10 Habits of a Clean Home

It’s really quite simple to have a home that always looks like a showroom.

Don’t have kids.

Don’t get married.

Don’t invite guests over.

And don’t live life in your home.

That will pretty much guarantee you have a clean home at all times! But, that also means you won’t have any fun!

If you’re someone who likes to actually live in your home, it will get messy. It will become unorganized. And it will get dirty! However, there are a few habits you can begin now to keep your home reasonably clean most of the time.

Sign up to access to this FREE mini course and start implementing these 10 Habits of a Clean Home today!

Here are what others have said about the habits:

10 Habits of a Clean Home success

10 habits of a clean home success 210 Habits of a clean home success 3




      • Sami says

        Not just hooks but those super duper command hooks! They are great, can be moved, no wall damage. I use them in the shower to hold sponges & back brushes. On the back on the bathroom doors to hold towels. On the back of bedroom doors to hang clothes that would normally get piled on dressers! Big help when try to organize. I have to admit, I do a lot of the stuff on your list & I also never did make it past the sink shinning either 😉 Your tips will improve your home. Great work!

        • Elizabeth says

          I have used command hooks. They actually DO damage certain walls. I am not allowed to use nails or screws in my apartment, so I have been attempting to use command hooks. They work VERY badly in my experience

          • sharon says

            I’m with Elizabeth! Command Hooks tore the sheet rock off my wall in several places where I had hung a grouping of family pictures. The pictures were still falling off the wall a month later. Finally took all Command Hooks down, spackled the walls and used nails instead!

  1. says

    Great tips! Except I balk at the idea of throwing a load of laundry in when you first wake up, then switching it to the dryer before you leave for the day. I know in our family the washer certainly is not done its cycle before we leave! And I DO throw a load in first thing. We just don’t have that much time between wake up and exit. We are speedy :)

    • Dee says

      Throw a load in before bed and put it in the dryer when you get up in the morning. Clothes will be dry when you get home and ready to fold/put away. Best tip is to fold them as you take them out of the dryer and put them in the basket folded. Do not just unload them into the basket for folding later. It only takes a few more minutes to fold, and at least they won’t be a wrinkled mess if you don’t get them put away immediately.

      • NoBullWoman says

        When I bought a new washer, I made sure it had a delay wash feature. This way I can put the load in at night on delay, it starts in the wee hours of the morning, and finishes just before I get up. When I get up, it’s time to move it to the dryer. I love, love, love this feature.

        Maybe your washer has this feature and you don’t even know it? Might want to check into that.

  2. says

    What a great list! I try to make sure the kids pick up all their toys before bed, and then I straighten up everything else after they go to bed. That way, I can relax without feeling guilty about the pile of clutter left in the living room. It’s easier for me to veg and unwind in a clean space.

  3. Alicia's Homemaking says

    #1 Really does make a huge difference. My husband and I have been washing the dishes together each night before bed, and it has been so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen.
    #2 We don’t have a washer and dryer in our house (the facility is close by though), so I wash a large load of laundry around 3-4 times a week…it gets folded and put away the day I wash it, so that is also helping reduce “clutter.”
    #3 I am just getting the hang of this!
    #4 My command center is my desk in the living room, so it has to stay very clean!
    #7 I need to do.
    #8 I really am becoming this (I think). So far I am LOVING living in a smaller place…it stays so much cleaner.

  4. says

    Like like like! Great advice. Some of these tips should be so simple too! But for me they are so not sometimes. Before I had kids I was a great housekeeper! Haha. One of our biggest issues is that every surface gets stuff dumped on it. We clear it off and a couple of hours it’s covered again.

    I have found that doing a load of laundry a day keeps the laundry pile way down. As long as I actually fold them and put them away. I’m great at doing several loads of wash a day. Then they sit in my laundry room or in a basket waiting to be put away. Then I run out of clothes bins to put the DIRTY stuff away. When your mother in law tries to give you cleaning tips and suggestions you know it’s pretty bad! {Well, my mother in law is also “Marie Barone”. If you know what I mean!)
    I obviously need to read your blog more!!

    • iDreamOfClean says

      I completely feel your pain about clearing off an area and it’s a disaster w/in a couple of hours! Maybe someone can give us a tip for that!! Your Marie Barone” comment is totally cracking me up. Thankfully, I can’t even imagine that one!

    • Rhonda says

      My problem is if I try to do a load in the evening, I may forget about it and then the clothes go sour…… ugh! That is a real problem.

