clean house when your a slob

How to Have a Clean House When You’re a Slob

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Tips for Cleaning House When You’re a Natural Slob

It’s hard to have a clean house when you’re a natural slob. I love a clean house. When you walk into someone’s home and everything looks neat and tidy, it’s so beautiful. And in my own house, I feel so much less stress when the house looks clean. Or at least relatively clean.

But the truth is for me, it doesn’t come naturally. Even though I like the house clean, getting it that way and even more, keeping it that way can seem like an impossible task. I admit it, I’m a slob. If like me, you love a clean, organized house but struggle to maintain one, here are some ideas to help you get the house clean and keep it that way.

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Being Realistic About Your Life Will Help You Keep Your House Clean

Often times the beautiful neat and tidy homes I admire belong to families with older kids or no kids at all. When I feel overcome with tidy house envy and beating myself up for not having an equally clean house, I have to check myself. I live in a home with two young children.

Kids bring with them an element of mess. And stuff. Boy oh boy, do they bring the stuff. Even while they’re still in the womb you begin filling your home with the gear and trappings of the baby. And the kid stuff multiplies over the years.

The first step to having a clean house when you’re a slob is to be realistic about your life. Your kids have stuff. Your partner has stuff. You have stuff. I am all for decluttering but there are only so many of your kids’ toys you can throw away before they start to notice.

How to Have a Clean House When You’re a Slob

1. Assess Your Storage and Make the Most of It

I have a bad habit of cleaning off one countertop by moving everything to another one. This has never resulted in a cleaner kitchen. But I keep trying. If you want a clean house, you need to figure out where everything goes.

Make sure you are making the most of your shelves and closet space. If you move stuff around or store it differently could you make a little more room?

I like to use storage bins. They usually cost a couple of bucks each and I keep a few extras on hand. They are perfect for storing toys, office supplies, puzzles, random kitchen utensils, and many other things. And best of all, they stack. So you can use your space more efficiently.

I also like to use vertical storage as much as possible, a tip I learned from The Organized Home CourseblankblankYou’d be amazed at home many board games you can fit on a shelf when you turn them on their side.

2. When You Organize Your Home, Plan for Your Real Life

If the clean house you’re creating is something you hope to maintain, set yourself up for success. Over the years I have purchased at least three or four different shoe racks. A few hung on the back of doors. One is in my closet on the floor. And each time, guess where my shoes still were? Strewn all over the floor.blank
I am a barefoot girl. When I come inside, the shoes come off. And I’m not inclined to take them off and neatly store them away in a distant closet. I just don’t. The solution? A shoe bin on the floor right inside the door!

I can’t believe it took me so long to do this. It’s right where the shoes usually come off, requires no careful placing, it’s just me tossing shoes in a bin instead of on the floor. It gives the appearance of neatness with very little effort.

Whether you’re organizing your closet or creating a cleaning schedule or rearranging your pantry, you’re just spinning your wheels if the system you set up isn’t something you will realistically maintain. 

It’s easy to start dreaming big when it comes to cleaning and organizing your home. But it’s even easier to find yourself overwhelmed and back in the same disorganized mess you started with if you don’t keep your real schedule and habits in mind.


One of the things I loved about The Organized Home course was the practical and easy to apply advice on cleaning and organizing that didn’t involve me morphing into a compulsive cleaner or natural neatnik that I am just never going to be. I need a down to earth approach to control the chaos at home!

3. Create a Spot for Everything in Your Home

Is there anything you own that doesn’t really have a place to go? Maybe it gets moved from counter to counter, or just sits on the floor?

It’s usually something you use often so don’t want it tucked away but having it out looks sloppy? It might even be your coat, purse, pajamas, lots of daily use items that never quite make it to their home.

The shoe bin solved my bad habit of leaving shoes strewn all over the place. The next messy habit to tackle was my family’s habit of dumping our coats in the laundry room on top of the washer or dryer in a heap rather than hanging them in bedroom closets.

This was so obvious the fact that it took us a year in our current home is embarrassing. We finally added hooks to the laundry room for our coats.


The second habit keeping me from having my dreamed of clean house was leaving clothes on the floor in my bedroom.

These were typically the clothes that were not quite perfectly clean. But not so dirty they need to be washed yet. Do other people have these? It also included pajamas, sweatshirts, and bathrobes that never quite got put away.

cleaning house as a slob


My mom’s brilliant suggestion was to buy a coat rack. Awesome solution! This coat rack has enough hooks for pajamas, clothes, bathrobes, workout clothes, and everything else I was tossing on the floor.

