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:

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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. When you walk past that sink full of dishes, wash 5 of them! I have a lot of dogs (10! Crazy dog show person) so I grab fur piles every time I see them and toss. Holiday time is the time for overdecorating, only!!

    • Like you I have a ton of pets 3 dogs , 3 cats and 2 kids 😊 My very TIDyhusband can stand anything animal hair anywhere. He bought me a Roomba for Christmas. It starts everyday at 9:30. No animal hair when I get home from work. You should get one.

      • I only have three dogs but they’re all shredders! I have been wanting to get a Roomba but I didn’t think the small container would be able to handle the hair. It sounds like it works for you though, right?

        • I am a crazy dog show person, too. I have two Neato cleaners, like a Roomba. They have made a huge difference. If you subscribe to Woot, they sometimes have refurbished ones for about half the price of a new one. My experience was that when the refurbished one had an issue withing 90 days, it was repaired with no cost. After that, no problem. Actually, they sent me a different one.

          • Lost my lab of 13 years in September. Was a pal to the very end; got me through divorce, kids moving out of state, etc.. Although I miss him like crazy and still swear that I will see him come around the corner when I’m making meatloaf, I do not miss the black dog hair everywhere. I actually bought and love my Rocket Shark vacuum; lightweight and cleans like nothing else.

        • I have three dogs as well, you can upgrade the part of the room a that the crap goes to for one double the size, when you do that u should also get a couple of brush replacements, the brush cleaner tool and a couple replacement whisk thingies. Now you are set for a year, roomba is the most important cleaning tool in my house, worth its weight in gold!

        • Sherri Smiddy says:

          Liz, purchase one at Bed, Bath & Beyond. If it doesn’t work for you, they will refund your money. Besides, you can use a 20% off coupon and get it cheaper than most anywhere else.

          • Elaine Jordan says:

            I found several used roombas on Craig’s list, most just needed a good cleaning.
            I have two dogs, one long haired, one short haired, both blow coats twice a year but shed constantly, I run my.room as three times a week , cleaning well each time, blowing them out with air compressor once a month or so.
            I am newly disabled, so getting rid of a lot of things was necessary in order for me to keep my house clean.
            I took picture of a lot of my knick knacks, then gave them away, you don’t need to dust digital pictures.
            I gave things away NOW to the kids I was planning on passing down so I can see them enjoying them now.
            What they didn’t want, I sold.
            I put nearly all my furniture on casters/wheels making things easier to move and the roombas able to get under.
            For the person who asked where to store the laundry basket, I keep it on top of the washer.
            I made dirty clothes “baskets?”, out of pillowcases, put on hangers, sorted by colors, I only have a closet for my washer dryer….I mounted a closet rod with shelf brackets inside the closet and use the extra rid to hang my clean clothes and my dirty clothes pillowcases

        • Liz Nitsch says:

          Hi Liz, I’m Liz too. I have a dog grooming business in my basment. I bought a Neato botvac for myself last year. Between my sheltie and the groomed dogs shaking for a last “fluff” before they head out the door, dog hair is always in my house. If I program it at least twice a week, it doesn’t clog up and clears all the floors. It doesn’t like rugs with super long fibers, but works great. Ebay carries refurbished ones so they cost less.

        • I have 3 Labs, a St Bernard and 4 cats in the house. I would be lost without my Roomba. It does not take the place of sweeping, but it picks up things the dust mop and broom won’t touch.(we have hardwood floors)

        • Works like a dream, I have had one for about 6 months and I have dog that sheds bad and it gets it all!! Love my robot!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ashley Adami says:

        i also have a roomba. it worked great but was a little noisy (can’t watch tv at same time) i also just bought a Braava (sweeps and mops). I run roomba at 5:30 am every morning then it docks and charges and is preset to run again at 4:00pm! so 2x per day. I then run the Braava on MOP in the afternoons when i am at home since it is so QUIET. I bough about 14 re-usable mopping clothes and keep that going non stop! my floors have never been so clean! I have two basset hounds that not only shed but drool everywhere, and and one fluffy cat.

    • 11 golden retriever show dogs here so fur is always flying. I do the fur pickup like you all the time. Dusting is constant and vacuuming is a must. I’ve burned thru more vacuums than you can imagine. When it rains my house is a disaster… I feel like I clean all the time but the house doesn’t look it

      • Oh my goodness I am overwhelmed with 2 Golden’s and a cat! Yes the rain and mud from the melting snow have turned my floors into a mess! I just leave a stiffer wet sheet on the mop and try to hit it every time they go in and out! Love my Golden’s!

        • Please be careful with the Swifter, recent fb articles saying their cleaning compound contains traces of antifreeze. Pets have died from exposure to it over time!

        • Please read latesst warning about Swiffer Wetjet and dogs. One of the chemicals used in the Swiffer Wetjet is anti-freeze, toxic to animals who are attracted to it. JHW

          • I just looked this up because I had never heard it before. I use the Swiffer wet jet with the wood floor cleaner and I have a German Shepherd so I don’t want to take any chances of harming her. I googled it and first article that came up was an ASPCA article stating that they tested the cleaner and there is no reason to believe it’s harmful to pets. I typically only use the wet jet here and there for spills. I normally do all over floor cleaning with a Steamer, so just hot water, no chemicals. It’s up to you on whether you believe it’s safe but I wanted to share that the ASPCA are claiming it’s fine. I used to be crazy about keeping my house perfectly clean but after a couple kids, a bigger house, and a huge long haired German Shepherd I have almost given up. Good Luck!

          • I make my own WET JET fluid with 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup alcohol, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 Tab. cornstarch. Cleans windows and vinyl floors great using a Swiffer. Don’t use on auto or metal.

        • Please read latesst warning about Swiffer Wetjet and dogs. One of the chemicals used in the Swiffer Wetjet is anti-freeze, toxic to animals who are attracted to it. JHW

        • Watch out for wet jet products.
          The chemicals used in the solution are just one step away from antifreeze.
          If used on floors it Gert’s on their feet.

        • Faye Freeman says:

          Concerning your swiffer. I have just read an item about the swiffer wet jet that states that there is a chemical in the Swiffer cleaning fluid that is poisonous to dogs and most likely to all small animals. Someone had a healthy dog that died and they did, I guess it’s called an autopsy on animals as well, and his liver was so diseased the Vet said that was what killed him. It was determined that it was a chemical in the Swiffer cleaning fluid that killed him. I guess it gets on their feet and they lick their feet. I have two of these and small animals. Will not use again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get a Kirby. Lifetime warranty and you can put it in your kids name so it is their lifetime. Mine is a beast! Get the extras too.

    • Oh, I remember those dog show years so well! It was only my dog friends who were given permission to drop by without notice! Unfortunately, I never got this memo when I really needed it! Enjoy your furry friends!

      • Boston Terriers are great pets and don’t shed much at all – I rarely vacuum. Pugs are the opposite – short haired like Bostons but shed like crazy. Bostons also don’t need to be groomed – always look like they are in their tuxedos and ready to go. You can come to my house and not find pet hair to any degree. It was one of my considerations when choosing a breed – ease. They are fun, love to please you, kids love them, small so can fly under the seat in front of you, can share your bed without taking much space and are clean to take in the car (no shedding.)

  2. I’m good at getting the dishes done, but can’t seem to figure out ‘places’ for everything to exist that are not on some surface. I need to learn to either find a place or get rid of something.

    • You and me!

    • Go to the Container Store or some other store with closet, drawer, under bed organizers. You’ll be amazed how little you use something once it’s put out of reach.

      • Dollar Store

      • Anonymous says:

        If you need to store something out of reach because you don’t use it (other than seasonal stuff), do you really even need it?

        • I think that’s what she was saying. For some people it’s hard to let go of things. So putting out of sight and then a hear later when they realize they really haven’t missed it, it becomes easier to part with.

          • We call that the “soft delete” in my house.

          • Exactly what I am trying to learn to do !

            Mine comes from an abusive ex husband who ripped into me, verbally and psychologically, EVERY time I went to throw out/donate items.

      • Tats why anything I don’t use everyday is off to the resale shop. Only clothes and my multitude of canning supplies take up valuable space as this old farm house looks big but totally lacks closets/storage. You know you always reach for that certain knife or pan so why do we tend to have 5 more of each? Less stuff means way less stuff to pick up and clean around

      • Organized clutter is still just that – clutter.

    • I’ll pass along best tip I received for this problem. … “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Go to Ikea. I’m a neat freak and they have the best storage solutions.

    • Elizabeth Waukau says:

      I have a dedicated “Goodwill Box” that lives in our storage closet; whenever I have something that doesn’t seem to have a home, it goes in the box – when the box is full, we go through it Marie-Kondo style, and decide what to keep and what to toss. Kept things get an assigned home THAT DAY, toss things go. It’s amazing how easy it’s become for myself and my husband to reflect on what we really value and what we don’t, as well as a nice way to test how useful or loved the item is (sometimes we’ll go looking for something, only to find it in the box! Now we know – it’s useful & valued!)

      • It’s an annual ritual in late December to take that “goodwill box” to Goodwill and write it’s value off as a charitable contribution.

    • Mary Ellen Levine says:

      Clearing out those things that live in the cabinet where the stuff you really use is a great place to start. Can’t throw it out? Have a garage sale. My favorite method is to have a 25 cent table. People love a bargain and I hope my stuff finds a good home, just out of mine!

      • Great idea. Now all I need is a storage closet! Maybe a box on top of the dogs’ crates will work for now. Everything has to have a place in my house.

    • Barbara Treadway says:

      I recently figured out you don’t have to have all of your stuff out at once. I have a space where I store cute and pretty stuff and change out decor when I do seasonal cleaning. It makes everything fresh and I feel like I have had a shopping spree without spending money.

    • I use baskets in the bookshelves. All kinds of natural baskets from the Goodwill. Fun to see the variety and colors.

  3. Ione Brunt says:

    With cooking, my motto is “clean as you go”. Whenever I finish using a bowl or measuring cup or spoons, I toss them in the sink which is full of sudsy hot water, then either let them drain or dry them off & put away. Saves lots of time and kitchen is clean when I’m done cooking.

    • Hannah Taylor says:

      Exactly how I bake. I call it organizational baking. Once I got the hang of it, it was a breeze. I make sure that:
      1) Dishes are washed, dried, and put away,
      2) Counters are washed down thoroughly, and
      3) Trash is taken out before I even think of bringing out the baking supplies.
      I also wash as I go. By the time I’m finished baking, the kitchen is nearly spotless.

      • Mary Wright says:

        this also the way I do things. When I finish baking the job is done!!!!!!

      • That’s what I do also. It seems to slow me down, I’m never in the “prep time”, but that’s ok.
        I also try to clean up after my husband as he cooks. Sometimes he tolerates this, but sometimes he requests that I stop because I’m putting away items that he will still need to use. LOL.

      • Unsie Zuege says:

        So do I! It makes the baking part so much easier and fun, and less to clean up in the end.

    • Janice West says:

      My husband does the same thing. He’ll even clean BEFORE he starts cooking because it makes him feel better to start in a clean kitchen. He’s a jewel and I’m keeping him! But, after almost 49 years, who else could I get anyway?

