How to Organize the House and Keep it Clean Easily

Learning how to organize and clean house on a regular schedule to make home maintenance easier.
Learning how to organize and clean house on a regular schedule to make home maintenance easier. | Source

How many times have you had a hectic day and decided to just leave the housework until tomorrow? Most of us have those days and once in a while they don't really cause a problem, but when chores are put off routinely, suddenly clutter and messes get out of control. You may not think you have time to devote to household tasks every day, but doing so will actually take less time overall than waiting until everything is a wreck to tackle it.

Do you cringe at the thought of unexpected company? Do you really wish you could come home to a nice, clean inviting home every day? It isn't just a dream or ideal, it is very possible and all it requires is some preparation, planning and teamwork.

Everything In Its Place

There is truth behind the saying “A place for everything and everything in it's place”. No it isn't just the mantra of obsessive compulsive housewives, it is actually the best way to keep the home organized and clean. When you use something, resist the urge to lay it down on the counter. Put it away immediately. Once you develop this habit, you'll see that your home remains cleaner naturally, without any real added effort. It takes more time to walk around picking up tons of clutter and putting it away, than it does to simply replace an item as it is used.

This is a great lifetime habit to instill in young family members. When you develop this habit at an early age it stays with you for life. At the end of each day, everything should be where it belongs. Dishes washed and put away, toys in their bins, etc.

This is a lesson we've struggled with. Growing up my family was very lax about keeping home, probably because my mother's mother was exactly the opposite. She was truly obsessive compulsive about cleanliness, to the point it became hard to handle living in her household. As an act of rebellion, my mother was never much of a housekeeper (understandably!) so, that is a lesson I have learned the hard way over the years and one I still have to remind my children of daily - especially over the summer months!

Household Chore Lists and Organization

Sometimes it's simply a matter of not having a schedule that gets people off track. We tend to just do things whenever they need to be done or when they've been neglected for too long. This causes more stress and anxiety ultimately than having a schedule of chores. Having a schedule ensures everything is done in a timely manner and nothing is neglected until it becomes a dreaded all day project.

A great example is cleaning out the refrigerator. When you do it every two weeks or once a month, it is a lot less demanding (not to mention gross) than when you do it twice a year or when you are trying to identify the mystery odor that knocks you down whenever you open the door.

You can view our chore schedule in the graphic to the right. This particular one is a good basic schedule and yours may need to be adjusted to meet your homes needs. As you sit to make your own schedule consider your homes special needs and include them. For example I included watering the garden/plants on mine. This is an item not everyone may have, but perhaps you have tons of knickknacks on display that collect dust – instead make that one of your twice weekly or monthly tasks.

Divide your chores into time frames and place the list on the fridge and check it off as you go along. If you have other family members, assign the chores on rotations and make a chart for those so everyone can easily see what they need to do each day.

The really big jobs like windows, pulling down drapes to clean and other large projects should be done one per month throughout the year. Examples would be turning mattresses, replacing smoke detector batteries, washing down the siding, cleaning out the attic etc.

Our family chore list - click to see the full version. it includes our daily, twice weekly, weekly and monthly tasks.
Our family chore list - click to see the full version. it includes our daily, twice weekly, weekly and monthly tasks. | Source

DIY Housecleaning Products Save Time and Money

You don't need a ton of chemicals and nasty products that are harmful to your health. This is especially true if you are cleaning regularly on a schedule. Invest in a few good items like a steam mop (a life saver), good dust mop, long-handled swiffer type dusting wand, and magic erasers (these do wonders on shower walls and doors!)

Throw out the chemicals and make your own cleansers. I worked as a professional housekeeper for a long time and I learned as I went along how to make homemade cleaners that work. Household chemicals and artificial fragrances have been linked to a two-fold increased risk of breast cancer in women. Many are filled with known carcinogens that aggravate allergies and asthma. You can clean and make your home smell great naturally with the following recipes:

All Purpose Cleaner

Use this to wipe the counters and surfaces daily and whenever you need it.

In a spray bottle mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 20 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract, Distilled water (doesn't spot) and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s). I love Rosemary or a blend of orange and sage. Everyone's tastes are different, find pure essential oils that you like. You can also see my list of essential oils every household needs for more ideas.

Glass Cleaner

¼ cup vinegar, 1Tbsp cornstarch, Distilled Water to fill and 5-10 drops of tea tree or rosemary essential oil. Shake the bottle well before each use. The distilled water prevents spotting, the cornstarch prevents streaking and polishes glass and chrome gently, the tea tree or rosemary disinfects naturally.

