How to Get a Clean and Tidy Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Declutter Your Home - Clean and Tidy Living

Are you tired of battling with yourself to get your home clean and tidy?

A messy and dirty home can really affect other areas of your life. And it can even affect your personal health.

If you ever feel ashamed of the state of your home or stressed about keeping your house clean, then you’re not alone.

Here’s the thing: Gaining control and setting good cleaning habits is one of the most important, and rewarding, things you can do for your home life.

We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but with a little patience and motivation, you can form daily habits to make your home clean and organized every day of the week.

In this practical step-by-step guide, we’re going to show you how you can. 

Whether you’re drowning in laundry, in desperate need of a declutter, or looking for some new life-changing cleaning products, we’ve put our best tips together that’ll help any household.

And to make it easier, we’ve split the guide into four sections:

  • How to get your home clean
  • How to organize your home
  • How to stay on top of the washing
  • Products we recommend

Get started below.

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Our Step by Step Guide to a Clean and Tidy Home

Section 1: How to get your home clean

Tip 1: Clean Little and Often

Cleaning little and often simply means that you are regularly cleaning in short spurts, so nothing ever gets too dirty. You are in control and you know how/when things will be cleaned.

Take the oven for example. 

Some of us will wait months before tackling one of the worst cleaning jobs in the home. At which point the food is well and truly stuck on. 

Instead of letting things get to a stage where it requires an entire afternoon’s work, clean it out once a week with a warm sponge and degreasing spray

It’s much easier to motivate yourself to wipe down some crumbs and a bit of burnt cheese, than to scrub down baking trays after soaking them overnight in ammonia.  

For general household cleaning, dedicating fifteen minutes to half an hour each day for your usual cleaning tasks like vacuuming and dusting is much more manageable than a 3 hour deep clean in one evening. 

Tip 2: Leave Cleaning Products Where You Need Them

If you keep your entire cleaning kit, try splitting products up into which room they’re for and leaving them in a cupboard in that room. 

Take the bathroom, for example. Get yourself a small cleaning caddy and fill it with everything you need to clean the bathroom, including clean rags and sponges. 

Leave it in the bathroom cupboard so that when it’s time to clean the bathroom, everything is in there ready to go. 

Starting is always the hardest part of any job we don’t want to do, so make it easier by leaving everything in an easy-to-access location. 

And since everything is close-by, you might even find you do smaller cleaning jobs more regularly. 

When you notice a spill on the sink, a rag is never far away, and the job can be done in less than 10 seconds. 

If you need to walk downstairs and grab a rag, come back upstairs and clean it and then put it back where it belongs – you probably won’t end up doing it. (Because who’s got the time for that marathon…) 

Remember, the secret to keeping a clean house is to make it really really easy. 

Our favorite cleaning caddy? The mDesign Plastic Portable Storage Organizer Caddy.
The best tips & tricks for a clean house - clean and tidy living

Tip 3: Choose Products You Love

When buying cleaning products, focus on the smell more than the brand. 

Odds are that the products really don’t differ much in their ingredients if they promise to do the same job. Nowadays, you can find amazing multi-purpose products including eco-friendly brands.

Cleaning with fragrances that you love will make the process much more enjoyable, and you may even begin to associate cleaning with good feelings instead of dreading it. 

Our personal favorite scents are from the brand Method.

The All Purple Cleaner is our top pick with a choice of six different scent-sational fragrances.
Method All Purple Cleaner - Clean and Tidy Living

Our other favorite products:

Tip 4: Make and Follow a Cleaning Schedule

Most things tend to go smoother with some kind of planning and organisation. 

Creating a feasible schedule for everybody in the household to stick to is way more effective than doing chores as and when they’re remembered.

They help with making a solid routine which speeds up cleaning and ensures it actually gets done. 

Another huge benefit to using a checklist is that once all the jobs are ticked off, you can fully sit back and relax with the knowledge that everything is done. 

If you do chores on an ad-hoc basis then there’s always that niggling feeling in the back of your mind that there’s something that’s been forgotten. 

With a cleaning checklist, you can prove and really believe that your home is clean and tidy. 

Make a list of every room in your home, and break down that room into each tiny task that needs doing. Lists are a great way of staying on top of chores, and extra tasks that need doing not so often such as changing the bed.

For example, the bathroom might look something like this:

Clean shower
Clean sink
Remove limescale from taps and shower
Wash toothbrush and soap holder
Clean toilet 
Dust radiator/towel rack 
Dust shelves 
Dust skirting boards 
Polish mirror
Polish metals
Vacuum floor
Mop floor 
Wash towels and bath mat 
Empty rubbish 

Our FREE deep cleaning checklist is a great example of how to clean every day and keep on top of housework. Just click on either button below to download and get started.

