Decluttering your home can be a daunting task, but one that’s well worth it.
The benefits of a tidy, organized home are real:
- Reduces stress
- Makes it easier to find the things you need
- More room for fun and relaxation
- Improves the beauty of your home
- Much easier to clean regularly
- It’s safer for children
- Minimizes indoor air pollution, allergens, and bacteria
- Prevents pest infiltrations
Once you’ve done the tough work of decluttering your home and giving it a deep clean, the next step is to figure out how to keep it clean.
It helps to have a plan for each area of your home about how things should be organized and what types of habits to develop to keep things that way.
How to Keep Your House Organized After a Deep Clean
Let’s start with a few general habits that will help you keep your home beautiful day in and out:
1. Make your bed as soon as you get up
- Making your bed first thing in the morning automatically makes your bedroom look and feel much cleaner.
- There’s nothing like jumping into a nicely made bed at the end of a long day.
- Fold and put away any extra blankets, too.
2. Do the laundry regularly
- Rather than letting your hampers pile up with a week’s worth of dirty clothes, plan to toss a load into the washer on a more regular basis.
- Although the consistency varies from family to family, this could be as often as every day.
- This will make the task of doing the laundry less overwhelming and ensure your clothes are always clean and put away, rather than in a 4-foot-deep tower on the floor of your bedroom.
3. Have everyone pitch in
- Each member of your family should at the very least be responsible for keeping the areas they use clean.
- Encouraging your children to clean up after themselves whenever they make a mess is a lot easier than trying to get them to spend an hour cleaning a pig-sty of a room.
4. Do a daily tidy-up
- Each evening, spend 10-15 minutes tidying up any clutter
- Doing this daily makes for a clean home to wake up to the next morning, and prevents massive pile-ups of stuff over the course of the week.
5. Store cleaning supplies close to where you need them:
- In the kitchen, keep a wipe-down towel and surface cleaner close by to make cleaning up after you cook quick and easy.
- Same goes for the bathroom — have a toilet brush, shower spray, and toilet cleaner where you can see and access them so you’ll be encouraged to use them regularly.
6. Put things away as you use them:
- This may be obvious, but it makes a huge difference.
- When you change out of clothes, either hang them up or fold them and put them away, or put them directly into the hamper. It takes 5 more seconds than tossing them onto the chair.
- Same thing goes for dishes — just finish a cup of coffee at your desk? Put it in the dishwasher! Done with that magazine for now? Put it back in the magazine rack.
- The list goes on and on, but it’s little actions like this that prevent a messy house that you’re too tired to deal with at the end of the day.
Some of these tips may be easier said than done, so start small. Even if you only achieve a few of these once a week at first, after a month you might find yourself falling in love with how nice your home is when it’s tidy. That satisfaction is great motivation to keep going.
If you’re still struggling with certain areas of your home, you may benefit from more specific tips. Below we break down how you can keep each part of your home organized and clean.
In the Living Room
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The living room is like the base of operations for your household. Which also makes it ground zero for clutter!
A few simple tips will keep it clean no matter what you throw at it.
Clean during commercial breaks
- Like to settle down with an episode of your favorite show after work? Why not use those commercial breaks to do a quick clean-up?
- Wipe down and organize your coffee table and end tables during the breaks — don’t worry, you aren’t missing much.
- If your coffee table quickly piles up with books and magazines, create a designated space for such items, like a book shelf or magazine rack.
Fold blankets and tidy pillows at the end of the night
- Before going to bed, fold any blankets and fluff up your couch pillows.
Use baskets for organization
- You don’t always have time to put everything away, but that doesn’t mean your house can’t stay relatively organized.
- A basket or chest is great for quickly tossing any clutter into one place, which you can deal with in the morning or whenever you have a spare minute. Plus, it can add a decorative touch.
- Same goes for the kids’ toys: have a designated bin which toys go back into after playtime.
Invest in furniture with hidden storage
- An ottoman that has internal storage is a perfect place to put extra blankets.
- A coffee table with drawers and compartments is helpful for keeping things like remotes and coasters organized but out of sight.
In the Kitchen
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Kitchens are notorious for becoming disaster zones, given that this is where you prep, cook, and often eat meals.
It’s where your family starts and ends their day, with lots of stops for snacks or a sandwich in between.
If you aren’t vigilant, a kitchen can quickly become a a lure for pests like mice and insects. Keep them away with these regular kitchen clean-up tips.
Clean while coffee is brewing
- For many of us, the first thing we do in the morning is set the coffee pot. Use those 5-10 minutes while you wait for your morning perk up to tidy up the area.
- Empty the dishwasher (if you don’t do this now, dirty dishes will pile up all day because you won’t be able to put them into dishwasher full of clean dishes).
- Wipe down the counters and kitchen table, and quickly sweep the floor.
- It doesn’t have to be a deep clean, but these little actions will do wonders to keep things relatively clean day to day.
Run the dishwasher before you go to bed
- Ideally, you’re putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher as you use them.
- At the end of the day, put any remaining dishes in and run a cycle so you can empty it first thing in the morning.
Clean up after yourself while cooking:
- Making dinner usually involves several steps, with waiting in-between.
- While the food is simmering or baking, you can wash your knives, cutting boards, and measuring cups, then put them away.