Do You Follow a Regular Cleaning Schedule in Your Home?

  • Yes and it makes everything much faster and easier
  • No, I haven't tried this and I am looking for something to make housework less daunting and troublesome
  • I have tried schedules before, but I don't get the cooperation I need or they manage to get left undone.
  • I need to come up with a more comprehensive list for our household tasks so I can manage them easier.
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Share Your Housekeeping and Organizing Advice

Do you have some helpful advice to share that helps you manage clutter and clean faster? If so feel free to share in the comments!

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Comments 16 comments

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 months ago from Midwest Author

Glad you found it helpful Carol - thanks for the read and comment.

Carol Morris profile image

Carol Morris 4 months ago

Very helpful stuff here. I am a really bad housekeeper, I'm trying everything to improve.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 16 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Chin, home renovations do make it more difficult for sure. I definitely think kids benefit from helping at home while young. They can go out into the world someday and know how to care for their own homes, do laundry etc. A lot of kids here are so spoiled they grow up and don't have any idea how a household runs and it makes the adjustment difficult. Good luck with everything and thanks for the read and comment.

Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 16 months ago from Philippines

Very nice article, ChristinS. I must admit I'm going insane keeping the house clean and organized. I still have yet to fully implement that saying “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Hopefully, after we can get our home renovation done. I really like the chore schedule you provided. It would be easy for me to assign the kids to doing some.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 16 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for the read and awesome feedback Tamara - steam mops are amazing tools especially if you have kids and pets :) I have both and so it's pretty much a necessity. I do believe too much clutter can indeed impact us in other ways. I find if I am in a cluttery area, my thoughts will also turn chaotic, so definitely I try to stay on top of being at least somewhat organized.

Tamara14 profile image

Tamara14 16 months ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

Excellent article Christin, I'm glad to be here. I'm also glad to see I'm not exactly crazy (yet) for being neat and practicing pretty much all the points you're mentioning here :) I've never been able to function in any kind of mess around me so in my house I use to say that mess is not an option and my family accepts it as my diagnose :) Thanks for featuring this great looking steam mop as well, I'm seriously tempted now.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 18 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Char for the read and comment. I love and use vinegar a lot :)

Char 18 months ago

It's pretty much just me doing cleaning in my house. No kids, the husband helps when he's home but he's traveling a lot for work now, and the dog and cat don't clean much. I used to have a chore chart for myself and it helped quite a bit, seeing this today inspired me to get off my butt and make a new one for our new home. I also clean a lot with vinegar, it's great for getting pet smells out of furniture and carpets!

epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

One thing I do pride myself on is organization and a clean house, but I am interestedin the DIY cleansers. The chemicals have such a harsh, overpowering smell. Thanks for posting this. Voted up!

MSGolden51 profile image

MSGolden51 3 years ago

Getting your kids to clean up after themselves is hard, when you didn't teach them when they were young. young mothers teach your young children to clean up when they are young and when they enjoy doing it.

Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 3 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

I've never been a good housekeeper partly because I tell myself I'm too tired after I get home from my job away from home. A little at a time would help keep me on track. These are good tips.

carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

This is a helpful & useful organizational plan Christin..all your tips are great..I must say I've never heard of Grapefruit seed extract?? Worth a try if it works though..cheers

Christine P Ann profile image

Christine P Ann 3 years ago from Australia

The chore list is a great idea, however I bet I am the only one to use it lol Some good ideas in this hub :) voted up

grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

These are wonderful ideas, if only I could get the cooperation I need! I am one who likes to put things away just as soon as I have finished with them. However, my husband is just the opposite. He cannot seem to remember to take care of anything! Additionally, he is a packrat and a clutter bug. It would be such a relief to have a clean, uncluttered nicely decorated home for a change ;) Pearl

Voted your great ideas Up++

RealityTalk profile image

RealityTalk 3 years ago from Planet Earth

I like your ideas. I have tried to impress on my family that everything has a place and if put there more than not, the house will stay clean. I am ignored, however.

HelloMichael75 profile image

HelloMichael75 3 years ago from New York, NY

Having a set housekeeping schedule is a really effective idea. I've tried to arrange similar schedules before but sticking to it, and especially rallying other people to get involved, can be pretty daunting! I like your family's chore list though, I might steal it as a template!

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    ChristinS profile image

    Christin Sander (ChristinS)1,262 Followers
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    Christin is a simple living, frugal, DIY enthusiast who loves showing others how to live their best by embracing simplicity.

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