5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do

how to have a clean house #tidy #kitchen

I have a high tolerance for disorder. Until I don’t.

Two years ago we moved into this fixer upper. It’s a much smaller house than we had before and I could no longer hide my messy ways or sweep them under the cowhide rug, if you will.


I started paying attention to how those Tidy People lived in their homes. I observed my mom and mother-in-law. I even asked my Tidy Friends questions about their habits without trying to seem like a weirdo.

Here’s what I’ve discovered…


1. Tidy People don’t act like a slob all day, and then get their house tidy in one fell swoop.

Tidy People are smart, and know that cleaning up all at once is hard and not fun.

I’m my biggest enemy when it comes to keeping my house tidy. The number one thing I’ve learned from Tidy People is how valuable it is to develop some simple, non-drastic, tiny habits that when added together will change the level of tidiness in your home.

Tidy People are in a constant state of low-grade tidying, I don’t even think they realize it.

2. Tidy People Don’t Run out of Cleaning Supplies. They find cleaning products they love and they stock up so an empty soap bottle is never between them and a clean counter or tidier bathroom. Amen.

Y’all, I even found a Tidy Hack for this one!

Listen, if you’re ready for your home to smell tidy and fresh, like your Mom and Martha Stewart cleaned all day, then you’ll love Grove Collaborative. If you haven’t tried it, it’s the easiest thing you can do to keep your cleaning routine simple, doable and smelling like a dream.

I’m a long time Grove customer myself (three years now!) and along with practicing the tidy tips in this post, Grove is my secret weapon for keeping a tidy and clean home.

Grove offers a huge selection of high-quality natural cleaning products, and you’ll never run out of products again thanks to their monthly shipment schedule (totally optional and super flexible – I order about every 6 weeks if I’m out of stuff).

And right now, Grove is running a limited New Customer Deal that’s too good to ignore if you’re ready to tidy up:

Once you click over to Grove, your cart will auto-fill with some popular products as a suggestion. You can delete everything (but don’t delete your free stuff) and add different things to your cart, or keep everything as is. As long as you don’t delete your freebies and purchase $20 worth of additional products, you’re good.

3. Tidy People never let the sun go down on their filth. They know they’ll have to do it anyway, better now than later.

Tidy People do not watch Dancing With The Stars while there’s a sink full of dirty dishes sitting in the kitchen.

Tidy People practice the quick reset, that might mean different things to you than the Tidy McTidersons down the street, and that’s okay. Maybe for you that means getting the entire family involved right after dinner and clean up for five timed minutes of tidying.

Tidy people take a few moments each evening for a quick reset and then they watch Dancing in peace.

how to have a clean house #clean #bedroom

4. Tidy People don’t store things on the floor.

From the big decorative baskets filled with throws to the backpacks that never seemed to make it to their place. When I looked around our house, I realized that without my own consent, I was allowing lots of items to live on the floor. Tidy People know better than this.

Stacks of books, the box that should have been dropped off at the thrift store two weeks ago and the laundry basket can all clutter up the floor and make your home seem messier than it really is.

Tidy People know this secret, you’ll never see stuff stored on their floors.

5. Tidy People don’t over decorate. They value a cleared off surface more than a highly decorated surface.

Listen, I’m the biggest fan of tchotchkes that has ever been. I LOVE me some smalls and cute little decor. But over the years I’ve learned that having a bunch of pretty small things all over every surface was only making my life more difficult as someone who was already prone to being messy.

Now I’m really picky about what I allow on my surfaces. I aim for 1-3 decorative pieces per surface depending on the surface size. This allows our house to still look pretty but at the same time, it seems clean, even if there’s a layer of filth!


I’m not tidy by nature, but reminding myself of things Tidy People don’t do, somehow motivates me to pay a little more attention to making life a little easier on me and my house. It’s so worth it.

PS, Don’t forget to grab your New Customer Cleaning Kit , your future self with thank you!

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how to have a clean house #cleaning


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  1. Suzy Q. says:

    Keep your emotional balance. My growing up home was ruled by someone with ocd..
    re :cleanliness……know that things you polish, protect and treasure will never have the ability to love you in return…….value, treasure, invest in relationships first!!! that is worthy!!! xoxoxxo

    • Good observation. Finding a happy medium is key here!!

      • I have raised my family. Now I miss the shoes everywhere, the mountains of laundry, a lot of the wonderful crazies that go with a busy home. Take your time be with your families, these beautiful crazy times are gone way too soon.
        Do what you can and enjoy the rest!

    • Exactly! Taking time for your family should come first. The kids won’t remember the spotless house you had. They will remember the time you spent with them while they were growing up.

    • Liz Larsen says:


    • Paula D Malone says:

      My mother was the worst. So bad that if you had to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, when you came back your bed was made. Every Saturday she would remove the wax from the playroom and kitchen floors and put new wax down. No one and I mean NO ONE, except Daddy, could wear their shoes in the house. I must admit, though, our house was always pretty and shiny clean. Although this trait didn’t pass down to me, my daughter got it. As far as myself, did you know bedbugs don’t like an unmade bed? Consequently, I’ve NEVER had bedbugs!

  2. Marsha england says:

    “Tidy People” in general are so OCD that if you are visiting them, you never really feel at home..UNLESS you also are a “tidy” person, LOL..Oh my, I would not want to feel the embarrassment of a drop of my coffee being splashed onto the table, etc. Moderation is needed in all things….this is a ridiculous article…IMHO!