The floor of my bedroom has been completely clear since. I’ve learned that for me easy access and use is an important part of creating a clean house I can actually maintain. 

4. Choose a Room to Focus On When You Clean House

Looking around at a messy house can be stressful. It makes it hard to relax. But the amount of time it would take me to keep every area clean all the time would make it impossible to relax- because I would be too busy cleaning the house!

I’ve found the best way to handle this is to choose a hill to die on. One area of the house you will go the extra mile to always keep clean.

For me, it’s the living room. If I am going to relax at home it’s going to be there. Then at least the mess isn’t staring me in the face while I watch TV.

My open floor plan allows me to stand with my back to my messy kitchen and gaze into my clean living room feeling like I accomplished something.

Which just might be the push I need to take my cleaning on into the next room. And if not, I shut the door on the messy rooms. At least for tomorrow. Tackle another room the next day.

5. Invite People Over to Inspire a Cleaning Frenzy

This is the last resort, but nothing whips me into a cleaning frenzy like having guests on the way. Preferably a neatnik friend or a judgmental relative. Someone who will really get your family’s butts in gear when it comes to cleaning house. 

If you’ve gotten in the habit of keeping one room clean you can always keep your guests in there. And in the cleaning frenzy before their arrival, throw all of the stray items in laundry baskets or bedroom closets out of sight.

You can either keep these things out of sight for a while, keeping the house cleaner or take time to put them away later.

My rule is if I don’t put it away and don’t notice it’s missing for six months or so then I put everything picked up and forgotten directly into a donation box for the local thrift store.

What Are Your Best Tips for Keeping a Clean House? Share in the Comments!

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How to Have a Clean House When You’re a Slob

clean house when you're a slob
easy cleaning tips for slobs

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15 thoughts on “How to Have a Clean House When You’re a Slob”

  1. Ido smaller loads of laundry, it may take more energy/water etc but I’m more likely to put them away once I’ve folded them right out of the dryer.
    Also as I leave an area I think is there anything that needs to go the where I’m going. If I leave the living room, to go to the bedroom, are there shoes or a coat? I take them with me and put them away. Then when leaving the bedroom to maybe the kitchen, I might take a glass dh left from the night before.
    And the third thing is to make my bed every morning unless I’m washing the sheets. Then I do it after they’re dry.

  2. Well Elizabeth, guests are the main inspiration for me to go for a cleaning house, lol! You can bet me on that. But you really put some great ideas like, creating a spot that shoes or semi-cleaned cloths can go and planning for a room. It’s true that, if you go roomwise rather than the random room, then it gets easy. Appreciated for your great effort!

  3. Storage bins and having friends over are my go-to tips for keeping a cleaner house. Bins are an easy organizing solution and play dates provide the motivation!

  4. As someone who loves a clean house but HATES to clean, your post really spoke to me. Thanks. I have a cleaning lady every couple of weeks. I do remember once, though, when my daughter was about 5, I took out the vacuum cleaner and she said “Mommy, what’s that?” Says a lot about me I think!

    1. LOL! When my daughter was a toddler she was afraid of the vacuum. I used it as an excuse not to vacuum for YEARS! “Sorry, can’t vacuum! My daughter’s afraid of it.” (Big Fat Bummer!). Then I got a robot vacuum and it became much less of a pain. But I get where you’re coming from, LOL.

  5. I love your last point- it made me laugh because it’s so true. I run a home daycare and when I have someone come over to visit my home for the first time it really motivates me to clean up… maybe I should do that more often.

    1. I used to run a home daycare too. Cleaning before meeting a family was a huge deal. I would stand by the front door trying to see it as they would see it when they walked in, LOL. Definitely motivating to clean house!

  6. I think it’s great you’ve discovered simple ways that work for you and your family. Accepting who we are and working from that starting point eliminates a lot of trial and error. With kids, simple is always good. The kids get older and it gets a little easier, but around our house we have a saying before we have company we always do a clean sweep of the house, then we sit back and say ” that will fool them” ( as long as they don’t open any closet doors, where we’ve thrown the stuff that’s always out ?)

    1. I remember the “That will fool them” saying, LOL. At my house we always look around after cleaning up for company and say, “The house looks great! We should keep it like this all the time!” And then we laugh hysterically;)

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