Inside: Learn five key habits of people who have a clean home so that you can use them in your space.

A clean home is always the goal… but is it always our reality?

For many of us, the answer is no. Keeping our homes clean and tidy is an ever-present challenge. 

When you’re juggling work, family, friends, pets, personal obligations, and everything else that life throws your way, finding time to clean up can seem like an impossible feat.

We might squeeze in a few minutes here or there, or even dedicate a weekend to the task – and then we watch as our hard work falls back into disarray before we can blink. 

But there are some people out there who do manage to keep their homes clean virtually all the time – and they seem to do it effortlessly. 

How?

For the most part, their success can be attributed to the good habits they’ve built around keeping their spaces clean.

And that’s great news for you – because with a little effort and determination, you can instill positive habits into your routine to keep your home (almost) effortlessly clean, too!

Not sure what habits can help you keep your home clean? Here are five house-cleaning habits you can incorporate into your routine to make tidying up a breeze.

habits of people who have a clean home

5 Habits of People Who Have an (Almost) Effortlessly Clean Home

Incorporate these habits of people who have a clean home to make your space one that is easier to clean and maintain. And no, it doesn’t have to mean you live alone!

Habit # 1: Have less stuff. 

One of the biggest ways you can remove effort out of the cleaning process?

Keep less stuff around.

Stuff creates clutter, which creates messes. The level of effort required to clean a cluttered shelf or countertop is exponentially more than it takes to clean one that isn’t covered in stuff.

By streamlining your physical belongings, avoiding impulse buys, and generally embracing a minimalist aesthetic throughout your home, you’ll be surprised to see just how much easier it is to keep your home clean. 

To make it easier to keep your home clean, take a ruthless approach to decluttering. Get rid of things that are simply taking up space, that no longer provide any value to you, that are broken, or otherwise no longer have a place in your home.

Then, keep it that way by taking a more intentional approach to purchases. Only buy the things you truly need. When possible, practice a “one in, one out” approach to keep stuff from piling up again.

stack of mail on a desk

Habit #2: Embrace the one-touch rule. 

When you walk into your house, what do you do with your coat? Your keys? The mail? 

If you put it down on the closest chair or your kitchen table to revisit later, you aren’t alone. But you’re creating extra work for yourself that some people have figured out how to avoid.

How? They’ve made the one-touch rule a habit. The idea is simple – you only want to touch an item once.

Instead of putting your coat down on your chair and eventually returning to hang it in the closet or put it on your coat rack, put it where it belongs the first time.

If you’re reading a book, don’t abandon it on the coffee table when you’re done – put it back on the shelf.

And instead of letting the mail pile up on the counter and shuffling it around when you need to use that space, open it immediately and get rid of everything that’s junk right away. 

The one-touch rule is a small habit that prevents overwhelm. Dealing with it immediately keeps you from creating extra messes that you have to deal with later, making it an efficient and fairly effortless way to keep your home clean.

Encourage family members to join you in building this habit into your day.

organized drawer

Habit #3: Create organizational systems that work for your home.

In addition to the one-touch rule, create organizational systems that work for your home.

They don’t need to be pretty. They just need to be something you and your family members can stick with.

Simpler tends to be better. Make it so that putting items away when you’re done with them is easy.

When everything has an assigned space and everyone knows where it goes it’s less work to keep your house picked up.

And remember that habit change takes time. To get your home to a place where it’s easier to keep clean, it will take some effort from everyone in the household.

Be patient with the process and find ways to get everyone motivated to clean together. Spending just five minutes near the end of the day with all family members helping to put items back where they belong will make a big impact in your home.

habits of people who have a clean home

Habit #4: Stick to a cleaning schedule.

Cleaning a house is no small feat. With so many tasks on the to-do list, things can get overwhelming pretty fast. And if those tasks pile up? It can feel nearly impossible.

That’s why a cleaning routine is such a great habit to make your home cleaner with less effort. By breaking down all of the things you need to do into smaller, more manageable actions and spreading them throughout your days, weeks, and months, you’ll be less overwhelmed and more capable of staying on top of your tasks.

You can find all kinds of cleaning schedule templates online, but it’s important to think about your personal situation and adjust accordingly.

There are some daily cleaning tasks that need to be done, like wiping down counters and washing dishes. But other things, like laundry, might be dependent on how many people you’re cleaning up after.

A family of five might do a load of laundry each day; someone living alone might get away with doing a load or two on the weekend. 

Stick to a cleaning schedule and get other family members involved in helping with tasks. You’ll be surprised to see how much easier it is to keep things under control with a routine. 

Habit #5: Use effective, efficient cleaning tools.

Another way you can make it easier to keep your home clean?

Choose the right tools to get the job done.

It might not be the most exciting topic, but researching cleaning tools and supplies can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Not sure what that looks like? Here are a few examples:

  • If you’ve got a pet with a shedding problem, you know how difficult it can be to stay on top of the hair that accumulates everywhere. Get a vacuum that’s well-rated for pets and use it daily to prevent fur from piling up.
  • Instead of trying to keep track of specialty cleaning products, find a couple of multi-purpose options to streamline the process.
  • Use extendable dusters to reach high places with ease. There’s no need to drag around a chair or a ladder to clean cupboard tops, fans, and other tricky spots. 