    • Anonymous says:


    • There are degrees of tidyness. For instance, if you have a dinner party and folks stay late, clean up before you go to bed. If you eat a bowl of cereal, put your bowl and spoon in the dishwasher or wash them immediately. Open your mail as soon as you receive it. Don’t let the junk mail hit a table- put it immediately into the recycle. Take your bills immediately and set them up for payment right then, don’t wait for a special day to pay bills.
      Do small things NOW! Then you never face a mountain. This is not ocd, it just makes sense.

      • You are right. And as I am preparing a meal, I am washing dishes or putting them in dishwasher to keep up on the mess. Stay ahead of the game. You’ll be glad that you did. The final cleanup is do much smaller.

      • I totally agree. I keep my home clean and tidy. When you are organized your life just feels better.

      • I totally agree. I keep my home clean and tidy. When you are organized your life just feels better, and it actually gives you more free time.

    • Omg…we were visiting friends for a couple of days…my husband know the hubby very well, but I barely know either of them
      I was wiping up the counter and a piece broccoli fell on the floor….it was picked up before I could stoop down to get it…
      My hubby had told me she was a neatnik, but wow….

  3. Carol Banks says:

    Unfortunately, I’m the type to live in a mess until I can’t stand it anymore and then I turn into a crazy cleaning machine! I do make our bed every day, wash the sheets once a week and do the dishes every morning. My husband sweeps once a month and will do the dishes in occasion (but always by hand, he’s never used the dishwasher), but besides that it’s up to me. I see sense in what you say about the mythical Tidy People – life would be easier if I didn’t let things get so bad! Who knows, maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks and I’ll change my evil, I mean messy ways ;-)

    • My method of cleaning is similar. I, too, am my own worst enemy because I let mail pile up before looking through it and items I need to do something with, usually donate to the thrift shop. I did have regular housekeeping help until a couple of months ago but realized I couldn’t get it all done in one day. I was constantly in a state of cleaning but never finished! I’m going to work on finding help today!

  4. Cha Sellam says:

    I am a very messy person however I always find everything I look for in my mess as I remember exactly where everything is! But I do know that my house and office space would look much better and help me be more productive if they were all well organized and clean!
    # 3 and 4 make total sense to me and I will definitely work on them! (Just before this comment, I did the dishes in my sink ;) as for #5 I do not agree, you could have a lot of decorations and still have a tidy home.

  5. Julie Barnes says:

    I think a home should be clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy 😃 btw I raised boys thus impossible to keep a clean house and I was single and worked full time as a RN!!!BAM

  6. Sandra Boone says:

    I am tidy–very much so. But mess is usually the right stuff in the wrong place. The best advice for a clean home I ever received was to put things where they naturally fall. If there are always magazines on the black table, then that’s where a magazine rack should be. If you pay your bills while watching tv, then perhpas you need a desk that faces the television. Watch your families habits and work with them. And reserve the right to have one area that is off limits to clutter. If you get it out there, you pick it up and put it away when you are done.

    • Linds Riddle says:

      The best advise I use is to clean every room 10 minutes every day. One day Zi will dust that room , next wash the windows, next go threw a pile of books etc. of course the kitchen needs more time every day

  7. Love, love, love this post! Helpful, funny & insightful. So keen to make the transition to one day being a naturally tidy person so taking lots of nuggets of gold from this!

    • Hi Steph:)
      i have a few book recommends that mite get u in the direction.
      Atomic Habits -James Clear (Read this book first, he has a nice take on habits)
      Better than before; The Four Tendencies; Outer order inner calm -Gretchen Rubin ( read them in this order The Four Tendencies/Better than Before/Outer order inner calm) She has a wonderful helpful website…
      Pls let me know if u read them & what u think…
      All the very best!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, that’s the way I was raised. Each day we did a little, laundry, made and straighten our rooms, after cooking washed the dishes and cleaned the floor. Saturday’s we did more in the morning and off to shopping we went!!!!
      I carried this on to my daughter and now my grand daughter.

  8. Cynthia says:

    Best way is to purge routinely.
    Don’t have excess.
    Give everything a “home” and put it back when finished.
    Clean as you go about your day and it stays clean.
    But don’t be obsessive. My sister is obnoxiously OCD. And if you visit her which I don’t anymore she won’t just sit and visit. She’s constantly cleaning. Predicting each crumb. Just as we grew up. If you go anywhere she has no concept of “seeing what the day brings or strolling.” It’s like warp speed. No thoughts for anyone else’s desires and you’re the problem.
    However, she did teach me some good cleaning skills. I hate cleaning. But doing it as you go about the days works.
    Everyone thinks my home is extremely clean. She says it’s filthy. She’s never had kids though.
    Enjoy your home and family. Life is short. But people that are mentally well can’t have peace in a hoarders home.

  9. 5 things people have a neat house Do not make it very impressive and useful. I have learned many of these 5 things. Thanks for sharing.

  10. OCD and proud of it says:

    A place for everything and everything in it’s place. A valuable lesson to be taught to those children/families that everyone is so concerned about spending time with. If it is “kept tidy” there is no need to take the time to get it that way; it also makes for a much more efficiently run home. Thus when you say “let’s go to the park kids” there is no waste of “time” with the… I can’t find my other shoe, there is no mate to this sock in this pile of unfolded laundry, “Suzie” hasn’t done her chores yet, the sink is full of dirty dishes. etc. etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with this. Never set anything down where it doesn’t belong. When your clothes come off, don’t let them hit the floor. Put them away where they belong. Do laundry before the hamper is over flowing. Don’t stop until they are folded and put away.

    • 100%

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