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I Can’t Keep My House Clean, What’s Wrong With Me?

You scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and see magazine worthy houses. It seems like everyone has a neat and tidy home, and you wonder, “I can’t keep my house clean. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I keep my house clean?”

First, those photos only show a small fraction of people’s homes and lives. They don’t have perfect homes all the time because that’s almost impossible without a live-in maid.

However, there are many people who do struggle to keep their houses clean. The good news is that there are some tricks and tips to help you get organized, conquer clutter, and get your home clean.

I can't keep my house clean

Why You Can’t Keep Your House Clean and How to Fix it

Below are some of the reasons you can’t keep your house clean and tips to help you solve the problem and keep your home clean and tidy.

Too Much Stuff

The truth is, a lot of people have too much stuff than they actually need, thus making their homes look untidy. (Here are some of the things that make your house look cluttered).

If it seems like your home is always cluttered with stuff laying around, then you may have too much stuff.

Sure, you can get more storage options, but reducing how much stuff you have will save you money and time because you don’t have much to clean.

If you can’t do all of your laundry at once because you don’t have room in your closet for all of your clothes, then you need less clothes. This is also true for dishes and anything else that’s sitting out because it doesn’t have anywhere to be put in. 

Place an empty box in a central location in your home. When you find things to get rid of, place them in the box. 

You can then decide to sell them, donate them, or give them to someone as the box fills up. (Get more information on what to do with decluttered items).


When you’re cleaning, it’s easy to get distracted. You pick something up to put away, then find something in another room that needs to be cleaned. Then you get food out for dinner and check your email, and before you know it an hour has passed.

To eliminate distractions, set your phone down somewhere where you won’t be distracted. Then grab three boxes.

The first box is for items to get rid of, including sell, donate, and give away. The second is for items that don’t belong in that room. Place them in a box and put them away when you are done cleaning. The third box, or bag if you want, is for trash.  

This will keep you focused on the task so you aren’t walking all over the house and wasting precious cleaning time.

Not Knowing Where to Start

If you’re overwhelmed with cleaning, don’t feel like you need to clean your entire house in one day.

Knowing that you have an enormous task ahead of you can quickly destroy your motivation to clean especially if your house is messy already.

Instead, work on one room or even one area at a time. If an entire room is too much for you to handle, then start with one corner or one shelf at a time. Once you get that cleaned, you’ll find your motivation to keep going.  

If you are really struggling to get started, set a time for 15 minutes. Then use that time to clean one area with no distractions. You’ll find that you can accomplish more than you thought in 15 minutes!

Time Constraint

With work and a family, it’s hard to find time to clean. Again, don’t feel like you need to clean your house in one day. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes every evening and a few hours each weekend to clean.

If you work long hours or have family obligations, then you may want to consider hiring help. 

Hiring someone to clean your home once a week or twice a month can save you far more hours than you’re paying for because this person won’t easily get distracted like you would be if you were doing the cleaning yourself.  

After a few cleaning sessions, you may be able to reduce the amount of time you have to hire someone to clean or even take it over yourself.

(Here are some tips on how to clean your house fast).

Not Having a Designated Place for Everything

Not having a designated place for things in your home can be very problematic. Not only does it make your home look cluttered and untidy, but it also makes cleaning more difficult.

There should be a place for everything and everything in its place. You should have designated areas for the items that your family uses often.

Items that you use daily should be where they are easy to grab and easy to put away. Items that you use only a handful of times a year can be stored out of the way.

Lack of Daily Cleaning Routine

Having a daily cleaning routine makes keeping your house clean easier as it helps prevent your home from turning into an overwhelming mess.

Make it a habit that everyone helps tidy up once a day. This can only be 10 to 15 minutes of time, but it will help reduce clutter and get the whole family involved in keeping your house clean. 

Unrealistic Expectations

Comparing your house to other people’s homes can make you feel like you are not doing enough to keep your home clean.

This can have a demotivating effect on you, making you throw your hands up in the air and just give up.

Remember those perfect Pinterest and Instagram houses? They may have only been perfect for a few minutes for that photo.

If you have kids living at home, then your home is probably only neat and tidy after the kids go to bed and while they are asleep.

If you’ve had something happen in your life like a temporary increase in work hours, a new baby, or something else unexpected, it might be okay to let your housework duties slip for a week or two. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are thinking to yourself, I can’t keep my house clean. What’s wrong with me? The answer is probably that there is nothing wrong with you. Keeping a clean house is hard for some people. Chunk it into smaller pieces and make time to clean, and you’ll have a clean home in a few weeks. And stop comparing your house to the ones you see on Pinterest and Instagram.

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Why you can't keep your house clean

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