      • I feel the same way about my husband. ❤ I joke abiut him being Mr. Clean ir my “white tornado”, but he’s my inspiration, my balance, and the love of my life. I pray that we have at least 49 years together since we married later.

    • I am most definitely a “clean as you go” cook. And I also clean the kitchen beforehand, too! There is no better feeling than having a meal ready and a clean kitchen. My wife, though…when she’s done cooking it looks like a tsunami hit!

  4. As a person with a tidy home, I applaud your concise list of the simple things NOT to do that will keep your space organized. I have two tips on how to leverage “wait time” to tidy: 1) while waiting for your tea kettle to boil or your microwave to heat your meal, put away the dry dishes in the dishrack or empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher (either task takes no more than 2 minutes to complete), and 2) while on hold on the phone, sort that pile of filing on your desk.

    • Yes they do.. I wake up cleaning and go to bed cleaning.. putting things in their place as the day goes. I have a Boxer and four Main Coons…


      Yes I’ve learned even waiting for my Keurig I put away or do what’s in sink.

  5. Ellen in Conn says:

    Tidy People Don’t Have Small Children Or Pets!!!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes actually they do…

    • Even when my three children were little my house was always tidy. When they got finished playing we had pick up time. So yes your house can be tidy with children. Of course it’s easier now they are teenagers because they know what Mom expects. It’s being consistent and persistent with children to keep a tidy house.

      • And THIS is exactly how you train adults to be tidy.

        • My mother cleaned house every single morning. She tried to teach my sister and I how to always put things away. The floor was never where anything belonged. However, neither of us got the neatness gene. As grown women with all children out of the nest, I do keep it better than I did. I know it must drive my mother crazy, but she seldom says a word. Lol

          • Agree! I am tidy, my son is not. I spent his age 1 – 9 years battling with him to pick up. My tidy self could not see how it just didn’t become a habit in all that time. Finally I realized it may just be internal, and I didn’t want to sacrifice our relationship for a clean bedroom. Now I just close the door. He’ll be gone before I know it, and then I’ll miss the mess. ;-)

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. There are so many that do not make their children pick up toys, etc. The children are not learning to be tidy if you do it for them.

        • they also won’t learn tidying habits if you clean after you send them to bed. I used to do that but realized early on that they can’t grow up thinking it all gets done “magically”! So, when they were about 4 we started with while they were putting toys into a box, getting ready to go somewhere, I was tidying around them, so they could ‘see’ the work being done and being done before any fun could commence, they are 40 now, with little ones of their own and keep a very neat house and I love to see the little ones,…tidying!

      • I am embarrassed to admit, I thought because I DID NOT take care of my stuff, I had no right to expect my kids to take care. How crazy is that?

    • Nellie Komar says:

      I was gonna ask for suggestions on how they do it. I can’t keep up with my 2 boys. A 2 yr old and 9 month old. I applaud anyone who can do it and would love to know how they do. And what their health is like. Mental and physical.

      • Does your 2 yr old mimic you, if so, they can mimic tidying.

      • Having fewer toys and a very clear simple organization method works wonders! Putting most toys out of sight and rotating every week or two. Placing clean up time before something really fun and then doing it “as a team”. Make it fun, part of a pretend scenario. Model it with your own belongings. Have age appropriate expectations about their attention span and ability. Be on their team.

      • I’ve found it helpful to have children “pick up ten toys”. “Okay, everybody pick up ten toys.” The young ones will do it to prove they can count to ten. The older ones will make it a contest and try to count higher or pick up faster.

        • Anonymous says:

          I like to pull stuff into a pile in the middle of the room so they can ‘see’ what needs doing. Then I’ll say “pick up all the things with wheels” or “things that go on your feet”… This will also make it a learning skill (categorizing) which is a prelude to math.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your 2 yo is perfect age 2 start helping mommy w small tasks. Being a helper w the 9 mo old gives the 2yo that big bother feeling.

      • Sometimes the resistance that comes with trying to train children to pick up can seem overwhelming. If you can find the fun in it it is so much easier. When my children were small we would make up silly pick up songs or I would call out ” pick up all the red toys, now pick up all the toys with blue, etc., etc.” Finding the fun in any task always makes it much more enjoyable.

      • I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old, we clean toys every night. It is just part of our routine. If you pull it out (3year old) we put it up too. She loves to vacuum with me and even helps in the kitchen. We have designated areas for toys and if they come into the living room then they get put away immediately. I have also made little areas to put toys away that are easy but still put out of sight. It can be done with kids but every day we do some cleaning…it is just part of our day everyday!

      • When my children were younger I had two laundry baskets tied together and when it was time to tidy up toys each put toys in their basket and I noted “All aboard” to signal end and they both rode in the “tidy train” to their rooms where each helped the other unload and place belongings in their rooms. If all went well and each were polite helpers we took an extra stroll around then back to their rooms for naps. All just fun and games for them but sweet precious memories for me!

    • Anonymous says:

      Or sloppy husbands who you don”t want to continually nag about his sloppiness!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep,1 hubby, 2 teenagers, and 3 dogs

    • Susan sharp says:

      Yes they do and we still keep our homes clean and tidy while raising our children and working 2 jobs as a single parent. It’s called time management and toddler training.

    • Paula A Masterpolo says:

      Not true…..I have been a tidy person since childhood (I’m 71 now), and I have a shepherd/retriever mix dog, and three indoor cats (used to have two children living at home also). I cannot sit down and read or watch tv until everything is done. I also clean up as I cook, much easier than doing it all at once. Also do things when I am put on hold, on the phone. Guess I’m a multitasker (used to be a secretary so you need to be organised).

