4 Things People With Clean Homes Definitely Don’t Do

Are you guilty of any of these habits? Check out our easy fixes for a tidier, more organized home.

Why does it always seem like one minute the entire house is spotless, every surface gleaming and nothing out of place—and the next minute dishes fill the sink, toys are scattered up and down the stairs, and there’s telltale flour on the counter from the cookies you and the kids made yesterday (or was it the day before)? And why does it always seem like your neighbor/sister/PTA co-chair doesn't have this problem?

We've targeted the little habits that can derail even the best clean-house intentions. These are the things that people with super clean homes never do—and the easy fix for each of them. 


They Don’t Let Messes Sit

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It's so tempting to leave the dinner party dishes to soak overnight, or to clean up after family game night the next morning. But projects seem more daunting the longer they go unaddressed—and “overnight” can quickly turn into three days later.

Instead, immediately do a fast cleanup right after guests leave, just before bedtime, or anytime a meal is finished. Need a little motivation? Set a 5-minute timer and do as much cleaning as you can in that time. You’ll be surprised about how much progress you can make in a short, focused period of time.


They Never Run Out of Cleaning Supplies

Truth: You are more likely to clean if you have a stash of terrific smelling cleaning products within arm’s reach. Right now we're digging Grove Collaborative, a company that delivers all-natural, high-quality cleaning products right to your door—and reminds you when you might be running low on products so you can reorder before that last spritz or squirt. They've done the hard work of finding dozens of natural, eco-friendly product lines for you so you can shop with confidence knowing everything you buy is good for you and your family. And right now, Grove is offering an exclusive offer for Real Simple readers: a free set of full-size Real Simple Clean Hand Soap, Dish Soap, and Multi Surface & Glass Cleaner with your first Grove order of $20 or more (plus free shipping!).


They Don’t Tidy Up Alone

When the burden of cleaning and straightening rests squarely on your shoulders, it can be tempting to shut the door and ignore the whole thing. Look, you didn't make the mess all by yourself, did you? Instead, distribute tidying up between all members of the family. You mess it; you clean it up. Kids of all ages can help with the cleaning—in fact, the only family members who should get a pass are the baby and the cat.


They Don’t Put Things Away in Different Places

It’s no surprise that my messiest friends are the ones who most frequently lose their keys. Get out of the habit of putting things down in different places every time, and instead put items away where they are meant to go. Get a nice bowl for your keys, hang hooks for coats, designate a basket to hold the kids’ lunchboxes. This way, your house will stay neat—and you won’t start every morning with a frantic search for your keys and backpacks.