Do you feel like your house is always a mess? You might do a deep cleaning, and it feels great. So, you want to keep it that way. But, inevitably, it slowly goes back to being messy.
While maybe other friends or family’s houses you know of always seem spotless. What’s the secret? That’s what a Reddit group recently discussed, and users shared their frustrations and cleaning secrets.
Frustrations From Kids, Pets & Other People in the Home
You might think it’s only possible to have a clean home if you don’t have kids, pets, or roommates and afford someone else to clean it.
Many in the group shared those same frustrations. As user Zorvis states: “I asked my mom that and she, without hesitation, said “Not having any kids.”
Another Reddit member felt it’s impossible to live in a home and keep it clean: “Don’t live there and don’t let anyone else live there either.”
Your mental state could also lead to a messy house if you aren’t naturally inclined to clean. Getting “in the mood” for cleaning may take a little work. One user shares a trick: “Go out for a walk but first think about how good it would feel to come home and find everything clean.”
While these are all valid reasons homes get dirty, the group shared some excellent suggestions to help overcome them.
The Secrets To Having an Always Clean House
The overarching theme of the secret to always having a clean house was not letting it accumulate in the first place. Unfortunately, most people are prone to think they will clean something later but fail to do so.
Put something away as soon as you’re done with it, or clean it immediately. As one user puts it: “Best answer. “Ill clean it later” always turns into “ill just do it tomorrow,” and then next thing you know, you’re out of clean dishes. Only takes a minute to clean what you’ve used.”
Crimby_B shares some excellent tips for sections of the home:
“Kitchen: when you’re done with eating, put your dishes in the dishwasher. Wash the pots and tools you used to make your food. Then dry them and put them away immediately (don’t let them sit and air-dry). Turn the dishwasher on when it’s full. Empty it after it is finished on the same day (last thing before you go to bed, perhaps).
“Put everything you used while cooking back in the fridge/freezer/cupboards, such as spices, herbs, pepper, salt etc. When your bins are full, take them out. You are never actually “too busy”. Put your mind on autopilot, and do it.”
That last part could be beneficial for some people. Taking action immediately prevents the mind talk you out of cleaning.
Motivational author Mel Robbins has what she explains in her well-known book called the 5-second rule. Mel says: “The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.”
User Khaylain adds advice for the kitchen: “clean while you cook. Most times you’re not actively doing something the whole time, spend some of that “downtime” washing your knives, cleaning counters, etc.
“Less stuff to do after the meal.”
Crimbley_B then talks about keeping bedrooms clean: “Bedroom: use a laundry basket or bag for your dirty laundry. Don’t let it accumulate on the floor. Wash your clothes regularly – don’t let the laundry bin overflow or you’ll just have to do more sets of laundry later.
“Fold and clean clothes once they are dry, put them away.”
Bathrooms are another area of the home that can turn messy very quickly. The user shared cleaning the bathroom sink and toilet once a week. Pick a day and stick to that schedule.
The same goes for waste in the bathroom. Once there is trash, throw it away, and don’t let it accumulate.
Is a Clean House Possible With Kids
You may be left wondering about the rest of the house, especially if you have kids. As one user, MissNatdah, shared: “The real question is how to make this mindset transfer to the entire family. HOW do we get the kids to tidy up after themselves.”
There were no magical answers that would turn kids into cleaning robots, but there were some practical solutions along with being able to lower your standards of what’s possible.
One user shared that their way to deal with kids is to have a large “catch-all” bin and a Roomba vacuum: “If you have kids or pets you’ll want to redefine your concept of “clean”. A robot vacuum can help with some stuff (fur, hair, litter, Cheerio’s).”
“I have a big plastic tub where I drop all my kids’ stuff while tidying. They have to put stuff away from it once a week, but even at that it’s never empty. It’s just part of the decor now, but at least it lets me tidy quickly.”
Another user shares that a couple on the social media platform Instagram shared their secret to a clean house was to limit the number of items their children can have: “Saw a clip in ig, the parents said OWN A FEW ITEMS. They have young children but house is almost spotless.”
Plus, let’s face it, kids are a handful sometimes. And keeping a house clean can feel like a neverending trail. So, along with the cleaning tips, you might also need to hire some help if you can afford it.
Having a cleaner visit your home biweekly for deep cleaning of the flooring, kitchen, and bathrooms can be a massive weight off of your shoulders, which can lead to healthier relationships.
Next are some tips the users shared to keep the rest of the home tidy.
Creating Habits & Systems For a Clean House
The best habit to build is to do some cleaning every day. One user created the slogan: “15 minutes a day keep the dirt away.”
It may take some mental judo to get into the habit. One user shared a method: “Some people don’t like this, but it works for me.
“Before I let myself relax or play on my phone when I first get home, I tell myself to clean. Only needs to be 15 minutes, but i know once I sit, I won’t get up and I tell myself I’ll feel more relaxed if I’m in a clean house.”
Once you feel the difference between getting the cleaning done first and then relaxing, the habit should become easier to develop.
You can also make cleaning easier by having supplies in the right places. Nudave shares: “To make life easier, have the right tools (in the right places). I have a sheddy dog and two kids who suck at wiping their feet. My wife or I vacuum the carpet in our main living area at least once a day.
“I would fight to the death before I’d let someone take my cordless Dyson away from me- the ease of use makes this a much less daunting task.
“On a smaller scale, every single bathroom has a bottle of scrubbing bubbles and a roll of paper towels under the sink. Not having to “go downstairs to get it” makes rule 3 much easier to follow.”
For some people having a schedule to do specific cleaning tasks may be helpful: “Set a schedule for cleaning things. Do one major chore per day and keep a rigid schedule for it.
“Something like “Vacuum on Tuesday, clean the bathroom on Wednesday, take out the trash on Thursday, go to the grocery store on Friday…”
Remove the Clutter, and You’Ll Be 75% There
The more items in your home, the more effort will need to be involved with cleaning. Less clutter is the key; a user responded with: “The most important thing of all to help you keep your house clean is that it needs to be clutter-free. If you do just this one thing, you’ll be 75% there.
“No magic potions here – if you have a lot of crap lying around everywhere, it will collect dust and cleaning will take ages.
“If there’s too much stuff, you’ll also not have enough storage for it – meaning you’ll end up forcing things into drawers and wardrobes, leaving them on the floor/chair/table, etc. My whole 2-bed flat takes 15 minutes to dust because there’s no ‘obstacle course’ when trying to clean.
Another user chimes in and agrees: “hate to say it but yes lol. when i first moved into my apartment it would take like 10 min to vacuum the entire thing every square inch.
“Now theres all sorts of tables couches chairs rugs floor lamps and other crap that just keeps getting in the way and cant reach outlets easily to plug into.”
Finally, Your Home Could Be To Blame
The home itself could be to blame. As user Tudpool states: “Air sealed house with a airlock and hazmat suits when leaving. Allow no dust inside.”
While there was clearly some humor in their response, it has some truth. Many older homes were constructed without air leakage in mind. Over the decades, building standards have changed, and a more tightly sealed home is preferred. Air-sealing is a major component of the net-zero movement for more sustainable homes.
Modern ventilation uses mechanical systems that filter out dust and allergens before distributing fresh air throughout the home, rather than random air leaks in the building envelope that could allow contaminants into the house.
Lastly, you might have too large of a house. The larger the square footage in your home, the more there is to clean.
If you don’t require as much space as you once needed, moving into a smaller home could be the key, as one user responded: “Small space just enough for you. easy to clean!”
If you want to view all the responses, here is the original Reddit thread.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.