How to Keep a Clean House

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How to Keep a Clean House @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Some women seem to naturally know how to keep a tidy space. And then there’s the rest of us.

Maybe your mom didn’t spend a lot of time teaching you how to clean. Or maybe she struggled to keep the house clean herself.

But you really want to go to bed each evening with a clean {or mostly clean} house. I totally understand.

Unfortunately, houses don’t clean themselves. And unless you are fortunate enough to be able to hire a housekeeper, you’re in the same boat as me.

How to Keep a Clean House

Basically, if you want to keep a clean house, you’re going to have to put in a little work. But maybe not as much as you imagine!

There are basic steps to keeping a clean house that will make it less work overall. I call this my Daily Plan of Action.

Each morning, as soon as you can, get to work cleaning. You should be able to do most of these action steps in less than an hour, but at most it shouldn’t take much more than an hour and a half total for the day. If you put your children to work doing some of these tasks each day, then you’ll have even less work!

The Daily Plan of Action

  • make beds {5 minutes each}
  • start laundry {start, switch, fold, put away 10 minutes total}
  • sweep floors / vacuum {5 – 10 minutes}
  • tidy kitchen {20 – 30 minutes after each meal}
  • wipe down bathrooms {2 minutes per bathroom}
  • straighten house {30 minutes or less}
  • 10 minute declutter {10 minutes}
  • take out trash {2 minutes}

The Stay at Home Mom with Littles

So what does this look like in real life? First let’s look at this schedule for a Stay at Home Mom:

Please note: The ideas listed below are suggestions. There is no one right way to do things. You do what works best for you.

Let’s imagine for a moment. 

Mom wakes up at 6:30 am before the kids and a few minutes before her husband.

Or maybe in your real life, the kids wake you up at 6:45 crying for something to eat just as your husband gets out of the shower and you can’t get to the bathroom fast enough because your three year old is crying at the door and the baby is crying from her crib.

6:45 am: So, you use the restroom, brush your teeth and go to pick up your three year old and walk into the nursery to change the baby’s diaper. You talk gently to your toddler and ask him to hand you the fresh diaper and a clean wipe and praise him for being such a good helper.

7:00 am: Baby is still fussy, so you put her on your hip and make your way into the kitchen to make your toddler a bowl of oatmeal just as your husband is rushing out the door with a peck on your cheek.

Your toddler sits at the kitchen table while you make the oatmeal and you give him the job or slicing a banana into a bowl. You put the baby in her high chair with a board book. While the oatmeal cooks you put away the clean dishes in the dishwasher.

7:15 am: You spoon oatmeal into a bowl for each of the children and you sit down with them to eat breakfast. You say a prayer together and read a short toddler devotional story while eating breakfast.

7:30 am: You rinse the dishes and place them in the dishwasher. Wash the pot and wipe down the counters, table, and stove.

How to Keep a Clean House @ AVirtuousWoman.org

8:00 am: You give the toddler a simple activity to keep him occupied and put the baby in her swing.  This activity might include:

  • playdoh at the kitchen table
  • an educational video
  • felt book
  • wooden blocks
  • mega blocks

8:15 am: You go make the beds. {10 minutes for your bed and the toddler bed.}

8:25 am: Gather the laundry and start a load in the washing machine. Start the dryer if there was already a load in the washer. {2 – 5 minutes.} You check on your children.

8:30 am: Wipe down the bathrooms. If you do this daily it should only take a few minutes. Once a week swish out the toilets. {10 minutes for 2 bathrooms.} You check on your children.

8:40 am: Your toddler needs your attention, so you stop your chores for a few minutes to get him interested in another activity.

9:00 am: Sweep the floors and/ or vacuum. {10 minutes.}

9:15 am: You set the timer for 10 minutes and pick a drawer, table top, or other cluttered area to declutter. {10 minutes.}

9:25 am:

Check on the children. Take out the trash. {2 minutes}

You’re done for now. You can sit down and nurse the baby, play with your toddler, visit the park, run errands, visit a friend, deep clean the refrigerator, do weekly chores, or whatever else is on your agenda.

Around 4:30 pm take 30 minutes to straighten the entire house, put away laundry, put away toys, etc. before preparing supper.

9:30 pm: Before bed, clean the kitchen one last time and shine your sink.

The Mom Who Works Outside the Home

5:30 am: Your alarm goes off and you wake up. You spend a few minutes reading a devotion for the day.

5:45 am: Take your shower and get dressed.

6:30 am: Wake up the kids, help them get dressed.

6:45 am: Make beds. {10 minutes.}

7:00 am: Wipe down the bathrooms. {5 minutes.}

7:10 am: Start a load of laundry, fold laundry that’s in the dryer. {5 minutes.}

7:20 am: Fix breakfast and unload clean dishes in dishwasher.

7:45 am: Load dirty dishes into dishwasher. Wipe down counters, stove, and table.

8:00 am: Load the car and leave for work.

6:00 pm: Come home from work. Switch laundry over to dryer. {2 minutes}

6:15 pm: Cook supper. 10 minutes declutter while you wait on food to be ready. {10 minutes.}

7:00 pm: Eat supper. Tidy kitchen afterward. {30 minutes}

7:45 pm: Sweep floors and/ or vacuum if needed. {10 minutes.}

7:55 pm: Take out trash. {2 minutes.}

8:00 pm: Family time.

9:00 pm: Straighten house and put away toys, clothes, and clutter. {30 minutes.}

10:00 pm: Bedtime.

Of course, every family’s schedule and routine is different. So, this may not work exactly for you the way I have them written out. But it gives you an idea of how you can stay on top of your housework no matter what your schedule looks like.

There are lots of time saving ideas you can implement to streamline this daily routine as well! And if you miss a day or two each week? It won’t be a big deal because your house is relatively clean to start.

How to Keep a Clean House

How to Keep a Clean House @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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What works for you? Have you tried my daily plan of action? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Just wanted to thank you for all your inspiring blog posts. It's easier to clean now. I have the holiday planner up and working. Thank you.
  2. I love the list. I'm a checklist kind of person, I need a concrete list of instructions to function effectively. Any chance you could make a list like this for homeschooling moms?

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