Raise your hand if you grew up with a mom (or another parental figure) constantly reminding you to clean your room. Often, our earliest memories of figuring out how to tidy up and take care of our homes are with our moms—they taught us how to do laundry, how to do the dishes, and how to make our beds. So it should come as no surprise that when we asked our moms for their best homekeeping advice, they came back with some great tips. Most agreed on a few major themes: it’s important to make sure everything has a home, that you put things back when you take them out, and that your home is an inviting, relaxing place to come home to—and invite others to.
It’s OK to hire help.
“I am still learning about my home. If you can’t do it yourself, find good service people and treat them well.” — Terry (mom to our Human Resources Coordinator, Louisa)
Always clean as you go.
“Maintenance! Clean as you go. Don’t let it pile up until the weekend, then have to devote your Saturday to catching up—you have much better things to do on weekends! Adopt the credo ‘don’t put it down, put it away.’ Get in the habit of doing your dishes—all of them—and wiping down countertops as you finish eating. Another good habit: squeegee your glass shower doors when you finish showering, dry your sink surround and faucet as you finish using it, and hang up your towel!” — Carol (mom to our Senior Video Producer, Anne)
Try the art of smudging.
“Smudge at every opportunity.” — Nancy (mom to our Editorial Coordinator, Nora… who would also like to note that her mom owns at least four Himalayan salt lamps.)
Remember that less is more.
“Less is more. Only keep what you actually use. Get rid of clutter. Storage does not mean ‘where I put stuff that I don’t know what to do with.’ Once a year, go through your closets, your drawers and your pantry, and give away what you haven’t used. Everything should have a home—you would never park your car in your living room; it belongs in the garage. Make sure that everything has a place where it can be found.” — Joni (mom to our Office Manager, Rachelle)
Open your home up to guests.
“Inviting people into my home often is the best way I know to keep my home beautiful, inviting, and comfortable (and clean!). Opening my home to family and friends for dinners, parties, barbecues, sleepovers, is when my home nourishes me most. That focus helps as I make decisions around my home.” — Maggie (mom to our Associate Sales Director, Grace)
Remember that a clean home is a relaxing home.
“Find a place for everything, and keep up with putting things away so the clutter doesn’t get out of hand. Keep your space organized and clean to project a calm relaxing space.” — Katherina (mom to our Production Assistant, Anita)
Do a deep clean twice a year.
“Always give your home a heavy duty cleaning in the spring (inside and out) and in the fall. Keep walls fresh with touch-up paint annually or bi-annually. Everything should always have a place. If you take something out, put it back—this will keep you organized so you will spend less time straightening up. Live clutter-free; it also helps your mind to be free and clear.” — Mona (mom to our Sales Marketing Coordinator, Ariel)
Don’t hoard too much of anything—even books!
“Books, which I love, end up costing not just the purchase price, but the cost and effort of shelving them, dusting them, moving them, etc. A home without books lacks a soul, but…no need to compete with libraries.” — Betsy (mom to our Features Editor, Edith)
Get your chores done and out of the way.
“Get up early and get everything done so you can go enjoy the rest of your day.” — Susan (my mom! Brittney, Assistant Lifestyle Editor)
More posts in Apartment Therapy Mom Wisdom
You are on the first post of the series.