- Fill your dirty pots with soap and water to soak while you’re eating dinner — a quick scrub down and drying after dinner means everything is clean and back in place within minutes.
Look for kitchen items you aren’t using
- Remember that old plastic cup from the gas station that you at some point deemed an appropriate piece of dishware for your home? Instead of letting it live at the back of the cupboard, pull it out and recycle it or throw it away.
- Same goes for the ugly free coffee mug from the car dealership that no one uses, the odd spoon that doesn’t match the rest of the set, or the 900 packets of mayonnaise in the drawer you have “just in case.”
- You may have fallen prey to purchasing a kitchen tool that was guaranteed to save you time, like a watermelon slicer or a microwave egg cooker that turned out to be clutter. Either trash it or take it to the thrift store for someone else to try.
Put food items back in the right place
- An organized fridge and pantry can’t stay that way if you don’t put things back where you found them.
- It doesn’t take any longer to put things in the right place rather than the wrong place, and the reward is a tidy kitchen where you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
In the Bathroom
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The bathroom is another major enemy in the clean home wars. Between showers, make-up, teeth brushing, and well, everything else that goes on in a bathroom, it’s sort of the ultimate mess zone.
But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to keep it looking aces.
Spray the shower after each use
- Between soap scum and grime, a shower can get a little gross pretty quickly.
- After every shower, spray down the shower with a shower cleaner to help fight soap and shower scum buildup.
Put towels and robes back on hooks and towel bars
- Instead of tossing your wet towel or robe on the floor, over the door, or on the bed, neatly fold it and hang it on the towel bar to dry for its next use.
Take 5 minutes at the end of the day for a quick clean
- Put toothpaste and make-up products back in their place before going to bed, then give the counter and toilet a quick wipe-down so you can wake up to a fresh bathroom the next day.
Only store stuff you use every day in the bathroom
- Over time, we all build up collections of creams, medicines, makeup, and other grooming tools.
- Store whatever you don’t use on a daily basis in a linens closet or other storage area. That way your bathroom can stay decluttered with just the essential for daily use.
Use a basket for hairdryers, straighteners, and other bathroom tools:
- A basket hidden away under the sink is a great place to drop your electric razor, hair dryer or hair curler — you always know where they are, and they don’t add to the mess when you aren’t using them.
In the Bedroom
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Your bedroom is your zen zone — a peaceful escape that should be nothing but relaxing. It’s hard to relax when your little getaway is piled high with clutter.
We already talked about general tips that will help in this room at the beginning of this blog, like making your bed every day, hanging clothes back up, and regularly doing laundry. But there are some more habits you can work on to take it to the next level.
Here are a few more tips to keep your chill-zone that way every day.
Keep a donate bag in your closet
- Whenever you come across a piece of clothing that is worn out or just doesn’t quite fit like it used to, have a donation bag where you can toss these pieces.
- Whenever the bag fills up, ask yourself if you even remember what’s in there. You can always pull a piece you aren’t sure about back out.
- Otherwise, the rest goes to Goodwill.
Clean bedside tables and dresser top each morning
- When you’re grabbing your phone and keys in the morning, give your bedside table a quick tidy up and wipe down.
- It’s helpful to keep a surface cleaner and cloth behind the table or in a drawer so it’s close when you need it.
- This is also a chance to nab receipts and other stuff you emptied out of your pockets at the end of the night and take them to the trash.
Use under-the-bed storage containers
- Under-the-bed totes are handy for things you don’t use often.
- These are great for extra blankets, books, or out of season clothes.
Store change in a coin jar
- • Every night when you get changed for bed, you probably have a few coins you pull out of your pockets and throw onto the dresser.
- • Instead, put a jar on your dresser and place the coins in there.
- • It keeps your dresser surface clear and after a few months, you’ll have enough change saved up to buy yourself lunch. Even if it’s just a cheap lunch.
In the Kids’ Play Area
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Kids aren’t exactly experts at cleaning up after themselves, so their rooms and play areas often tend to quickly become a minefield of Legos, toy cars, and stuffed animals.
The good news is that keeping it under control isn’t as hard you might think.
Stick to the 20-toy rule
- Your children likely get new toys pretty often, and they stop playing with old ones eventually.
- To keep the toy chest from completely overflowing into the rest of the play area, set a 20-toy rule for each child. That’s still a lot of toys!
Organize different things each day
- Your kids have toys, books, electronics, and more. Sometimes it can be a bit much to try to put them all away every day.
- Instead, designate each day as a clean-up day for one category of your kids’ stuff.
- For example, maybe they put all their books back on the shelf and in order on Mondays. Wednesdays are for toys, and Fridays for electronics, games, etc.
Use labeled storage bins
- Storage bins for action figures, for crayons, for Legos, etc. These are a lifesaver when it comes to kids’ stuff, which tends to come in lots of little pieces.
- A hanging shoe organizer on the inside of the door is a great way to store dolls or other toys.
Keep it Clean by Keeping Junk Out
Ultimately, the best way to keep a de-cluttered home clutter-free is to not bring junk into the home in the first place!
The best thing about keeping your home clear of stuff is that you can actually deep clean when you want to without worrying about moving and throwing away a bunch of junk first.
And when it’s time to clean, it’s nice to have even more tricks up your sleeve to get it done fast and cheap. Read our guide on 10 genius housecleaning hacks to save time and money »