14-Quick & Easy Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy
Not much trumps returning home after a long day to a clean, uncluttered home.
However, if your crazy life interferes with your best intentions, these tips should help.
First, involve the whole family in your plan. This list breaks down the chores by age-appropriateness.
Train everyone to pick up as they go. Designate a space near the door for shoes, coats, book bags, shopping bags, library books, and keys to keep clutter down.
Take care of the dishes, organize the living room, or fold laundry while you’re catching up on a favorite show or listening to an audiobook.
If paperwork piles on countertops, or empty packaging, shopping bags, and other “stuff” lives on kitchen counters and tables, use a basket instead and sort it once a week.
Find each room’s hot spots that collect clutter. Keep a basket in each of your home’s rooms and walk through the rooms each day and put stuff that doesn’t belong there into the baskets. Take 15 minutes before bedtime to grab the baskets and put everything away — with your family’s help.
Evaluate your closet. Keep a bag or basket in your closet to toss in questionable clothing, and review it each month to determine what you can toss, sell, or donate.
Rehang clothing when you change. If you can wear stuff again before laundry day, don’t create a clothing pile on a chair. Assign a hamper to every family member.
Do one load of laundry a day instead of all at once. Toss in the load when you come home from work so there’s time to dry, fold, and put it away before bedtime.
When you shower or bathe, spray the shower/tub and wipe surfaces after each use.
It takes about the same amount of time for toilet cleaner to work as it does to brush your teeth. Spritz it into the bowl and then, after you’ve brushed and flossed each evening, do a quick scrub.
Wipe up kitchen spills as soon as they happen. Clean as you go when you’re cooking rather than waiting until you’ve completely finished the meal prep; soak utensils, pots, and pans while you eat, which also makes clean-up faster and easier.
Empty the dishwasher when you’re brewing your coffee or tea.
Take out the trash when you leave the house to prevent bags and trash cans from overflowing.
Use a basket or sorter to stash mail. Choose one day a week to review all the mail (unless you’re waiting for something important), and sort mail into what to keep and file and what to shred or recycle.
Once you’ve whipped your home into shape, devoting a few minutes each day — with your family’s help — will preserve that serene, less-stressed atmosphere. Here’s a list of 11 more daily habits to help keep your home clean and tidy.
Banishing Dirt in 20 Minutes or Fewer a Day
No one wants to spend an entire weekend day cleaning the house from top to bottom, especially when the weather’s finally beautiful, the kids want to play outside, and the garden is beckoning. Instead, choose one or two items to tackle each day. Set a timer so that you don’t get distracted and pulled into a different task. Put your favorite tune on the stereo and hop to it!
The 30-Day Schedule divides cleaning tasks, each of which should take 20-minutes or less, especially if you’ve implemented the tidiness principles from above. There are a few chores that you’ll need to do a bit less frequently but that take more time, like cleaning inside the cabinets and behind appliances and de-griming baseboards.
Keeping homes clutter-free and clean doesn’t have to be a drag, even if it’s not your favorite thing to do. And if you dread that designated cleaning day and the hours it takes away from doing more fun, relaxing activities, tackling a little bit each day’s the perfect trick!
*** Written by Adam Cook for Meridian Counseling. Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction.