13 Ways to Make Your House Stay Clean Longer

So you can’t coat the kitchen with Teflon and train the pets to stop shedding. Before sending the entire family (including Fluffy) to live with Grandma, try one of these neat strategies from fellow Real Simple readers.

I sealed my garage floor. In my former home, the cement floor generated a large amount of fine dust, which got tracked indoors. So when my family moved into our current place, I went to the local hardware store and an employee helped me pick out a garage-floor paint to serve as a protective layer. I couldn’t believe how much less dust there was to sweep up compared with before.

Nessa Memberg

San Tan Valley, Arizona

Instead of storing cleaning supplies in one spot, keep sets of supplies in satellite locations around the house so you can quickly wipe down surfaces. Ever since I started this system—for example, stashing spray cleaner and paper towels in the bathroom cabinets and dust cloths in desk drawers—I don’t have to deep-clean nearly as often.

Alyson Lewis

Locust Valley, New York

The carpet in our home’s high-traffic areas used to get incredibly dirty, so I layered decorative throw rugs and runners on top of the carpet, figuring that those are easy to vacuum or wash when soiled. This has made a big difference. Before I was using carpet cleaner once a month. Now I have to use it only once a season.

Kellie Butler

Center Line, Michigan

“Leave more at the door” is my motto to keep our house clean. I place a mat on both the inside and the outside of the front and back doors. The amount of dirt that collects on the indoor mats is proof to me that this method works wonders.

Rosemary Beauvais

Houston, Texas

My one big rule is, never go upstairs without bringing along an item that belongs upstairs, and vice versa. Since I have three kids, there are always toys to take down or laundry to carry up. This rule saves me from having to do bigger house cleanups as frequently.

Jessica Kaufman

St. Anthony Village, Minnesota

I leave the dining table set at all times. Here’s why: My husband and two boys used to unload mail, keys, schoolwork, and random items, such as cuff links, onto the table, treating it like a dumping ground. A set table gives everyone the perception that the house is clean, and they are surprisingly more mindful of not messing it up. I have to dust the tableware from time to time, but that’s a small price to pay.

Ruby Silvious

Coxsackie, New York