As a Work-At-Home-Mom, I find it very hard to work, cook, clean and play with my 3 kids all in a day. Keeping up a blog is a lot more work than it seems. We have to deal with the technical web stuff, create images, engage in social media, email marketing, send out newsletters, respond to countless emails, deal with affiliates, sponsors, and ad networks and so much more!  I also run an online shop for my planner and stickers, design free printables for my blog, and design planner stickers for Silhouette America.

So how do I find time to do all of that and still be a mom who can keep her house clean and organized? I follow simple rules and habits.  I teach my kids these simple habits so they can help me. I teach my husband (but he’s harder to teach than the kids). & I don’t fret about perfectionism. My house isn’t super clean, but it looks uncluttered. I cannot work when the house is a mess.

A cluttered environment = a cluttered mind. My space needs to be neat and orderly for me to focus on my work. So these are the 5 simple habits to a clean home. I don’t spend hours a day cleaning or even my whole weekend cleaning. With these habits, I do very little every day and it adds up! The key is to maintain a clean home, rather than cleaning up a messy home.

5 Simple Habits for A Clean Home

1. Clear Surfaces -Why is it that when there is any clear surface we always end up putting all our things on it? Clutter quickly gathers on countertops. If I don’t have any time, the one thing I make sure to do is clear off all my surfaces in the house. I go around the house and collect all the items on the countertops, coffee table, dining table, & entry table and put them away. I then use my DIY surface cleaner and wipe down every surface really quickly.

For the kitchen countertops, I only keep our coffee maker and knives block out. I place the toaster and any other appliances under the cabinets. It makes the house look so much neater when the counters are all clear! So if you can do one thing right now try clearing off a counter completely! You will feel such a difference. To make it feel homier I like to place a small plant and my aromatherapy diffuser on the counter. Try to keep the clutter away though!

habits for a clean home

2. A Place for Everything – Have a home for every single item in your house. I love my label maker for this! Yet another reason to use it. If you’ve seen my home office tour, I have everything labeled. It helps make putting things away easier since I know exactly where they belong. I also created labels for my kids’ toys and clothes so they know exactly where everything belongs. Having a place for everything ensures that items aren’t left in the wrong places and having to deal with later.

3. Clean as You Go – I do little things every day that keeps my home clean. Every morning I empty the dishwasher, throughout the day instead of leaving our dishes in the sink. We rinse it quickly and place it in the dishwasher. Then at night we simply run the dishwasher and repeat it every day! It’s such an easy thing to do and we never have to worry about a pile of dishes (unless we have guests over).

This rule also applies when you’re cooking! If you aren’t being intentional with cleaning while cooking it can turn into a HUGE mess. Whenever I cook I always use one thing at a time and wash or put away the items I’ve already used back. When you’re cooking there is always some down time. Some examples are when the water is boiling, the oven is preheating etc. During that down time, you can simply start cleaning up the bowls, cutting boards, knives and putting it all back where they belong.

4. One Touch Rule  – This rule is simple, you only touch an item once to put it where it belongs. I’ve heard of this rule from reading a bunch of blogs about keeping a clean home. I don’t know where it originated but it is pure genius! The idea of this rule is to not have to deal with the same clutter over and over again. It saves you so much time and keeps your home clutter free!

Here’s an example:

You grabbed some scissors to cut something, but instead of putting it away immediately, you leave it on the table. Later, you clear the table to eat, so you then move the scissors to the counter. When you start cleaning up at the end of the night, you finally put the scissors back where it belongs. That’s three touches!

Imagine if every little thing was put in its home right away. You wouldn’t have to spend any time cleaning up later.

My kids do a good job with this rule.  When they get home, they know to put their shoes back into their closets, and hang up their jackets.  It helps us have one less thing to clean up.

My husband, on the other hand, still leaves his jacket on the couch, his shoes on the floor, and his wallet on the table. & I always have to put it away in the closet, in the shoe cabinet, and in the entry basket for him. If only he would learn this one simple habit.

5. Handle Incoming Mail Right Away – To reduce paper clutter, specifically mail, you have to deal with it as soon as you can. If you leave it, it will accumulate and become a nightmare to deal with. Go through all the junk mail and clip the coupons you know you will use and trash the rest.

For more important mail, I suggest investing in a mail sorter so you can quickly organize it all. I use a 3 compartment mail sorter that I found from Ross, I made little signs with vinyl and cut them out with my Silhouette Cameo. I have 3 categories – Transfer, File, and Shred. If things need to be placed somewhere else like a memory box or taken somewhere else, then they go inside the transfer basket. If mail needs to be filed in our file box, they go in the File basket. And if there is any important information on any mail that we no longer need then it goes into the Shred basket. I know this contradicts my previous rule, but if you have to file or shred mail and don’t have enough time it would just gather on the counters. It’s better to have a place for it temporarily than to clutter up your counters. Just make sure to deal with these baskets when you have time!

clean home habits

Maintaining Habits

These are my simple habits for keeping a clean home. I spend about 25 minutes a day doing a chore every day of the week. That way I am not deep cleaning every inch of my house all in one day. I typically clean the bathrooms on Tuesdays, the kitchen on Wednesdays, and sweep, mop, and vacuum all the floors on Thursdays. I also do laundry every day! I like having to only wash, fold and put away a handful of clothes at a time. It makes the task less grueling. As a family of 5, clothes seem to never end so by doing laundry every day  I never have to do a mountain of clothes again! It literally takes me like 5 minutes to fold and put away clothes with this habit!

To get into a habit of keeping your home clean, you must be conscious and intentional with your day-to-day actions. It’s so easy to slip back into your old habits of throwing your jacket on the couch as soon as you get home, but by being conscious of your actions it will help you to keep your home clean.

'Do something today that your future self will thank you for.'Click To Tweet as Sean Patrick Flanery wonderfully stated. By putting that jacket away in the closet as soon as you get home, you won’t have to put away later!

There are many habits to keep a clean home, these are just my 5 top tips. If you have some tips you’d like to share as well please let me know in the comments below! It’s always great to learn more!

I also have a habit tracker here if you’d like to download it for your personal size traveler’s notebooks or planner!