A Mess Free Life may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Here are the 5 best books that will teach you how to clean. Each one is a fun, easy read and contains practical step by step advice for making 2023 the year your home is the cleanest it’s ever been.
Here’s a secret that is not so secret. Most of us weren’t taught how to clean. It’s something that we all have to do every day, and we might not know what we’re doing. What’s worse is we might feel a little embarrassed that we don’t know how to clean. It’s something every adult just knows how to do, so we’re supposed to know how to keep a clean home too.
Here’s the thing. If you were never taught, how do you expect to know how to clean? It’s nothing to be embarrassed about! When I got my first home, I didn’t know how to clean at all. I was struggling big time. I did my research and found several books that were so helpful and taught me how to clean my home.
Now, I want to share these books with you.
The Best Cleaning Books Out There
- The Chaos Cure by Marla Cilley
- Decluttering At The Speed Of Life by Dana K. White
- The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
- The Clean Mama Guide To A Peaceful Home by Becky Rapinchuk
- Side-Tracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones
Are you struggling to keep your house clean?
You might think that because I write for a cleaning blog that I’m a naturally neat and tidy person who was born knowing how to keep my home perfectly clean. Actually, the opposite is true! As a kid, my room was a wreck. In college, my car had an embarrassing layer of History papers, books, and random junk thick enough for an archaeologist to excavate. When I got my first home, I knew I needed to learn how to keep a clean home.
Are you a naturally messy person like me? There’s hope! I knew I needed help, and I found that help in the books on this list. Each book was an integral part of teaching me the right way to clean and declutter.
Here are the rules for the books I love:
- The books have to be fun and easy to read. If it isn’t engaging and fun to read, I’m not going to read it.
- It has to give real advice. I don’t want some philosophical mumbo jumbo about what sparks joy and what doesn’t. I need the book to give me real tips and tricks and break things down into action steps that I can actually do.
I know these books can help teach you how to clean in the same way that they helped me.
Book #1: The Chaos Cure by FlyLady Marla Cilley
If you’ve read the blog before, then you know that I am a big fan of FlyLady! She has helped me and so many others learn how to keep a clean and organized home. Her books have taught me how to clean, and I know they can help you too.
The Flylady system is all about building cleaning routines. When you read The Chaos Cure, you will see how breaking your cleaning to-do list into small and manageable steps will help you get more cleaning done in less time.
This book has so many quick tips and tricks to teach you how to clean including how to maintain a clean kitchen and bathroom, how to reduce the amount of clutter spots throughout your home, and how to manage your time in better ways.
Here’s one tip from The Chaos Cure that has helped me. Do what the Flylady calls the “Swish and Swipe”. Keep a bottle of cleaner in your bathroom, and every morning, when you are getting ready for the day, spray down the sink and toilet. Use a little bit of toilet paper to wipe down the surfaces you just sprayed. If you do this every morning, your bathroom will always be company-ready and clean.
One concept from this book that has really changed the way I clean is the weekly cleaning schedule called the Weekly Home Blessing. It’s like a weekly home reset. Once a week, I wipe down the surfaces with a spray cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Then, I vacuum carpet, rugs and floors, and I mop the floors. This is such a great way to quickly get the house clean, and it starts my weekend on the right foot. When Saturday rolls around and I’m ready to relax, the dirt, grease, and dust are gone, and my house is clean. Its so nice!
Flylady is a cleaning empire, and the company has some great cleaning tools. Check out their scrub brush and feather duster.
Book #2: Decluttering At The Speed Of Life by Dana K. White
I love the title of this book and its play on words! Notice it’s not the speed of “light” but the speed of “life”. Let’s be honest – life is busy!
How many of us have said, “It would be nice to have less clutter, but I just don’t have time to take care of that.” (I’m raising my hand.)
How many of us have woken up on some Saturday morning determined to clean out that junk-filled closet, and now we’ve drug everything out and feel overwhelmed by all the stuff? (I’m raising my hand again!)
This book by author and blogger Dana K. White is so incredibly helpful for those of us who want to live in a clutter-free home but feel overwhelmed when it comes time to start decluttering. I love her tips for dealing with all different kinds of clutter, and her step by step instructions for how to clean out every area of you home are genius! If you are looking for a book that will teach you how to clean and declutter your home, this book is it!
Before I read this book, I thought the reason I had trouble keeping my clutter at bay was I didn’t have enough tubs and closet space to contain it all. In reality, I had too much stuff. Too many pillows, coats, throw blankets, pots and pans, and shoes. I had clutter stuffed in every nook and cranny of my home. This book really helped me address my clutter situation.
