What is The Key to a Clean House?
The key to a clean house is simply this: decluttering. If you can keep your house decluttered, your house will tend to stay clean for two reasons: one, a house that’s decluttered automatically looks clean, even if you haven’t mopped in a couple days or need to dust in the living room. Two, a decluttered home is easier to clean since you’re not working around a bunch of clutter, so you’re more likely to stay up on housekeeping tasks.
Decluttering: The Key to a Clean House
Two Decluttering Methods
The Marathon Declutter Method
This method is just like it sounds. You set aside a large chunk of time and declutter like crazy, accomplishing a lot in a whole day or a weekend. My personality actually jives really well with this type of decluttering. I’m an “all-or-nothing” kind of person, so I do really well dedicating 100% of my time to a big task and knocking it out. However, once I had kids and my time became way more splintered, these full-day decluttering sessions became basically impossible to do. Thus, I’ve gotten more into the “daily declutter” method in the last few years.
The Daily Declutter Method
Now, don’t think just because of the name that you have to declutter every single day. It’s more the principle that’s important. It’s taking 10-15 minutes on a regular basis to do a “clutter scan” or to quickly tackle a clutter hot spot in your home.
Which Decluttering Method Works Best?
In many ways, I look at the difference between these two methods like the difference between a crash diet and a lifestyle change. With the crash diet, you lose weight really fast and get a quick result, but it rarely sticks long-term and sometimes you end up even worse off than when you started. With the lifestyle change, you’re making small, sustainable changes over a long period of time, and with this incremental approach, the change is more likely to stick. If you make decluttering a small, regular habit rather than a big crisis management event once or twice a year, you will be more likely to keep your home decluttered for the long haul.
Now, that’s not to say marathon decluttering never has a place. Often, spots like the garage are hard to declutter a little bit at a time. It’s easier to just devote part of a Saturday to getting it done rather than to take it in 15 minute chunks. But for the rest of the house, small chunks of focused decluttering time often are the most effective.
Bonus Key to a Clean House: Routine
Okay, so I kind of fibbed a bit. In talking about the key to a clean house, I actually have two. In my opinion, the second essential one is routine. Having a cleaning routine can help you so much in keeping your house clean. I personally follow the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine (you can check out her free printables here) and love it!
However, there are loads of other cleaning routines out there, so find the one that works best for you. You could always make up your own, as well! I love Clean Mama because it’s a flexible schedule, so I don’t feel like if I mess up and miss something one day, the whole rest of the week is ruined.
But What If I’m Not a “Routines” Person?
Some people hate the idea of a cleaning routine because it feels so rigid and constricting. For me, however, I think of it this way: I’m making tons of decisions every day and it’s easy to hit decision fatigue. Why not save some energy and “pre-make” as many daily decisions as possible? So, for example, if Wednesday is vacuuming day, I don’t have to think about what house cleaning chores I want to tackle that day. It’s already decided for me. So in a bigger sense, being bound by a routine actually frees your mind and your emotions to focus on other things.
So, what is the key to a clean house? In my opinion, the top key is decluttering, and a close second is having a good cleaning routine. If you’re regularly decluttering your home, you’re more likely to get cleaning chores done because a decluttered house is easier to clean. Plus, when your home is decluttered, it looks more clean to begin with, even if you haven’t gotten to all your cleaning tasks just yet!
And yes, a solid cleaning routine is the second key to keeping a clean house. You don’t have to waste mental energy trying to decide how or when to clean your house! Just grab your checklist of choice and you’re set to go.
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