Six Ways to Have an Eternally Clean House (Without Paying a Professional)

Are you having a hard time keeping your home clean? Sometimes it just seems like no matter what you do, the house is always a mess. But why? Where are you going wrong? There are probably a few things you're doing (or not doing) which are hindering rather than helping your progress, and that's what I'm here to help you with today. 

While I can't honestly say I LOVE cleaning, I do enjoy living in a clean house. A lot of mess makes me feel stressed and anxious, so even if I really don't feel like cleaning, I suck it up and do it anyway and I always feel great afterwards. In that way, it's just like working out - it can be hard to motivate yourself to start, but once it's over with you feel amazingly accomplished and a little bit smug.

Here are my top six habits for keeping a clean home so you'll never feel overwhelmed...and won't have to resort to hiring a professional cleaner. 

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1. Minimise your possessions
Minimalism is a passion of mine so this will always be my number 1 tip for keeping a clean house. Your home will never look tidy if you have too many things and nowhere to put them - clutter begets clutter and before you know it you'll be overrun with STUFF. Before you start trying to clean and tidy up, go through your house and get rid of anything you don't use or love. This might take a while, depending on how much excess stuff you have, but it will ultimately be worth the effort because your cleaning time will be drastically reduced. 

There are many methods you can use when decluttering, including:

- The KonMari Method in which you declutter by category (rather than by room) and hold each item in your hands, asking yourself whether it 'sparks joy'. If the answer is no, get rid of it.

- The Minimalists' packing party where you box up all of your possessions (yes, every single one of them) as if you were moving house, and only take out items as you need them. After a set number of days, anything left in the boxes you haven't used or needed can go. The Minimalists also have other methods such as the 90/90 rule, the 20/20 rule and the Thirty Day Minimalism Game so you'll probably find at least one of these helpful - experiment with different ways and see which works best for you. 

2. Clean as you go
If you allow things to pile up for ages before tackling them, you're only making it harder for yourself in the long run. Keeping on top of things and cleaning up after yourself is one of the most important ways to keep your living space clean and tidy. Here are a few suggestions:

- Wash up your dishes (or put them in the dishwasher) as soon as you've finished eating so you don't have a sink full of plates, cutlery and pans with stuck-on food to deal with and nothing clean left to eat from. 

- Try to do a load of laundry every day so you don't end up with a mountain of clothes you have to spend an entire day washing and drying. As soon as the clothes have finished washing, put them straight in the dryer or on the line, and as soon as they're dry, for the love of God just fold them and put them away.

- As soon as you walk in the front door, hang up your coat and put your shoes away. Also designate a place for your keys, like a hook or a bowl by the door, and put them there every single time you come home so you'll know exactly where they are when it's time to leave again.

3. Create (and stick to) a cleaning routine
I never used to have a cleaning routine and would just clean things when they got dirty. However, this doesn't really work because something will always be dirty and you'll constantly be cleaning. I now set aside a few hours one day a week to get the majority of my cleaning done - this way things never actually get very dirty and I rarely have to scrub anything. 

If you don't have a whole day to devote to cleaning, your routine could involve cleaning different parts of the house on certain days - for example, Monday could be bedrooms, Tuesday the bathroom, Wednesday the living room, etc. Whatever you feel is manageable and you'll be able to stick to is going to be the best thing for you. 

4. Delegate
Don't be the only one in the household trying to keep everything spotless while other people are making a mess. Assign each family member or housemate a certain task or chore to do every day or week. You can encourage younger children to help out by using a sticker chart - they receive a sticker every time they complete a chore, and when they have a set number of stickers on their chart (say five or ten) they get a reward. Older children could be given pocket money for doing jobs around the house.

5. Have a place for everything 
You may have heard the saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place". If items don't have a home to go to, they'll just hang out anywhere and make the house look messy. Finding or creating a designated home for every single item you own and putting it back in its home once you've finished with it will help to combat clutter and make it easier to clean your house come cleaning day, because you'll actually be able to see your surfaces. 

6. Own few but quality cleaning products
If you've just decided to get your house in order and are feeling really motivated, you might be tempted to go out and buy ALL THE CLEANING PRODUCTS. However, you should always favour quality over quantity. Owning just a few, natural products will help you to be more efficient and get more cleaning done in less time than having loads of supplies that all do different jobs. A good all-purpose cleaner (I use and recommend Method) and some microfibre cloths are all you really need to get started. 

