How to Keep A Clean Home (Without Cleaning All The Time)

I won't say I'm a paragon of cleaning. I'm really not. However, I do like to think that I keep my house at least "decent" through quick cleaning when I get the time. With a husband, a dog, and a small human, cleaning is sort of a fruitless endeavor: every evening I pick up the living room, put the alphabet mat back together, put the toys in the toybox... and they're all out again by 9am the next morning.

Being an adult means keeping a clean house--and it does wonders for your mental health and happiness. 

However, I have a few tried-and-true things I do every day to help my house stay presentable and save my sanity. 

1. Wipe down the kitchen counters every evening. 

We have an open plan home, so our living room is also our kitchen. If the kitchen is dirty, the living room, to me, feels dirty too. Before I go to bed every night, I take a few minutes to clear the kitchen counters and wipe them down with Lysol wipes. If I have a few minutes, I'll clear away clutter, put away any drying pots and pans in the sink, and wipe down the cabinet doors and knobs. But mostly, I just make sure the counters (and table) are clean!

2. Dust every Saturday. 

This one is actually quite easy, mainly because I can pretend that I'm playing with Forrest. I use a box of Swiffers to wipe down our bookshelves, TV and stand, and windows. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes and it makes a world of difference!

3. Keep living areas for living.

As much as I'd like my house to look like it popped right out of a copy of Marth Stewart Living, that's just not going to happen. I try to keep my downstairs clean and tidy--but when it comes to upstairs in our bedroom and office? I let it get a bit messy. It saves my sanity. I do my vacuuming, my de-cluttering... but I don't need those areas to be perfect. 

4. Keep bathrooms clean.

The number one thing that makes my whole house feel cleaner is clean bathrooms! Without a doubt, a dirty bathroom seems to spread through the whole house (at least in my opinion). Bathrooms are very easy to keep clean, especially if you clean them as you go. I wipe down the mirror and counters every day (or every other day) and Swiffer the floors every other day. Then, every Saturday, I scrub the toilet, wipe everything down with Lysol, and mop the floor. It's an instantly "ahhh, clean!" feeling.