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.

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how to have a clean house #cleaning


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  1. I felt like you wrote this article from my perspective lol it’s exactly my life! I enjoyed this.

  2. Kate Cardwell says:

    Great info! I have learned many of these things but ALWAYS room for improvement!👍🏼😄

  3. Jill Moncilovich PhD says:

    Years ago I noticed that I did not clean much from Christmas Eve to New Years Day as there were so many fun things to do. But right after New Years when I put away ALL the decorations, my home felt open, fresh and clean even though I had not cleaned recently. There is something to having clutter control take over and pick up little bits at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. This article confirmed what I have been doing for years. I use different earth friendly cleaning products, but I value cleaning without harming people, pets, environment as much as the author.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s funny to read this because I remember being s child and coming home from school maybe the first day after returning from Christmas break and my mom had in un undecorated and put the tree away. And even as a child, I felt such a sense of relief at things being back to normal and no longer cluttered. It felt peaceful and refreshing and I think I took a big sigh of relief!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have always been a “tidy” person. It really bothers me to have a messy house. Now I find that I am having to learn to live with some mess. You see my husband has had some strokes and also had altzhieners. He now forgets what he is doing, leaves things undone, forgets where things go (food in dish cupboard, ice cream in refer, etc.) and never picks up after himself. When he tries to help me nothing gets done correctly. I never say a thing and change things when he doesn’t know. Now my major problem! I have an uncurable cancer. It is managable but requires weekly chemo and leaves me very fatigued. Keeping up with things is impossible. A housekeeper comes every other week. The children live out of state. Any suggestions? (Thank you for letting me vent.)

      • Bless you in all you do and I am Praying for you and your family. Seems life isn’t always fair and we have to cherish every moment of each day for the good things. Maybe have some baskets in each room to collect the things out of place, then put the things away when you feel up to it! Im giving you a big air hug. Hope you feel it.

      • Here’s what I’m thinking. Try to get rid of everything in your home that you don’t love or truly need. Just pairing down the belongings in your home will do wonders. Also wondering if you might use some disposable plates, etc. that can just be tossed to cut down on dishes that need cleaning. Not necessarily the most eco-friendly choice, but in your situation the benefits might be worth it.

      • Dear June,
        Please give yourself a break. Remember that it’s more important to take care of yourself than it is to have a perfect home. I promise that no one will judge you.
        And if you have friends or family that have asked how they can help, please reach out to them. Just a little help such as any type of house cleaning duties would surely be done with a giving heart. Good luck to you my dear.

  4. These are all great, but what do you do if you have a family of 5 and only 1 of them is in the mindset of tidying? Honestly I’ve given up. Maybe when the kids are gone I’ll try again. Then I’ll only be battling 1 other person.

    • Abi, this is our home, too. Only one of our 8 children cares to tidy with regularity. The rest make all the work for the 2 of us. Someday…

      • I have 6 children (5 boys and only one 5 yr old girl) and I had given up too but one day I just decided that enough was enough. I made them divy-up the majority of the easy housework (mindless work that just requires elbow grease like sweeping, dishes etc) and I taught them how to cook and they take turns each month rotating meals and chores. It was a tough year transition but it worked so don’t lose hope and try again. There is a big difference in trying with failure being an option and trying with success being your only acceptable option. I decided there was no other acceptable option, I was tired of doing it alone and tired of the mess, I was just tired. So I put my foot down and said things were going to change and I made it happen. I still do plenty of housework myself but I’m able to have time for things like polishing furniture like I never had time for before, washing the interior of the washing machine, the pesky fan blades!… polishing facets, cleaning walls…. my house is actually clean now. Oh, and I did minimize too.

        • I agree with Natasha, children can learn to pick up after themselves and help clean the house. Boys can cook, wash clothes, fold and put them away. Girls can help milk cows and drive tractors. We have 6 children, 1 boy, 5 girls, all married now. We milked cows and grew our own crops. Our girls learned to clean house, cook, sew, change oil in the tractors, change tires. Since the girls were outside so much our son learned to cook and clean. (Of all the children, our son is the neatest and pickiest!) Since they are all gone from home I have more time to sort things, put things where I want them, discard the surplus, etc. I’ve also learned it’s okay to watch Dancing With the Stars with the supper dishes on the counter, just so i can be with my husband! I think there is a happy medium to all this!

