At the beginning of each year, many of us humans assure ourselves that the year ahead will be more fruitful if we set some resolutions to – eat better foods – work out more and maybe, keep the house nice and clean ..and while I can’t help you with the first two, I know so many of you want to have a cleaner 2016.

So, here’s my advice if you’re looking to stay on top of your house chores a little more this year.

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Set Realistic Goals

This year, let’s do something different. Instead of setting resolutions, which have a high failure rate, we’re going to set goals. Goals are incremental and don’t have to span an entire year, which is why I like them, they’re more precise. Perhaps the goal is just to create a new habit, not something ambiguous like I am going to be tidier this year. Also, if you are realistic then you’re more likely to stick to it. And remember to be kind to yourself, if you fall off the wagon, don’t give up entirely, brush yourself off and start up again.

For example, if you’re cleaning the house zero times a month now, even doing it once a month is an improvement, and that’s why it’s important to set realistic goals is important. Increments here people, INCREMENTS!

A clean house has a different meaning for everyone. Take a couple of minutes to decide what your most important areas (MIA) are and why it is truly important to you. If bathrooms are a must because it makes you feel better when you are getting ready in the morning, then forget weekly vacuuming, just focus your goals around a clean bathroom for now, you can build more in later on!

Schedule It

Time Spent cleaning the house needs to be as routine as possible and what gets scheduled gets done. So, if you tell yourself every Monday morning I am going to do a load of laundry, or every Saturday morning I am going to deep clean the kitchen, these are two of my scheduled items by the way, then you’ll get it done. Pick your MIA and then schedule that in. Also, look for ways to find efficiencies to reduce your time. How can you shave two minutes off something you do every single week?

Stay Focused

Week in and week out, you need to maintain your schedule as best as you can – and that’s where you need to stay focused. Don’t be overzealous with your goals, I think you’re going to set yourself up for failure. What’s always worked for me is setting a small amount of time aside that I can easily and safely part with, like 15 minutes or 30 minutes, and dedicate my time to that. Then, during that time, I clean like a madwoman. I put on music or a podcast or audiobook, avoid all distractions and just clean. That’s all I have to do. It’s purely living in the moment!

And something I really stand by is that even if you live with someone or many ones who don’t clean, let go of the resentment about that. You are cleaning because you want a clean space that you can appreciate. You’re not doing it for them, this is a selfish thing you’re doing for YOU.

Be progressive

My progression to living a cleaner life took time. What started with no joke, hanging up my coat to keep a cleaner front hall, then lead to adding in laundry to my morning routine a couple times a week, laundering cloths and linens weekly, deep cleaning the kitchen weekly, and then deep cleaning my bathroom every couple of weeks. If I told myself to get all of this done January 1st, I’d be living in a castle of nasty. So throughout my years I’ve added in these little extra things to my day and look at me, years later! That’s what happens when you layer on small progressions. That’s all I am suggesting you do.

Reward Yourself

Many of you have probably heard me say this many times before, but there’s good reason for that. We’re all reward motivated. I follow enough of you guys on Instagram to know how you reward yourselves; fun family outings, new clothes, tasty meals out, so make sure you give yourself a nice reward and be complimentary and kind to yourself along the way. This might sound corny, but seriously this kind of positive self talk is what gets people from wherever they are stuck to where they want to be. I think acknowledging your hard work is what’s most important frankly, but a pretty new thing or a crispy crackly treat never hurts either.

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So tell me Clean My Space Nation – are you going to set some goals, or resolutions this year? What are you going to do to live a cleaner 2016? Let me know in the comment section down below because I would love to hear what you have to say!

Happy 2016 Clean My Space Nation​ – thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time!

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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. Choose one day of a week and start cleaning your home. Make a list of what to clean first will help you to manage your home cleaning process.

  2. Very good article, you got lots of things right! It’s important to have a plan when it comes to the maintenance of the house. Without a plan things often get neglected and something is always forgotten. I have a plan for each household task and how frequently it should be performed. This always helps me stay on top of my responsibilities and keeps my home clean and tidy.

  3. Love these tips! Thanks Melissa!
    I was wondering what are YOUR daily must dos? Like dishes? Etc… I’m just curious on how you keep up with the DAILY stuff 🙂 THANKS!

  4. Hi Melissa…just found your blog. Love it! I didn’t see any answers to a few of the questions below…where do I find them? I’ve been going pretty much with non-chemical cleaners for awhile, and really like it. Thanks for all your how-to’s here. Having ME & Fibromyalgia, all your suggestions are a big help! I reward myself all through the time I”m cleaning by sitting down with a cup of coffee or juice & reflect on how much I’ve accomplished! And after that, I’ll tackle a little more for 15 min maybe. Anyhow, am so glad I found ya!

