10 steps to a cleaner house for you and your family

First there was 10 steps to a clean house…kinda.
Now there is 10 steps to a cleaner house for you and your family.
Just in case you nailed the first 10.
Or, are an overachiever and need more.
Or, you didn’t like the original 10.

10 more tips to a cleaner house. Tricks for getting your family and kids involoved by NellieBellie

My house isn’t perfect. Certainly not.
It is not even tidy sometimes.
But, it is rarely bad enough to be embarrassed.
Or dangerous.
(although if you go in my craft room you wouldn’t continue reading this…
I need to take my own advice!)
These are more “strategies” for organizing and cleaning.
They are my go-to ways of tricking myself and my family into cleaning.

  1. Put away 5 items. Go!
  2. Put 10 things away in each room!
  3. Set the timer.
  4. Stash away.
  5. “3 days and you pay”
  6. Laundry Basket store
  7. You cook, I clean.
  8. Junk drawers and closets are good!
  9. Keep your sink and counters clean!
  10. find great products!

1. Put away 5 items. Go!

A couple of times a day I yell this to my family.
They know the drill.
Put away 5 things.
No, little pencil shavings don’t count.
Make them count!
You would be surprised what gets put away!

2. Put 10 things away in each room!

If the house is getting away from me I do this for a few days…
every time I walk into a room I put away 10 items.
Every room I walk into gets this treatment.
Yes, sometimes it gets old and I just stay put.
But really…it works.
Especially for those little things that need to be brought elsewhere.

3. Set the timer.

(I’m thinking I need that adorable timer)
Sometimes a room needs more attention then the first 2 steps can help.
So, I set the timer for 15 minutes.
Whoever is in the house cleans hard and fast for 15 minutes in that room.
Let’s say there are 4 of us.
We all clean for 15 minutes.
1 HOUR! If I do the math that is 1 HOUR!
Oh yeah baby!

4. Stash away.

I like stuff. I like pretty stuff.
Sadly, I don’t need anymore pretty stuff.
But, I often think I do.
Or, that if I give it away I will regret it.
So…I stash it. In a box, in a closet…whatever.
Then when I go to clean out the space where it has been stashed
I run across that item again.
And you know…I surely don’t need it anymore.
In fact, I often look at it in disgust.
“Why did I keep…that?”.
And a couple of times I was excited to find it…I had the perfect spot for it!
I suggest you try that method…see if you can live without a few things.

5. “3 days and you pay”

I have 2 kids, a husband, a dog, and 2 cats.
I make enough of a mess all by myself without their help.
But, they are sooo intent on helping make a mess.
Really, I don’t need the help!!!
So, we have a little rule.
I’ll ignore the mess, not nag, leave you alone about it…for 3 days.
Then…if I have to tell you to pick it up…you pay me.
Every time I remind you…you pay.
I make enough money every week to pay for my fancy coffee.
They are getting smarter. I make less money.
But, at least this way I don’t get so frustrated…I just think about coffee.

6. Laundry basket store.

This is another method for family mess that I use sometimes.
The laundry basket.
Every night at a designated time (keep it consistent and reasonable!!)
everyone’s items need to be picked up.
After that time comes and goes you gather up a laundry basket
and proceed to find all items of theirs or that they were responsible for
and fill your basket.
At the end of the week they can “buy” that item back.
If it was their responsibility but not their item…they “buy” it.
In my house payment is in the form of chores.

7. You cook…I clean. Vice Versa.

This is just courtesy.
But, it also saves time and energy.
And Momma’s nerves.
And…and…it teaches your kids valuable lessons on teamwork!

I do much of the cooking in our house.
My husband works late hours and I have dinner ready when he comes home.
The kids usually take turns helping with dinner.
Then, after supper, my husband and the kid that didn’t help clean up.
I leave the kitchen so I don’t “hover”…cause I do. It’s bad.
And we leave them to clean.

When a kid cooks for us (it happens sometimes)
we clean. Although, the mess they make…it doesn’t always seem fair.

We believe that it’s important for our kids to recognize the effort that goes
into daily activities.
They need to know that cooking and cleaning is hard work.
They need to appreciate when others do it for them.
And they need to learn to do it for themselves and others.
It’s a valuable skill.
And…it’s helps me stay sane!

8. junk drawers and closets are good!

I have a junk drawer…or two.
And a closet that is a mess…or two.
They are necessary for me.
I have a day to clean.
I have 10 items that I don’t know what to do with.
I put them in the junk closet, or drawer.
My space is clean.
My brain feels free.
My closet is full.
All is well.
Granted, at some point I will have to clean it.
But, maybe by then I won’t want those 10 items anymore.
Remember #4 ?

9. keep your sink and counters clear!

Nothing is worse for the psyche then seeing dirty dishes and counters.
Something about that that just screams at you.
It’s annoying.
Keep them going, keep them clean.
Reduce the amount of dishes you use when cooking.
Think about reducing the number of dishes you have.
Multipurpose items are great!
Especially if they go from oven to table to freezer…score!!
Keep what you use and use often.
Think about stashing everything else away.

10. find great products!

There are great cleaning products out there that make your job easier!
Cleaners, scrubbers, mops, you name it.
Find what works for you…then abuse the crap out of them!!
I love Mr. Clean erasers, Mrs. Meyers multi-purpose,
and plain ol’ baking soda and vinegar.
Swiffers are my friends.
And cold-water Tide is the best invention in my life.
I don’t use much else. No sense cluttering under my sink.
I find what makes my job faster…and do it!

Here’s a great link for natural cleaning solutions!


Okay, there are 10 tips for a cleaner house for you and your family.



  1. Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker says

    Oh my goodness Janel!
    1: I am jealous your kids are old enough to contribute. Mine are 5, 4, and 1 and are much more mess-producing than mess-reducing!
    2: that being said I LOVE your idea of the laundry basket store-my four and five year olds will “get” that-I’ll collect all their items they leave out before bedtime! Yay!
    3: Love the “10 things” and timer tips too-I think my older boys will understand that as well!
    Thanks so much for the tips-seriously you don’t know how badly we need that here!

  2. Heather Luckhurst says

    Janel! Love these tips….my hubs always complains that when I cook I dirty every pot and pan in the kitchen….(I do that on purpose so it makes him look like the ‘bettter cook’!!) Am I a no reply blogger?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.