How to Keep a House Clean with Good Cleaning Habits?

Updated on August 28, 2010
A.M. asks from Tampa, FL
19 answers I am feeling less of a woman asking this question but I want to know how to keep a house clean and clutter free.

Does anyone have any tips or routines?

I'm trying to learn early because when my baby arrives in December I know things could go down hill quickly in the clean department. My husband does most of the cleaning now, which isn't fair.

Help me moms! I need to learn good clean habits!

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answers from Phoenix on has great tips. Get on her email list and she'll send you updates that are really helpful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I have found Fly Lady to be a helpful web site. I like many of her tips--like never go to bed with dishes in the sink.

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answers from Dayton on

First of all, you definitely shouldn't feel like less of a woman. Just because you were born with a uterus doesn't mean you were born knowing how to do this stuff.

If you are like me and it doesn't come naturally (I am disorganized by nature and have to work at keeping things tidy) then you are doing the right thing figuring out NOW how to do some things. It's also a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for you. Everyone is different.

What I have found that works:

Trying to keep things tidy as I go. If I pick up as I go, I don't have as much of an overwhelming mess later. For me that means putting stuff away when I am done, putting diapers and wipes away when I am done chainging a baby, rinsing out a dish and sticking it directly in the washer, putting dirty clothes directly in the hamper, putting makeup and hair stuff (when I actually have the time and energy to use them) back immediately when I'm done. Doing this means that I have less to do later when I have the time and I can get to the cleaning part quickly and easily.

Laundry: Doing a load at night before I go to bed, just putting it in the wash, helps me not get too far behind. I just wake up and put it in the dryer and start one more load. Even with all of our kids (4 at home) we only average two or three a day so that means my laundry is over have done. When the baby is resting you should be resting some of that time, too and if that doesn't mean sleep it is a good time to sit and fold clothes. So wash and dry them as you can and save folding for when baby is napping.

Dishes: I do two loads a day. One after lunch and one after dinner. We have a large family so that makes sense for us. If it's just you and the baby you might be able to get by with one after dinner. To make dishes lighter, try for one dish meal like casseroles, salads, soups and stews, or my favoite, a crockpot meal. Bottles can go in the dishwasher so if you bottle feed, when baby is finished rinse them out, separate the nipple from the ring and load them right away, that way you have them all washed and ready for tomorrow after you turn on the dishwasher. When you are done loading the dishwasher wipe down the counters and stovetop. *Voila* clean kitchen.

Vacuuming is quick and easy goes along way to making the house LOOK clean. Sweeping and mopping may take a little longer and if I had more area to do I might invest in a steam shark or similar system because then it would be like vacuuming but with steam.

Bathrooms I save for the weekend when we are all at home and I can have help with kids while I clean.

Dusting same as the bathroom.

Weekends I also tackle any extra chores.

But if you have the kitchen clean, the house tidy because you picked up as you go along, the floors cleaned and the laundry reasonably caught up, then when hubby walks in the door it will look nice.

Hope this helps,


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, my initial thought is to sit down with your hubby and create a list of household duties, and divide them between the two of you, as you both see fit. Determine what you feel comfortable handling, and what he does. Then, perhaps divide your tasks up by days of the week. Keep a dry erase board on the refrigerator with the weekdays on it, and your task(s) for each day. When it's done, erase it. If you don't get to it on the day that's designated, don't erase it til it's done.

As for clutter, I hate it. I am kind of an organization freak. My house isn't always picked up, but when it is, we have a place for everything, so when we put things away, they're in their place. Our house is VERY small, so it doesn't take but a day for clutter to start piling up, so at least once a week, everything gets put back in it's respective spot, so it doesn't just keep piling and piling up. Because then I'd lose it! If you don't feel that your house is organized to where everything, when picked up, has a place, then that's where I'd start. Get bins, storage boxes, weed out what you don't want/need, and create some organization that will allow everything to have it's own place when it's put away.

Best wishes and have a wonderful time with your baby!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

aww hehe don't feel like less of a woman :)

Honestly I was horrible at doing it before my son was born. Um things that helped me...Start small.
It's really easy to let clothes, toys, books etc pile up around the house. Try just putting things in their "right" place when you are done with them.
Having a Immaculate house isn't really that important in my opinion.
One thing I do now is to "assign" a certain cleaning task for certain days of the week. I.E. Mon. Vacuum Tues - clean bathrooms.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's next to impossible to keep things clean with a lot of clutter. So I suggest you de-clutter now before it's too late. Really pare your household down to things you either need, use, or love. Anything else, give it to Goodwill so someone else can use it.