      • iDreamOfClean says

        Ah, yes. I completely understand that!

        Wonder if you could just try setting a timer or use the alarm on your phone? I’ve had to do that more than once so I was sure to have socks for the next day!

  5. says

    Yes yes yes! I’m convinced Flylady was only successful because she only had one child. Add another person to the mix and it’s all over. I completely agree with this list – even if I do not comply with it.

  6. says

    I love this list! It’s so simple and do-able! Thanks for the great cleaning website. I need to spend a whole day just reading and getting ideas from here!

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Aren’t they, though! I don’t think I could function without one. So glad to know someone who is the same!

  7. Sarah says

    “No Toys Beyond This Point”… I moved all toys into one room called the “Playroom” (original, I know). Great and wonderful play can happen in this room between the hours of “After Breakfast” and “Dinner Time.” It gets a quick clean up once a day and the baby gate is locked at dinner time so the toys can “sleep.” I love that the rest of our house is reserved for family times or quiet alone time. The period between dinner and bed is also more enjoyable. On some nights, we go in as a family to play blocks or racecars or something else fun, but then the room is closed again.

    I use clear shoe boxes with lids to organize our collection and the kids are learning that they can play with as many boxes as they feel up for cleaning later. Mommy charges $$ or an extra chore if she cleans up toys.

  8. says

    Great list. When I first became a SAHM, the load of laundry a day saved me. I hate doing that chore, but I was so used to doing it ALL in one day. Spreading it out over the week becomes less of a chore.

  9. says

    Great list! I love that last one you put on there! It’s so true! Little odds and ends find their way into my junk drawer, although it’s getting to the point where I need to clean it out. :-)

  10. says

    Great list. I know that the one load a day is perfect for my family, but I always stray away and try to do more then end up with a mess of clothes. I must get back to the one full load a day.

  11. says

    Only the laundry one doesn’t work for me. I only ever have 3 loads a week and our electricity rates are much cheaper on the weekends, so I always do it then.

    I hope to be more organized and have a cleaning routine in the new year – right now, the house only gets a decent deep cleaning if I am having company! LOL

    • iDreamOfClean says

      I would love to find out how to determine when electricity rates are low and post about it. Any tips to share?

  12. Kathy Kennedy says

    The only problem with the dryer is that you need to be home if, in fact, there is a build up and the dryer catches on fire. Recommendation by home inspectors/firefighters, by the way.

    • Sam B says

      I just found this site via Pinterest. I love all the ideas, great tips, although I agree with Kathy on this point. Dryers should definitely never be run when you’re not home. A hard habit for me to break, because I did it all the time. But a coworker lost everything he owned due to a dryer fire- he’d turned it on and left for work. Thankfully, because his family wasn’t home, no one was hurt, but the house burned to the ground. So just be careful :)

  13. Kate S. says

    I disagree completely with the necessity of a junk drawer. In a clean, organized home, a junk drawer is entirely unnecessary and having one is not a step in the right direction . . . it’s more like a crutch. A junk drawer is just a small scale “stash closet.” (I’m sure you’ve heard of the practice of running around your house before guests arrive with a laundry basket or shopping bag and snatching all of the misplaced items to be hidden behind a closet door.) It doesn’t help anyone keep their house clean or organized, it teaches them how to hide their messes to be dealt with another day.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      If you’re able to have a home for every single thing in your house than you’re doing a great job!!

      For some people, though, it’s better to have one location – instead of ten – that they can stash a few things. There are seasons in life when finding a permanent home for something just isn’t the best use of time. Those “seasons” in life usually involve people. So I like to remind myself that people trump stuff a or clean home any day.

      Like you said though, the key is to “deal” with that junk drawer…and to deal with it sooner than later. And you know we’ve covered that too :) http://www.idreamofclean.net/2011/10/20/31-days-to-make-cleaning-a-habit-junk-drawer-solutions/

  14. Amber says

    I’m a newlywed (no kids or pets) but my house still gets messy. I think a schedule will be great! I always forget when I mopped the floors (it always feels like yesterday) so before I know it the tiles turn my feet black! With my new schedule, chores are so much easier because they are more spread out and less overwhelming! Good habit before I have kids too!

  15. says

    #2. I’m pyrophobic; so, I can’t leave the house with the dryer on. I put a load of wash in before bed and dry it first thing while I’m getting ready. Then I lay the stuff, I don’t want wrinkled, flat on top of the washer to be folded/hung when I get home. (I don’t have a dishwasher; so, that doesn’t interfere with the clothes washer at bed time.) I do make sure my load is even (top loader) though. I don’t want to hear that horrible washer alarm after my head hits the pillow.

    #10. I like to keep a junk “bag”. I use a large tough reusable (and stylish) bag and keep it in my pantry. I periodically take it around the house to put stuff away (empty it out) and I also tote it around to add junk to it. It’s never empty, there are always those odd things that don’t have a home, but I always know where to find them!

  16. Paula says

    Thank you for this . . . .I have a real issue with tidiness and sometimes I do feel overwhelmed – just do one thing. What an inspiration and so do-able – off to sort out ONE shelf in my wardrobe. . . . .

  17. janie says

    I have given each of my children a laundry basket to keep in their rooms. When it gets full they bring it to me, I wash and dry the clothes then return the clothes to them in their basket to fold and put away. Less work for me and teaches them how to do some cleaning of their own. It hs really cutdown on how much laundry I have to keep up with. No more baskets sitting with a ton of clothes that need to be folded and put away.

  18. Maria says

    I was worrying for no reason. After I have read this, I realised that I do these thing everydayit means my house is clean yay!

  19. Erin says

    I actually do a lot of this stuff already. I like the simplicity of this list. My biggest problem areas are my bedroom and the dining room table. I don’t necessarily clean the kitchen every day, but it gets done as needed. And I’ve gotten really good about the trash thing. It’s so much easier that way! Thanks!

  20. lisa says

    I know all these are great ideas and making them all a habit takes time..I am notorious in my family for having the ability to hold on to everything! I know..i will feel such a relief if only I would could break free! Its hard to keep the charade up! SEEMS as though any kind of organization that needs to put done..depends upon another area to be cleaned..if that makes any sense? Love all your points though..

  21. kay says

    Thank you for posting your list. I also do most of the things on your list. I was a single working mother for years, and every night before I went to bed I would take about 15 minutes and tidy up, meaning throwing in a load of laundry, or folding a load of laundry, picking up toys, making sure the sink was clean and dishes in the dishwasher. It really only takes a few minutes to tidy up. When morning comes it’s nice to get up to a tidy house and it just makes soooo much less stress. Another thing I always did was have my kids lay out their clothes, books, and anything they needed for school. I had to be on my way to work by 6:15 and I had to drop my kids off at the sitters. Organization is the key to everything!!!

  22. Sharon says

    I think the number one thing is to THROW things out or DONATE..
    I built a cabin up in the woods and it was just so freeing to go to
    a place that wasn’t FULL of junk… it was beautiful but not FULL.
    So we built a new home in the town we live in.. moved only
    what we needed into the home and I’m in the process of throwing
    out, or donating the rest! I don’t need all that stuff and am much
    happier without it!! For instance when I open a kitchen cabinet
    it has only a few things – not full of things I never use or need.

    I’m telling you it’s worth the work – it frees you to have the life you deserve!

  23. Cindy Hoeksema says

    When the kids were small we would pick a number and a colar. and pick up 10 red things in each room,it help with counting and colars.

  24. Tabitha says

    What a great list..I am so glad that I stumbled across your site. I use to be OCD about keeping my house spotless, even with two kids running around. Now that I am a stay at home Mom and a full-time college student, I just don’t have the time or energy to keep everything spotless. The clutter & the mess do tend to drive me insane, so hopefully by using tips on your list I can gain some of my sanity back and make things a little less stressful for me.

  25. Peggy says

    Great ideas! Some I do, some I don’t! My problem with junk drawers….mine have a tendency to multiply like gremlins…then spill out onto the counters nearby.

  26. Gael says

    You said the sink was as far as you got with FlyLady, but everything but the junk drawer is FlyLady. The key is not to duplicate what Marla does but to build habits starting with the shiny sink, a load of laundry a day, keep the dishes washed, quick touch-up in the bathroom, make the bed, pick up trash, etc. If you follow the cleaning schedule, you see continued improvement and eventually make it from decluttering to deep cleaning. The whole thing is building good habits.

    • iDreamOfClean says

      Oh good! Glad I’m on the right path. I’m all about habits…they really are the key to keeping life clean and organized.

  27. Crystal says

    What a great list! I’m going to really try to do this. I have been struggling to keep my new place clean and this will definitely help me out!

  28. Samantha says

    These are great tips…just found this list through Pinterest.

    My biggest challenge is engaging my husband to help with keeping the house clean. I would never ask him to do laundry, vacuum because I’m a little OCD with how I like it done; but how do I get him to do something as simple as hang his coat up when he comes in from chores. He thinks that because he works outside (we farm) that he doesn’t have to do anything when he comes inside….like hang his coat up, put dishes in the dishwasher, take out the garbage and I cannot tell you how many times a day I fold the blanket he uses when he sits on the couch!!!

    I’ve tried lots of different things and most end up backfiring…I’ve seen some pretty creative solutions on this site…help me out ladies.

  29. Tramicafoster says

    I absolutely loved these tips! It’s the best cleaning blog I have ever read and I will definitely be trying these. Especially the command center And processing mail! They’re all great! Thank you!

  30. Jj says

    Useful list. But I’ve yet to meet anyone that needs to do a load of laundry everyday. Washing clothes that often damages the fabric (like how washing your hair everyday is harmful). Jeans can be worn 3 times before needing to be washed (the thickness of the fabric provides some barrier against germs). Cotton shirts can be worn twice before washing, if you aren’t a sweating machine. I hand wash undies and basically do 1 load of laundry every weekend.

    Otherwise I find the list quite good. Junk drawer is a must!

    • Jamie says

      I have a construction worker husband who works outdoors in all weather (we live in northern MN, so from -40 to 100+), I have a toddler, I have two boys in elementary school, I have a teenaged daughter with bad skin who frequently changes her towels and pillowcases, I don’t use any paper products (cloth napkins and microfiber cleaning rags, etc.) and I don’t drive, so I do a lot of walking to and from work, errands, kids’ activities, etc. so even though we do wear jeans more than once and I hand wash a lot of the “unmentionables”, we still have at least a load of laundry a day.

  31. Alexeya says

    I love the laundry one. I’ve tried it and the way it works best for me is to load the washer (clothes and powder) at night, then all I have to do it put in on when I get up…..it’s done and out before I leave for work and dry by the time I get home.

    After 4 days I don’t have enough for a new load so no laundry today. Yippee!!

  32. Melissa says

    Great list. I have a few tips as a working mum of 3.
    I get carried away when I clean & easily get engrossed in rearranging drawers etc. I set the countdown timer on my phone & give myself 5 mins in each room, that usually gives me enough. Time to make the beds, put stuff away & a quick dust. I also take a pack of baby wipes with me which means I can give surfaces a quick wipe down or wipe marks off the wall. I also take a laundry basket & put it at the entrance of rach room. Anything that doesn’t belong in that room goes in there & I can sort through everything at the end of cleaning( or leave somewhere till I have time to sort through). I also play music on my phone too which keeps things fun.

  33. Debby's says

    One of the best lists I have found on Pinterest yet. Keeping clean and simple helps maintain a clutter free life from any angle it’s looked at. Thank you.

  34. Barbara says

    I put laundry in the washer in the morning and then the dryer in the pm. I like to fold my clothes while they are still warm and it means I have to iron less if I hang them up warm. Also, the dryer helps to warm the home of chilly afternoons and the dryer sheets make everything smell so fresh.

  35. Pauline says

    When our home is working the way I want, I wash at night and then put to dry before I I run in the morning. (Hours before my family is up.) as soon as I get back, I fold the clothes and then husband and kids put them away before school/ work. Because I wash and fold, husband is happy to put away clothes. It is amazing when we stick to it! : ) we are in the process of de-cluttering. We try to reduce toys/books/clothes by half twice a year. I keep a basket in the top of the closet for clothes that don’t fit, so I don’t have to spend lots of time going through the clothes. When it is full we donate or give to a friend!

  36. Lilfroglady says

    I painted a small tin bucket. I wrote chores for my son in green and chores for my daughter in blue on cheap plain clothespins. One chore per clothespin. 7 days. 7 pins each. 7 chores each. After the chore is done, you get to put the pin in the bucket and take out a quarter. Worked great until they got older.

  37. Marcia says

    I found you via Pinterest.

    What I love about this list, is that it takes the pressure off.

    Just one thing. Everyday. 352 things in a year! That is so achievable. In all areas of life.

    Will share with my family and friends.

    Thank you so much.

  38. kaylynne says

    I think you picked up more from flylady than you think you did. Pretty sure it’s all on her lists except for the junk drawer….for which I thank you. Nice reminders for everything, good list, thanks

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