When family and friends drop by my home unannounced, I am not frazzled or embarrassed by the state of my home. I keep a very tidy home on a daily basis and I don’t spend hours a day or week keeping it that way. This blog post shares my secrets of how I maintain a tidy home on a regular basis in a non time- consuming way.
The picture above is not my home but mine looks very similar to it. I have white walls, black furniture, barely any knick knacks, and nothing on my floors. Not even a rug. Some comments I have gotten in the past from friends and family (with my response is in brackets) are:
Your home looks bare. (It’s not.)
Your home looks like no one lives here. (Clearly, I do because you came into it.)
Your home is so clean and tidy. (Yes, thank you.)
You must hire someone to clean your house. (No, I do it myself. Also, I love you.)
Regardless of what others think of our home. I’m now very comfortable in our home and happy with the minimal amount of time to maintain it. It was a journey to get here, including realizing visual clutter causes me a lot of anxiety, getting super stressed out when people drop by my house, and spending my entire weekend cleaning only for it to go back to it’s original state during the week. I realized this was not the life I wanted and I couldn’t keep living this way. I had to take a lot of baby steps but eventually I got to where I am right now - enjoying the home I live in, not cleaning all the time, and my home is gathering place for people to drop by. Here is the short cut version of how I maintain a tidy home:
LIVE MINIMALLY - Having less stuff in the house will help with maintaining the home in a tidy manner. Less stuff means less cleaning, less things to collect dust, and (most importantly for me) less visual clutter. Once you have tons of white space that isn’t occupied with stuff, your home immediately feels lighter and looks cleaner/tidier. If you need to “tidy” before guests, you only need to rearrange or put away a couple of things. Your home wouldn’t be in such a state of disarray that you have to commit hours (or days) to tidying or cleaning it.
HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING - Part of having a tidy home is to have a place for everything. Everything that gets taken out gets put back where it is supposed to. When everything has a place or home, every member in the family also knows where things go back. In our household, even if something gets used once a day, it still goes back into it’s place. Something only gets kept on the counter if it is used more than once a day, like our espresso machine and dish soap. Toaster that gets used once in the morning, goes back into the pantry once it cools down.
NOTHING ON THE FLOOR - I loathe having anything on the floor. In our household, the only things on the floor and stays there are furniture. When my daughter was young, I taught her not to throw things on the floor and she cannot leave clothes on the floor. If they are clean, it would be in the dresser. If it is clean-ish, it would be placed on her dresser to be re-worn. Anything dirty goes straight in the hamper. The same goes for my spouse. Nothing on the floor, even if it means having a chair full of clothes.
RESET THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY - Sounds like additional work at the end of the day when you don’t have any energy left but if you keep things tidy already, it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes after your children go to bed. My spouse and I started doing this after my daughter turned one years old. She was exploring the house and literally taking every toy out and playing with it. She would move so fast that in 10 minutes our living room would look like a tornado hit and threw toys all over. Because she was too young to tidy up, we gave her a pass and tidied after her (for a while). We felt we were teaching her the need to put things back and it made relaxing at the end of the night so much more visually appealing!
SAME RULES FOR EVERYONE - Now that my daughter is older, everyone in the household follows these rules. There are no exceptions. Everyone knows where things go and has the responsibility to maintain the household. At the end of the night, she has to tidy up all her toys, her craft desk, and room before going to bed. She also understands, the less mess she makes, the less work at the end of the night. I think the next stage is teaching her to clean as she goes!
I truly hope these tips help you in maintaining a tidy home. It has worked wonders not only for the state of my home but also the state of my mind. I have found myself to be calmer and less agitated about everything around me!