After that - you can do a bathroom in 10 minutes with Lysol wipes, and/or some spray cleaner with bleach, and a few wet rags. (I have a drawer full of washcloths, and a dirty rag bucket, and I wash my load of dirty washcloths once every week or two, that way I don't have to keep rinsing rags when I clean. If you do this method, you have to wash the rags with lots of bleach, and rinse 2 or three times. But it definitely saves on huge amounts of time and water.)

The kitchen you can clean as you go, and once or twice a week vacuum the house. Not so hard.

And yes, pick up as you go.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

For toys I bought wicker baskets with lids. The tops wont fall of the littel ones hands and hurt them and its a great way to hide the clutter of all the baby toys. Wehn they are done polaying its a s easy as throwing them in the basket.
We use bins and baskets a lot because they are easy and you can get pretty decorative ones that look really nice in rooms. We bought most of ours at Cost Plus, pretty resonavle price and large selkection of dark wicker and klight wicker. I also used smaller baskets to hold baby blankets and stuff.
Depending on the size of your house come up with a day plan. When baby naps I will clean bathrooms one day, living room next, kitchen after, and then bedroom, then 3 days off of cleaning (usually laundry days hehe). What ever you decide to do just remeber, its okay to let your house go a little when baby first comes into your life, enjoy thay and dont worry about keeping the perfect house, cleaning will always be there waiting for you. Hope this helps. ((HUGS))

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I have been a pack rat with lots of clutter until I learned about from another mom at a mom's group. I highly suggest it!! Check out the web site and just jump in and do the daily missions and you will get on a routine that works for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have found that by putting things back after I'm done with them helps tremendously. It may seem like you don't have time but most of the time it literally takes seconds rather than hours once things have accumulated. Also, I expect that from my older daughter otherwise whatever she leaves out, gets taken away for a period of time. This may sound a little harsh but I want to instill in her the value of taking care of her things, putting things back being a part of that principle. Cleaning the kitchen before going to bed is an absolute for me. I find if I don't, the next morning can be chaotic for me. When your baby does arrive though, you won't have the time nor the energy to thinking about keeping your house clean. I try to go through my closets and drawers once every few months and give to charity clothes that don't fit my kids or me. For me, if I have not worn something in over 6 months, I probably won't ever wear it. That's why it's so important to accept the help of others and seek help if necessary. Congrats on your new addition and Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

Hey, I can clean my house from top to bottom and have it sparkling clean and my family can completely destroy it in less that 24 hours. Cleaning is a never ending process.

I feel that I am doing good just to keep up with the laundry and the dishes. I sometimes wonder if all the clothes that I find in my boys hamper have even been worn. In fact, I occasionally find a shirt or pants still on the hanger inside the hamper. Of course, I have to wash it because it has been contaminated by the dirty undies piled on top of them. I also suspect that my family gets a new cup every time they need a drink instead of keeping up with one all day.

Basically, try to pick up after yourselves. Clean up any messes you pass on your way from one part of the house to another. For instance, you go to the bathroom and see that someone left their dirty clothes on the floor, pick them up and put them in the hamper. See some trash on the floor, pick up and put in the trash. Someone unloaded everything in their hands on the nearest table to the front door, sort it and put it away, etc.

Maybe make a cleaning chart such as mopping on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, Wash Whites on Wednesday, Towels on Thursday, etc. If you both work, split the house hold chores. If you are a stay at home mom then most of the chores will probably be yours but he can still take out the trash, etc. Don't forget that he also has the outdoor chores of mowing, raking, shoveling snow, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Check out She has some great routines and methods to help you. But whatever you do, don't jump in all at once and get overwhelmed. I did that and need to start over for it to really work for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

the things that helped me the most was a trash can in every room. a laundry hamper in bedrooms and bathrooms. use a toilet wand to clean the bathtub. keep lysol wipes in every room and wipe a mess with them and throw them away. declutter declutter declutter.take a trash can or clothes hamper go from room to room pick up what doesnt belong go to the next room drop off what does belong and pick up what doesn't and so on. I clean the kitchen sweep and stuff while fixing dinner. clean off one shelf in the fridge while fixing dinner. do dishes while cooking and keep your sink of water for after dinner. use a timer amazing what you can do in 15 minutes. and you may just want to keep going. you can vacumn the living room in 15 mnutes. clean the bath in 15 minutes and so on. I am still learning these tricks to. I have improved alot but leave alot to be desired.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

