12 Bad Cleaning Habits That Are Easy To Break

We are all searching for ways to keep our homes clean and often cutting corners to try and get there. In reality, these bad cleaning habits are taking us more time, causing us more stress, and our homes just end up being a mess. Let’s take a look at these bad cleaning habits and figure out how we can break them. 


Often times taking a short cut now will cost us more time later. Avoid these 13 bad cleaning habits and try my simple homemaking suggestions instead. 


12 Bad Habits That Are Making Your House A Mess


good cleaning habits

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Leaving The Mail For Later


Dropping the mail on the kitchen counter is guaranteed to clutter up the kitchen counters fast. Instead, take 2 extra minutes each day to go through the mail right away and decide what you are going to do with it. 


Throw it away, file it, or put it in your planner to make sure it’s dealt with in a timely manner. 


Letting The Dishes Pile Up


In the moment it seems easy to let the dishes sit by the sink and get to them later. However, more often than not, this takes up more of our time when we finally get around to washing those dishes. 


After letting your dishes sit the food starts to harden and get caked on, making it harder to scrub them clean. 


Instead, try taking 5 minutes after each meal (probably longer at dinner time) to rinse off the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. 


I also highly recommend running your dishwasher EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Run it every night and unload it every morning. This helps prevent a pile-up that’s waiting to get in the dishwasher and keeps your kitchen feeling fresh and clean.


Waiting To Fold The Laundry


At any step of doing laundry, it’s easy to put it off until we are looking at mountains of unwashed or unfolded clothes. 


My best tip is, do not start another load of laundry until you are committed to taking the load out of the dryer and putting them away… right away. 


I would even go as far as recommending that you do one load a day. This will keep loads small and more manageable. Plus, you’ll realize you can stop spending so much money on clothes


Dropping Your Stuff Randomly When You Come In The House


Have a drop space for EVERYTHING. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.


Some hooks work perfectly by the door for coats, jackets, and bags. A basket by the door is great for dropping shoes in and of course a small bowl for your keys and whatever else you need to carry to the car each day. 


It doesn’t have to be a “Pinterest worthy” mudroom or entryway to be functional and work for your family. 


Using Too Much Soap


Using too much soap is not only a waste but it can also ruin things. This is especially true when doing the laundry. Make sure you are only using the recommended amount on the bottle. This will keep your clothes staying nicer, longer. 


It will also cut back on soap scum and build up in the washer


Putting It Off


As long as you keep waiting until you feel like cleaning, you will always have a messy house. Just take action and get it done. 


On average it only takes about 15 minutes to finish a cleaning task. Design a cleaning routine for yourself and just stay on top of things, even when you don’t feel like it. 


The worst is when you put it off because of whatever excuse sounds good today and then you have this giant mess of stuff. Then it becomes too overwhelming to even know where to start


I promise it will take you less time than you think. Put down the phone, turn off Netflix, and get it done. 


Leaving The Bed Unmade


This is such a simple task. It literally takes 2 minutes and makes such a huge difference in your bedroom. Plus I find, that once I have made my bed it also motivates me to pick up the clothes and tidy the nightstand. 


It’s a great habit to start doing every morning before you get started with everything else for the day. 


If it seems like a task that’s too annoying to do each day, take a look at everything that goes into making your bed. I personally keep our bed really simple, mostly meaning no extra throw pillows. This makes the bed much easier to make in the morning. 


Hoarding Food In The Pantry And Refridgerator


This happens to me each week… I keep leftovers throughout the week but the refrigerator gets so piled up with stuff that I can’t see what is in there. I forget what is in the refrigerator and then things go to waste. 


What has helped, is cleaning out the refrigerator at least one day a week and getting rid of any leftovers. 


This keeps me very aware of what we have and less stuff goes to waste. 


Wearing Your Shoes Inside


You bring in a lot of dirt and other gross things when you continue to wear your shoes inside after walking around outside. It’s actually surprising how much bacteria and other gross things you track into your house. 


Take them off and leave them by the door. 


If you are like me and like to have support under your feet, invest in a good pair of house slippers or something else comfy to wear around the house. 


Vacuuming With A Dirty Vacuum


When my vacuum gets dirty I can really tell.


Things don’t get sucked up as well, a dirty dog smell starts coming from the vacuum, and there is dust coming off my vacuum, which kind of defeats the purpose. 


Whenever you notice that your vacuum is dirty go ahead and clean it out. If you have a canister vacuum this is pretty easy. I just rinse mine out in the sink about once a month and she’s as good as new. 


I have dogs and vacuum up hair and dirt every day… yes every day… it makes a huge difference in my home, especially when the vacuum is clean. It’s really hard to get up all the dog hair when I haven’t cleaned it out in a while. 


Leaving Cups On The Night Stand


A cluttered nightstand is no way to have a peaceful night’s rest. Get that thing cleared off. Each morning when you make the bed, tidy up the nightstand real quick and take the cups back to the kitchen. 


If a tidy nightstand or even a tidy bedroom seems like an overwhelming or impossible task right now, consider signing up for my FREE 3 DAY DECLUTTER CHALLENGEThe challenge is a series where I walk you through how to declutter your bedroom in 3 days. Sign up for the free series and do it on your own time. 


Leaving Dirty Clothes On The Floor


This used to possibly be my worst cleaning habit. Mostly because I would wear things and think… I didn’t wear this for that long, I can wear it again. 


However, I often wouldn’t wear it again any time soon and then I would have this giant pile of half dirty clothes on the floor by my bed or on top of my dresser. 


I got tired of it, decided “no more!” and started doing something with my clothes as soon as they came off.


They either get put straight into the dirty clothes hamper or I put them back in the dresser/closet. If my clothes are clean enough to wear again, they are clean enough to go back with my clean clothes. 


This has really helped my bedroom not be full of clothing clutter. That and downsizing my wardrobe. 


Happy Cleaning! Need More Help?


So what bad habits are you going to try and tackle? If you need more support I have a TON of free content here on the blog. Just click that “Clean & Organize” tab in the menu and scroll through for lots of helpful tips on cleaning and decluttering. 


I also have a FREE EBOOK – How To Simplify Your Life With A Cleaning Routine. You can grab that plus, you’ll get access to all my free printables. You can Sign UP for that HERE


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon. 🙂



  1. Donna Nance

    December 13, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Excellent points! I bought a magnetic white board to put on the refrigerator to list leftovers, that way things are not forgotten and grow penicillin. ha!

  2. Debbie Reed

    September 15, 2020 at 2:58 am

    I already do everything you are suggesting. When I am cooking or baking I clean as I go. That way after dinner or after I take my baking out of the oven I’m almost done cleaning. If it can go in the dishwasher I put it in the dishwasher if it needs to be hand washed it gets hand washed dried and put away. I can’t stand to see dishes sitting on the counter even if they’re clean.

    1. KatiesKottage

      September 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      Same here. Sounds like you have a great system going. 🙂

  3. CJ

    September 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    A lot of good points! Much of it comes down to cluttered spaces, which just messes with my peace of mind. My husband is notorious for doing many of these things but we’re working on it! 😉

    1. KatiesKottage

      September 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Yes! Clutter really is the main cause of a messy home.

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