I like to keep a tidy home, though that doesn’t mean it’s always perfectly clean. (There’s obviously a difference between clean and tidy!) I am someone who becomes anxious in a messy home, so I’ve always worked hard to keep our house mostly clutter-free and organized. With kids it’s become more a challenge and our home does get messy sometimes, but for the most part it’s a quick process to get it back in good shape.
Ways I keep my home (mostly) tidy:
- Declutter regularly. I’ve done several rounds of decluttering starting several years ago. I was most inspired by “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” when I read it in 2016. I am now watching Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix and it’s brought on another urge to declutter, even though I just got rid of bags of stuff before the holidays. This time my husband seems to be onboard as well, which is exciting!
- Store things in baskets in closets. I 100 percent agree with Kondo’s method of storing things in baskets and boxes.
- Show my daughters how to put things away when they are done with them. When I play with my daughters, or watch them play, I always help them put toys away when we move on to another activity, or I suggest to V that she put her toys away.
- Find a home for everything you keep. This is true in our home except in the basement, which we need to tackle this year. I like for everything to be put back in its home as soon as possible after use.
- Don’t shop for things we don’t need. We don’t buy too many toys, for instance. For us that means buying toys on birthdays or Christmas and rarely in between. We buy clothes only when a new season is approaching or when there is a specific need. Another example: We buy shoes for the girls as they grow out of old shoes or for us when the need arises.
- Don’t go to bed with a messy kitchen or home. I do a quick sweep every night before going to bed and make sure things are at least in the room they belong in, if not fully put away. I try to do all the dishes so we don’t wake up to a mess. I don’t always clean surfaces, but they will at least be clear of stuff. (I put things on the stairs that need to go upstairs and bring them up next time I go. A basket could be useful for this.)
- Keep only certain toys in the living room. Toys mostly stay in the bedroom. If toys are brought downstairs they must be being played with. If not, back to the toy chest they go! Sometimes they stay in the living room all day and we don’t mind, but for the most part we put them away when the girls move on to something else (or V puts her own toys away).
- I don’t display things on shelves unless I really love them. We actually don’t even have many shelves in the new house currently, so no need to fill them! We decorate our home with things that have meaning to use or that are useful.
That’s pretty much how I keep our home mostly tidy. Yes, we have our bad days when our house is what I would call a disaster. Again, my house is not always clean, but it’s often clutter-free. I think if it’s challenging to keep a clean house, especially with kids or dogs, one can perhaps keep it tidy in between cleanings. I am looking forward to our next round of decluttering to see how much more calming our environment can become.
Do you have any tips for keeping a home tidy? Share them in the comments!