      • Jennifer Beach says:

        Same. I clean as I cook, set aside a specific time each week for the bigger chores like cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming… but tidy each morning before work and each evening when I come home. I hate to wake up to a sink of dirty dishes, so they are the last thing I do each night before bed. I have a messy husband, children and pets, and kept things tidy even when I was working two jobs. Some people are just naturally more inclined to be tidy. My room was always neat, even when I was a teenager and then in college!

    • Uhm yes we do lol. I have to keep it tidy daily krill look like a tornado flew threw by the end of the week. 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids (one is a toddler), AND a husband. This house gets messy fast. We even live out where there’s mud everywhere. We just make sure to take care of a little bit here and there all day. Once the kids are passed out for the night, the hubs and I take care of the bigger stuff like laundry, dishes, garbage, and floors. I also do cleaning at nap time.

    • Very untrue. I have a 4 month old, a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Plus two dogs…

    • Even when I worked full time and had 2 children my house was always tidy. The rule was if you are playing and out looks messy that ius OK just put everything back where it belongs. H

    • Sorry to disagree. I have a toddler, two children, a messy husband, two big dogs, a cat, a fish tank and I manage a business full time. I still have a very tidy home. We still enjoy play dates with friends and I manage to get everything done and keep up on the house. Time management and good organizational skills keeps this wheel rolling. I do not “rest” until the job is done – I follow the now method not the I’ll do it later method. But hey, to each there own.

    • I didn’t with 3 kids, but my daughter has 2 kids, 4 dogs, and one cat, and her house always looks great. But, you may see a toy on the table or a coat on the chair, maybe even a dog toy that fell out of the pet bin. I love walking into a house where you can see life! Not clutter, just a knowing that a family lives there. It’s a warm feeling to me.

      • I’m with you in this. I like tidy, but I must not like it enough, because our house looks Very lived in. I’m ok with that.

    • That is not true…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they do! I have a 2 year old, 3 cats , and a puppy i keep a very clean house. Its not easy but if you keep it pulled togerher its eaiser to keep it that way!

    • Bonnie McManus says:

      Not true
      I have a 9 year old daughter
      6 dogs 2 cats and a bearded dragon.

    • Three cats, here. Very tidy home.

    • Not true! I have three little boys who seem to work against my tidy goals daily. They have their play time and take all of their toys out, but each toy has a place. My best suggestion is not to OVER organize toys. There was a time that i had the kids separate the hot wheels cars in one bin and the small Pokémon in another. Now I have one decorative wooden chest that sits behind the couch where ALL of the toys live. It simplifies clean up, and the kids clean up before bed each night. I still find myself putting away rogue toy cars that find their way to other rooms of the house, and it is sort of a constant. However, it’s also a habit. While my house isn’t always perfect, I would consider it to be a pretty tidy house especially considering the three little tornadoes that live here :-)

      • There is more than one way to do things. When my children were little I kept their toys in our huge walk in pantry and I kept the toy very organized. I called myself a “Toy Librarian.” I kept a combination lock on the door and I allowed them to only take one toy out at a time or maybe more if they had an idea of how they wanted to use the toys in a creative new way. They had to put things away to get something new. It really helped control the toys and sometimes they would figure out the combination but they would be careful putting things back so I didn’t catch on. Sometimes I would figure out that they had figured out the combination, but the system was working so I pretended not to know. It was a wonderland of things to do and every part was with the correct toy. I enjoyed keeping it up for them and it made their toys amazing even if they were old toys.

    • Yes, we have both

    • Nicole Barnes says:

      I have 4 huskies and I have to tidy as I go! I am constantly picking up toys and dog hair as I see them, and I have to vacuum a lot but my house is still tidy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Yes we do. I have 17, 11, 3 yr old, dog & 2 cats that shed bad. 3 yr old dusts with an old sock while we vacuum(daily) get them involved. All my kids have been taught since little. if I bring a load of laundry up and dump it on the bed to fold it, she is right beside me sorting socks and folding underwear. I will be patient if I don’t like the way she phones that after she leaves the room I refolded etc. it’s all in the training.

    • That’s not true I’m tidy and I have two cats and a dog! No kids, but my dog can be a kid vacuum (vacuuming kids messes not the kids themselves!)

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually have both! I try to tidy as I go. When I’m done with something I put it away. It really keeps things from getting out of hand and only takes a minute. Ask kids and husband to do the same. Not always perfect but don’t let it get crazy either!

    • When my three children were very young my house was messy for a couple years. It drove me crazy so I did some soul searching and figured out the tricks that made it not so overwhelming to stay neat. I worked full time as a single mom so it was rough don’t get me wrong. I have to admit though, now that I am an empty nester with 1 cat and a very neat partner things are much easier and less stressful. I would love a dog but just can’t imagine taking on the mess associated with it. The key for me to keeping a neat house while still maintaining peace and harmony was simplifying my life (firm believer of donating everything if I didn’t use it within a year, limited kids activities to one at a time per child etc.)and learning time management skills. I can’t believe the amounts of pets and children that some people on this blog have reported. It gives me anxiety just imagining everything that comes with that. I give you all credit.

    • Karen Vincent says:

      People with a lot of children are the master organizers. If they are not, they will drown in stuff. I knew a family with eight children. If something was left out of place it was locked in one particular closet and held hostage until a chore was done to ransom it out. One of the daughters had a friend over and the girl left her tote bag on the floor. it went into the closet!

    • Anonymous says:

      or jobs

    • Yes they do. I changed my home with younger school aged kids by stopping the nagging and instead asking, “Who are you leaving this for?” The look of remorse on their face when they think about it and truly understand they’ve left their mess for Mama to pick up, again, is the true teacher and a lesson that stuck with them. Now a gentle “Who is this left for?” reminder sends them packing it up instead of being forced to admit they left it for me to clean. I have less strict expectations for their own bedroom space but they do understand communal space is to be kept clean, particularly because I bring clients into our home and they understand our income depends on how well-kept things are here.

