Nothing starts my day off on the wrong foot like waking up to a messy house, especially these days with the baby coming any day now and me knowing that people are going to be coming to my house to see him a lot.
My husband and I are not neat freaks by any means. In fact, both of us have the tendency to be a little messy. However, we both feel better when the house looks clean and tidy.
Notice I said “looks.” I’m not the best housekeeper, but we have figured out a pretty simple system for keeping the place looking decent between those deep cleaning days.
Here are 5 things that we do every night to keep the house tidy:
- Clean the kitchen sink and wipe down the counters – Leaving dirty dishes in the sink is the number one way to assure that your house looks messy. It also causes your kitchen to stink and causes flies. Every night after we eat dinner, we load the dishwasher and make sure to completely clean out the sink and wipe down the counters. A nice, shiny sink can make the whole place look good, especially in our house because our kitchen and living room are open to each other.
- Straighten the couch cushions and pillows/throws – We have a huge sectional couch in our living room, and we lounge on it hard in the evenings. It takes just a few minutes at the end of the day to straighten the cushions, fold any quilts or throws we’ve used, and fluff our throw pillows. This is one of those easy chores that takes so little time, but makes such a big difference.
- Pick up dirty clothes, shoes, toys, etc. and return them to their proper place – We don’t have kids (yet), so we aren’t picking up toys, but we do always take a few minutes to scan each room and pick up shoes we might have kicked off under the coffee table and cups that were left on nightstands or other random things that are out of place. Sometimes, I’ll carry a small laundry basket to collect the items and just put them away as I walk through each room. This sounds like a lot, but it really only takes a few minutes and it keeps clutter from piling up around the house.
- Run the dishwasher – Like I already mentioned, we load the dishwasher after dinner every night. Instead of running it immediately, I always wait until right before bed to turn it on. That way, if we use another cup or plate for any reason, it’s not hanging out in the sink overnight. One of the last things I do before leaving the kitchen/living room area is turn on the dishwasher. Then, the next morning (or the next afternoon before I start cooking dinner), I empty the dishwasher so I can clean as I’m cooking and fill it up as I am using dishes.
- Spray down the shower and wipe down the bathroom sink and counter – While I’m brushing my teeth, I always spray down my shower with Scrubbing Bubbles Daily Shower Cleaner and pull the shower curtain closed (if I didn’t do this earlier in the day – I usually try to do this right after getting out of the shower). I also use a rag to wipe down the bathroom sink and counter. Just like a kitchen sink full of dishes makes the whole kitchen look dirty, a bathroom sink full of toothpaste, spilled makeup, or hair can make your bathroom look like a complete mess. Taking a few seconds each night to rinse out the sink and wipe down the counter also means that I don’t have to scrub as hard when I do actually deep clean because I’ve gotten rid of stains and hard to clean, stuck on messes before they got out of control. About once a week, I’ll add another few minutes to this routine to clean the toilet as well.
These five little chores take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete each night, but they make a huge difference in how my house looks. It really helps me feel less stressed if someone drops by unexpectedly (which I’m sure will happen a LOT more often once our little man arrives), and it’s just good for my peace of mind to not wake up to a long list of chores that need to be done.