This is what I do:
I try to declutter 1 draw/closet ect a week.
Pick and stick to 1 day of the week for "the big clean" (I do fridays)
So Thurs night is pick up the clutter (all shoes go back in their closet etc.) so you can clean more efficent.
I wipe down the kitchen every night before bed and start the dishwasher, so it is a clean start in the AM.

You will get in your groove. Asigning tasks are great my hubby is the floor guy :) ~ Hope this helps D.



answers from Jacksonville on

Do one room or one thing a day.
I break things up into 7 days....dusting, floors, walls (I have 4 kids..this is a must), laundry (I do that more than one day with 6 people in the house), kitchen/bathroom. And all the rest of the time we deal with clutter control...which isn't too bad since my kids are great at picking up. Once you get into a routine, it'll be easy.
And the first few weeks after you baby (especially if it's your first) it's OK if your house is messy!



answers from Jacksonville on is a wonderful website - and no, it's not mine! : ) She gives daily e-mails if you like or you can follow her on facebook. She has great motivational pep talks and give you routines and tips to follow to make your life and home clean and hassle free!

I love her. Go check it out! Her facebook has tone of before and after photos from people just like us!

Good luck!



answers from Orlando on

Organization is key for me - everything has its own place and i know where every little thing is supposed to be. I'm sure your nesting and organizing now as it is which is perfect cause it will come in handy when your little one arrives!
Four the first month or two don't worry about how tidy your house is (just make sure you dust really well before baby comes home) and do let your hubby oversee the cleaning. Once you through the early weeks and are not napping when the baby naps, use nap times as clean up times - go through the kitchen and rinse all the dishes and put them in the dishwasher, soak any pots or pans in the sink so you can scrub them out during the next nap, take a minute to wipe down counters, put away anything that has accumulated on the counter, etc. - this should take more than maybe 10 minutes - then just tidy up, put toys back in their toy box, throw a load of laundry in the wash, whatever you know needs to get done that day - it wont take long and then relax - in the early weeks you have lots of nap times to help you get somethings done before your little one wakes up and you can relax with him/her :oD The thing that makes my life the easiest though is that i never go to bed leaving the house untidy - this way mess doesn't have more than 3 hours to accumulate - keeping it small - which makes managing it much easier!
I also pick one day to "clean" the downstairs and one day to to the upstairs - vacuum, dust (sometimes i dust during nap times to - just a quick once over), windex, clean eating/drinking surfaces - granted those day are fewer and more far between sometimes than they should be, lol but my house can always be completely tidy in about 15 minutes :o)



answers from Tampa on

Praise your hubby- and let him keep doing it- my goodness you will have your hands full.
How great that he is involved!!!
Now give us tips on how you did that!?
best, k



answers from Mayaguez on

YOUR husband does most of the cleaning????? Send him over, honey.
Mine sometimes does the dishes (a couple of times a month) after being retired for 10 year. So congrats.
I'd suggest you clean the bathroom a couple times a week-sink and toilet. Maybe your husband will do the tub/shower once a week.
Keep sink empty- wash baby bottles as soon as you use them. Wash anything you use while cooking.
So your bed as soon as you get up .Sort clothes after breakfast so you know when you need to do laundry. While you do laundry, you can clean the tables on the living room and vacumm or sweep and/or mop.



answers from Sarasota on

here is one idea that has helped me over the years -- it's a great rule for life, too. "leave it better than you found it." every time i leave a room, i try to do at least 1 thing (2 or 3 if i have time) to make it better than when i entered it. it's simple and quick and makes the big cleaning go alot quicker. sometimes it's just emptying a waste basket, unloading the dishwasher, tidying up my sons toys, tossing old mail, but it all adds up! i'm sure you'll get great tips from the other mamas, but this one really works for me and it sort of becomes fun like a game instead of a chore. good luck! you'll do great!

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