The things we need to do daily to keep a clean home

Do you remember when you hit puberty and realized you had body odor? Some people were very conscientious about it; their parents gave them deodorant, and they were good at hygiene from the beginning.

Then there were those of us who didn’t care, didn’t notice a smell, and just kept living life.

Until we got tired of our parents reacting and telling us to shower and put deodorant on all the time, or maybe a teacher talked to us, one of our peers commented, or you realized that you liked someone and finally realized that B.O. could impact your chances.

Regardless of how it started, at that point, we decided to make an effort to take care of ourselves. And now, as an adult, we may not even remember what the tipping point was, but now showering and putting on deodorant is automatic, it’s not something we have to work at – we just do it without giving much thought to it.

For those of us who struggle to keep our homes clean, we just need to get ourselves into the habit of taking care of it daily.

And we’re all capable of doing that.

We learned to take care of our bodies, so we’re nicer to be around, and we can learn to take care of our home, so it’s nicer for us to be in.

And it can be so automatic that, just like putting on deodorant every day, we don’t really notice ourselves doing it – it just gets done because it’s a habit.

Before we talk about those habits that we need to do each day, I need to say:

If your home is overwhelming, and that’s why you’re here, read this article here instead.

But, if you’re here for a list of the things you need to do daily to keep a clean home – here’s what I do:

I have my daily tasks, and then I spend an hour or two every weekend cleaning the house. I am not an amazing housekeeper; if you look under my fridge, you would see piles of dust because I don’t move my fridge to clean under it – but I have learned what to do so that I like being in my home, and it’s not an embarrassment if someone stops by.

My daily tasks:

  • Wash the dishes twice a day.
  • Put things away in the kitchen when I’m done cooking or eating.
  • Wipe clean the counters and stove.
  • I make the bed – loosely (I don’t put much effort into it.)
  • And I tidy up – put away shoes, books, games, etc.
  • I used to do laundry daily, but as the kids have gotten older, it’s a load every other day.

My weekly tasks:

  • Clean the toilet, inside and out.
  • Scrub the bathtub and shower walls.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Clean the kitchen sink.
  • Wipe the front of appliances.
  • Clear and wipe down all kitchen counters.
  • Dust surfaces in the living room.
  • Sweep, mop, and/or vacuum each room.

On a need-to basis (when I notice and it annoys me), I will clean the light switches, wash the windows, clean under the couch, and wash the light fixtures.

But I still don’t want a list of 15 – 20 things to do daily to maintain my home.

I want the bare minimum.

And by embracing minimalism and not having very much stuff means all those tasks take less time.

If there isn’t a lot of clutter on the surfaces, I can dust quickly.

If there isn’t a lot of furniture on the floor – sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming go faster.

When I do the dishes twice a day, it takes me less than 10 minutes to do them – which is by far easier than the hours I used to spend doing dishes once every 3-4 days.

We have jobs because we want to be able to have a place to live. We want electricity and a phone, clothes, and food. To be able to have money to pay for this lifestyle we want, we have to work.

That’s the exchange.

We don’t get a paycheck if we don’t go to work.

So, to have a home that I like being in and that I’m not embarrassed about, I have to spend a little bit of time taking care of it.

And because I’m lazy and I don’t want to spend 3 hours a week dusting to maintain a pretty home, so…

  • I got rid of all the clutter, and now dusting takes me 3 minutes.
  • I don’t want to vacuum around a coffee table and end tables each week, so I removed everything except the one we use.
  • I don’t want to spend time ironing clothes, so I got rid of all the clothes that required ironing.

That’s all minimalism means to me – it makes having the type of home I want easier. 

I DO want a clean home, a home that is relaxing to be in, that’s welcoming to visitors. 

And reducing everything we own to a minimal amount means that I can do everything I need to keep the house clean, but I don’t have to spend as much time doing it.

If you would like help cementing these daily habits so that they become automatic for you, I created the Home Reset Checklists – they are editable PDFs, so if you want to change the tasks from what’s suggested, you can do that – make them your own, and do the daily tasks that make your home feel manageable for you.

Click here to see the Home Reset Checklists.

We don't have to do 20 cleaning tasks every day to maintain a nice home - here's what I do daily and weekly to keep my home company ready.

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Mau on 03/22/2023 at 8:09 pm

    Love this! Most of us like a clean comfortable home but would rather be doing almost anything else with our spare time.

    I find that a quick wipe-down of bathroom sinks, toilet seats, and wiping up hair from the shower floor keeps my bathroom looking clean and saves SO much time when I do have to scrub them (about every other week).

    I scoop solids out of the cat’s litterbox twice a day. Keeps it clean and takes 15 seconds each time.

    A few extra minutes each day can save so much trouble and frustration!

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