We are always looking for easy tricks to have a clean house. Nobody wants to welcome guests to a messy, unkempt house. It’s embarrassing-rubbing your foot over dust spots that show in the sun, and kicking objects under the couch in an attempt to disguise the clutter your house has accumulated. Almost all of us have a messy habit, and can feel like no matter how much they clean, the mess comes back. Tidying up a house is everyone’s least favorite chore. It’s tiring too. However, no matter what else is going on in your life, it has to be done.
Here are 7 easy tricks tidy people use to prevent their homes from becoming an overwhelming mess.
- Don’t binge clean. Cleaning up all at once is no fun, and can feel overwhelming. Tidy people develop small, simple habits that add up to a clean house. They clean their counters as they are cooking, make their beds in the morning, put things back right away. The list goes on and on! A good rule of thumb is the “2 minute rule”. If a task takes less than two minutes to do, tackle it as soon as you notice it needs to be done. You will be amazed at how quickly you can get most things done. I like to challenge myself to get the dishwasher emptied every morning while I am heating water in my kettle for tea.
- Don’t run out of cleaning supplies. It seems obvious that a clean house gets that way by having cleaning supplies on hand and readily available. Tidy people have every type of cleaning product well stocked in their cabinets. An empty soap bottle is never the excuse to having a messy home. Cleaning supplies can be a bit expensive, especially when you want to use a different product for every surface of the house. We recommend finding a great multi surface cleaner and microfiber cloths to tackle most of your household grime. When you find an item you like, wait for it to go on sale, then stock up. At the end of the day, you’ll have a clean house with a few extra dollars to spare.
- Don’t procrastinate. You know cleaning your house is going to happen eventually. Better now than never. No tidy person watches the latest episode of the Bachelor when there is a sink full of dishes in the next room. It’s easier to relax when there aren’t chores staring you in the face.
- Don’t clean solo. Get your family involved! They are contributors to the mess, perhaps the biggest. Of all of the bad habits on this list, this one is the hardest to break because it is often easier to do it yourself than to motivate your people to do their share. Learning how to clean a house, wash laundry and keep things tidy are life skills that every child should know how to do. And, let’s be real, you will see a lot more benefit out of a kid that knows how to do their own laundry than one that can play scales on the piano. Set high expectations for them as well. It’s better to do a good job once, than a mediocre job twice. Even toddlers can help by putting away their toys.
- Don’t let your papers pile up. Junk mail, bills, notices from your kids school, the 10th precious art project of the week, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the paper that comes into our homes on a daily basis. Allow yourself to only touch a paper once. If it is trash, recycle it immediately (this shredder hack is genius), put your bills in a designated spot to make paying them easy (or better yet go paperless) and take care of all of your kids school stuff right away.
- Don’t store things on the floor. The floor seems like a perfect place to toss your bag after a tiring day. The floor is not the home for you bag, or any of your belongings. You will never see things stored on a tidy person’s floor, not even a basket of throw blankets and pillows. All that clutter can make a home look messier than it really is. Kids also shouldn’t throw their backpack, sports bag, or books onto the floor. It’s quite tempting, but that’s not the place for it. Every object has a place in your home.
- Don’t over decorate. Yes, having lots decor on the fireplace or coffee table is pretty, but having things on every surface can make a clean house feel cluttered and messy, even when everything is in its place. Aim for 1-3 items per surface, depending on the size. It allows the house to still look pretty, and will be a lot easier to clean. Need more guidance on how to figure out what to keep? Check out our Simplified Guide to Cutting Clutter.
If you break these bad habits you will no longer have to spend half of your weekend cleaning and doing chores.