You can also make your own natural products - white vinegar, lemons and bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda) are all easily obtained, inexpensive products that are completely natural and clean just as well as store bought, heavy duty products which often contain chemicals you don't really want to be spraying around your house, especially if you have young children or pets. 

In conclusion, try to keep your cleaning routine as natural and minimal as possible. Get into the habit of cleaning as you go and don't give yourself any unnecessary extra work, and your house will be clean all the time (in theory)! 

Do you love or loathe cleaning? What is your favourite tip for keeping a tidy house? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Love this. Ever since I started decluttering I have noticed a huge change is how long it takes to clean. I no longer have to waste time moving all this crap so that I can clean around it and then move it all back. I'm still working on having a cleaning routine that works, but I know it will come with time. I need to invest in some microfiber cloths, been thinking about getting them for a while now, but haven't bought them yet.

  2. This was a really helpful post, personally I'm not a big fan of cleaning but we'll be moving into our own home any day now and I don't want to let the cleaning get on top of me! I've already decided that Saturday mornings will be my main time to clean (while my partner is at work) but things like the bathroom I totally agree that cleaning as you go is a better option so as soon as we've had a shower I'll try to wipe it down so it doesn't get too dirty! Thanks for sharing this!

    Jess //

  3. I love finding someone with the same attitude to cleaning as me! I can't stand clutter and am always finding an excuse to have a clear out. Definitely think clearing up as you go along is good. It doesn't take much effort to wash a few dishes after you've used them and stops a big pile building up. I don't get why people refuse to wash the dishes so much! My family has never had a dishwasher so doing the washing up is normal and isn't a big deal. x

    Megan |

  4. Wow, great tips. My house is a mess at the moment and follow your tips would definitely make my life easier. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. I think a cleaning/housework routine is something I'm definitely going to consider. Not that I struggling with it and letting dirt and clutter manifest but I feel like I need to be more efficient with my cleaning in general! Thanks Nic, this post has given me pause for thought for a bit.

    Johnny | Johnny's Traventures

  6. Such a useful post! My motivation to clean comes in bursts so no set cleaning routine, but maybe I should now!
    I have recently discovered my love for that can make your home smell nice!

    Aimsy xoxo

  7. Great tips Nicola! Sunday mornings are the time I dedicate to cleaning and I also use Method products, they are great and smell nice :) I 100% agree with the clean as you go suggestion too, washing up after mealtimes and having a quick tidy up before going to bed are things I do everyday to keep on top of the chores. Having a clean home and fresh bedding is one of the best feelings, everything feels to calm and organised. I don't enjoy cleaning but I love the results :) Thanks for sharing lovely <3 xx

    Bexa |

  8. This post was probably made for me, I love having my flat look really clean and tidy but I’m not the biggest fan on actually tidying up. I need to live by the rule of having less possessions, I do think I’m slightly a hoarder! Need to do through a lot of stuff, great post x

  9. You've shared some really wonderful tips that I think is going to help out so many people, great blog post. πŸŒΈπŸ’œ

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |

  10. What an incredibly useful and well written post, Nic! I especially love the fact that you've included minimising your possessions and cleaning as you go as these are both definitely methods that I try to adopt when cleaning! I'm also going travelling in April so I'm trying to prepare myself for living as minimally as possible from now on!

  11. Thanks for sharing, these are such helpful tips. I have found that having a place for everything is so helpful and makes it so much easier to keep your house tidier.

    Sara |

  12. Love this post completely! Unfortunately I live in shared housing at the moment and there is only so much I can do to keep it clean but I can't wait till I have a place of my own so I can really work a good cleaning routine. I love cleaning as it's a great way to relieve stress but can make you really mindful about what you own though I attempt to be minimalist as possible unfortunately books are my weakness and I probably have too many but I love them. great post!

  13. I didn't used to love cleaning but I sure do now that I have a routine. I clean up little and often and it does the trick thankfully. I also own little cleaning products as I like to use method. I do need to be more minimal though. Fab post.

    Mel |

  14. Clean as you go is one that I'm trying to get my husband into the habit of. There's nothing I hate more than having to do a massive clean up because it's been allowed to get to the point one is required... SO much easier to take care of the smaller messes at the time.
    Britt |

  15. I love having a clean house but I live with a puppy and a messy girl. I've managed to train her to hang coat up, put shoes in the cupboard but that's about it. Maybe by the time we're 90 I'll live in an organised house!
    Holly |

  16. These are some great tips! I admit that I sometimes struggle with cleaning and my house can get a bit chaotic. Will definitely have to put a few of these tips to use.


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