      • We are a family of 6 and my kids are 5, 3 1/2, 2, and 7 months. My two oldest do their laundry from putting it in the laundry basket, then bring and put it in the washer, switch it to the dryer and my 5 year old folds and puts hers away (I help the 3 1/2 year old fold hers;) while she matches socks and puts away underwear and hangs things in the closet. My 2 year old LOVES to vacuum and I let them take turns spraying and wiping the table after meals. They all bring their dishes over to the sink and help empty the dishwasher. I make it fun, we sing and dance and get it done. Expect more from them and reward them for a job well done and it will surprise you!

        I also cannot stand clutter so everything has a place, then it just has to be put there where you can find it when you need it. I’ve gotten to the point where I have to give “turns” to who gets to vacuum today and who gets feed the dog and cat ect.. so there’s no fighting over who does which chores! 😂

    • You can teach the children a whole lot easier to be tidy then a husband. From someone who has been there done that lol..

      • I agree. When our sons moved out. I called and apologized. All those years of calling them slobs. It was their dad the majority of the time.

        • Dianna bash says:

          Here too. I was so angry with my husband when I realized he let the kids get in trouble for what he did 😈😈😈

      • As a general rule I’m a pack rat, divorced a hoarder, and have 3 kids, one of has OCD… Yup, she likes things tidy. Guess what, that doesnt work well for her mental well being living in a state of chaos in 2 different homes every other week. So her dad and I both have adapted and changed our ways for our child. Yep it was hard. But we managed. Little steps for me and lots of therapy, we all clean and tidy together in my home. At her dad & step moms… Well I’m not there, but she seems to be doing better now that we all agree with what tasks she is allowed and NOT allowed to do. Its hard when your 5th grade daughter wants/NEEDS to deep clean at midnight and you really need her to go to bed.

    • Abi, one thought is a basket for each person that you fill with their scattered stuff. Just take it back to their room and leave it. If that doesn’t work start literally taking their stuff to the thrift shop. They must not need it, right? The kids need to learn to be good household citizens and it’s not ever going to be fair to be a slob in the common areas. Not sure what to do with the husband – that was his momma’s job : )

      • Susan Leubner says:

        I always stuck to, If you brought it into the room, you take it out, same day! I grew up with six brothers, not an easy task. When I went to bed, I took whatever was left around, dropped it into their rooms. My husband is trained, so unless he has been in a hotel for several days he does well. After he gets home from traveling, he just needs to be reminded that this is not a hotel, and he kicks back in to the trained. 😊

      • I do this. I am raising 3 grandkids. They know Nana means business if the big black trash sacks come out. I gave them the benefit of doubt the first year I had them. I knew they needed to learn to clean. Now they know the consequences of not cleaning and they understand their toys can and will go to another child who will be glad to have them.

        • I too am raising three grandkids and I just get the trash can out and give them three minutes after they walk away and they know this Nana means business!i have always kept a very clean house I don’t know what happened to their parents. My mother wasn’t very tidy and I told myself not for me! Mother did say to me that when we pass away they don’t talk about how tidy or clean our houses were, they remember what kind of person we were!

      • Anonymous says:


      • I did this. My two kids would leave things everywhere and their rooms are in the basement. I bought pretty wood bins to put in the stairs to the basement and when it’s full they have to take it down and empty it. It works great! One of the many things I’ve tried to do to control the clutter when crabbing about it only ruined my own day. :-)

    • I’ve heard cleaning house is like raking the leaves before they have all fallen.

      • Gemini.mama3x says:

        YES! I have four kids, including my husband, who makes a bigger mess than the almost 2 year old. My 4 and 8 year olds are walking tornadoes, leaving clutter and destruction in their wake. But it never fails: I get the last pieces of plastic flotsam put away in a toy bin, and turn around to someone dumping out another. It is a never-ending process, repeated multiple times a day. Like raking leaves before they’ve all fallen. Every. Single. Day.

        • Melissa Sutton says:

          When my kids were smaller I would turn picking up toys into a game. We raced to see who could pick up faster. Cleaning is always easier when it’s fun

    • Anonymous says:

      I also have a check- off list of things that I clean every 3 months like: baseboards, front of cabinets, fans, light fixtures, shutters, etc.

