Things people with clean small homes have in common — 7 sparkling tips from the pros

We've quizzed cleaning experts to find out what things people with clean small homes have in common

Things people with clean small homes have in common are good to know. Here is a green living area with lime green and beige walls, two windows with folded blinds, a lime green couch with throw pillows, an abstract light green coffee table in front of it, and distressed vintage green drawers behind it
(Image credit: Sofology)

If you're staring at your mess and wondering what things people with clean small homes have in common to keep theirs in check, we've got you covered.

Little spaces can build up clutter really quickly, so it's a good idea to find out what you can do to tidy yours up and maintain good habits. We've spoken with cleaning experts to find out what these are, from everyday cleaning tips to handy furniture solutions.

These pieces of advice for cleaning your house for compact places such as rentals and apartments are so quick to pick up and easy to implement straight away. 

Things people with clean small homes have in common

Our expert tips are going to make you want to slip on your yellow rubber gloves and get tidying with the best cleaning supplies.

The pros have come up with useful buys to help you do this throughout, so we have shopped these wherever possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. They clean daily

A white kitchen with a long wall shelf with a black and white print and golden wall sconce, with a sink below it with a gold curved tap, a potted basil plant and succulent next to it

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

If you’ve ever wanted to hide behind the couch because of how much cleaning you’ve got to take on, this one is for you.

“Whether it's wiping down surfaces, sweeping or using the best vacuums on floors, or doing a quick tidy-up at the end of the day, individuals with clean small homes prioritize maintaining a clean and inviting environment daily,” says Vanessa Terra Bossart, cleaning expert and owner of Green Terra Cleaning.

A picture of Vanessa Terra Bossart, a woman with dark brown hair wearing a dark green shirt in front of a gray background
Vanessa Terra Bossart

Vanessa Terra Bossart, cleaning expert and owner of Green Terra Cleaning in San Francisco. She is all about nurturing health and well-being through eco-friendly cleaning. During her time as the founder of this company, she has noticed some critical habits among individuals who excel at keeping small spaces neat and tidy. 

By doing this, you can fully integrate cleaning into daily life to prevent it from accumulating into a larger, more overwhelming task. 

2. They use strategic storage solutions

A gray storage ottoman cube with a diamond pattern with two books on top, with white walls in the background, a green lamp, and a white bed with shiny brown and silver throw pillows on it

(Image credit: Future)

Even if you have a lot of items you need to have in your room, keeping them out of sight and out of mind will help you maintain order.

Vanessa explains, “People who effectively manage small spaces often invest in furniture that offers clever storage solutions, such as ottomans with hidden compartments or beds with built-in drawers.”

Scope out pieces like the best storage ottomans (we like this luxe-looking Mercer41 Gergina Storage Ottoman from Wayfair) and find ones that match your home’s aesthetic, so they blend in seamlessly.

3. They clean as they go

A white bedroom with a rectangular white set of drawers with a vase of green stems and books on top of it, a white and green rectangular wall art print above it, gray fluffy slippers below it and a gray bed next to it

(Image credit: Danetti)

Along with cleaning surfaces and spaces daily, taking a proactive approach to scrubbing messes and clearing trash is a key thing people with clean homes have in common.

“They encourage all household members to clean as they go, whether it’s washing dishes immediately after use or putting clothes away right after laundry,” says Eliana Coca, cleaning expert and founder of E.C. House Cleaning.

A picture of Eliana Coca, a woman with dark brown hair smiling at the camera, with framed artwork in a dark brown frame and a pink flower in the background
Eliana Coca

Eliana Coca is a cleaning expert and founder of E.C House Cleaning in Massachusetts. With over 20 years of experience under her belt, Eliana has honed her craft to perfection, mastering the art of transforming spaces into pristine sanctuaries.

By putting these practices into play, you can start maintain cleanliness quickly.

Be sure to have all your cleaning supplies topped up and ready — perhaps in one of the best cleaning caddies — so nobody has any excuses.

4. They find a home for everything

An open wooden drawer with sunglasses, keys, notepads, and hand sanitizer inside it

(Image credit: NEAT Method)

When you leave items out in smaller homes they can quickly add up. Instead, finding a home for each piece will help make your small room appear bigger.

Eliana explains, “One key habit people with clean small spaces is ensuring every item in their space has a purpose and place.”

She adds, “This not only maximizes available space but also simplifies the cleaning process.”

You can even organize in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and practical, such as using the best drawer dividers (this Pipishell Bamboo Organizer has over 32,000 five-star ratings on Amazon) to keep all your bits and pieces separated.

5. They minimize paper

A white home office space with light wooden shelves with black books and wall art prints, a white desk with a laptop, a light brown curved wooden chair underneath the desk with a woven basket to the left and a tall spiky plant to the right

(Image credit: Furniture and Choice)

Whether you work at home, have mail always come through your door, or love crafting, paper is one thing which can quickly add up.

“Digital solutions can help reduce paper clutter in small spaces,” says Karina Toner, cleaning expert and operations manager at Spekless Cleaning.

Karina Toner, Operations Manager, Spekless Cleaning
Karina Toner

Karina Toner is a cleaning expert and the Operations Manager at Washington D.C.-based Spekless Cleaning. They work hard to find the best cleaners in the state to make people's homes look as tidy as possible. This is so they're the last cleaning service people need to look for.

She suggests opting for digital subscriptions, online bill payments, and digital storage solutions for documents to minimize physical paper accumulation.

6. They maximize vertical space

A white room with a tall bookshelf with black, white, green, blue, red, and multicolored books cascading down it with an orange curved chair with a red throw pillow on it with a red and black bag on the door next to it

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to organizing small spaces, the only way is up when you don’t have a lot of square footage.

“Utilizing wall-mounted shelves, hooks, and hanging organizers frees up floor space and keeps surfaces clear,” explains Hashi Mohamed, cleaning expert and president of Ivy Cleans

A picture of Hashi Mohamed in a blue suit, with a skyscraper background
Hashi Mohamed

Hashi Mohamed is the president of Ivy Cleans, a premier cleaning and lifestyle solutions company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Specializing in cleaning, organizing, and promoting a holistic lifestyle, it is passionate about transforming spaces into clean, organized, and vibrant environments.  

He also suggests installing shelves above doorways or bringing in spacious, tall bookcases (this Sejov White Bookshelf from Walmart is seriously spacious) to make the most of vertical storage opportunities.

7. They make time to declutter

A green living area with lime green and beige walls, two windows with folded blinds, a lime green couch with green and beige throw pillows and a mustard throw draped on it and a green abstract coffee table

(Image credit: Sofology)

Regularly decluttering your small space is also crucial for maintaining a peaceful environment. 

“People with clean homes understand the importance of periodically assessing their belongings and letting go of items they no longer need or use,” explains Vanessa.

She adds, “This practice helps prevent accumulation and keeps the space feeling open and airy.”

If you’re struggling to let go of any items, take a step back and see if it either enhances your decor or brings you joy to look at, Marie Kondo style. 

For anything you don’t need, see if you can donate it to a secondhand store, so someone else can make use of it.

Adopting these habits people with clean small homes all have in common requires a little shift in mindset.

“It's about recognizing a little effort goes a long way in maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of small areas,” Eliana finishes by saying.

If you want to get started on good habits, our daily house cleaning checklist will help you get everything looking fresh in no time.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.