We all live hectic, busy lives, and the home quickly becomes a mess. If there are any parents reading this, then you have the hardest job of all. Toddlers and children leave chaos in their wake around the house. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of the clutter and keep things out of the way.
It’s all about taking things a little bit at a time. When you leave clutter to build up, it becomes a mountain to climb. Not only that, but that’s when untidiness becomes unclean. The longer you let clutter build up, the more dust and dirt builds up along with it. It’s about taking 20 minutes every day just to make sure things are safely put away and off the floor.
Ready to dive in and discover the secrets of tidy living? Let’s take a look.
It all starts with good storage. Every item in your house needs a home. Otherwise, it’s too easy to leave it lying around. Good storage keeps everything off the floor, and away from the main living areas of the house. Bookcases make excellent storage units, and make use of the tall wall space in the house. You can also get creative by using a foldable storage cube and other clever designs. Kitchens and bedrooms are almost always the main culprits here! Invest in additional kitchen cupboard space, and make sure all utensils and crockery are safely stored.
- The ‘landing strip’
This is the name that interior designers have given to the space just inside your front door. You should design it so that all coats, bags, and shoes immediately have a place to live. As soon as you come in the front door, get into the habit of using the landing strip to put things away. Hang up coats and bags. Put shoes away neatly, and put your keys and coins in a bowl Without the landing strip, your shoes and bags will find their way into the house. They’ll be slung over chairs, left on tables, and generally create an untidy atmosphere. By organising everything as soon as you come in the door, it keeps the house free from clutter and outside dirt.
- ‘Reset the room’
This is another simple trick that helps you stay on top of the tidying. ‘Resetting’ the room simply means returning all items back to their original place before you leave. Theoretically, you should never leave a room without first putting everything back in its place. If you’re having dinner in the kitchen, clean and tidy everything away before you relax in the living room. That means washing up, drying, and putting away crockery after a meal. It means wiping down surfaces, and sweeping the floor. At the end of the night, fold up blankets, and put everything back in its place in the living room. Put DVDs or books back into their storage, and make sure everything is nice and tidy. It’s an easy habit to adopt, and you’ll make sure you always tidy up after yourself.
- Little and often
The ‘reset the room’ trick is part of an overall ‘little and often’ strategy. By doing small amounts every day, the house will never get too untidy to handle. All you need is a cumulative 10-20 minutes every day to stay on top of things. In fact, you can set a simple schedule if that helps. Focus on one room every day of the week. A quick ten minutes in the bathroom on Monday, for example, will help keep things clean and tidy. Another ten minutes in the study on Tuesday will keep that tidy. The more you let clutter build up, the bigger the task becomes. And the longer you put it off! Take small, bite size chunks every single day, and it will stay manageable. That should keep things in ship-shape!
- Get the whole house involved
My final piece of advice is to make sure the entire house plays their part. There’s no point you working hard every day others are going to leave a huge mess after you’ve finished. If you share with other adults, it can be just as hectic as sharing with your family. Everyone needs to be considerate of each other. Gentle reminders help but don’t be pushy or aggressive. No matter the situation, try to do things together and equally. This will stop any squabbling!
Some people prefer certain tasks over others, and if you don’t mind doing something just get on with it. But make sure you speak up if you feel snowed under and share the load with the rest of your house. If you’re all busy and your schedules clash, maybe you can just dedicated different days. It’s not always possible with us all having such crazy lives these days, but agree on some time to set aside, to ensure things get done and everyone’s happy. It’s hard to make cleaning fun sometimes but there’s no reason it should leave you feeling grumpy!
Remember, it’s all about little bits of effort every single day. Don’t let clutter build up and take over your life!