    • Tammy Rose says:

      This is my family out of my 3 kids only 1 ( my 14 yr old daughter) is a tidy person. The other two (11 yr old son and 6 yr old girl) don’t even know where the garbage can is. It is super frustrating that their father and I havent been stricter with them. It’s harder to get them to change now but we are trying to install new routines in them as well as ourselves.

    • I feel you we had to move from our 2 bed home to a rv. And it is even worse now. There is 3 of us. And my husband and 14 yr old son are the worst. They leave dishes, food, garbage, clothes, tools, toys etc everywhere. Neither if them ever pick up after themselves and never wash or rinse there dishes. I’m so sick of it. I constantly bitching at them because I dont feel I should have to clean it all up myself. But when I ask them to pick up or try harder all I get is. I fidbt do it. Or I will do It later. Or they tell me to leave them alone. Because I’m being overly picky. Its rediculas. And i ask my husband would you do this at his parents house. And of course he says no but diesnt see the problem doing in our home. Its disgusting. I’ve honestly thought of moving out no joke. I get no respect.

      • Anonymous says:

        You need to TAKE your respect! THEY are the children! Shut TVs off, games, take phones away! AND throw away what they won’t put away! Children, just like adults crave routine, boundaries and structure! YOU need to instill that in them! Time to take over and be the parent! YOU putting up with it is your acceptance of the behaviors! Nothing is easy, but, taking control and teaching your children IS worth it! Don’t blame them if you aren’t willing to create that environment! Sorry, but, YOU need to change or they won’t!!

      • No one ever left my kitchen with food in hand. That was started early
        You can retrain them if you are forceful. Refuse to cook another meal until they have cleaned up. You are not your children’s friend. You are their Mother. Take control now

        • Anonymous says:

          Iv been reading what these moms have been saying about their kids won’t help them? I don’t understand when it became acceptable for children to tell parents no or just simply not do what they’re asked There are rules and consequences in my home and when the rules aren’t followed there are consequences bottom line if your kids won’t help you with your own fault for not being the parent the boss the one training them to be adults

    • Linda Carter says:

      We get what we allow, I know a lot of families struggle with this. My husband thinks I am a nag sometimes…until company comes. He then realizes how proud he is of our tidy house. I started training my children (4) from birth to put their stuff away or they would find it under their pillow at night. I also assigned chores from the age of 2…put your stuff back in the toy box before going to bed or going out. I taught them how to do laundry by the age of 10. They had to vacuum there rooms weekly or no playing. Everyone had to clean up the kitchen immediately after meals. You know what is wonderful…when they come to dinner now as adults and with their kids…I never have to clean up after meals…they just automatically do it and that includes the spouses. Before they leave the children know to put away all the toys they were playing with, you don’t leave a mess a grandma’s house. Really nice at the holidays. Yeah, sometimes I have to look for something because it was put in the wrong place…but it is cleaned up and get to put my feet up after a full day of cooking. They know my reasonable expectations…treat our home with love and respect. I told my husband before we got married how I felt about this, he agreed, and sometimes I have to remind him that we agreed to this style of living…clean and tidy. I am not the maid. I also don’t want to be a slave to my house…maintaining tidiness allows us to have more time to play, read, travel, or just chill…and we are welcomed to an un-stressful environment when we return! If you haven’t married yet…set up that agreement beforehand. If you are married, well you might need an intervention or family meeting to talk about the stress it is causing you and that you need their help…I know that is tough especially dealing with a spouse…but the kids…you better decided who is in charge…you or them. In my home that is not negotiable.

      • Love this …..

      • I love your philosophy towards getting the house clean. I do this a lot with my kids, though we started late. After meal time, if a person has not cleaned their dishes, they must clean 10 dishes. We do scheduled cleanings everyday before my kids can have friends over or have computer time. On the weekends, the kids do 1hr of cleaning, which involves decluttering, putting things away, doing laundry, sweeping, mopping and so on. It’s been a lot of an adjustment for me, as I was never taught how to clean. I had to teach myself once I moved out of my mother’s house.

        • Way 2 go Kari! I can relate. You are doing your family a huge favor, and they will thank you some day!!!

          My Mom was a hoarder, and when she had a major stroke that left her handicapped, and my parents had to move into assisted living, we kids and grandkids had to do the cleanup. Most of it ended up thrown away and/or donated, [although we were careful not to donate junk.] The good folks at the local Salvation Army store told us they had never gotten such a large donation before that they could remember, lol! I think we took something like six trailer loads and we lost count of all the pickup truck loads that were taken, in addition to a dumpster the size of a railroad car full of trash. and pile after pile of burnable trash.

