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No one likes to do it, and most of the folks who reach out to me feel they seriously lack the skills necessary to keep a tidy home.
Cleaning might as well be a four-letter word for all the bad press it gets. It conjures up a long tiresome weekend full of hard work, sweat, and annoyance. Why would anyone WANT to clean when you could plop yourself down in front of the TV eating ice cream and binge watching House of Cards?
You know, I wasn’t always a tidy person.
I grew up in a home with parents, who hoarded everything.
When I moved out of my house and had my first apartment, I became almost obsessive compulsive about cleaning. I didn’t want to feel the embarrassment I use to feel when people would drop by unannounced. I wanted to avoid the shame of it all, so I cleaned. All. The. Time.
Over the years I have learned some tricks for keeping a tidy home without having to clean constantly.
The 7 Secrets Behind A Tidy Home
Rid Yourself of Clutter
The less stuff you have lying around, the easier it is to clean. The endless supply of things that are brought into the average home creates an environment where you don’t have a place for everything, and therefore, stuff is left out and in the way. To have a clean home, you must get rid of the excess. Once you’re able to purge yourself of what you no longer need or have a use for, you’ll find your housecleaning efforts become easier.
Read: Weekend Inspiration – How To Part With Your Possessions
Get A Handle on the Paper
Nothing’s worse than drowning in a sea of paper. You can learn all my secrets for ‘slaying the paper dragon’ but here’s the one main point to remember: have a system. Without a system for handling paper, you’ll find yourself seriously overwhelmed in a short time. Go paperless as much as possible, and use the one-touch method. Touch it once and the make a decision: trash or file. If you develop a system that works for your and your family and stick with it, paper will become a nonissue.
Everything Has A Place
I remember when my daughter got sick, and I needed to be at the hospital. My best friend packed a suitcase for me while I instructed her over the phone where to find things. Everything was where I told her it would be. Why? Because I believed in the principle that everything you own should have a place. If you don’t adopt this policy, you have things left around your home making it appear messier. It’s also harder to clean. So put your stuff away and find a home for everything you own!
Put It Away
This is probably the biggest reasons homes look less tidy. People fail to pick up after themselves returning items to their proper place. You know what I mean here, and everyone has someone in their family who breaks this golden rule. Once you’ve determined where things go in your home, make a promise to put things back to their assigned home once your done using the item. Teach your children this rule early on or you’ll find yourself pulling your hair out when they are teenagers.
Get Your Family Involved
Stop doing everything for you kids and husband and get them involved in the housework. We do a disservice to our children when we do everything for them. The only thing they learn is to doubt their own abilities. Part of growing up and gaining confidence means you have to struggle, make mistakes and through the process you get to improve. Chores create the perfect situation for them to grow in confidence. But remember, don’t criticize or hover.
One of the ways I found to keep my home tidy was to develop routines. I make my bed upon rising without fail every morning. The dishwasher runs at the end of supper. I Swiffer Vac the kitchen floor at the end of the night. I do these tasks each day. It’s the routine that works for my house. Only you know what will work best for your family but by establishing routines of when things get done and by whom, you’ll see a cleaner and tidy home emerge.
Clean Where You Are
Take the time to accomplish other cleaning and organizing tasks when you’re already in a room doing something else. In the kitchen cooking? Wash dishes as you go or put directly into the dishwasher. Doing laundry? Tidy up supplies and wipe down appliances. You’ll make good use of your time, and your home will reap the benefits!
If you are diligent about implementing these seven strategies, you won’t have to be faced with a huge, long drawn out whole house cleaning that takes hours or worse an entire day. You’re home will be tidy and clean all the time. And you just might be able to plop on the couch and binge watch House of Cards!