Check out this post with the ten best cleaning tools that will save you time and make cleaning more fun.

habits of people who have a clean home

Final thoughts on habits of people who have a clean home

If you want your space to be easier to maintain, work on adopting some of the habits of people who have a clean home. Focus on building just one habit at a time.

Once it sticks, you can move on to adding another one. Intentionally building these habits with your family members will make cleaning less effortful.

Hopefully, this will help you to create a space that is more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.

Which of the habits of people who have a clean home do you plan to adopt first? Leave a comment and let me know!

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32 Comments

  1. One touch rule, absolutely! It also saves a ton of time from searching to find it when you need it and in a hurry.

  2. I’ll start with #1 and #4. I must get back to a cleaning schedule and parting with unneeded items as I go–a little at a time so it’s not overwhelming!

  3. I live by myself in a big home with a gorgeous fluffy cat. I have been de cluttering for years since hubby passed away. Straight after that took on the well being of elderly parents, (they didn’t live with me), who are gone now. So doing well with many responsibilities like grandchildren, large garden, cycling in a club, choir, cooking and housework. I love reading all the tips that make life a little easier. Thank- you for your great ideas.

    1. I have 2 teenage boys, 2 cats, puppy and a husband (does that count at 5 kids?) and I have an executive level job. I love these ideas just, honestly, cannot execute. I require help and not ashamed. Knowing a housekeeper is coming and I’ll be “judged” is my motivation.

      1. I have heart disease and some things are impossible for me to comfortably execute. I too have a housecleaner even though I live alone in a modest apartment. We do what we can. The goal is cleanliness however best we maintain it.

      2. Definitely do not be ashamed. you studied hard and worked hard to have a really good job and now think about what your time is worth per hour. Do you really want to spend that scrubbing toilets? It is okay for us to hire somebody to do the things we don’t have the time or inclination not to do. Good for you for recognizing that. And you are providing employment to someone who needs it. Good for you!

  4. Wash the dishes right away. Have a cleaning schedule. Wash laundry once a week. Mop the floor regularly. I live alone now as a senior in a small apartment and generally am tidy but have no schedule! I appreciate your newsletters in my email. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  5. thank you I really look forward to your posts x.
    told my husband about the one touch rule 10 years ago and he has stuck to it ridgidly and never has any papers or post lying around, never has anything out in the bedroom and my lounge is so easy to clean.
    I have also found keeping surfaces clear including the floor is key to quick cleaning.
    However children leaving home is number 1 key to a tidy clean house, I strangely know where everything is and have food in the cupboards.

    1. That’s great that you’ve worked together to keep flat surfaces clear! And yes, I’m sure kids moving out has a big impact too on the stuff and the noise in the home, but it makes me sad to think about them not living here (eventually).

    2. I agree ! Once the kids are gone, it gets easier. I didn’t beat myself up. I put my children to work with chores too! They have clean homes too – because they learned how!

  6. At least one hand vacuum…two if you live in a two story. When you see cat hair, cat litter tracks, vacuum it up right away. Once or twice a day, sweep hardwood floors for crumbs (or whatever) and vacuum up the pile.

  7. I am a wife, mother of 2 small kids and a big hairy dog and I run my own law firm. Having a clean home is 100% vital to my mental health. The secrets really are just have less stuff, live in a smaller space, the one touch rule and clean as you go .. never a leave a mess. Clean the kitchen everytime it’s used, unload the dishes the second you have a chance, fold/ put away laundry as soon as it’s finished, manage mail as soon as you get it.. i find about 20 min a day to do a tidy – make beds, spot clean etc and then I find about 90 min week to do a more thorough clean (clean counters, dust, vacuum, scrub bathrooms, rotate sheets etc.). Consider hiring someone for a weekly or even a bi weekly thorough clean if you have no time. It’s money well spent.

  8. Most important for me is, having less stuff.
    Seconly organizational system: a place for everything and evdrything in its place, etc.
    And last but not least, a fixed schedule of can work wonders.

  9. My mother was a preacher’s kid. Consequently their house needed to be clean and clutter clear always in case a congregate stopped by. She learned the rule of “touch it once” and passed it on to us. Everything has a home and it should “live” there. In the end you will be less anxious, too.

  10. A similar rule: never leave a room empty-handed. For me, this means taking things back where they belong, like the kitchen, having served their purpose in another room, like the living room. Also, my great-grandmother’s rule: do it now! If I find myself thinking, “I need to put that away,” her voice sounds in my head, and I go ahead and just do it now.

  11. Thank you so much for this much needed article. I will most definitely start with habit #2 the one touch rule. Thanks again.

  12. Kids out – Grandkids in! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! I have inexpensive toy boxes in their closets that make it easy for them to pick up a toy and return it to the correct box before a different toy is taken out to play with. This prevents having to stop playtime early to clean up a huge mess when it’s time to go home at the end of the weekend!

  13. “One Touch Rule” definitely!!! Thank you for your article! Exactly what I needed time keep my space “clean”.

  14. my mother asked me what chore I disliked the most. I said the bathroom. Mother told me to always clean the bathroom first. I do & find that it is so easy & quick. It is always spotless.

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