          None of us were allowed to help Mom before, even though we offered many, many times! She always had messy tendencies, but it became a real problem after we kids grew up and left home. She just started filling our rooms and every available empty space with stuff. She didn’t even know what all she had. I honestly feel like my mother needed psychological and/or spiritual help, and regret that we didn’t pursue it. Perhaps she would have refused, but we’ll never really know…..

          The cleaning up wasn’t fun, but it left a memorable impression on our kids. Now, when they get lazy and things start to get messy, all I usually have to do is remind them of how hard we all had to work. They don’t EVER want to do that again!

          Life has been complicated and difficult ever since, because of the whole situation, but I’m definitely more of a Cozy Minimalist than ever before! What a wonderful book! For awhile I was more of a minimalist than anything else, out of pure reaction to that whole experience, but I thank God for the book……it’s been such a blessing in my life. Now, I feel like I can bring some cozy back in, without things getting out of control! I was so fearful of having a cluttered home, that it was beginning to feel rather cold and bare. We’re all enjoying the results.:)

      • I totally love this I wished I had done this…my kids are all grown now. It’s just the hubby and I, and now I’m his maid, cuz him being 9 years older that’s what he taught me. Now I wish it was the other way around. I wish we were equals! I’m 65 and he’s 74. If I had to do, do overs I do things differently. I raised my kids differently and they are raising they’re kids the right way.

        • My friend’s husband told her one day that he was no longer going to make his bed every morning because he was retired. At mealtime she did not cook and told him she was also retired. He decided quickly the bedroom should be straightened.

      • Anonymous says:

        Love this great advice!

      • Great advice

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m 20000% with you on this one, sis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ditto . Let me know when you figure this out !

    • My husband, age 64, was raised with 5 siblings. His mother made sure every one of them was tidy. I have NEVER in 40 years of marriage checked a picket or had to turn clothes right side out when doing the laundry. He picks up after himself. I thank my mother in law every day!!

    • So my life!

    • The children need to learn to be tidy, in a household of 5, everyone has to participate, otherwise when they grow up they will not know how to manage themselves or a household. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach their children.

  5. Wow! This is exactly what I needed. I kind of “knew” these things but needed a good reminder. We just did the same thing as you, moved from a 3600 sf house with a shop and acreage to an 1100 sf house to save money for retirement. It’s hard for me to get rid of things because I know that in about five years we will move again to a larger home. In the meantime, it is really crowded and uncomfortable. Thank you for the tips and motivation.

    • Confused ….you took the money from the sale of your house to use as part of your retirement? Then in 5 years you will be moving to a larger house. However using your retirement money to buy a larger home is counterproductive. Plus, the market is volatile right now. 5 years isn’t enough time to recover any losses.

      • Beth Grant DeRoos says:

        I think Kristen meant they downsized from a 3600 square foot home with acreage to a smaller 1100 square foot home which allowed them to save more for retirement. They may have been renting and moved to a smaller place for less money. ….. But even if they bought a smaller home the payments would be lower, property taxes lower etc. ,,,,, And one can have plenty of money in retirement that allows for buying another home, rental property etc. In fact retirement money should encompass ALL the goals one has. ….We actually downsized here in California back in 2000 for the same reason, and saved a lot of money which went into savings, investments and retirement. …… When the 2008 economic mess happened many of our friends found homes that had been foreclosed on, and were able to pay cash for the homes, and even rental properties.

  6. This was a great article. I look forward to incorporating these ideas I to my life so maybe I can become a “Tidy McTiderson.”

  7. This wasn’t very useful info. Thank you captain obvious. Also, it was a commercial. I wanted to read an article not be sold some soap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously!!! How rude.

    • Anonymous says:

      I dislike tricky advertisements, I refuse to buy this product because of the way it was presented. Have some integrity! If you believe this product is so great, be proud to advertise/endorse!!

      • Me too! What a sketchy article and add combo! Sound like a bunch of OCD overbearing wanna be people! Get a life! If you want to watch a show and clean up after, so what. Your tired so you load the dishwasher in the morning and finish cleaning up in the morning, you’ll save water and your sanity. Besides all you need is hydrogenoxide and water to disinfect and clean up everything!

