Sunday, December 11, 2016

6 Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy

 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, 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!

5. Delegate

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.

6. Purge

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 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!

Linked up at Strangers & Pilgrims


  1. A very encouraging post. Even after 25 years at home, I still have troubles keeping things tidy!

  2. Whenever I clean, I notice that 80% of our mess here is trash someone didn't feel like throwing away at the time. Maybe we need more trash cans in our house. Decluttering is such an important step when keeping the home clean! My life is much easier when I keep up with that.

  3. I so enjoyed this post. I am a clean freak, organized type but sometimes my family doesn't go along with me, ha-ha! Plus my husband works a swing shift and I struggle with arthritis, which makes organizing and cleaning quite a challenge sometimes. And currently we live in a 4,000 sq. ft. house, which I am praying that the Lord will lead us to something on one-level that is a lot lot smaller. Thank you for the encouragement, I very much enjoy your blog.

  4. Great post. I have learned these things throughout my life time...I still struggle with delegating.

  5. This is a great list. I need to be more diligent getting Megan to pick up instead of me doing it. I get into the I'll just get it done mode which isn't helping her learn. :)

  6. I couldn't agree more. I practice all you mention. It really works.

  7. Thank you for sharing! It's so important to make this a priority in our home life. I think of it like a dance as all in the home work together to make it nice.

  8. Such great tips! And I love your home its so inviting and cozy on the pictures. One thing that has helped me is the mindset that I'm not necessarily keeping things nice for the children...but for myself cause I like to have it clutter free because it helps me think more clearly. This took some of the "martyrdom" our of the situation:):) With 9 kids its pretty crazy and I can feel like I'm the only one that cares about cleaning up. Another tip is to simply relax. Life (and houses) just aren't meant to be perfect!! There are other aspects to living a rich life than just to have every possible thing under control! :)

  9. I enjoyed reading through your tips, Katy. I like the tidy as you go *rule* and the purging continually *rule*.....those are my favourites. Oh, and assigning chores to the children....SO important! It is also amazing to me how much can be accomplished in 15 minutes of picking up/cleaning up. May the Lord bless you as you seek to keep a peaceful and lovely home for your precious family. Hugs, Camille

  10. you have a beautiful and cozy home


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May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy