Maintenance: The Cornerstone of House Cleaning

Learning to clean is like learning to swim: you’ve got to get your hands wet to truly learn and understand what you’re doing. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it and the easier it will become. It takes a little effort but it’s worth it.

House cleaning doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s like brushing your teeth every day. After you get into the habit you won’t give it a second thought.

Discipline and Routine

Maintaining a clean home can be very easy if you stay on top of things. Discipline and routine are the keys. Keep clutter to a minimum and maintain a regular cleaning schedule. You’re the boss, so make a schedule that’ll fit into your lifestyle. Routine is very important, planning is very important. Following through is essential.

If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, it will be harder for you to set up a schedule, but just give it a try. Think of it as a job (which it is – cleaning is work) and make sure you show up. Self discipline is extremely rewarding. You’ll feel great when it’s over. Each victory will motivate you to keep going.

If you begin to notice that chores aren’t getting done, reassess your plan and make changes. Don’t deliberate, just do it. The longer you let things slide the harder it will be to get back on track.

Remember that it’s much easier to keep a house clean if it’s already in good shape. The messier and dirtier the house gets, the harder it becomes to get it back in order. It can get out of control in no time and you will have lost all the ground you’ve gained. At that point it’s easy to get discouraged and give up, and then your problem becomes a motivational issue. You’ve lost your will to clean.

So don’t let it get to that point. That’s my point.

Clutter is Your Enemy

Also remember that clutter is your enemy. Organization is your ally. If you have a place to put everything that comes into your space, you’ll know what to do with everything that comes into your space. If everything is put away where it belongs when you start to clean, half of your job is already done. Dusting and vacuuming will be a breeze.

Some daily chores are non-negotiable. Don’t let dirty dishes sit around. Do at least a minimal kitchen cleanup after food prep. Wipe up any food spills or crumbs and don’t let food sit around uncovered or unrefrigerated if it should be covered or refrigerated. If there’s anything that might attract bugs or start to smell, deal with it immediately. If it’s a spill that will get worse over time, deal with it. Don’t let clutter accumulate. Take out the trash regularly.

Plan a Regular Schedule

Beyond those tasks that are a matter of basic hygiene, plan on a regular cleaning schedule that will work for you. Do some every day, do it once a week or once every two weeks. If it’s just you and you’re never home, maybe once a month will work just fine. If you’ve got a house full of kids whose friends are always at your house, weekly house cleaning might be necessary with lots of day-to-day maintenance.

Make a plan and reassess as you go along. Do what you have to do to stay on top of it. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did. Your home is your sanctuary and it should be a place where you can look around and feel a sense of pride, not feel bad all the time because it’s such a mess. You should be glad when friends show up to visit, not embarrassed. Make it happen. You’ll be glad you did.

Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.