Coming in a close second to this book is another book by Dana K. White, How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. This book is great for learning the basics of good housekeeping habits. I learned to always load my dishwasher with dirty dishes every night to keep my kitchen clean. This might seem like basic advice that everyone knows, but I’m a messy person. It wasn’t common knowledge for me!
Book #3: The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
This book isn’t necessarily a “cleaning” book, but The Lazy Genius Way will definitely help you on your journey to a cleaner home this year. Kendra Adachi is a genius when it comes to creating systems that will help you get organized, manage your time, and get more done in less time.
The Lazy Genius Way will teach you how to clean by showing you time management tactics like “batching”. Batching is grouping similar jobs together and doing them all at once to get them done more quickly. Do you ever make a double batch of chili for dinner so that you can eat it for several days and save time cooking? The Lazy Genius Way shows you how to batch other activities like laundry. If you “batch” your laundry, you put aside time to do all of your laundry chores at once to save time for other chores later.
Book #4: The Clean Mama Guide to A Peaceful Home by Becky Rapinchuk
Clean Mama is a cleaning company that specializes in cleaning routines and all-natural cleaning. Clean Mama’s website and books are chock full of great advice on how to get your whole house clean on a week by week basis.
This book will show you a cleaning routine that breaks down the cleaning tasks by day. For example, Mondays are for cleaning bathrooms and Tuesday are for dusting. Each day has a different task. By the end of the week, your whole house is clean! I love that this book breaks each task down day by day. It makes the tasks seem easy and manageable. Instead of cleaning for hours, I can do a little bit each day. So much easier to get done!
One thing that really sets this book apart from the others is the focus on all-natural cleaning. This book contains many recipes for making your own all-natural cleaning products. The recipes are easy to make and will save you money too! I mix up several of her cleaning product recipes and keep them in spray bottles stored in my cleaning caddy. This way, they are ready to go when I have time to clean.
I love her recipe for an all-purpose spray. The all-purpose cleaner contains only a drop of dish soap, hot water, white vinegar, and a little essential oil to make it smell good. It really works, and it costs me pennies. I use it to clean almost anything – kitchen counters, appliances like the microwave, spray some on the bathroom floor and wipe with a dish towel for a quicky clean, and even spray in the shower and on plastic shower curtains.
The glass cleaner recipe is so useful too. A spray bottle of her glass cleaner and a squeegee is all I need to get my windows super clean.
Book #5: Side-Tracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones
We’ve already established that I am a naturally messy person. It’s who I am, and I own it! What I love about Side-Tracked Home Executives is authors Pam and Peggy are naturally messy people, and they own it too! If you’re a messy person looking to clean up your ways, welcome to the club! You’re in good company with this book.
The authors of this book were struggling to keep their homes clean. They never felt like they were in control of everything that needed to get done – cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, paying bills, lawn care, child care, you name it. It all felt like too much. They knew they needed to do something, so they worked to devise a system to help them get it all done.
The best part of this book is the cleaning routine system they created using index cards to keep all of the chores and household management tasks organized. With this card system, I’m able to not only get the house clean but also remember when to give the dog his flea medicine, when to pay the bills, and when to mow the lawn. With their card system, I have visual reminders for when it’s time to get cleaning done – when to sweep the kitchen floor, when to change over the laundry from the washer to the dryer. It’s so helpful!
One thing I must admit about this book is that it is a little dated. It was written in the 1980s, and honestly, our views on the male and female roles in relationships have evolved. We know now that men and women are capable and should be held accountable for keeping our shared homes clean. It’s not just a woman’s job. So, when you read this book, keep this little caveat in mind.
Even with its dated moments, this book is definitely worth a read. A lot of cleaning books out on the book store shelves are written by naturally neat and tidy people who find that keeping a clean and organized home comes like second nature to them. While I’m happy for that person, they are not the people I need to teach me how to clean!
I need someone who has struggled to get all the laundry done. I need someone who has to figure out how to keep their room clean while also going to work, taking care of family, and cooking three meals a day. Side-Tracked Home Executives is for people like me!
If you need help learning how to clean, there are so many great resources out there to help you. Any one of the books I’ve recommended will lay a solid foundation for your clean home journey. For more great cleaning advice, check out our many blog posts on keeping a clean home. Find us on YouTube for quick and fun videos that feature good cleaning tips and tricks, and check out our Pinterest page for thousands of cleaning ideas.