    • Sandy, you took the words right out of my mouth. Pretty basic obvious common sense things stated here.

      • Beth Grant DeRoos says:

        Wait a minute! Vlogs and blogs are not ‘free’. People spend hours writing, doing photos and sharing information with their followers. Do you expect them not to get ‘paid’ in some way?
        No one is being forced to read a vlog-blog, watch a YouTube video etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      No need to be SO VERY RUDE!!

    • Ok, so its an advertisement for a fine product embedded in some useful information. And you’re incensed? Honey, you had to’ve read the entire article to’ve gotten to the comments section. So you either learned something or had your already good habits endorsed. Where’s the problem? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?

    • Ditto! Big add for cleaning! Sorry, not fooled!

  8. I’m a tidy Mctiderson myself. My sister’s call my house a museum and often ask how I can keep such a clean house with 2 little kids. Well I do all 5 of these things and tidy up after everything. It’s so much easier to keep a tidy home and “clean as you go” and have maybe 1-2 days a week where you do a deep deep clean than it is to let things get out of control and then trying to bring it back. If i dont or my kids don’t use something in a month, away it goes! There is zero clutter allowed and this makes things feel more manageable also

  9. Really random but the black ceramic table lamp in one of the pictures is exactly what I am looking for for my living room. Is that actually a photo of your home? Do you happen to remember where it’s from?

  10. Great article i do the same. Thank you

  11. This was literally just an article to advertise Grove Collaborative.

  12. Patricia Pregliasco says:

    Do you know where the blue nd white striped bedspread came from in one of your pictures?

  13. Please tell me where tidy people keep their laundry baskets?! Mine are always on the floor in my bedroom. Seriously would love a better solution.

    • My laundry baskets are in each bedroom closet.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos says:

      Laundry basket is kept near the washer and dryer.

    • We keep a vented Rubbermaid laundry hamper in our closet. When it’s full (which is about 3 loads of laundry) we do laundry. Meaning wash-dry-fold/hang, then put away. Only a couple hours once or twice a week, so not too painful!

      • Beth Grant DeRoos says:

        The Rubbermaid vented laundry hamper is in the same closet as clean clothes? And the odor from the dirty clothes stay in the hamper? Sorry if this is a lame question, but I am sincerely curious.

    • I use a wicket hamper to put dirty cloths in but put a laundry bag inside it when it’s full I just take it out & carry it to the laundry room to wash

  14. We keep a vented Rubbermaid laundry hamper in our closet. When it’s full (which is about 3 loads of laundry) we do laundry. Meaning wash-dry-fold/hang, then put away. Only a couple hours once or twice a week, so not too painful!

  15. My #1 bit of advice: train yourself & everyone in family to NEVER LEAVE A ROOM EMPTY-HANDED! Whenever you walk out of a room, grab all you can carry & drop each item off where it belongs. Becomes a habit & house stays much tidier! My #2 advice: Don’t swim against the current–if you have little kids, love & enjoy them, dedicate an hour here & there to dig a hole in the mess, but don’t worry about a spic n span house. There will be plenty of time to be tidy in the long, long years after they’re grown & gone! Tidy homes don’t make memories.

  16. Disappointed you felt the need to use words like slob and filth.

  17. #6. Tidy people don’t have real kids.
    Jk, but it sure makes a difference.

  18. I’m a tidy person living with not-so-tidy people. I totally appreciate this post, and plan to “let” my people read it. lol! Thanks!

  19. When my children were small, it was a house rule that at the end of the day, everything had to be picked up off the floor and all their respective things put back where they belong. Anything, and I do mean anything, not picked up or replaced went into the Saturday box, which meant it didn’t come back out of that box until Saturday. Also, my children took turns being the chore supervisor and assigning chores and doing chores each week. This way they also learned the other side of the coin that it isn’t fun to have to nag others who aren’t doing their fair share. The lightbulbs went off in their heads. I also let them decorate their own rooms and figure out ways to keep it tidy and offered suggestions if needed. This puts them in charge and responsibility where it goes.

  20. This is a good post. Thank you!

    I am a husband, father of seven, and the tidiest person in the house. I cannot think in filth and clutter, and I actually consider my level of cleanliness as near neurotic. Some of you should feel the same way about your tolerance levels, too.