    • I’m tidy and a have small children and pets. Lol I just pretty much never get to sit and rest peacefully.

  6. Charlene Caldwell says:

    As a tidy person I do something everyday small or large to improve my home. You can find it as you are keeping your home tidy.

    • Nellie Komar says:

      I was gonna ask for suggestions on how they do it. I can’t keep up with my 2 boys. A 2 yr old and 9 month old. I applaud anyone who can do it and would love to know how they do. And what their health is like. Mental and physical.

      • Get out as little as possible at a time (one toy instead of the whole toy box) and have them put it away (or help you if too small) as soon as they’re done playing with it before another toy can come out. Do as much in a trip as you can: If you’re walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, bring the dirty clothes to the laundry room and start a load on the way or carry the Goodwill box to your car when leaving the laundry room. As much of a pain as it is, don’t just put things down; always immediately put whatever you’re using in its place…don’t just set it on the coffee table/bar/etc. Whatever helps you keep it as clean as you need it is important because your kiddos are watching and will do whatever it is that you do when they grow up.
        P.S. There are definitely times (sick kids, vacation week, etc.) where you do just let it all go!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Awesome article, thank you. Due to living in a small space were trying to be tidier than we once were. No one wants to get rid of anything lol. So homes must be found! Thank you for the encouragement that we are the right path!!

  8. I’ve been called a Neatnik. If you need to convince yourself or someone in your house, it’s very simple – 5 minutes of cleaning up is way better than 10 or worse, 20. So, when there are 5 minutes or less of dishes in the sink, wash them, don’t wait until it’s 10 minutes worth. Same with many other tidying up chores. Do it while it’s small. I never regret doing 4 minutes of dishes, I always regret having to do 20 minutes of dishes. :)

  9. Doris Thompson says:

    So.. what is the agreement of the free kit. I know there is a commitment for future purposes and would like to know something about it. I love Mrs Meyers products… Thanks!

    • When you sign up you get a free 60 day VIP trial (which includes free shipping) as long as you cancel within 60 days you won’t be charged you also have to actually buy $20 worth of product but it’s still a great deal!

  10. Samm seals says:

    I have learned the tricks to keep tidy. It’s the actual clean hat doesn’t fit in. Our house appears tidy. I just know it’s dirty. Lots of surgeries, my hubs doesn’t want to do the work, and doesn’t want to pay anyone. And doesn’t want the church in. So many ideas so good,

    • Sandi Feller says:

      Don’t you have any vote! If he doesn’t want to pay then tell the church volunteers to come and clean!If he objects then tell him he has three choices. 1. Do it himself2. Hire someone to clean. 3 Let Church clean.. If he doesn’t agree to any I’d kick him out or I’d leave. I’m not anyone’s servant am willing to pull my own weight but refuse to be taken advantage of.

  11. Let’s face it. Some people were just born with the tidy jean. These are people that wake up early, get stuff done. Doers. Then there’s the rest of us. I want to be tidy, and I get in these cleaning moods, but it’s just not in my DNA. Rather than feel bad about it, I’ll call it the “universe trying to balance things out.”

    • I had the never sit still mother! The super do it all Mom! It overwhelms me today how she doesn’t sit still even today! She tried her best to get me to be organized! Well I was a mess for many years then something happened! I realized I had to learn to organize my time! I plan time to clean up as I get up in the morning if I have somewhere to go! I get things ready the night before to make things easier to get out the door and to have those few extra minutes to put things away! You can do a lot in 5-10 minutes! I will admit marrying a man who runs circles around me and reminds me of my never sit till the list is all checked off helps! They don’t say that’s a mans job or a woman’s job! We work as a team so at the end of the night we can sit for a few hours doing something we enjoy! We cook together, clean up, even switch and fold laundry together, he dust (I’m allergic to dust) I organize! We do what we are good at and help with what we are not! When grandkids come I have to make myself relax and have fun! I make them clean up if time allows before they leave and pu as soon as they leave! Even when they are here they love helping with laundry, dishes or whatever I’m doing!
      So organize your time, even if it’s planning 5-10 minutes in the morning and after work! Work as a team!
      If I can change from the person who’s father would say, if only we could build closets on the floor!

      PS Everyone reuse the same cup all day! For families, assign a cup to each person! Just rinse it out if you want a new drink but always use the same cup! All dishes in the dishwasher at the end of the night and Always run the dishwasher or wash the few dishes by hand so it’s clean for the next day!

  12. Jane Lantz says:

    One trick I learned and taught my boys was to take care of 20 things. When they were little and very competitive they always were all about winning. House was clean in no time! I still count to twenty, but never get there because I generally tidy all day. Everything has a place.

    • Figuring out places for things is my problem. If I put things away, ‘out of sight, out of mind’. I’ll forget to send something or that I already have three tubes of toothpaste and buy more!

  13. I suck at keeping my house tidy. Laundry is my downfall. There is always baskets full of clean clothes. I hate folding laundry always have. Plus having three teenage boys and a husband who works oilfield. I was a lot tidier when they were all little I was also a full time student back then ana worked a part time job. Now I’m home all day and it’s always cluttered lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was that way with the laundry but now I automatically fold it or hang it as I take it out of the dryer. Always seemed easier to put off folding if in a laundry basket and stashed in the bedroom plus things aren’t wrinkled.

    • I have 6 kids, ages 1-15. Here’s what we do for laundry. Each has their own laundry basket in their bedroom. They have to have it in the laundry room by noon on Saturday. I wash, dry, and then give it back to them. They are required to put it away before they can do anything else. We’ve done it that way for year and it works great! I usually take all of the jeans out and wash them together so they aren’t so hard on other clothes. I just hand those out to be folded when they are done, or do them first and add them to their clean baskets when they’re done. It works great and laundry is done by Sunday evening :)

      • Oh, yeah..I hearthat. I Can’t get to the washing machine easily…I use a walker. My husband will put the wash in, but then I have to bag to get him to put in the dryer…then,get him to bring it in the hkuse…which can happen at any time.
        If I am in bed for the night, it is a big deal to get out again. So, depending on where he dumps it.
        If dishes are left, I get to them, first thing.
        But then I get behind.And transporting piles of clothes are hard.
        Haha, I have 2 guest rooms…here aremade, closets EMPTY, except for extra blankets,and pillows. Doors kept SHUT…because it keeps dog, and messy husband out.
        And, frankly, me, too
        Because I know that clean laundry would get dumped on
        the beds, and build up.
        I have a filed area,that I can zip around in my desk chair that includes the kitchen…I Try to have all that stuffthere..so I can deal with it…there is a lot of carpeting here, that is hard to navigate.
        So, guest rooms, guest ready, and shut, and carpeted areas relatively clutter free. But, kitchen, and area nearby is up for grabs.😀

    • I find folding laundry boring, but I always put on an episode of TV on Netflix when the laundry comes out, and fold as I watch.

      • Karen Vincent says:

        You MUST get yourself a Flip Fold! Not only does it make folding fun but your clothes end up unwrinkled and really flat so you can put more in less space. I recently replaced mine after weekly use for 14 years. I would not do laundry without it!

  14. Everyone seems so obsessed with cleaning and a “tidy” (perfect) house,and never sitting down on the floor with their children and “playing” with them, or sitting with their hubby eating popcorn watching a good movie together, or sitting and talking with a teenager who seems to be “down”. Are these super tidy places “houses”to look at or “homes” to live in? The cold look of a bare counter or tabletop just doesn’t reflect the personality of the people who live there! Some of this constant cleaning borders on OCD and is nothing to brag about. I’d much rather enter a warm, inviting messy home (that puts people at ease at first sight!) than a spotless, uptight home where everyone is too busy tidying to sit down and chat with friends over a cup of coffee, tea,etc. Young mothers enjoy your babies, toddlers, children, teens and they will thank you when they are grown that you didn’t put a tidy house first!

    • Amen🙏🏼👍🏼❤️

    • Anonymous says:

      Very nicely put – priorities!

    • There is balance in everything! A family learning early on to work as a team makes for more fun and relaxing time together! When you have kids, everything is not 80% or 100% perfect but systems and expectations can be put in place to make not only your Home clean, but help them with the schooling, when they get a job and when they become parents! Everywhere we go there are expectations, systems and such!

      Yes I live in a lived in Home that’s picked up and we have several hours together each night! There are times occasionally where I have to do something as I watch TV show we like or get up during commercials! Hen you have friends over , you prepare what you can before they come, talk while you finish dinner and they You and your spouse clean up together and allow your friends to help! It gets done fast! I’d never go to a friends house and not offer to help clean up dinner! I wouldn’t want them to have to clean up after! The more hands to clean the less time it takes and I get to stay longer cause they aren’t thinking about all the dishes they need to do later! Team work!!!! At home, Work, School or playing games! It’s life!

    • What is funny, my children are grown with kids of their own, they say they are glad I taught them the value of being tidy and organized, no frantic rushing around to find things they need for school, etc.
      They remember the good fun times and how messy the house got and how much fun we had cleaning it.
      They remember, clean your room, asking, clean, or mama clean.
      I don’t judge anyone for choosing how to live, but neither do I automatically condemn and judge that someone with a tidy house neglects the emotional and spiritual well being of their children

    • Ha, actually they do. I have always picked up my house before I walked out the door, even when my children were toddlers. As they grew, they learned to pick up the “common “ areas of our house. I didn’t fuss about their bedrooms, that was not a hill worth dying for, but the rest of the house was tidy.
      As far as pets are concerned, I have a basket which held my terrier’s dog toys. She pulls them out at will, but hasn’t learned to put them back in.

    • A tidy house does not mean that your family is being neglected. I was able to spend time with my children, who are now adults and have told me that they always knew they were cherished , and keep a tidy home.

      A friend walked into my house and said “it looks like no one lives here” I replied “No, it look like I live here”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because your house is clean it doesn’t mean that your family is neglected. My children, now adults, have told me that they appreciate their childhood and that they always felt loved and cherished.

      A friend told me that my house looked like nobody lives there. I replied “no it looks like I live here.”

  15. Just clean as you go. I don’t leave one room without carrying something along that can be dropped off on the way. It’s fairly easy to stay on top of things with just a little effort. The Everything has a Home rule is the number 1 rule in my home. Make a decision now about anything that comes into the home, and you won’t have clutter. My kids are teens now and there is no stress in the air about keeping things tidy. I don’t see how keeping a tidy home infringes on quality time with your family as some posters have stated. I know for myself keeping things tidy gives me MORE time with my family because it saves time! Tidying is just what you do as you move along in your home. Never go empty-handed. I’m in my office right now and kids are asleep and before I go to bed I will take the precisely one minute necessary to put things away before I leave this room. Just makes common sense.

    • Yep – how’s that for a short reply. Another trick I use is to do the thing that will make the biggest difference first – that motivates me to finish the job. I also try not to make messes so I don’t have to clean up a mess (like doing messy things over the sink or trash can.) My brother is a master chef but you have to use a hose to clean up the place afterwards.

  16. I understand some of what the “neat freaks” or “Miss. Tidybowl’s of of the world would think of my home! It would be OMG!! What is wrong with that woman???!!! Well, after having multiple people come and go (moving in & out of our home-family with multiple kids and non-family without Kids) and after my husband and I have both suffered multiple severe health issues I just can’t get a handle on things anymore!! We have a HUGE home and I love it but I is overwhelming to say the least to think about cleaning every square inch of it in even a week!! I have fibromyalgia and just underwent a spinal fusion so I am once again down for the count on energy to do much i the way of major cleaning! We have a grown daughter that lives with us that you would think I’d asked her to cut her leg off to just load and start the dishwasher!! I just don’t even know where we went wrong there. My husband is so tired from working 50-60 hrs a week that he just doesn’t have enough energy to do 1/2 of what needs done so there you are!! We do what we can but I would LOVE to have my OCD clean freak other daughter come over to just help out but she so busy on Facebook and raising her kids she just doesn’t have time. She has gone so far as to indicate that our home is embarrassingly dirty because it not up to her standards! She said that she would never leave her stove top dirt because it’s embarrassing if someone would come over and see it! It would also be embarrassing for someone to see things not in order when they were to come over. In my opinion if someone doesn’t like the way my house looks then that’s fine by me, I can only do so much so just stand outside or drive on by!! I am happy in my home knowing that I have done all I can for the day!!

    • Concerned says:

      If you are in need, perhaps you should reach out to your community church, hospice, doctor, or social worker, and see if you could get a little help cleaning your home. In your situation I wouldn’t expect an immaculately clean house, but for health reasons you need the Surface ares where you prepare, cook, and eat food 🥘 to be clean.

    • I would certainly hope no one would judge the cleanliness of your home given your situation. Instead of judging you, if they would even dare, they need to roll up their sleeves and lend you a helping hand. I’d do it for you if I knew you!


    • This to me, says “don’t live”. Don’t craft. Don’t make cookies…etc…
      I’m not trying to Brogan negative. I just can’t seem to find the middle ground.

      • 10 minutes the night before to prepare for the next day, 10 minutes to start your day, 10 minutes in the middle of your day makes for one clean house! If each person does that in your house, that’s a lot of cleaning and organizing! If you are married, that team Work! Makes A home livable, more fun and a great relationship! 10,10 & 10! You can do it!

  18. Thirty—One has great organizational products, with a sale going on this month. Shop here: http://www.mythirtyone.com/83873. Also an outlet sale through 1/14/2018!

  19. Ok, where did you put the camera?? Dancing with the Stars is my dirty little secret! The world stops and that includes the dishes! Anyway, that’s what commercials are for : )

  20. Love reading all these how to keep things clean tips! I am not, by nature a REAL tidy person, but I’m not a complete slob either. (My sister got that clean/organizational gene!) I also think that people who are naturally tidy look at the messes of cleaning up than those of us who are not naturally that way. One of my problems, too seems to lie in my mail piling up all the time! I know, sort as it comes in & I’ve gotten to where I do, but the mail I don’t throw away & “put aside to look at later,”‘ later seems to pile up quickly & suddenly is too big a pile to tackle, so it ends up being put off. I was wondering what the tidy ppl do w/theirs? Also, what are the tips the tidy ppl have for keeping cabinets/closets organized? I can organize them, but they don’t seem to stay that way! And my laundry room, which is big so it’s also a storage room, (has the furnace & water heater in there as well), whew! The tidy ppl would have a heart attack if they saw it! I need to work on cleaning it, big it seems overwhelming & daunting so it keeps getting off. Let’s just go ahead & say I’m organizationally challenged. I envy the ppl who can just look at a space & seem to “automatically” know what to do w/things. It’s weird I can do it in other’s houses, like if I’m visiting my kids & it needs tidying a little, (most all of them keep neat & tidy homes), I can jump in & do it easily before I leave & they really appreciate it, just not my own! :/

    • *look at the messes of cleaning up DIFFERENTLY

    • You don’t have to clean and organize your laundry room at one go. Just set a timer for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes and when it goes off, just leave the room. You’d be amazed how much you can get done in that amount of time. Next day do the same, and it will eventually get done and you won’t have been stressed about doing the entire job at one time.

  21. LizzieLouThatsWho says:

    My mother couldn’t sit still for always picking up or cleaning something. As a child she was constantly on us kids to always be doing something and we could never rest! If we were watching a movie she would have to interrupt to tell us what we didn’t do! I stated on alert all the time. After my parents divorced and she was hardly home because she was dating and having her own fun, I finally was able to rest and be at peace.
    In my home, I clean the main things and don’t sweat the small stuff. I hate being ruled by things especially a cellphone. It’s for my convenience and not the other way around!
    If you have less things then you don’t have to find places for them. Less is more.
    All these decorations and tchotchkes just add clutter and make it hard to find your eyeglasses, keys, cellphone etc. Keep it simple!

  22. Things tend to pile up in my bathroom. My cabinets were overflowing and I had baskets and extra drawer thingies to put things in. We’ve been traveling a lot recently, so I have left my travel bag with my cosmetics and toiletries in it sitting on the bathroom counter between trips. Eventually, I realized everything I use daily, or even weekly was in that bag. There were about three things I was reaching into a drawer or cabinet for when I was home. So I kept those things and threw everything else away! Now I have tons of space, and my bathroom is neat!

  23. Cari Gammage says:

    If you pick it up, don’t put it down, put it away.

  24. Clutter, or as my son calls it, organized chaos, relaxes me. I’m uncomfortable in a house with minimal decorations and furniture. That being said, I’m also pretty damn uncomfortable when I’m in a cluttered house that’s not organized well. I’m not messy, but I’m also not tidy. I’m somewhere in the middle and I’m fine with that. My home always feels homey and comfortable and my guests always relaxed. There’s something to be said for that.