  5. Just an idea, and I have the kids doing it, not enough space or compartments for small and large forks, or serated and butter knives- turn one set back to front. Large forks one way, smaller forks the other way – or upside down

  6. I started making my own cleaning supplies over a year ago. I started with laundry detergent. Last year I started making my own soap, then started making my own deodorant. I will be making my own toothpaste as soon as our last tube runs out. I also make my own bathroom cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and I just use vinegar and newspaper or paper towels to clean my windows. My new bathroom cleaner works wonders! I used it for the first time Tuesday on the bathtub, sink, and toilet. It worked well on our window sills and woodwork, too! I also use vinegar and water to clean my kitchen floor. Worked like a charm! Even my husband noticed how clean the bathroom was!! My goal is to make all of our cleaning supplies, including personal items. And of course, to keep the house a little cleaner!

  7. Awesome tips here! I’ve got to say I struggle with making realistic goals. Instead, I tend to have two modes: “I can do EVERYTHING!” and “I can’t do anything!” when I really need to set a goal that I can do.

  8. Great idea melissa…
    You are amazing and greatly inspiring…
    Can u tell me how to clean greasy burners and also stove knobs…..
    Please…….help me out……

  9. I was talking to my sister yesterday about things that I want to improve and how to improve them, cleaning is at the top of my list, never having been taught how to clean, it’s not something that has come easily to me. She told me about your blog, and how much she loves it and has learnt from it. So here I am reading your blog and keep clean in 2015, I had already started to de clutter my life and home and feeing very motivated and inspired by your blog. Wish me luck and thanks ☺️

  10. Thank you for all your inspirational tutorials including this video. I have problems in getting my cleaning schedule onto paper, could you please do a tutorial on how to make a cleaning routine which would include daily, weekly and monthly maintenance and would love to see your cleaning plan. How do you achieve a beautifully clean home at all times. Happy new year to you and Chad!

  11. I set my cleaning goals and make my daily to do list and calendar, but it seems like it is always a challenge due to a distraction, i.e., phone call, neighbor comes over, hubby needs me to either look at something or run an errand, etc. Before you know it, too much time has passed by and I still have other items on my to do list with deadlines. I saw one of your videos about the different uses of lemon from one of long time FB friends and I decided this is great, I went out and purchase some cleaning items such as your Dawn dish soap. I have decided for 2015 to follow CMS videos as scheduled. When CMS video is posted, I’ll watch it, follow your directions and clean at the same time. By the end of 2015, I’ll have accomplished a cleaner home. Oh, and I’ll just ask the people that are trying to distract me from cleaning, come on in and watch this CMS video. 🙂

  12. hi melissa, wish u a very happy new year.
    this is gayatri from india. i am a huge fan of your blogs as they keep me motivated to do the most hectic job…cleaning!
    well i wanted to ask you , how to do away with dust, as our place is very dusty…pasrticles can be seen floating in the air against light and inspite of using microfibre cloths they seem to reappear in no time. pls save my soul…lol

  13. Setting routines has always been my nemesis; I just don’t wanna do it. I like to get stuff done as the spirit moves me. But that’s not always too efficient. Anyway I’m hoping you can make a video about cleaning the living room–the most heavily used room in my house–including how to spiff up upholstered furniture. I have kids and pets and you can tell by the condition of the living room.

  14. Completely agree! You have to become a creature of habit when it comes to cleaning – once you incorporate it into your weekly routine it becomes a habit rather than a chore. I set aside Monday mornings to clean my house and Saturday mornings for the laundry load of bed linen etc. and if you stick to the schedule and break the tasks down then it becomes achievable. There is nothing worse than that crippling feeling of not knowing where to start so you do nothing. Start small and set small achievable goals and before you know it you will be on your way to a cleaner house and a better state of mind! My goal this year is to tackle the often neglected areas of the house, like the food pantry, refrigerator, windows, etc.on a more regular basis!

    • Great advice Melissa and Therese! I’ve just moved and I’m hoping to start fresh with a clean 2015. Problem: I’m so overwhelmed with the unpacking and cleaning process. It’s difficult to know where to start. After watching the video and reading your comment, I think I’ll start small. One step at a time!

      Melissa, I have a burning question! What is the best way to wash a full size, polyester comforter? My adorable pup decided to show her appreciation for our new surroundings and brand new comforter by spitting up ALL over it. Still love her! 🙂

      I’ve been searching online for good advice and how-to videos. Nothing seems to really address my fear… Not thoroughly cleaning the material. Even in large washing machines, the comforter looks so balled up, I’m not convinced it will be thoroughly cleaned. I figure, you’re the woman for the job! Help!


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