In a perfect world the house is always ready-for-company clean, meat is always thawed for supper, and you never have to rifle through a laundry basket for clean socks. Sadly, I don't live in a perfect world, or anywhere even close. But despite my lack or foresight when it comes to laundry, meals, and planning for company, one thing I pride myself on is a very clean home. My hubby blames it on OCD. Maybe so, but my OCD has caused me to develop habits that keep my house clean, despite three kids on the loose.
1) Never got to bed with a dirty sink.
I'm not sure where I picked this up at, but it works so well. Every night when I finish the dishes, I use the soapy rag to wipe down counters, stove, and tables, then the sink. It's so much nicer to get up in the morning with your sink and counters clean.
2) Make your bed every morning.
It's easier to fold laundry on a made bed. Plus, if company comes over you don't have to panic wondering if you closed your bedroom door.
3) Clean your toilet daily.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it's easier that you might think. I keep a jar of baking soda under the bathroom sink. I sprinkle some in the bowl while I brush my teeth. Once I'm done brushing, I do a quick swipe with the brush. Then, I squirt some vinegar on a paper towel and wipe down the seat. Easy peasy and your toilet is always clean.
4) Do a load of laundry a day.
One thing I have never been able to figure out is how laundry piles up so fast. We use towels more than once (each has their own towel of course) and wear only one outfit a day. Even with 5 of us, this isn't an entire load, yet miss one day of laundry and suddenly you have a pile that reaches to the ceiling. I try really hard to do a load a day. Wash, dry, fold, and put away.
5) Have a spot for everything.
A popular excuse in our home for things not being put away is, "I don't know where it goes". Everything should have a home. If it doesn't either find a place for it or decide if you really need it. For those stray items, bins work awesome. I have bins labeled "fix", "donate", and "storage". This way things aren't cluttering up your counter or couch. While having the bins are great, it's important to remember that this is just a temporary home for these items.
6) Get rid of the hot spot.
Every single home has one. A hot spot that just seems to attract clutter. Mine is the counter right by the back door. Maybe because we come home and that's where everything we bring in gets set. Throughout the day I find that it accumulates work gloves, flashlights, papers, and change. I have made it a habit to put one thing away every time I walk by. Usually I just have to throw something away, or put it in the paper organizer. This is another example of why everything should have a home. You are more likely to put it away if you know where it goes.
7) Keep your broom out.
My broom stands guard in my kitchen all day and all night. If I spill something or something gets tracked in its so easy to grab the broom when its right there. If company unexpectedly shows up I can just tuck it in the pantry as I walk to the door.
I hope that these little tips help keep your house neat and tidy. A clean house is so nice and makes me feel good. Just remember though not to stress out if someone is coming over and your house isn't as clean as you would like. Your company understands that you live there. They are coming to see you and not your house.