/

The ‘Clean-as-You-Go’ Principle

clean as you go
clean as you go

I’m not obsessive about neatness at all, but I have learned ways of keeping my house neat and clean in a simple, stress-free way. It is called the “Clean-as-You-Go Principle.”

A very basic principle!

The basic idea is that, instead of waiting for the house to get really dirty and then having to spend a lot of time cleaning it, you just clean a little bit at a time. I have also found this principle to be great for other areas of my life: finances, email, work tasks, etc. 

how to apply it?

Here are some ideas to try:

  1. When I’m done eating, I wash my dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. I’ll also often put away any food that’s leftover, wash cooking dishes like the pan, knife and cutting board, and wipe up the counters. It will only take a few minutes but makes a big difference. It feels amazing to wake up to a clean kitchen!
  2. When I’m done brushing my teeth, I wipe the bathroom sink and counter to keep it clean. Having a washcloth nearby makes this easy.
  3. If I see a mess as I walk through the house, I’ll usually put a few things away. Takes just a minute, and no more mess!
  4. I’ll often sweep up the kitchen if I see some crumbs on the floor. Not every day, maybe every other day.
  5. When I am working at home, I use my rest periods away from the computer to clean the house or do the laundry, a little at a time.
  6. When I am cooking, I clean up the kitchen as I wait. So when I’m done cooking, there’s not a big mess.

None of these take a huge amount of time, but by doing it as I go, it takes very little effort and I never have a really messy house.

Of course, a deeper cleaning is still required, but not as often, and it’s not as hard. Overall, this is an easy system that works really well for me.

When it comes to my kids – they do not always follow these tips, but I either pick up after them or ask them to clean their mess whenever I see them.

What tips do you have?

clean as you go

Applying the Principle to Other Areas of your Life

  1. Emails: Every time you go into your inbox, clear out a batch. Archive/delete the ones you don’t need (or better yet, unsubscribe), then do some quick replies. Put ones that require longer tasks into a folder and add the tasks to your to-do list. You can do all of that in 5 minutes. Then get out of the inbox. Repeat later.
  2. Work tasks: As you go through your day, in between the important tasks, take care of mini-tasks for work. Just take care of them a little at a time. Break bigger tasks into things you can do in a few minutes. 
  3. Finances: I like to put my bills, savings and investments on direct debit, but I will very often check them and make payments or adjustments if needed. 
  4. Health & fitness: I don’t dedicate large amounts of time to fitness. I just do a little bit every day. Do some pushups and chinups today, go for a run or bike ride tomorrow, do some yoga for 20 minutes or so the next day etc. Much more manageable I think you will agree!

Why not join us on Instagram for more tips?

Free 5 Step Guide to Decluttering Your Home!

Many people enjoy decluttering because it relieves stress by providing a sense of control and accomplishment. For others, getting rid of the junk frees up a little extra space in the house that wasn’t there before. Some people may just need to purge before they move to a new house. Whatever your reason for decluttering your home, our guide will help you through the process.

Simple Joy was founded by Hayley Forster, a Professional Organiser & Stress Management Coach. Hayley is an advocate of intentional living, with a passion in helping others simplify their lives in order to find their ideal lifestyle full of contentment, creativity and authenticity!

  • Kristin's Peppermints and Cherries
    March 20, 2018

    I couldn’t agree more with your checklist. I can work so much better in an orderly home. I stayed up late last night just to get things ready for today. Love your graphics! Pinned!

    • SimpleAdmin
      Kristin’s Peppermints and Cherries
      March 21, 2018

      Thanks so much – I am pleased you found it useful. I always like to spend 5-10 mins before bed to get ready for the morning after – makes a big difference!

  • Jessica
    March 20, 2018

    Most mornings before 8am I try to I make our bed, quick clean the kitchen and family room, and start a load of laundry. I feel like my days are so much smoother when I do those things! I definitely need to be better about wiping down bathroom counters though!

    • SimpleAdmin
      Jessica
      March 27, 2018

      These are great ways to start your morning before the kids get up for sure!

  • Aria | Blogs by Aria
    March 20, 2018

    such a simple principle but for me it’s something I have to stay on top of.

    • SimpleAdmin
      Aria | Blogs by Aria
      March 27, 2018

      It takes time for sure – make it a habit and it will become second nature

  • Tayler
    March 21, 2018

    I try to keep this in mind. I also try to do anything that takes me less than 3 minutes to accomplish (ie: hang up my coat, replace the toilet paper roll, rinse of my lunch dishes).

    • SimpleAdmin
      Tayler
      March 21, 2018

      yes! Great tips – thank you. Little actions add up and make a big difference

  • Julie
    March 21, 2018

    I definitely like the idea of cleaning as you go. I do it for awhile and then something happens (three girls making messes don’t help) and there is a huge mess, dishes are piled up, things need put away, etc. I definitely need to make a few changes so things aren’t always a mess.

    • SimpleAdmin
      Julie
      March 21, 2018

      I am pleased you feel inspired to do this! I can imagine three girls does come with an associated amount of chaos!

  • Gail Akeman
    March 21, 2018

    yes always clean as you go is good

  • Lindsay
    March 21, 2018

    This is exactly how I operate! Some people think it’s too much work, but it’s quite the opposite.

    • SimpleAdmin
      Lindsay
      March 27, 2018

      Completely agree!

  • Brandi Michel
    March 21, 2018

    This is such a simple and easy to do concept, so I don’t know what it’s not second nature for people to do. My household struggles with this everyday. The truth is, we pay now or pay later… and it’s really a whole lot easier to pay now!

    • SimpleAdmin
      Brandi Michel
      March 22, 2018

      I agree! i think a lot of it is to do with habit and procrastination – it takes a lot to overcome but once we get used to it – we wonder why we never started it!

  • amanda
    March 22, 2018

    I try to live by this philosophy! Having cleaning supplies handy and close-by on each level of our house definitely helps!

    • SimpleAdmin
      amanda
      March 22, 2018

      Yes this is a great tip! Having essential cleaning supplies in each room makes it much easier!

  • Lesly Birkland
    March 22, 2018

    Your post was as short and sweet as your cleaning tips! Love’d your tips!

    • SimpleAdmin
      Lesly Birkland
      March 27, 2018

      haha! thank you very much

Leave a Reply

Previous Post
Perfectionism Be Gone!
Next Post
Decluttering mistakes to avoid!