How to Keep a Tidy Home
If you're anything like me, you hate cleaning, but always go into panic mode anytime anyone comes over to your house. It's a real problem. I typically stick with candles and oil diffusers in order to mask the smell of laziness, but, unfortunately, messes are more visible than smell... able.
Less is More
I live and breath knick-knacks and random decor that I bought because I can not live without it. My husband, on the other hand, is a total minimalist. Obviously, I win in the decor debacle because, as JoJo Siwa would say, "I don't really care what you say!" I'm about to buy this boomerang.
However, when it comes to tasteful decor, less is really so much more! Luckily, I'm poor and can not buy all the pretties that I find, but I still have a healthy collection of bull roar around my house. I tend to keep all of my trinkets in a designated area.
Everything has a Place
The best way that I have found to keep a tidy house is to have a specific spot for everything. I even order my books; they are shelved by genre, author, and height. Of course, my favorites are all in a place of honor; my Harry Potter collection is at eye level.
If every item in your home has a specific place (and you make a conscious effort to return them to their area once you finish using them) it is easier to stay organized! This is where I struggle immensely. I want to do crafty things. So I pull everything out and make a huge mess and, once I'm finished with the nonsense, I throw everything haphazardly into the spare bedroom. Fortunately, no one ever visits and I just keep the bedroom door closed, but, on the off chance that someone needs the room, I have to speed clean months of leftover mess. I am toxic to myself.
Whatever does not have a special place can either be given away or (if you can't bear the thought of getting rid of your 3rd grade beaded lizard) put it neatly away in storage.
Keep Cleaning Supplies in a Convenient Location
Dude. Obviously you're hear because you suck at cleaning. Make your life easier and keep all of your cleaning supplies in a convenient location. Don't keep bathroom cleaner in the laundry room; move that to your bathroom/hallway closet for easy retrieval.
Here's a big one: if you have stairs with carpeting and rugs on multiple floors, buy an extra vacuum and keep one on each floor. I rented a place with stairs and I swore I would never buy a home with more than one story because I can't handle it.
Make Your Bed
Make your bed. Just do it. It takes less than 2 minutes and makes your room look so much nicer. It only takes 21 days to form a habit.
My husband hates the blankets to be all disheveled and I have learned to hate it as well because he is a blanket thief and I don't want the monsters to get my uncovered body. I like to tuck the bottom of our top sheet and quilt into the bottom of the bed to make things easier. It holds up well to nightly tossing and turning and uh, well you know; all you have to do is straighten the top when you get out of bed.
Secondly, get a laundry hamper. If you have multiple people (specifically children) it may be beneficial to have a separate laundry hamper for each person. I stole this idea from a friend. She hated folding her laundry and putting it away with a family of 4 because there were so many clothes going to different areas. Once she installed hanging laundry hampers for her boys, she found laundry much easier and less overwhelming to deal with.
Third, girl, you know you're not going to wear it; don't pull it out of your closet and throw it on "the chair." It's not happening today. If you think it might happen, just hang it back up. It takes 10 seconds and you're already late. Be real.
Hell's Actual Kitchen
I hate cleaning my kitchen; it's a daily task. Make your life a little easier and keep as much as possible off of your counters. Organization goes a long way.
Clean while you cook. Why are you going to stare at the pot of water waiting on it to boil when you could be washing the dishes? I am very guilty of this, but after supper clean up is far easier when all you have to wash are the plate and utensils. We actually stopped using our dishwasher because it was such a chore to unload and then reload the dishwasher; you have to put detergent in there... ugh. We have really enjoyed just washing dishes as we go.
As an added suggestion, wash dishes as the sink fills with water. I usually go with cutting boards and plates so I can easily rinse them and place them in the dish rack.
Wipe your counters daily. It doesn't take long at all and looks so much better! I like to use my soapy rag to wipe down counters after I finish dishes. After you wipe the counters, make sure to sweep! Pretend that you're Cinderella or a pirate - whatever works for you.
Clean out your junk drawer. It takes forever, but you find all sorts of doodads! We bought our house and it came complete with a fully stocked junk drawer that we didn't clean out for over a year... Once we finally cleaned it out (okay, when my husband finally cleaned it out) we placed several short containers in the drawer to hold pens, batteries, etc. It has helped a lot!
Because you followed my previous advice, your cleaning supplies are conveniently located near your bathroom. Now utilize them.
If you hate cleaning the shower, invest in a daily shower cleaner. Simply spray the shower down everyday after you bathe and it makes the deeper cleaning easier. Following suit, buy an in-tank toilet bowl cleaner. They are inexpensive, last a good while, and prevent you from having to scrub out the poop particles. #gross
Make-up: buy a basket, bag, or storage organizer for your make-up and hair tools.
Kid's Toys: The Bane of a Tidy Home's Existence
If you have a child or (god forbid) children, you know that their toys are horrible little beasts. I swear if I step on one more farm animal... Anyway, believe it or not, it is far easier to keep a clean home with different toys in different bins. I learned this while working in a toddler room at a child care facility. Typically, a child will play with the kitchen toys or cars or barbies or whatever. If you put all of the toys in one toy box, the kid is going to dig through and pull everything out until they find what they want.
Having separate toy bins also help with the cleaning process; less toys are pulled out and the child learns quickly where things go. Every single child in my toddler room knew where things were supposed to go. Believe it or not, you can teach a child how to clean up at a young age; it just takes consistency. To be honest, the last thing I want to do at the end of a day is help my children clean up toys, but I know that if I let it go for a day or two, things get wild.
Put obnoxious toys out of reach. You know what I'm talking about: the blocks. These are special toys that we must clean up immediately after we are finished playing with them. You want to step on a lego? No. Tell your child before pulling out the playdough/blocks/train that we are cleaning this up when we are done.