First of all, it is important to state that “clean enough” is a relative term and often finds its meaning in different ways depending on the person and what they deem to be “clean enough.” There is no magical number ranking or test of cleanliness (that we know of) that will tell you if your home is clean enough or up to par. It would be nice if it was that easy to figure out, but it isn’t. You have to determine where you want your cleanliness standards to be and then go from there. Here are a few of our suggestions on how to make your home clean enough for you:
Set Your Standard
As mentioned above, the first thing you must do is to determine your standard. Since “clean enough” can mean very different things to different people, you need to figure out what you really think clean enough means. Is it practical for your life and appropriate for who lives in the home and who visits the home? If you are a college student getting your first apartment, your standards of cleanliness are probably much different from the standard of cleanliness you would have if you were an ambassador who entertains and accommodates foreign ministers in your home. And that is completely reasonable.
Whatever you decide is appropriate will be directly connected to the purpose of your home, your job, your schedule and even your personal preferences (to a point) and the preferences of others in the home. However, many standards should be based on health as well since the cleanliness of a home can and will affect the health of all who live in it. A few tips for figuring out what your standard is and customizing it are the following:
- Write down the top 10 most important functions your house has.
- Figure out what things (big or little) stress you out when they are not clean or organized.
- Take note of things you appreciate about other peoples’ houses when you visit. These things are important to you and stand out to you so you should try to implement them at your own home (within reason).
- Pay attention to how often you get sick and if any allergies have gotten worse. Looking up what causes these things will give you areas of the house to work on keeping cleaner. Health is great motivation.
- Ask for opinions from friends and family (if you are brave).
As the last bullet point frighteningly suggests, ask a friend or family about the cleanliness of your house. This can be embarrassing or even cause a fight for some so make sure you are willing to hear whatever they say and even ask them to say it nicely so you do not feel like you have to be defensive. If you really want to know what other people think about your house and if they think it is clean enough, you have to ask. You also have to ask people who will tell you the truth and not sugar coat it or lie because they do not want to insult or embarrass you. Seeing your home through someone else’s eyes is an enlightening and extremely helpful experience so embrace it and let it help you on your way.
Another option if you are not too keen on bringing friends or family into the matter is to ask a professional. Talk to a professional organizer or housekeeper- maybe hires them for one or two sessions and has them evaluate your home. Keep in mind that they may have much higher and pickier standards for home cleanliness- they are professionals in that field for a reason. However, they will probably be very helpful in how they evaluate your home and possibly even give you ideas and tips on how they clean or stay organized based on what they perceive your week areas to be.
The Health Factor
One of the most undeniable ways to determine whether your home is clean enough is to figure out how it may be hindering your health or preventing healthy habits. Look for inspiration on how to sanitize your home, there are all kinds of blogs and websites dedicated to helping you make sure your home is clean and sanitary so make use of them!
This is actually a great place to start if you are not sure what your other standards are yet. Start with a deep clean and clean in places where you have never cleaned before. Clean like your life depends on it. Then over the next week or so, take note of how you and others living there feel in your home. Are allergy symptoms fading? Or are you just less stressed when you do not have to look at the dust/hair bunnies that build up in the corner of the bathroom or kitchen.
Can’t Keep up? Here are 13 Habits that will keep your house clean.
Something Every Day
If you get into the habit of tackling something every day, you will surely get far. If you can truly build a habit like that, then you will probably end up surpassing most peoples’ standards of cleanliness. There are many successful homemakers and clean freaks alike that have set the goal of 20 minutes every day or even one hour every day. Imagine how much you could get done if you spent that much time every day!
When in doubt, just start cleaning something. Usually, there is something that is bothering you the most about your home so start with that. Stop looking at the big picture because that will be overwhelming especially if you have yet to define your home’s cleanliness standards. Pick one project and start working on it and then move on to the next. There is no one way to make sure your home is clean enough, you really just have to find your own groove and keep trying new things. Your home may never be clean enough for you, and that is okay too because maybe your standards are up there with the Queen but keep working towards them. Cleanliness is a habit, not something you can check off your list forever. You have to keep working at it.