    My wife is awesome, but not very neat. I love her and clean up after her because we are a team and she does so much for us. Yes, even though I run a large and successful business and she is a stay-at-home mom, I take the lead when cleaning. The children participate in a daily cleaning period that lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, and I am the one who leads, follows up, corrects, etc. My wife does not because it’s one of my strengths to be clean. We each employ our strengths to make up for each others’ weaknesses. It’s what mature, married people do.

    I’m quite annoyed, but not surprised at the level of misandry going in in these comments. Maybe you hate his slovenliness just as much as he hates something about your actions – perhaps your control freak nature or your bitchiness. Love is sacrifice, not bitching, moaning, and comparing your life partner to a child and speaking in terms of training him. God knows if he spoke about training you, the misogyny police would most likely come pouring out of the woodwork.

    Why not thank God you have a husband and take stock of what weaknesses in your life he covers with his strengths, instead of damaging your relationship with bitterness over a plate left behind or a sock turned inside out?

    • I love your comment! I agree…We all have our strengths and weaknesses and as you said, why not “employ each other’s strengths ” and thank God you have a spouse to love. There is too much complaining and not enough gratefulness for what we have. Bravo. Well said.

    • This is the best comment on the entire thread! Too many women have forgotten how to support a King, and instead of being Queens have fallen into the role of retaliatory serving girl. These women act like men are children, trying to oppress them – when they are the ones who fail to walk in their power. I would venture to guess that many of these women have more problems in their relationships than just an untidy house. A good read for many would be the Keys to the Kingdom.

  21. My solution to all the stuff left around in our public spaces by my 3 school age children and my adult husband was the now family-famous purple plastic box. This box was stored on our drier, and anything left out was put in the box. Of course they were told to pick up their stuff, but there was always the stray sock or book or papers that were left behind, so into the box it all went. My kids are all now adults and out of the house, but the purple box still exists for me to pick up after my husband. After decades of marriage, I’ve learned that rather than insist he be/think like me and then harboring resentment and frustration when he doesn’t, it is much healthier for me and our marriage to just put it in the box. He has been watching Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” with me, and that has been somewhat revelatory to him. Guess he was ready!

    For all you younger readers, my advice would be figure out what you minimally need to feel peace in your home and be willing to even compromise on that in order not to be that nagging, anal parent/spouse. I don’t want my kids remembering me that way! We may think we’re training them how to live in a neat and organized way (and of course we are…to a degree), but judging from my 3, they will find their own standard of household peace.

  22. I love this article! It speaks to me! I have spent several months going through our things and cleaning out what we don’t truly need. The tip about not using the floor for storage is a HUGE deal in our house. I am aiming to fix that!

  23. Beth Grant DeRoos says:

    Various pediatrician friends have shared how children can be stressed out with having to much stuff. And just as we adults can have a sense of dread when needing to clean a room, so can a child. They have also noted that including even toddlers in simple chores helps develop hand eye coordination, as well as a sense of being needed and overall development which include setting goals and even boundaries.

  24. Thank you, good advice.

  25. Christina J says:

    Hooray! According to this list, I’m a Tidy Person!

  26. I have needed these ideas for a very long time. Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks

  27. Elisabeth says:

    But what if you do not live alone? My husband thinks it is a huge waste of time to pick up as you go and thinks everything should be done at the same time. We have been married almost 25 yrs and there is no changing his mind. All of the advice listed here is stuff I did before I was married, but I cannot change his mind about anything.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos says:

      Elisabeth was your husband this way before you married? My husband liked a clean and orderly environment before we married, so I knew we were equally matched. This is one of those issues I think folks who are considering getting married really need to talk about. Because thinking one has the right to insist someone change is unfair. Change has got to be someone one wants to do. What you see is what you get.

  28. Beth Grant DeRoos says:

    As the adult in the room we have a responsibility to take the time be it days, weeks, months to get your child(ren) involved in helping around the home. In fact kids want and need to required to help. Its interesting how a parent will noted its a lost cause, in getting a child to help. Would the parent say the same thing if the child’s pediatrician said the child couldn’t have a certain food because of allergies or would the parent regroup and realize life has changed and they were taking charge in helping the child learn things had changed and why? We do our child(ren) a disfavor when we simply give up rather than actually be a parent and find a way to educate the child on what was required of them.

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