Over the years we’ve gone through countless tips and tricks concerning how to clean, declutter and take care of various items throughout the home. Some of these tips are very specialized, while others are more broad in nature. That got us to thinking, if we had to come up with a top 10 list for cleaning, what would be on it? Well, without further ado, let’s answer that question and give you the top 10 rules for a cleaner home!

Rule #10: Clean For 10 Minutes Every Day

We’re in the throes of a crazy winter storm right now. It’s cold, it’s snowy, and our house is feeling the effects of this as well. When you come into our front hall, there’s salt, dried boot prints and remnants of other dirt tracked in from the outdoors. As much as we try to contain it, it still manages to get everywhere. This has resulted in Chad and I spending a few minutes each day cleaning the entryway floors. This has been making a big difference! The takeaway here is to spend 10 minutes each day and focus on what’s most important in your house. Clean, declutter or organize the area that really needs it most. Because, if you can give even the smallest amount of time to something, it will keep your space looking cleaner and more beautiful.

organized closet

Rule #9: Everything Has a Place

Everything has a place and if it doesn’t have a place it means that you probably don’t need it. If you notice that there’s something that’s homeless really consider whether you need it or not. If you do, find a home for it and make sure it stays there. If you don’t, it’s time to move on from it.

Rule #8: Make Your Bed Every Morning

The simple 90-second act of making your bed each and every day has a huge impact on the way you feel about your room, about your space, and about going to sleep each night. It is often said that not only is making your bed a great way for you to become more motivated throughout the day because you get one little task done first thing in the morning, but it also allows you to come home and feel relaxed. When you come into your bedroom after a long day you don’t feel a sense of disarray, instead, you have a sense of order and cleanliness.

clean bedroom

Rule #7: Clean Your Bedroom Every Night

Start your day by making your bed, and end it by making sure that the bedroom is clean and tidy. This doesn’t mean a 20-minute cleaning routine, if you can spend 3 or 4 minutes picking things up off the floor, straightening up some sirfaces—just these 3 minutes will make such a big difference in your bedroom (if done daily). This way, when you wake up in the morning, you’re waking up to a (fairly) clean space. It’s a fact: your brain prefers a clean and serene space, so take that little time to make a big difference.

Rule #6: Have A Way Station

Especially with a new member of our family coming very soon, keeping our house as clutter free as possible has been an increasingly important priority. Chad and I have a way station in our home where we take anything that we don’t really need anymore. We put that item in the way station bin and we just leave it there. If we need it, we’ll go back and we’ll get it. However, in the vast majority of cases we find that we don’t need that item, so when the bin fills up we donate, recycle or throw it away. This has been such a freeing practice.

kitchen cleaning

Rule #5: Clean the Kitchen After Every Meal

I consider the kitchen to be one of my MIAs or Most Important Areas, which is why keeping it clean is a priority for me. I spend so much time in here that if things start to get a little gross, I find I don’t want to cook, so I stop bringing my lunch to work or I may skip breakfast—all bad habits! With this in mind, I’ve made it a rule to clean up as much as possible after each use. Whether it’s just a few crumbs on the counter, or a full on scrub down—dishes, pots, pans, backsplash—whatever it takes, get it done.

Rule #4: Live With Less

The whole minimalist living thing has definitely been a trend over the past couple of years. And while Chad and I aren’t on the end of the scale where we have four things in each room, we have definitely managed to substantially pare things down in our house. If you have less stuff in your home, it means less clutter, less to clean, ultimately less landfill, and you can really enjoy the items that you do have. We have a great video on this which covers some of the starting points we implemented in our own home, and I can say with certainty, that we do prefer this new lifestyle.

family cleaning

Rule #3: Everyone Should Pitch In

Clearly, you’re not going to ask your 3-year-old to unload the dishwasher, but each family member should be participating in taking care of the home to the best of their abilities. If you haven’t had this conversation with everyone in your house yet, this is a really important conversation to have. Talking about scheduling, frequency, age-appropriate tasks, and also setting common goals so everyone can feel better about the space they live in. The responsibility cannot fall on just one person’s shoulders. If you live in the house, it’s your responsibility to take care of it too.

