I am far (so very far) from perfect and my house is nothing fancy. I live in a fixer-upper. Some of our walls are imperfect. We still have siding to put on the dormers of our home and we need to replace some more of the windows. Our home is just as imperfect as I am. However, a happy home doesn't have to be a perfect home. It needs to be tidy, comfortable and full of joy and love!
In this post, I am sharing six of the ways I work at keeping my home tidy. This is not a "how to deep clean your house" post...just some ways to keep it tidy from day to day so the chaos of clutter and mess doesn't bog you down!
1. Clean as You Go
Whether you are cooking, wrapping gifts, crafting....no matter what you are doing it helps to keep things from getting overwhelming by cleaning up as you go. Put garbage in the trash can and put things away where they go. It can take a little extra time up during the process of whatever you are doing...but in the long run, it saves you from a big mess afterward. I *always* do this and it is so nice not to have a messy kitchen after making supper. While things cook I will wash a few dishes I have used, wipe the counter and throw things away.
2. Place Baskets in Areas Where Clutter Happens
I use baskets because I like them....but you can use whatever sort of container goes with your home's decor. To have baskets in places where clutter seems to multiply helps me by taking all things that don't belong in that area (that belong to others) and place them in the basket (I put some of the items away if they belong to me or I know where they go). This removes the mess from the immediate area and confines it to the basket until things can be properly put away (I let the family know they need to get their belongings out of the basket).
3. Do a 15 Minute Tidy Before You Go to Bed (or leave the house)
Every night (or before I leave the house) I always do a pick-up time. I call them a 15 minute tidy. I'll tell the children it's time for one and they know what to do. Sometimes I just do one on my own. I go around the living room and pick things up...fold blankets, fix pillows on the couch and put things away. I like the living room to be tidy most but if I have time and notice some things need tidied in other rooms, I will do that too. It just takes a few minutes of your time and then, when you wake up in the morning or get home from running errands, things are tidy! It is a glorious feeling! :)
4. If Something Needs Done...Do it
Okay, those of us training up children need to teach them to be responsible and to clean up after themselves (see Tip 5). That being said...I make it a habit to do what needs done. If I am walking by something that needs picked up...I pick it up. If my husband leaves clothes on the floor...I will pick them up. (He doesn't need scolded about it.) If there is a paper on the floor...I pick it up and throw it away. Yes, it is annoying at times...and I will speak to my children about it if they were being irresponsible or neglectful. However, noticing things that need done and just doing them makes me happy to have them *done*. :) It helps keep your home tidy and a place where people can enjoy being!
If you have children they should have chores. This teaches them responsibility and teamwork. Even young children can have chores that are suitable for their age. **Do not delegate to your husband though (it's not your job to give him housework).** My children alternate vacuuming, dusting, putting clean dishes away (from the dishwasher...and the sink dish rack. I wash them), putting their laundry away (Madelyn washes her own laundry too). The boys help clean the toilets (....since anyone with sons knows how boys are). Our chores and rotations work well for us. Each family has their own dynamics of what works for them. What I *do* know is that if you are not training your children up on how to properly care for their home ~ you are hurting them rather than helping.
The last tip I have is to get rid of things you don't need or want. Don't let guilt or over-sentimentalism (is that a word?) make you hold on to things that are just collecting dust in your home. Too much stuff isn't necessary and it can make your home uncomfortable for your family. Take time to target specific areas each week that can be gone through. For example, make sure to go through your children's clothing from time to time. Take the old play clothes and make them into rags or throw them away. Clothes that are decent but too small...hand them down to friends who could use them, sell them, or donate them! :)
So there you have it...my little list of things I do often to keep my house tidy! :) I hope you find this helpful! If you have any tips to add...please leave them in the comments below!
Have a great week friends!
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