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How to Make Cleaning a Habit: 10 Tips

Everyone would rather do anything at all except clean the house. Time spent cleaning feels like time wasted that could be used doing something fun. When cleaning is viewed as a chore instead of as an aspect of family life, the person stuck with cleaning feels imprisoned. Spend some time deciding what you hate about cleaning and then use these ten tips to embrace housecleaning as something that can become a good habit.

1. Cleaning supplies

Maintain a sufficient supply of quality cleaning solutions that work well and can be used consistently. Purchase sponges, cloths, brooms, dusters, and a vacuum cleaner that are sturdy and will last for years. Buying good quality supplies will eliminate one frustrating aspect of cleaning the house.

2. Storage areas

Designate certain areas for items that are used consistently. When every item has a proper place, cleaning is easier and the home appears to be well-maintained. Teach the children where their toys, books, and clothes must be kept and encourage them to participate in putting things away.

3. Manageable tasks

One major reason cited for not cleaning the house is the overwhelming tasks that must be completed. Break down every task into manageable stages that can be completed in smaller increments of time. When every other activity must be postponed to clean the house, the cleaning will be delayed and go unfinished.

4. Daily routine

Straightening the area near the television should be a family activity at the end of each day. When everyone takes their own belongings out of the room and puts them away, the room is ready for the next use. Working together to clean this room will build positive maintenance habits that will spread to other areas of the house.

5. Weekly routine

Designate one or two hours each day to completing some chores. Instead of using all of Saturday to complete the cleaning, set up a cleaning schedule where each room is cleaned every week. Choose a day to address each child’s room. Designate another day to clean the baths. When small areas receive attention each day, the entire house will be cleaned each week without using weekend time.

6. Help from others

Some major tasks require help from family members and others require some professional cleaning assistance. Hire someone to clean the carpet throughout the home. Designate two Saturdays each year to clean and straighten the garage and have a party at the end of the day to reward everyone.

7. Incremental progress

Initial efforts to establish a cleaning schedule will be met with some resistance, but each successive week of cleaning will result in progress. Stay with the new schedule and notice that each week the chores are taking less time. As you notice areas that need improved, the house will become cleaner with less effort.

8. Final task of each activity

At the end of a meal, clean up the kitchen so that the area is clean for the next use. Whenever a craft project is completed, clean the area and put everything away. At the end of each day, hang up jackets, put away toys, and throw away the junk that is lying around. The house will appear clean in the morning as the family is getting ready to greet the day.

9. Fun is required

Listen to some music, an audio book, or a great radio program while completing the cleaning chores. Passing the time while listening to some great music will enable everyone to remember that cleaning can be seasoned with fun.

10. Excuses!

Resist the urge to let yourself avoid the cleaning chores for even one day. The life of a family is greatly improved when the house is not cluttered and dirty. Break down each chore and decide to spend some time each day working through the clutter and cleaning at least one area.

When every family member participates in cleaning the house, each person becomes more aware of the effort required to manage the home. Battles over putting everything away will be eliminated when cleaning takes less time each week. Children learn quickly that keeping their own belongings put away will result in less time to clean their rooms later. Giving the children a good example of maintaining a clean home will be a lifelong gift they will appreciate as adults.

George Baker knows all there is to know about vacuum cleaner bags! (and hopefully a little about blogging!)


Image credit: Banksy

23 Responses to How to Make Cleaning a Habit: 10 Tips

  1. Clint Cora says:

    As a single man living in a family size home, I’ve been pretty bad at house cleaning.  I like your points about breaking tasks down as I now do a bit at a time spread out over a few days .  This certainly makes things easier overall.  Sometimes I’ll even do some during TV commercial breaks – might as well use this time for something productive.

  2. Guest says:

    Why are you using a picture by Banksy to talk about cleaning your home? That is pretty ridiculous.

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  6. Rachel says:

    “Time spent cleaning feels like time wasted that could be used doing something fun.”

    Actually, cleaning can be a refreshing change to the doldrums of sitting
    with one’s butt firmly planted in a chair staring at a computer all day. I wish I worked from home where I could use my breaks to straighten up or do small household chores.

    I would add to the list:

    – Leave shoes at the door. Not tracking dirt, particles, and who-knows-what-else into the house keeps the carpet cleaner, requiring less work overall.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love your idea of the garage-cleaning party. I just scheduled one for the first weekend in October, when it should be down to the 80’s in Phoenix.

  8. Totally agree! I actually rather enjoy cleaning. Pop the radio on and doing some dishes is a nice change after being in the office all day.

    Does this make me sad?

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  10. Guest says:

    One thing I’m a big believer in is getting the right cleaning supplies and equipment. When possible, buy commercial quality stuff. Next time you’re at a hotel, make note of the brands they use and find them. They are cleaning 24/7/365 so obviously they are going to be using the best stuff out there. There are restaurant supply stores in most places or find stuff online at sites like or They are tough to find, but when you do find them, you’ll love using them.

  11. What most of us consider as chores can turn out into something fun, depending on our attitude towards what we are doing. The necessity of having a clean and germ-free living or working environment is always a priority. You might want to start with the simple chores and eventually, they will turn into your cleaning habits – something that will benefit not only you but others as well.

  12. Family says:

    U just want to complain about something, if you don’t like what Dale put on his page stay off of it. Why does the picture matter anyway , you see the lady cleaning don’t you jerk.

  13. Family says:

    U just want to complain about something, if you don’t like what Dale put on his page stay off of it. Why does the picture matter anyway , you see the lady cleaning don’t you jerk.

  14. Family lj says:

    I think all of Dales tip’s work and are very helpful.even down to keeping your drain’s smelling fresh little things you would never think of.

  15. It would be a daunting task to clean your house but, this could become a habit if you would be starting to make a list on what things should be done daily to lessen your work load. Other tips that were mentioned could be followed for you to enjoy more this kind of activity. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Dodecadragon says:

    Something the Japanese culture learned a long time ago. :o)

  17. We all want to live in a clean environment, but sometimes laziness gets the better of us. Try as much as you can to create and maintain regular cleaning routines. This will make “big cleaning days” much easier. Thank you for sharing these tips!

  18. Austin says:

    I like the breaking down tasks to prevent overwhelm. I am starting to do that everyday with a checklist. Thanks.

    The other thing is clutter. I was hoping to find some tips for that. I know “put it away!”  Seems i never know where to store some of the “stuff” so it just sits on a dresser or tabel.  Aggghhh.

    Good tip on the overwhelm though.

  19. For most of us, cleaning is really not a fun activity and is definitely a difficult one to make as a habit. However, this is a very important process to keep a house at top shape. These tips you have provided will certainly help out homeowners to make cleaning an easier task. Thank you for sharing this post.

  20. Goingwiththeflow says:

     Why buy commercial cleaning supplies that are full of chemicals? I use vinegar and baking soda for just about everything (money saver!!!). Yes, vinegar has a strong smell but once it dries you don’t smell anything (Also, a great fabric softener!) and your incense smell like they are supposed to. The only chemical I buy is Windex. Only because vinegar streaks. I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda for the last three years. All of my guests ask what I use. They are floored when I tell them.

  21. den79 says:

    This is surely going to help me in the related topic..Thanks

  22. Angelina Jullie says:

    You have posted the blogs are really fantastic and informative.Homejoy

  23. Maid Sailors says:

    Yes these are some great tips. There are more NYC house cleaning tips here cleaning tips .

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