If you were to walk into my house at any given moment, I’d say eight times out of ten the house would be pretty stinkin’ neat and tidy. I like it that way, and I have the time to keep it picked up right now. I do have a toddler, and she is an impressive mess maker. Don’t think that I walk around cleaning up after her constantly, because I don’t. I do however do some things around my house to try and keep it as tidy as possible.
I wrote a post a while back about how there is a big difference between clean and tidy. You can read about that here, and see the poll results!
I prefer a tidy house. I like things to be in their rightful place, surfaces to be showing, and floors to be visible. I don’t like it when the throw pillows and blankets are strewn about. I can’t stand little piles of papers, books, and random objects on the kitchen table or island. It drives me insane when there are clothes all over our bedroom floor.
I like tidy. Honestly, I would imagine most people do. They just may not Be sure how to keep their home in that state.
Today, I want to offer a few tips I have found over the past few years to help keep my home tidy. I want to add a disclaimer that I realize I only have one child. Adding baby Smith number two may completely change all of this. If it does, I will revisit! But, for now as a family of three, in a small home that is easily trashed, here are some things I do to keep things tidy.
Test my home for dust pile-up, spotless bathrooms, and shiny floors, and it’s another story! 😉
|Tidy Up Every Night Before Bed| Nora goes to bed around seven, and The Hubs and I are out by ten. So, we have about three hours for just the two of us before we go to bed. We might play a game, watch a show, or read in bed. Before we head off to our activity, we work together to tidy up the house. We make sure the kitchen, living room, and our room are pretty much spotless. First, this makes me rest so much easier at night. I like knowing there isn’t a big mess just waiting for me the next morning. My favorite part is that I wake up each morning to a spotless house. This way, all the inevitable messes that will be made are not piling on top of others. It’s a clean slate…or a tidy slate.
|Have a Place for Everything| I mean everything! Even those little piles of random junk. Get a basket to hide those things in. I am a huge fan of baskets, bins, and any other organizational tubs. Get a bunch of cute ones, assign the things that are always causing messes to one, and then stick with it!
|Have Clean Up Times Throughout the Day| This is easy for me since I stay home, but could be incorporated into a working parent’s weekend or even daily schedule. Most days Nora and I just stay home, but if we do go somewhere, any messes that were made so far are cleaned up before we leave. That way, when we get back home the house is fresh again, and ready to be destroyed once more! I simply account for a quick cleanup in my timing of when we need to leave. Nora and I work together to pick up toys before nap time. Then, after Nora is asleep I clean up any dishes made or any of my daily messes. This way, I can enjoy most of nap time, and the house is once again fresh and tidy when the mini tornado awakes! Nora also picks up toys before she goes to bed. We are working hard to teach her that her messes are her responsibility. She can’t quite clean up 100% of the messes she makes, so we help a little. She still needs lots of guidance, but by teaching her now she will be a great help when she is more capable.
|Limit Messes During Playtime| This is one I know I will have trouble staying on top of once Cashew (we call this baby Cashew) arrives. There are so many toys that Nora has that have numerous pieces. I’m not sure why, but for some reason she seems to believe that every piece must be dumped out in order to play with them. If I can catch her (which isn’t always possible), I make her clean up whatever toy she dumped before she moves on to something new. This eliminates messes, and teaches clean-up at the same time!
|Teach Your Toddler to Help| At around 18 months I learned that Nora was far more helpful than I was giving her credit for. Once I made this realization, I started puttin’ my gal to work! Luckily at this age she thinks that anytime I ask her to help me that it’s a blast! So, she throws her own diapers away, puts her dirty clothes in the hamper, and puts her dishes in the sink. This simply teaches her some great clean-up skills, and gives you a me a few less tasks in a day.
|Tackle the Laundry Monster| I think laundry is an issue for about every mom I know. It’s not particularly fun, it never goes away, and feels so unrewarding. This might sound crazy, but since I am home all day I get all of our laundry done in one day. As a family of three, with big front loading washer and dryer it takes about 4-5 loads to complete. I designate Tuesdays as laundry day, that way I just know I am gonna be dedicating most of my day to that task. I sort first thing in the morning, then get it started in the washer. I fold when the clothes are still warm (so I never have to re-dry), and get it all put away before we go to sleep that night. I know some working moms who do one load every night. So they are basically just washing that day’s clothes. Whatever you do, try and keep up with it as much as possible. It really makes your house seem so much more tidy when those hampers aren’t overflowing!
These are just a few small things we do in our home to keep it tidy. Now, are there days/weeks where our house is the opposite of tidy? Absolutely!
I ain’t Wonder Woman!
However, I do care about our home being tidy, so I take steps to keep it that way! Hopefully some of these ideas will help you keep your home tidy too!