9 Habits of People Who Always Have a Clean Home

Or, how to have guests over without going on a crazy cleaning spree beforehand.

Most of us don't necessarily enjoy cleaning, but everyone loves the feeling of coming home to a clean house. Though Mama's standards of an orderly home may have involved hours dedicated to deep cleaning, today's tidiest of families have found ways to incorporate little habits into their daily lives that make it less of a chore. So what's the secret to keeping things clean? Consider adding these daily home cleaning habits into your schedule, and you'll be confidently letting friends through your front door without notice before you know it.

Doing the Dishes
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Make the Bed

If there's one thing you can control in the day's chaos that lies ahead, it's your bed. It only takes a few minutes, but starting the day by making the bed is an easy task that sets your day up for success. Even if it's just a hurried smoothing out of the comforter, making your bed helps you start your day with a sense of productivity and order that's likely to carry through to the next thing you do.

Tidy Up as You Go

Did you try on two or three outfits before picking your outfit? Use a few pans to prepare breakfast? Clean it up and put it all away before you move on. If you incorporate this into everything you do throughout your day, there will be a lot less lying around taunting you later.

Wipe Down Surfaces

A quick wipe-down can do wonders. If you clean the surface you've used after each task before walking away, you'll keep counters and glass surfaces clean and ready to go. From swiping your glass shower door to running a towel around your sink after washing the dishes, a short clean can prevent grime build-up and keep your surfaces spotless.

Tackle Laundry Each Day

Avoid overflowing hampers by giving your washer a workout with a load of laundry each day. It's an unavoidable task (keeping your family clothed is kind of necessary), so if you do it on a consistent basis, it won't pile up and monopolize your Sunday.

Categorize Paper

Mail, bills, notes from school, take-out menus—paper piles up quickly. Keep your counters and office clutter-free by establishing designated places for paper in your home. Make a drawer for takeout menus and coupons. Create folders for bills, school memos, and other important printouts. Put these items in their place as soon as you get them.

Donate Regularly

Stuff is wreaking havoc in homes across the South. You probably don't need 15 water bottles for a family of 4, and it's likely time to get rid of the shirt your son grew out of months ago. It's much easier to keep a home organized when there is less clutter in it. Treasure items with meaning, but don't collect unnecessary junk. Instead of wasting time trying to find spots for things you don't need, take a moment and purge some of the things you don't need, use, or enjoy regularly.

Clean Your Fridge Weekly

Seeing some scary goop under your groceries in the corner of your fridge? You're not doing it right. Give your refrigerator a weekly refresh. Not only will cleaning your fridge help you keep things spick-and-span, but it will also help you create an accurate list of what you need on your next run to the store.

Clean Up After Cooking

Resist the urge to turn on the TV and melt into your couch after dinner. The longer you let your pots and pans linger, the harder they'll be to clean. We know it's been a long day, but if you quickly rinse your dishes and load the dishwasher right after you eat, the sink will be clear before you know it.

Straighten Before Bedtime

Do a quick sweep through your most lived-in rooms before you call it a night. Tuck away any toys, shoes, or blankets, and make sure backpacks and bags are ready for the next day. You'll thank yourself in the morning.

Start incorporating these clean home habits into your schedule bit by bit, and you'll build your way to having a tidy home 24/7.

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