7 tips to get your house cleaning under control

Results from a survey I ran with some of our readers show many of the households don’t have a cleaning system in place with many readers struggling to know where to start.  My house cleaning routine constantly changes depending on my schedule. It is usually either cleaning once a week or if I have a spare few minutes I’ll clean one room every day or two.  I don’t allow myself to spend too much time cleaning or fussing, I have created systems and routines so I can get in and get it done as quick as I can so then I can get on with the things I enjoy more. Below I’ve shared 7 tips to get your house cleaning under control so you can too enjoy time with your family or be doing other things that make you happy.

Struggling to keep the house cleaning under control? I can help!  It’s all about being prepared and creating systems and routines to help you get through it.


Having all your cleaning supplies together in a bucket that you can carry from room to room will save you time. Keep it stocked with most general household cleaning items.

  READ MORE: what I stock in my cleaning kit and in my shower caddy.

Cleaning products for a full home clean.


By having a cleaning system it takes the thinking out of where to start cleaning the home. Over time it will become a routine and you’ll start to save time .

  • Before I start to clean I ask the kids to pick up all items off their floor and clear their tabletops, one less step for me to do in their room.
  • I always start in the bathrooms, spraying cleaners over the shower and loo allowing the product to sit and soak while I clean the rest of the house.
  • I then start at the front of the house and work my way through from left to right.


Don’t make extra work for yourself by dusting tabletops, then dusting the ceiling fan or top of bookshelves to then have dust fall back onto the places you have already cleaned.  The clean top to bottom, left to right is very much a ‘system’ as mentioned above, taking the thinking out of what to clean.  Walk into the room, look up, clean then go around the room from the left to the right.

Clean house top to bottom. Spring cleaning.


If your house has got out of control and your struggling to know where to start, pick one area.  I always suggest it’s the room that you use the most, for me that’s the kitchen.  Spend time cleaning and organising it, don’t spend too much time on it, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Follow me on the 20 Days to Organise and Clean Your Home eCourse (details below) and I can help you with this process.  I’ll help you to create a system and tools to have the home you’ve always dreamed of and to put you back in control. And I will help show you how to get your family on board too – and enjoy it!

  JOIN the 20 Days to Organise and Clean your Home Challenge – My 20 Days to Organise and Clean Your Home challenge combines these tried, tested and proven housekeeping tips with the physical tools to achieve organisational bliss – whatever your motivation and whatever your end goal. LEARN MORE HERE.

Cleaning routines to create order and remove chaos.


Areas like the kitchen often need a lot of attention if you don’t maintain it can get out of control.  ie. you may have made a bolognese that splattered over the kitchen splash back or onto the stove.  If left this will require scrubbing, however, if you give your kitchen a general clean each day, instead of scrubbing you just need to wipe over the splatter.  Plus I can’t express this more….. waking up to a clean kitchen puts you in a healthy mindset for the day.

  READ MORE: 9 easy steps to maintain a clean kitchen

Keep the house clean, with cleaning hacks.


Making simple changes, to form new habits can make a big difference in your home.  ie. the simple task of taking 1 minute to make your bed each day, changes the feel of the room from messy to closer to being tidy. I know I crawling into a made bed each night makes me happy, my reward.  James Clear says:

Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.

  1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  2. Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)


Clutter can easily get out of control, be it ‘stuff’ over the kitchen benchtops, piles of clothes hidden behind closed doors or piles of items placed through the home.  Having clutter around the house takes away from the feeling of being able to relax in your own home, especially when you don’t know where to start with it. Don’t think you need to clear our a room in a day, take your time, if you can just do a little each day soon it will become easier and you will see a noticeable difference.

I help you spring clean. Household chores made easy.

Despite what you keep telling yourself- you can absolutely do it all.

Note: this post has been updated it was originally posted on 27th April 2016.

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Robyn April 27, 2016 - 6:18 AM

I have been waiting for the challenge to start again, I need some coaching on where to start, I’ve really lost the plot lately and become very overwhelmed. Bring it on, I’m determined.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 27, 2016 - 1:50 PM

wonderful Robyn, I am happy to help you in any way I can, to help you stop feeling so overwhelmed at home 🙂

Pat April 27, 2016 - 11:29 AM

Hello Katrina,
Due to being a Carer for a few years and then the loss of my husband a few months ago I have found my house to be in a real mess. and very cluttered. It has been quite an emotional time.

I receive your daily email and have found the contents most useful. I am a older person (pensioner) do not have children and am not on Facebook. I would like to do the 20 day Challenge though it may take longer than the 20 days. Would the Basic be better for me? .
I have never used Pay Bill I normally pay directly into a Bank Account.

I look forward to your reply.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 27, 2016 - 1:54 PM

Hi Pat, I am sorry to hear about your husband, my thoughts are with you. I would suggest the basic packed would be all you need as the premium and deluxe both include facebook group access, however the deluxe package does include a wonderfully discounted bundle of printables. I am happy to upgrade your purchase from basic to deluxe if in a few weeks you think it would have been the better option. You get lifetime access to the membership site so don’t feel you need to complete this in 20 days, you can take a few days to complete each of the tasks, making it a 40 day or 80 day challenge. The site is a good guide to help you get back into routine, with checklists to help you through cleaning each room, takes the thinking out of it for you!!

Colette April 29, 2016 - 5:20 PM

Hi Pat just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. My husband died 6 years ago after a long illness. I have raised 3 teenagers, now 23, 21 & 18. Only the youngest lives at home full time. In the months before my husband died, we moved house. I have a large house, 5 bedrooms, study and large rumpus room full of stuff, not to mention I am storing my daughters furniture. Today I received an email from my sister in England, she’s coming to stay for 3 weeks and arrives in less than 4 weeks. Not sure whether to laugh or cry. The spare room is bursting at the seams. On a positive note my sister is a worse hoarder so probably won’t notice. Certainly life’s circumstances have a role to play. Anyway good luck with the challenge, I have certainly been considering it myself but think I maybe beyond hope!

Christine McIntyre April 27, 2016 - 1:33 PM

Hi Kat. I was wondering what I do. I am a life member and I would love to do the 20 day challenge again as I missed some things last time. How do I register. Thank you.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 27, 2016 - 3:31 PM

Hi Christine, I will be sending an email out to past participants shortly to sign you up to the next round 🙂

Darra April 27, 2016 - 2:52 PM

I’m with Christine (above). I’m a past participant who needs to do this again.

For anyone who hasn’t done the 20 day challenge it is great! The 20 day challenge website gives you a list of jobs to do each day and tips on how to do it. Kat suggests printing off her checklists or marking jobs off as you go somehow and this is so beneficial. The house feels so good after. And it includes jobs that you would never think to do normally like wiping down walls.

For me who is planning on doing the challenge for the second time it will be very interesting to see how much easier it is this time around since the last challenge really helped me in decluttering and creating good habits.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 27, 2016 - 3:33 PM

I’ve just sent out the email Darra so you can follow along in the next round. Thank you so much for sharing your experience from the last round, hopefully this one will be easier as you would have given it a good clean and declutter in the previous round.

Jan April 27, 2016 - 9:49 PM

Hi Kat
Although I dearly want to do the 20 day challenge I am not in a position to do it at the moment when are you likely to do another one

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 28, 2016 - 11:05 AM

Hi Jan, I hope to run the next one towards the end of the year just before Christmas.

Jan April 29, 2016 - 7:11 PM

Thanks Kat later in the year will suit me so much better so will take the risk and wait until then. I so enjoy all your suggestions and I often feel so good because I am already doing thinks that you suggest. I so admire what you are doing and how you are helping so many people xxxx

Karla April 29, 2016 - 4:06 PM

Hi Katrina, I have a question. I’m considering the 20 day challenge but I work full time and am a single mother to four school aged children. I’m really busy, as my job is very demanding and I have sole custody of my 4 kids. Is the challenge really suitable for someone like me?

dione February 24, 2017 - 12:54 PM

hi Katrina, I am loving your website, the only problem is, I have such a hugh list of things i want to do and i have downloaded the budget information and bills etc and really want to get started on that but i just can’t stop reading all your posts. so i can start lol. i would love to know if you are doing the 20 day challenge this year or if we can download something so i can do it now. thanks in advance and like i say loving your work

Richard Peterson September 14, 2018 - 6:09 AM

Great share! It really helped me when you mentioned how vacuuming once every week is enough to keep your carpet clean.

DS Pressure Cleaning February 20, 2019 - 9:11 PM

Hey Katrina,
Great tips, Keep sharing your content.
I found this useful
Keep it up.

Andrew June 11, 2020 - 4:22 PM

Thanx for sharing that great article. It really helps us when we start cleaning in our house like vacuuming the carpet, clean the curtain, vacuuming the whole house. I always like your tips and tricks.


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