Everyone wants a clean house. Whether you’ve just moved into your new home, have been a homeowner for many years, or are trying to sell your house, it feels good to know that company (or potential buyers) could drop by and not be distracted by a mess. Unfortunately, a consistently clean house may seem like an unattainable dream. What if you could change just one habit and see a difference in condition of your home? We scoured Pinterest and found a few rules that may help. The 10-minute Rule. Your mother may have said “a place for everything and everything in its place.” If your home does not operate in this way, it will never be clean and tidy, as “homeless” items clutter your table and floors. You can agree that disorganization is a problem, but who has time for the solution? If you don’t have days upon end to organize your entire home (and who does?), this blogger recommends you set a timer each day for 10 minutes and organize one area until the timer rings. The 6-month rule. The same blogger advises that while organizing, you purge your house of anything that you haven’t used, worn, needed in the past six months. Of course, seasonal items are excused from this rule, but if you haven’t hung those holiday lights in the past two years, it may just be time to let them go. The One-Touch Rule. If you’re messy by nature or easily distracted, this rule will be very tough, but following it will make a world of difference. It is simple in theory, you never touch something twice when you could touch it once. For example, if you have a tendency to throw your jacket across the kitchen chair, and then later hang it up, you are wasting valuable time. If you hang it up when you take it off, you save a few minutes. Apply this rule to sorting mail, homework, and countless other little items. The Finish Rule. Along the same line, this rule utilizes momentum to keep your house clean. The thought is simple: Finish what you started. When you start the dishes, finish the dishes. Do one load of laundry start to finish before beginning another large project. Of course, you can wisely use your time while the load dries, but do not let the clothes sit in a machine or basket. This works because you save time when you do not have to refocus again and again throughout the day. The “everyone helps” rule. The concept of making housekeeping a family affair is all over the Internet, and we encourage you to search for some tips specific to your situation. Remember, everyone who is making the mess can contribute to cleaning. If you are a parent, also remember that it is not your job to have a perfect home; rather, it is your job to train your children to become responsible adults, part of which includes cleaning up after themselves and keeping a reasonably clean home once they are independent. This is much easier if you begin when they are young, even if they don’t do it perfectly well. Teach as you go and praise effort over perfection. You’ll be glad you did. We encourage you to try just one of these “rules,” and let us know how it works for you. Share your thoughts and your own ideas with us on our Facebook page.