Deep Cleaning Checklist - Resource Library - Clean and Tidy Living

Read more about the benefits of a chore checklist, and why we highly recommend one in our post: What Is A Cleaning Schedule And How To Make One

Tip 5: Tidy The Kitchen Every Night

Kitchens are a high traffic area and can get messy reallllllllllly quickly.

Waking up to a clean and tidy kitchen will be your saving grace. Load the dishwasher, or wash the dishes every night. Wipe down the countertops, and put any pots away.

Get into the habit of unloading the dishwasher each morning and you’re all set to go for the day.

An organized kitchen - Clean and Tidy Living

Section 2: How to Organize Your Home

Tip 1: Declutter, Donate And Resell

When organizing your home, getting rid of a few things beforehand will make the world of difference. And there’ll be less to organize.

It’s much easier to keep the house clean and tidy when there are less unnecessary bits and bobs scattered all over the place. 

If you’re constantly battling with where to put things and feel like your cupboards are leaking a trail of possessions, then it’s probably time for a declutter. 

There are loads of ways to declutter, so it’s about finding the right method for you. 

One end of the scale is minimalism where you only keep what you need. 

Another method is letting go of items you haven’t touched for over a year. 

But we can guarantee that once you’ve said goodbye to all the unloved items taking up room, you will feel a weight off your shoulder. 

We love Marie Kondo’s method of letting go of items that no longer ‘spark joy’.

She teaches her methods in her books “Spark Joy” and “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. 

Or, you can buy the set of books together here.

For more help with decluttering and our three-step declutter strategy, check out our article: How To Quickly Declutter Your Home & Keep It Clutter-Free.

Tip 2: Storage Is Your Friend

The great thing about storage is that it takes messes and makes them invisible. 

Although it’s nice to have neatly organised storage, it doesn’t really matter if it’s messy. 

By keeping your clutter packed away in storage boxes or cupboards, you can keep floors and surfaces tidy and easy to clean. 

Buying cheap tubs or boxes and drawer dividers help massively with keeping things neat.

We are particularly big fans of big storage benches or window seats that you can chuck all the shoes or toys in at the end of the day to produce a magically clear floor. 

For example, get kids into the habit of putting their toys into a box every evening.

Wondering where to start? Our favorite are these Wham Plastic Storage Boxes which come in a pack of 5 (45 Litre).

For some more organization ideas and our favorite storage products, check out our Clean and Tidy Living article Storage and Organisation Essentials.

Tip 3: Put Everything Away After Use

Once you’ve decluttered your home, it won’t be long before it’s full of clutter if you don’t set a rule. Give every object a home, and make sure it’s put away once finished with.

Tidying as you go is something we all know we should be doing, but generally don’t stick to it. 

If you can develop the habit of cleaning up as you move around then you end up with much less mess to deal with in one go. 

This applies to cooking, getting ready in the morning and anything that generally produces the most mess. 

It’s easy to drop this habit but if you really stick to it then you’ll notice a huge difference in the mess that’s left at the end of a busy day.

Tip 4: Meal Plan

Making a meal plan for the week can save an immense amount of time and stress.

Meal prepping has grown in popularity over the last few years and for good reason. 

Batch cooking meals and having them all ready to go throughout the week gives you more time to focus on work, carpooling and relaxing.

Even just by prepping breakfast the night before you open up more time in the morning to get ready or get started on jobs for the day.

You can also meal prep by throwing ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning, so it’s hot and cooked for when you come through the door. 

Our 9-page FREE meal planner is a great example of how to plan and organize your family’s meals for the week. Just click on either button below to download and print.

Family Meal Planner - Resource Library - Clean and Tidy Living

Section 3: How to Stay on Top of the Washing

Tip 1: Sort Washing into Different Baskets

Instead of keeping one laundry basket for each person, keep three for colors, whites, and darks in each room that you would normally have just one.

By having each family member sort their own laundry into the relevant wash loads, you can save time sorting through dirty clothes. 

Or better yet, place your three baskets in easy-to-grab places such as hallways.

The other benefits of sorting laundry into baskets are that you can instantly check whether you have enough to fill a laundry cycle, and prevent whites from being dyed in the wash.

We love this heavy-duty laundry organizer on wheels, which is perfect for keeping washing separate for the whole family. Plus, the bag detaches from the trolley.

Rolling laundry system to keep your home clean, tidy and organized

Tip 2: Do Laundry Multiple Times Per Week

Or even better, once a day if you need to. Little and often is the best way here.

If you work full time, put a wash load on before you leave and hang it up once you get home. Better still, if your washer has a self-timing feature, set it to finish before you leave for work.

