I really like having a tidy home but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always easy to keep everything in its rightful place. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find the mess seems to build up quickly and then spiral out of control in no time at all (that’s what it feels like anyway).
Don’t worry, there are some things you can do to keep on top of the tidying and many of them won’t take long or be too much work on your part. The key to keeping your home tidy is to do the little things often. If you get into good tidying habits then you’re well on the way to having a tidy house!
Read on for 10 habits of people who always have a tidy house.
1. They make the most of storage boxes
Storage boxes are a great way to keep things tidy. I like the stackable ones best. Label each box so you know exactly what’s inside and place the label on the side, (or at least somewhere you can see it). That way, if the box you think you need is buried beneath a few others then you can easily find out what’s inside before pulling everything out.
One great way to store clothes which you won’t wear this season is to use vacuum storage bags. After the air has been sucked out of the bags, they don’t take up much space and so they’re very easy to pack away. These aren’t just great for clothes – you can use them for the winter bedding or blankets too (which you won’t be needing in the summer).
You can store these either under your bed or on the top shelves/on top of your cupboard, so that they are out of the way. Then, when the season changes and you find yourself needing other items of clothing, simply open the bag, take out what you need and replace them with things you won’t be needing for a few months. The great thing about these bags is that they keep your belongings clean and free from dust.
2. They are smart with space
It doesn’t matter if you have a big house or a smaller one, you should always make the most of the space you have. Putting up shelves, hanging things from hooks and storing things beneath beds/sofas (if you can) are great ways of using up space which probably wouldn’t get used otherwise.
It’s all about maximising space. What about putting hooks inside your cupboards? Or you could use drawer organisers like these to make the most of drawer space. Maybe think about putting extra shelves into cupboards to use the upper space? Or using storage baskets to keep everything neat and tidy?
There are heaps of things you can do to be smart with space, all it takes is a little creativity.
3. Everything belongs somewhere
It’s so much easier to pack things away when everything you own has a specific place to live. This one might take a little longer to implement than some of the others, as you could find that you have to rearrange some of your bits and pieces. However, once you know where everything belongs then it will be a breeze to put things away.
4. There is no clutter
It’s so easy for things to build up. I find the best way to declutter is to get two bags (or boxes, or piles – whichever you prefer), one for rubbish, one for donating and make a final area for keeping. Just put away whatever it is you want to keep. IMMEDIATELY. FIND IT A HOME. NOW.
Try not to get distracted and tell yourself you won’t leave until you’ve finished sorting a certain area. Eg, ‘I’ll stop and have a cup of coffee once I’ve sorted out the bathroom cupboards’.
Take a step back for a moment and think to yourself ‘do I really need this? Will I ever use it again?’ If the answer is no then either donate it to charity or throw it away. Don’t find somewhere to put it, only for it to be forgotten about and not used for years, you’ll just regret not getting rid of it in the first place.
Paper/s – If you’re keeping it then file it away but if not, shred it and put it in the bin.
Old/damaged clothes – Take them to the charity shop or throw them away as soon as you can. Don’t leave them in a bag somewhere in the house as you may be tempted to take things out.
Old books/broken or unwanted toys – Same as above. Plus if your kids find the bag then you could be in trouble!
5. Make their bed everyday
It might sound silly but even just making the bed everyday will make such a huge difference. Rooms will instantly look tidier when the bed is neatly made, plus you’ll find that the bed is less likely to become a dumping ground for other things.
6. Wash clothes often and put the clean ones away immediately
One of the worst ways to build up mess in a room is to have piles of dirty laundry lying around. Plan to do washing at least once a week to keep on top of this (but obviously the bigger your family, the more often you’ll need to do washing). I like to choose two or three days for doing a clothes wash and then another day to wash all of the bedding.
Try and put all of the clothes away as soon as they’re dry. I find that if I bring the clothes in from the line and fold them immediately, they’re much less likely to need ironing and I can (mostly) just put them straight into the cupboard. Win win!
7. They straighten things up before bed
This one will only take a few minutes each evening but it will make such a difference the next morning. Try to tidy away your ‘mess from the day’ every night, this includes doing any washing up that is still in the sink, tidying away anything which has been taken out and wiping down the table and sides in the kitchen. That way, when you get up you’ll be starting off with a neater home and you’ll be more likely to try and keep it that way throughout the day.
8. Hoover, mop, dust and wipe down surfaces regularly
Even just taking a few minutes out of your day to do some/all of these chores will make a big difference to the surfaces of your house. It’s amazing how quickly dust gathers up in various places (think your kitchen sides, windowsills and bathroom surfaces).
Mopping and hoovering probably won’t need to be done every day but fitting these in more often will help you to keep on top of it and make it much quicker and easier when the time does come.
9. Don’t leave a room empty handed
As you go about your daily routine throughout the house, don’t leave a room empty handed. If you spot something that doesn’t belong then pick it up and take it back to put away. This way, you’ll be tidying gradually and it won’t feel too overwhelming.
10. Get the whole family involved!
I know it’s often easier and much quicker just to do the tidying yourself but I always think it’s a great idea to get everyone involved. Spreading out the chores between the kids is a good way to teach them the importance of putting things away. Plus you’ll end up having more time for other chores.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you to keep your home tidy!