  Getting caught up in all of the little details that make up the last 20% {like making sure every little speck is cleaned up off the floor or getting to all of those little out of the way and hard to reach places to dust} are huge time suckers and are probably details that no one would really notice.  I’m not saying that they never need to be cleaned, but make them part of a deep cleaning routine rather than your regular weekly cleaning schedule.

Not all cleaning is created equal.  Make a list of what you would like to get done and then prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait until the next day or two.   Given the time that you have available, write down your top 2 or 3 {realistic!} cleaning goals and stick with these before attempting to do other things.  I always used to hate writing out lists but I find that it really helps me to stay focused.

Get the Whole Family Involved.
This is one that I have really tried to work on lately.  Yes, it is often actually easier to just do the job yourself, but spending the time to teach your children to do age appropriate jobs will be better in the long run for both of you.  Start by just working on having your kids pick up after themselves – putting their coat and shoes away when they come in the house, putting dishes in the dishwasher, cleaning their room, etc. – and add in other chores as able.  It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make in the overall tidiness of the house if just these simple things are done.  For the first few weeks that you do this, you will likely need to be on your kids a lot, but over time this will start to be a habit for them as well and it should eventually be able to be done with minimal reminders.

Do a 15 Minute Nightly Clean-up.
Make it a routine to do a family 15 minute nightly clean-up.  For some reason it doesn’t seem quite so bad to clean up when everyone else is doing the same thing.  Put on the timer and just stick with the top cleaning priorities.  Kids can clean their rooms or do other small household chores while you finish up the kitchen cleaning or fold and put away laundry.  Start with the things that are making the biggest mess or creating a lot of clutter or any “must dos” that need to be done before bed.  I always run my bObi robotic vacuum during this time – usually in our high traffic areas.


Keep Basic Cleaning Supplies Close to Where You Use Them.
I have all of our bathrooms stocked with basic cleaning supplies – microfiber cloths and a polishing cloth, a toilet scrub brush, and a spray bottle with water and vinegar {or a multi-purpose cleaner of your choice}.  This makes it so much quicker and easier to give the toilet a quick swipe or wipe the gross toothpaste spit from the mirror instead of having to track down cleaning supplies.  Try to do these simple tasks as you see the need – most of them take only a minute or two – and it will really reduce how often you need to do a top to bottom deep clean.

Never Leave a Room Empty Handed.
This is one habit that can make a huge difference in the general tidiness of your home.  As you move from one room to another {or from one floor to another}, try to do a quick scan to see if there is anything that you can take with you that belongs where you are going.  Take only what you will have time to put away – moving a pile from one room to another without actually putting anything away doesn’t really help you out much.  It can be a couple of dirty dishes that you put in the dishwasher or some laundry that needs to be put away upstairs.   Always keep in mind the “one touch rule”, meaning that you ideally only want to touch items one time before they are put away.  Every time you touch an object to move it from one place to another you are using up precious time and energy so make that extra little effort to put it directly away.  Again, I think it is really more about habit than not having the time.

This one may need to be implemented over a longer period of time, but taking the time to declutter and organize your home will drastically cut down on the amount of time needed to clean.  Having a spot for everything {that is both easily accessible and easy to put away} makes it so much easier to tidy up – for both you and the rest of your family. Less items out on the counters and surface tops cuts down on dusting and makes cleaning a lot quicker.  If you are unsure of where to start, try my 6 Week Decluttering Challenge or read this post on how to keep the clutter out.

Know Your High Traffic Areas.
If you focus on keeping the high traffic areas clean on a daily basis, you can really help to prevent the spread of dirt and dust throughout the rest of the house.  Make sure you have a dedicated spot for shoes at the entrances to your house to remind everyone to take off their shoes and to keep all of the shoe dirt contained in one spot.  Small area rugs at doors can also help to trap a lot of the incoming dirt.  For furry friends that come in and out, have a an old towel by the door to quickly wipe down paws as they come in {you can see other ideas for keeping your house clean with pets here}.  Try to sweep or vacuum these areas daily.  It doesn’t need to be much – just a quick 5 minutes or so should do it.

Clean as You Go.
This one may seem obvious but I think it’s something that we often don’t do.  Putting things away as you go doesn’t really take up much time but it will definitely make the difference between a tidy house and a messy house at the end of the day.  Take your clothes off by your closet and either hang them back up or put them directly in the laundry.  Load the dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of just placing them on the counter.  Put your shoes and coat away as you come in the door.  Have all the family help out cleaning up the kitchen after dinner so you are not stuck with a messy kitchen when it’s really time to go to bed. All of these little things are just habits that can be created with a little intentional planning.  Obviously there will be times when this is not possible, but do it when you can and you will save yourself a ton of cleaning up in the end!

One of the tools that has really helped me out with my daily cleaning is our new bObi vacuum. I’ve always been curious as to how well the robotic vacuums actually work so I was pretty excited when I was sent a bObi from bobsweep to try out.  I really liked the sleek design and the start-up guide that came with it was really simple to use.

After some basic set up and initial charging time, she was all ready to go.  bObi is able to sweep, vacuum, mop {although I haven’t actually tried this function} and also adds a UV sterilization.  There are three basic touch screen buttons that you can use – “Go” for regular cleaning, “Waffle” to clean extra dirty areas that you want it to spend extra time on, and “Juice” which will tell it to go back to its charging station to refuel.  I usually got at least 90 minutes of run time out of bObi before it needed recharging and it will automatically return to its charging dock when there is less than 15% of battery power remaining.

While we do have a pretty open floor plan on our main level, there are some divisions between rooms and lots of transitions between hardwood flooring, area rugs and carpeting.  I did find that bObi did get stuck a few times {such as underneath the sofa or in the chairs in our dining room table}, but for the most part, she did really well navigating around the house and cleaned well on the variety of surfaces {you just need to be careful that the area rugs are laying flat and don’t have any corners flipped up}.  When she did get stuck, she would let out a little chirping noise so I could go and rescue her.

bObi makes a humming kind of noise when she runs but it is way quieter than a regular vacuum and you can easily go about your regular tasks without it bothering you.  There is a remote control that you can use to direct her exactly where you want {or don’t want!} her to go, but I generally just let her run wherever she wants – she’s usually pretty good at getting all of the major problem areas.  bObi has parallel bristle and rubber brushes on the underside for extra sweeping power as well as side brushes to get into corners and along baseboards.  She also has sensors to detect walls, edges, and other obstacles in her path so I don’t worry about her falling off the stairs.

After a little experimenting, I now have bObi integrated into our daily cleaning routine. I use it in the mornings {usually for around 90 minutes} on our main level every second day, and alternate between our basement and the upper level on the other days.  I also use it at night during our 15 minute tidy up in our high traffic areas {usually by the kitchen or front door}. It works great for getting up all of that daily dirt, crumbs, and dust that seem to appear from nowhere and really helps to cut down on dirt being tracked around to other areas of the house.  It should be noted, however, that it does not replace a really thorough vacuuming as there are still areas that it does not get to, BUT, it significantly cuts down on how often I need to vacuum or sweep.  Here are a couple of other tips to get the best use out of bObi…

  • Use it on a regular basis.  I found that the bObi does best cleaning up the daily, wear and tear messes.  Since it doesn’t have a really large debris bin, it would get full really quickly if I hadn’t vacuumed for quite a few days.  You can even program bObi to start at a certain time everyday so you don’t even have to think about it.
  • Do a quick scan of the rooms that you will be cleaning to remove any obstacles that may be in bObi’s way.  This includes little toys {i.e. LEGOs!} that may be scattered around, area rugs that are bunched up, or other smaller obstacles on the floor.  I found that this actually worked really well when it came to getting the boys to clean up their room – they were given the option of getting everything off the floor so the bObi could go in there or they had to vacuum their room themselves.  Guess which option they chose.
  • Get in the habit of emptying the debris bin after every use.  There isn’t an indicator to tell you when it’s full so this is the easiest way to make sure that it is always ready.
  • At the end of each week, do a quick clean of the rotary brushes to remove any hair or strings that may have gotten a bit tangled up.  If these get really tangled, an error light will come on bObi to let you know.  They are super easy to remove though and only take a minute or two to clean.
  • While it is possible to program bObi to run while you are not home, I preferred to be around in case it got stuck on something.  It’s not a big deal if it does get stuck as it will turn itself off, but I liked to know that it was busy cleaning!

For more information on bObi, you can check out their website or head over to Amazon to purchase.  Happy Cleaning!

For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out these posts…

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Best Cleaning Tips of 2015

20 Items to Declutter From Your Kitchen 


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