How to Keep Your House Clean for Longer Than 5 Minutes

So you’ve scrubbed every corner of your home until it’s sparkling. But what does it look like a few hours later? Chances are, not nearly as neat (and, for some of us, like a tornado came through). According to Becky Rapinchuk, the expert behind the blog Clean Mamaand the author of Simply Clean, the secret to ensuring your house stays relatively tidy between deep-cleans is to do a few quick chores every day to keep things in order. Before you turn in for the night, keep reading for your room-by-room to-do list.

In the living room

Every night, do a quick pickup of anything you spot out of place on the floor; think toys, TV remotes, old issues of AD. Then, turn your focus to the sofa, refolding throw blankets and fluffing up pillows. “A daily run-through-and-grab of any errant items is much easier than a weekly full-on cleanup,” explains Rapinchuk.

In the kitchen

“A clean sink is the symbol of a clean kitchen!” says Rapinchuk. “But in order for a sink to be clean, the dishes have to be done.” First things first: Make sure you’ve unloaded the dishwasher so there’s room for a new batch of dirty plates and cutlery. Once the last dish is put away after dinner, give the sink a scrub. “You’ll be happy in the morning that you don’t have a sink full of dishes staring back at you,” notes Rapinc​huk. Last, wipe down the counters to get rid of any pesky bacteria.

In the bathrooms

Wiping down your toothpaste-splattered counters every day is the secret to a bathroom that at least looks neat. But Rapinchuck also suggests keeping a squeegee on hand to remove soap scum from the tile after you shower, then immediately hanging your towels so they have a proper chance to dry. “This simple little habit will reap big results that will save you time in the long run,” she says.

In the bedrooms

Your mother was right about this one—you’ve got to make your bed. “Pull up the covers and put the pillows back on your bed when you get up, or before you leave the house,” says Rapinchuk. “This little step will pull your whole bedroom together.​” Next, gather dirty clothes off the ground and put them in a hamper. “Any objects on the floor should be picked up daily to avoid overwhelm and mess.”