10 Habits For A Tidy Home

Ten Tips To Keep Your House Clean(er)

My husband and I live on a small 1-acre homestead with our one-year-old son, a german shepherd & two long-haired cats. At least once a month, I find myself completely exhausted by the mess in my home. When this happens, it can be hard to find the motivation to even attempt cleaning and we end up wasting money eating out because I can't function in a messy kitchen. Along the way, I've found that as long as I stick to these 10 tips, I can avoid a total home disaster and keep a moderately clean household along the way.

Shopping/Organizational Tips

  • Think Before You Buy - Try to envision where something is going to go BEFORE you buy it. If you can't think of a spot to put it, then don't get it.
  • Adopt A BOGO Attitude - BOGO meaning buy one, get rid of one. For every one thing you buy, get rid of one thing. If you're really trying to declutter your house then get rid of two items for every one thing you purchase.
  • Having Less = Less To Clean - If you can't see every item in a drawer, shelf, or closet, without having to move stuff around, you have too much. Declutter & reorganize. It's so much easier to keep a clean house when everything has a specific place. You can't clean very efficiently if you don't have anywhere to put items &/or it's not clear where things should go. It's also always a good idea to purge before birthdays & holidays.
  • Create A Cleaning Schedule - Print out a daily cleaning schedule and stick to it! Try to focus on one theme for that day plus one load of laundry. Ideas include; Bedroom Day, Bathroom Day, Dusting Day, Appliance Day, Wood Polishing/Window Day, Pet Area/Car Day, Yard Day, & Kitchen Day.

During The Day

  • Reality Check - Accept the reality that you won't do it later and no one else will either. Try to tidy things as you use them and speed clean when you can. To speed clean, grab 2-3 items that need to be put away. As you set an item down, pick another up, always keeping 2-3 items in your hands. Continue for 10-15 minutes or as needed. I can usually clean 2-3 rooms in about 15 minutes this way and I also end up getting plenty of exercise going from room to room. If you've got kids or a spouse, try to make a game out of it. Maybe have a point system for each item and the first one to 20 wins! If you do this once or twice a day, it really helps cut down on the clutter. You're not going to have time for everything but if you throw a few dishes in the dishwasher and pick up a few things here and there, it really adds up.

Before Bed

  • All Toys In Bedrooms - Keep all of your children's toys/electronics in their bedrooms. If their bedroom is too small, consider practicing toy rotation. Store half the toys in bins and swap them out every couple weeks. During the day they can take their toys wherever but before bed all the toys need to be put away. This will do wonders for de-cluttering your main living spaces and make them so much easier to clean.
  • Reset Everynight - Your house might not be 100% clean every night before bed, who's is anyways? But you can reduce your stress and anxiety if you prep for the next day the night before. Just focus on the absolute necessities like packing lunches, laying out clothes, & washing high chairs, sippy cups, & bottles.
  • Let Your Machines Work For You - Work smarter, not harder! Before bed turn the dishwasher & washing machine on. Then first thing in the morning, change the laundry over and run the dryer. Just don't run the dryer while everyone is sleeping, it could create a fire hazard.
  • 10 Minute Cleaning Timer - After the kids go down, mom and dad both spend 10 minutes tidying up. I recommend one on dishes & one straightening up here and there. Once the timer is up, drop what you're doing and focus on your marriage or yourself.
  • Don't Be A Hero - Ask for help when you need it, chances are there is another adult living in your house so ask them for a little extra help when things get crazy or call in the big guns (grandma). Don't stay up half the night playing catchup because the next day you'll be low on sleep, stressed, and burnt out thus making you less productive and leading to more mess piling up. If your house is extra crazy, see if someone can come over on a weekly basis so you can get caught up. My parents/in-laws come over twice a week and it's a huge help!

I hope this list will help you tame the mess in your household. If you have any tips that aren't on this list, let me know in the comments! I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient!

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