“Tiding Up” has become somewhat of a buzz phrase for some time now. I have seen books and Facebook posts and articles all about getting organized. I have considered myself “The Queen of Tidy” for a long time. I do not like a mess and my anxiety is heightened when things are out of place. With three kids, a full time job, and a full time sports/social schedule, created chaos sometimes happens, but I do my best to keep my home and life under control at all times.
I decided that maybe I should share my great wisdom with the masses (HI BETH!) and give you a list of things that help me keep my home tidy. Full disclosure: We live in a fairly small home with five people. I don’t have a mud room and our basement is finished which means we do not have a ton of storage down there.
- WE HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING: There is a “home” for everything my family brings into the house. If it doesn’t have a place to stay, I/we create one. This way we always have a place for everything to go at the end of the day. And because there is a place for everything in our home it is easy for everyone to pitch in and tidy up the house before we go to bed. About 5 minutes before it is time to go up I stop everyone and they grab what the need to bring upstairs and clean up anything they might have gotten out. Bedrooms are also tidied up prior to my kiddos hitting the pillow.
- I DO LAUNDRY EVERYDAY FROM START TO FINISH: (I do all of our laundry…I am pretty anal about laundry and I learned a long time ago that I wanted to do it all) I do not leave piles and piles of clothes until the weekend. I put a load in almost every morning and when I arrive home from work I throw it in the dryer. I fold it (and put it away!) before I go to bed or before I start the next load the next morning. This is a system that works for me and I can keep up with. I get overwhelmed when I have three or four loads piled up and it makes me want to just pretend it isn’t there which creates more of a bottleneck.
- THE SUN DOES NOT GO DOWN/COME UP ON DIRTY DISHES: Every night after dinner we wash and dry pots and pans and place everything else in the dishwasher. I do not run the dishwasher every day because I want it to be full when I run it, but when I do run it I start it in the morning after breakfast before I leave for work and it is emptied in the evening before/during dinner prep.
- WHEN THE FLOORS ARE DIRTY WE CLEAN THEM. Our floors tend to be a bit of a mess on the daily (after meals in the kitchen especially). So instead of getting mad and complaining about dirty floors, we sweep pretty much after every meal. Just like laundry, the more it piles up the more I hate looking at it and I get mad about it, so in order to have a peaceful, tidy home, we just do it every day even if it doesn’t look like it needs it (spoiler alert: it always needs it).
- BEDS ARE MADE IN THE MORNING. We do not leave the house unless beds are made. That is a family rule. They may not be made to my specifications, but they are made nonetheless. This means we have to build in time in the morning for rooms to be tidied.
- SAVE BATHROOMS AND VACUUMING AND DUSTING AND CLEANING PROJECTS FOR THE WEEKENDS. My kids are responsible for taking a disinfectant wipe to the bathrooms every morning and evening after they brush their teeth (yes, even my 4 year old can wipe a sink/toilet). But the BIG bathroom cleaning and dusting and vacuuming carpets is done on the weekend. I would say it takes about 30 minutes to clean those areas on Saturday morning (we have 4 bathrooms/4 bedrooms/1 family room/1 basement). We do not leave the house on Saturday until those tasks are complete…that means if we have an 8:00 game and need leave the house by 7:00 these tasks are done before the sun comes up. This is a non-negotiable.
Bigger cleaning/remodeling projects are reserved for when we have time for them which is pretty much never (keeping it real)
I know it seems like this is a HUGE undertaking. But, to be honest, I never feel overwhelmed and my house is never to the point where it is out of control. At any given day I can have a person drop by and not feel mortified by how my home looks. I do think, for me, it is part of the “Pride of Ownership.” I grew up in a home with these same principles so I feel comfortable doing it myself.
This is not everyone’s cup of tea and I understand that. I don’t judge people for how they keep their homes but sometimes I do feel judged by how I keep my own and I am okay with that. To each their own I say.