I must admit that my home is not always a bright, shiny example of tidiness. I am not Marie Kondo. No, I don’t make my bed every day, laundry still piles up, and sometimes I have more clutter laying around than I would like. But moving into our small home two years ago has forced me into a tidying routine that has been really helpful. These are my top 5 tips that help prevent me from feeling like I’m living in a state of constant clutter chaos.
- Live in a constant state of tidying – I apply this throughout the day as much as possible. If you just put things back when you’re done using them, you would be amazed at how tidy your house stays. Toothbrush and toothpaste back into the cupboard, dirty clothes into the hamper, purse or backpack onto a hook, dish into the dishwasher, junk mail into recycling. Most of the time it literally takes less than five seconds to put something away right after you’re done using it.
- Have cleaning supplies within reach – I keep a couple cleaning supplies on hand at all times – all-purpose cleaner and fabric refresher. I make them myself and store them in pretty amber bottles. My all-purpose cleaner stays in the kitchen near my sink for quick countertop cleaning and my fabric refresher is right next to our bed. I find that keeping these two products in my line of sight often reminds me to keep the counters clear for a quick wipe down and to make my bed so I can spray it with lavender. You can find my cleaning product recipes here.
- Make it a daily activity with your kids – Now that my son is getting a bit older, I’ve made tidying part of our daily routine. Not only does it help me keep his play area (aka our living room) clean, but it teaches him important life skills like listening and following commands, teamwork, making a valuable contribution to the household, and valuing the environment and our home. We usually do this together before meals. I want him to have fun and take out as many toys as he would like during playtime, but when we switch gears to another time of day, we tidy up together!
- Tidy up every night – Just as I clean up with Thatcher before his meals, I clean up before mine. Given that our little one goes to bed rather early, my husband and I usually don’t eat at the kitchen table. I know that once the day is done and I hit the couch – I’m not getting up again. So before we sit down for dinner, we clean up everything but the plate we are eating on. This is substantially easier when things have been put away throughout the day, rather than living in a state of clutter all day and leaving it to the very end. Ending the evening with a clean sink and clutter free living space is the best!
- Use a clutter basket and set a timer – For those days when I’m not so great at tidying up all day long, I will resort to setting a timer at the end of the day. When my husband and I work together we can usually get it done in 15 minutes. Racing against the clock makes it feel kind of like a game. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish in 15 minutes of focused energy. To keep the 15 minutes as efficient as possible, I don’t waste time bouncing around from room to room as I put things back in their place. I usually just fill up an empty laundry basket with all the clutter and then put everything back room by room.
If you have any other tidying secrets share them below! I would love to hear how you keep your home clutter free!