Rule #2: Let It Evolve

365 days is a significant time span. Our lives change (yes, we’re having a baby!), our living spaces change, and of course, seasons also change! You better believe that your cleaning routine will be constantly changing too! What makes sense to focus on in the winter, or when your kids are in school, may not make sense a few months later. Always be on the lookout for ways to change things up—whatever makes sense for your family, your situation and your current needs—change your cleaning routine accordingly. Spinning your wheels trying to stick to someone else’s cleaning routine, or a single inflexible cleaning routine, is a huge waste of time. Bottom line, let your cleaning routine change and evolve to match your life, your needs, and your unique circumstances.

clean messes immediately

Rule #1: Clean Up Messes Immediately

If I were to write a cleaning Bible the first line would be: “Mess begets mess”. If you make a mess, no matter the size, leaving it unattended only attracts more mess. So, whenever you make a mess, you want to clean it up as quickly as possible. Right away is ideal. If your space is clean, you’re more encouraged to keep it clean. Alternatively, if you have little messes everywhere, a little bit more here or there doesn’t make much of a difference. Before you know it, your space has fallen into complete disarray.  Even on a smaller scale, say you drop a little dab of toothpaste in your sink, yes, you could leave it—but it’s such a small thing! Spend the 3 seconds to wipe it up and move on with your day. Take care of the little things and the bigger things will take care of themselves.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on amazon.com.

Looking for a BETTER & EASIER Way to Clean Your Home?

Cleaning Expert Melissa Maker is here to help with her game-changing 3 Wave Cleaning System that will help you clean your house faster and easier than you ever thought possible!

Learn More About The 3 Wave Cleaning System

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. YES on “letting your plan evolve”. I told a friend, I do “X” for my lifestyle right now. When new members come back to the house or job locations change, it changes too. The only thing that is a MUST is clean your kitchen after every meal. If you cant get to the counter, you cant clean it. I use the 10 minute rule for keeping food out. I found not only nit keeping leftovers out too long keeps staves of food poisoning but it also makes you think twice about getting 2nds=less calories. (Do I really want to go through heating food up?)

  2. I am such a big fan! I found you on U Tube about a month ago and I can honestly tell you that you have helped me clean so many things in my house that I did not even think to clean… the inside of the kettle, the washing machine inside & so much more. You & my Morning coffees go hand in hand. I had no idea how wonderful fiber clothes are! From a fellow Canadian, I say thank you, thank you, thank you! My Husband will text me from work & ask how my day is. My answer is always, I’m watching my Girl (I see you too Chad) and having a coffee. More often then not, when he gets home he’ll ask what my “Girl” taught me. I am looking forward to your ideo and coffee in the Morning at 5pm lol. Addicted much…Yes! Great tips!!!

  3. Thank you so much,these rules are on time for me cos I won’t hv to strain alone cleanx but will work in a team

  4. It’s so smart to spend 10 minutes and focus on what’s most important to get your house cleaned. 10 minutes isn’t a lot but you can get a lot done in that time! I’ll be sure to try this out in my own home and see the results.

  5. You made a great point about letting it evolve and making sure you keep an eye on what you need most. My husband and I are looking for a home cleaning service that can help us prepare our home for selling. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

    • Thanks so much!! I am learning so much from your videos, email, and website! I set a twenty minute timer and get what I can done but if I have to stop I know okay kitchen is up to wave 2 or living room needs a wave 2!!! It has made my life so much better!

  6. It’s interesting to know that spend 10 minutes a day cleaning your house can help you to keep it looking beautiful. My brother is thinking about living by himself, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about the importance of keeping his house clean to help it look beautiful.

  7. Thanks for these helpful rules for home cleaning.
    I really liked these rules especially Rule #3: Everyone Should Pitch In, cause I believe that everyone has to participate in home cleaning.

  8. It is true if you do your cleaning job on daily whether it is for short period or not then you don’t have to worry about the deep cleaning and cleaning on large terms. You can divide your cleaning your stages and phases where you do certain in such particular phase and then next. It will help you to achieve the peak cleaning standard.

  9. It is quite a challenging task to maintain a clean house all year round to a standard where every corner of the house is cleaned spotlessly.The choice of a vaccum cleaner depends upon the requirement. Some vaccum cleaners are designed for specific industries like pharma, food & beverages while some are designed for the house cleaning task only. Automatic vaccum cleaners and hepa vaccum cleaners are a good option for anyone looking for compact and easy to use vaccum cleaners with great features.

  10. You do not clean from top to bottom when washing walls ect. Reason is when the liduid runs it leaves a streak ,stain or how ever you want to describe it. If you start at bottom and work your way to the top this will not happen. Then if needed you work you way back down. You will have no run marks . gregporche88@gmail.com

  11. I really appreciate this, as a full time working mom of 3 it’s not so easy to keep up with home but I love that I’m not the only one whose has felt that way…thank you!!

  12. Hi! I like to follow your “never leave a room empty-handed” rule, but I changed it a bit. I use “never leave a room untouched.” This means that when I do leave a room, I do bring something with that doesn’t belong; however, I also make it a habit to at least tidy some one thing up a bit too. Whether that be lining up the things on the side table, or even simply wiping something down if it needs it. The last part is easy for me since I’ve had a Maker’s General Purpose cloth with me everywhere I go since I got them. The purple matches most outfits so I have no trouble with that. 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here