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Household work is a seemingly endless list of to-dos and maintenance. With a house full of kids, pets and all the messes that come along with them, I can attest to how quickly a house can go from clean to disaster. However, there are a few quick and easy tasks you can implement into your daily routine that will help you keep your house generally clean and put together in a way that will allow you to feel comfortable when your spouse calls and tells you someone will be stopping by in ten minutes.

Young woman loaded with cleaning supplies

1. First and most important is to implement a system for things that commonly cause clutter or messes. If mail tends to be a problem, develop a system and a spot to put mail that works for your family. This can be as simple as a mail holder by the door or maybe it is a color-coded filing system in your home office. If dishes tend to be an issue, figure out a system that will ensure the dishes get cleaned up and put away after each use.

2. Another useful tip I have found that works well for me is to do at least one thing a day. I rarely have the time (or energy) to clean the entire house at the end of the day. However, I make sure to at least clean something each day. This helps ensure that even if the week is busy and the weekend is even busier, each part of the house was cleaned at least once or twice throughout the week.

>> Read more: 10 Healthy Household Cleaning Products

3. Create expectations for your family. Encourage and expect your children to help out with keeping the house picked up and clean. If they see that the garbage is full, they should take it out. If there is laundry to be folded, then they can fold it and put it away. The responsibility should be shared by the whole family. This is also a great way to encourage children not to make huge messes to begin with!

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4. Routinely de-clutter. If you aren’t using it, then you are spending time cleaning it for no reason. There is no need to spend hours cleaning and organizing things you never use and don’t serve a purpose. While decorations are great, make sure they are pieces that you enjoy seeing and that they are used in moderation. Clutter – even when organized – can make a room feel messy and make cleaning the room take much longer. By routinely decluttering your house, it will be easier to maintain a clean and organized home.

>> Read more: Cut Down on Kitchen Clutter With 7 Must-Have Multipurpose Tools

5. Finally, be okay with the house not always being perfect when guests arrive. Chances are they will not even notice or care about the little things that may not be exactly the way you would like. Families make messes and need to be able to live in their homes. Finding a balance between maintaining a perfect home and being okay with a little extra dust can be difficult. However, once it is found, there will be a lot less stress involved when guests do arrive unannounced.

>> Read more by Nicole Miller: 6 Ways to Stay Creative