15 Small Habits That’ll Turn You into a “Clean as You Go” Person

updated Mar 18, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

This is the kind of person I am: When I wrote about a Saturday morning catch-up cleaning plan (for people who aren’t able to clean all week), I wished I could do the whole plan right then and there. The end result of having the house in ship-shape order was enticing, but the process of getting there was almost equally as appealing to me.

I do realize that hours of cleaning is not everyone’s idea of a good time. And, though I confess I enjoy cleaning, I’d rather be in a house that’s already clean than sacrifice time with my family to get it that way.

The trick to making this happen — to having a perpetually clean house — is cleaning as you go. This involves tying cleaning tasks to certain daily activities so that cleaning isn’t an activity but an unobtrusive way of life.

Here are some clean-as-you-go strategies you can incorporate into your daily living:

1. Clean the bathroom mirror when you put your face mask on once a week.

Two investments for your future self at once.

Credit: Kitchn

2. Clean out the fridge before you grocery shop.

The benefit here is twofold: A perpetually clean fridge, and you’re able to take stock of what you have and need to replace.

3. Sweep the kitchen floor after dinner every night.

Get into this habit and you’ll never have to step on a crumb again.

4. Clean off your desk every time you put something new on the calendar.

The more meetings you’re subject to, the easier each of those quick tidy-ups will be.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

5. Every time you use the shower, squeegee it before you get out.

A squeegee with a suction cup holder like this modern/minimalist one will make this a cinch.

6. Swipe the toilet with the toilet brush after you use it every morning.

Or squirt some cleaner inside and give it a second flush. Literally cleaning as you go.

7. Scrub the kitchen sink when you run the dishwasher.

Clear the dishes from the sink, then give that sink a scrub.

8. Clean your bedroom floors every time you wash your sheets.

This should happen about once a week, but no judgement.

9. Practice the one-in-one-out method for clothing and toys to stay on top of decluttering.

One-in-one-out keeps clutter from taking over your home. Or make it more-than-one out!

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

10. Clean one small appliance each time you unload the dishwasher.

Put away the plates, then shake the crumbs out of the toaster.

11. Shine your stainless steel or polish your kitchen counters every time you’re waiting for your microwave to beep.

Sure beats watching that turntable rotate for 5 minutes.

12. Mop your kitchen floors each week after you take your big trash cans to the curb.

These natural once-a-week events are great triggers for habit-stacking.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

13. Wash all the dishes you used for meal preparation while your food is cooking.

This works great for oven-baked or slow-cooker-type meals.

14. Go through any lingering paper piles each time you switch to a new month in your planner.

Doing this at the top of the month can keep you on top of expired coupons and outdated paperwork.

15. Clean your bathroom sink, counter, floors, and fixtures each time you wash your bathroom towels. 

The towels are the first thing to look and feel dingy. But your whole bathroom could probably use a refresh.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Any One of These 15 Small Habits Will Make You a “Clean as You Go” Person