And, never wash more than you have the time and effort to hang up and put away.

Related: The Ultimate Washing Machine Temperature Guide

Tip 3: Get Kids to Fold and Put Clothes Away

Enlist help. Kids are never too young to start helping, and by making it into an activity you all do together, it can really help you.

Plus, it’ll make a dreary job a little more exciting.

Or, if you’re feeling super organized and up for the challenge, try the Marie Kondo method to fold your laundry.

Tip 4: Use Mesh Bags for Smaller Items

This top tip will mean no more missing socks. Hallelujah!

Buy everyone a mesh bag to fill with their socks and underwear and it’ll save you a ton of time. Trust us.

Mesh bags for laundry

Tip 5: Beautify the area

Make it a welcoming space that you enjoy spending time in. There’s nothing worse than a dark, dingy, grey room that you don’t want to be in.

Use your favourite colours, photos, personal touches, and add a diffuser to fill the air with a beautiful scent.

Laundry room - Clean and Tidy Living

Section 4: Products We Recommend

Clever inventor people are constantly coming up with ideas to make our lives easier. 

And, more often than not, more clever people will find ways to make those inventions even cheaper! 

It’s easy to get hold of affordable gadgets and tools that can make household tasks fast and efficient. 

Here’s a list of some of our Clean and Tidy Living favourite products.

Product 1: Crock-Pot Slow Cooker

If after finishing cooking the kitchen looks like a bombsite, it might be time to invest in a crockpot or pressure cooker. 

It might seem like an odd cleaning hack, but by reducing the amount of mess that gets made, cleaning is a whole lot faster and easier. 

Most of us are our least energetic after we eat, so dishes and pans get left overnight and build up throughout the week.

Prepping meals in the morning, doing a quick clean up and leaving them to cook all day in one dish means that after dinner there is barely any clean up to do. 

In fact, there’s only the plates and crockery used to eat, and the slow cooker or pressure cooker itself. 

If a new kitchen device is out of your price range, you can achieve similar time-saving and clean-up reducing benefits from finding some one-pan or one-baking tray recipes. 

Product 2: Cordless Lightweight Shark Vacuum

A cordless vacuum is definitely not the cheapest solution to having a neat and tidy home. However, we do strongly endorse them if you’re short on time and the mess is getting the better of you. 

For some reason, the hardest part of vacuuming for us is unwinding and rewinding the cord. 

The actual process of vacuuming takes hardly any time or effort at all. 

A cordless vacuum is great if you’re looking to take on the ‘clean little and often’ method of cleaning up. 

It’s way easier to stamp on the on switch and whizz around the kitchen floor for 30 seconds than to convince yourself to get the big Dyson out the cupboard. 

Similarly, if you hate vacuuming the stairs with a gigantic vacuum cleaner than investing in a handheld makes the whole thing way quicker and less anger-inducing. 

Product 3: Oven Liners

Lining the oven with these non-stick mats can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to clean an oven. 

Instead of scraping the bottom shelf to remove burnt-on debris, simply remove the mats and wash them in warm soapy water. 

The worst area of the oven is usually the base, where food and grease drip down. 

Save yourself time and effort by covering the bottom of the oven in an easy to remove, hard-wearing oven mat. 

Product 4: Microfiber Spray Mop

The spray mop makes cleaning floors quick and easy.

Just spray and mop, it’s as simple as that. No messing around with buckets and wringing out your mop.

Product 5: Electric Scrubbers

Cleaning can be hard work, especially when scrubbing those hard to reach places.

Electric Spin Scrubbers feature a range of different sized and shaped spinning brush heads that do all the hard work for us. 

These are great gadgets for anybody who struggles to bend down, disabled people, or anybody who’d like to make cleaning a bit easier. 

One reviewer commented: “This little device is my new favourite thing! Cleaning our shower was my least favourite chore. Now I can get a deeper clean in less than half the time.”

For a more affordable, smaller option we recommend the Super Sonic Scrubber – which is actually better than the device above for those nooks and crannies that are usually tackled with a toothbrush. 

Keeping Your Home Clean and Tidy All Year Round

Now you’ve mastered the art of keeping your home clean, you’ll see it’s not so hard. 

We’ve kept the guide short and sweet, to not overwhelm, and feature our very best tried and tested tips.

Implementing these daily habits and keeping on top of the chores will soon become second nature, and keeping your home tidy will soon become an easy, and not impossible, task.

If you enjoyed this step-by-step guide, we have many other articles packed full of tips, how-to’s, and information. Take a look at some of them below.

Related Cleaning & Tidying Articles:

How to Get a Clean and Tidy Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

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