    • Lesa Johnson says:

      I so agree ! My kitchen and bathrooms are mopped /vacuumed dusted and washed weekly. I do my dishes every day. I do, however cherish time with friends and family. I host all the big gatherings. My pantry and closets are cluttered to overflowing and I choose joy and not stress over it. I live in an old house with older things and it’s very comfy. When a girlfriend comes over I have blankets, slippers, a glass of wine or more in the cupboard, and we can write a song or have a good cry ( I’m a musician, a widow, an empty nester and a financial advisor in my day job ) so coming home sometimes the stovetop gets left after I cook for relaxation. I have dogs, cats, chickens and I Do want to tidy more efficiently but as my mother says, “it’s not my area of giftedness,”. Many of my very tidy friends and family have a lot of paid help in and around the house but they never admit to that. Balance … reasonable … personal and to each their own .
      Now, where is my GoodWill box gonna go ? Hahah !

  25. Ronda Reynolds says:

    Where did you get your stainless and wood tea kettle? Love it!

  26. Mary Ellen Levine says:

    Clearing out those things that live in the cabinet where the stuff you really use is a great place to start. Can’t throw it out? Have a garage sale. My favorite method is to have a 25 cent table. People love a bargain and I hope my stuff finds a good home, just out of mine!

  27. Try flylady.net. It is a step by step way out of chaos.

  28. But where am I supposed to put my laundry basket if not the floor? It’s too big to go anywere else…

  29. My mother always worked a full time job, made supper every night also. She did all her major cleaning on saturdays. My father died at 49 years of age. My mom said her biggest regret was telling him no when he ask her to go somewhere with him because she had to clean. There are so many more important things to do than clean. When I’m old I want to remember the fun things I did not that I kept a clean house.

  30. I just feel better all around when my house is clean and tidy. I do exactly what the article says, I am in a constant state of cleaning and tidying and marathon clean at least once a week. My family has made fun of me for this as long as I can remember. I’ve been called a clean freak, OCD, and told I am missing out on the good things in life. Personally, I think its a good quality not a bad one. My world is more centered when my home is in order.

    • Me Too! I’m always organizing anything in front of me. My boyfriend calls me a busy body but he appreciates me for being this way. I can’t leave dishes in the sink, I clean and dry and put them up then I’ll sit down and join him. We don’t have much time since he gets home around 7:30 and we go to bed by 10 to 10:30.

  31. Shelli Aderman says:

    And apparently, “Tidy people” don’t have have children, jobs, pets, or a life, either!


    • Simone Beaudelaire says:

      Agree. There’s just too much to do each day. I come home from work as my husband leaves. That’s just me, four kids and three cats five evenings a week and much of the weekend. One of the kids is a baby. There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep everything perfect, and it was so liberating to stop trying. I’m not superwoman. I can’t do it all, so I prioritize. What’s important? Family, work, and a good home-cooked meal. What isn’t important? A few clean dishes drying in the sink. A backpack on the floor. A basket of laundry waiting to be folded.

  32. Cathy Humphrey says:

    My rule was, as soon as they are okay to play without me right there. which was about four..all toys belong in the bedroom. that is where you play. The living room (we had no “family room” ) was for talking, reading (if not done in the bedroom), visiting, and tv together.

  33. I laughed out loud when reading, “Tidy people run out of cleaning supplies.”

  34. Wait, “don’t run out of cleaning supplies”…I guess I’m not as tidy as I thought. I run out of supplies all the time because I use them. LOL.

  35. It’s not a free kit and this kind of advertising really isn’t honest.

  36. One trick I figured out to keep my sink clean and perfect at all times. Is I have a tiny dishwashing basin under the sink and whenever the dishwasher is running and someone has a dirty dish, I bring out the basin and put the items in the basin. The sink stays dry and sparkling. I despise a wet dirty sink. When the dishwasher frees up again, I put the dishes in the basin in the dishwasher, rinse and dry it and put it back under the sink.

  37. So… the secret to having a Clean Home is to clean all the time basically. How on earth are you supposed to find time to clean constantly when you’ve got kids to take care of and every time you leave a room you come back to another mess?? How are you supposed to maintain any semblance of sanity or get any time to yourself if you’re continually cleaning and cleaning and cleaning?? I tried the “see a mess, clean it up” method and I would go three or four hours without sitting and by the time I get back to my living room it’s a mess because my toddler (who I tried to keep in the same room as me but she gets bored) has strewn all her toys across the room. Add to that a husband who works all day and feels no obligation whatsoever to help when he gets home and it’s a recipe for disaster. At some point I have to decide whether my kids are the priority or an immaculate house.

  38. Nancy Berger says:

    I can’t help but notice that every single comment is from women (unless the anonymous ones are men)! What does that – about women and men?!

  39. Different personalities need different things. Lots of folks can tolerate disorder, but others get depressed and cranky. There is no right way to do this. What is important is to assess your own situation and look at it analytically. Are there toys too many toys? Does your child have too many choices? Have you organized your home well? Are you training your children to pick up after themselves instead of expecting you to do that for them all of the time? Do you really have enough to storage space? Do you need to remove decorative items (like decorative pillows on the couches). Sometimes there are simple solutions that keep you from having to work so hard all of the time.

  40. Less things in the nest, less things to tidy up. I am constantly picking up clothes from the floor, three kiddos and a husband, I feel like I should just spend my time at home crawling to pick them up. I am about to start paying them 25 cents per article of clothing and see if that works. Happy tidying up!

  41. Beth Johnson says:

    I love my cordless Dyson Stick vacuum – got it during Amazon prime week and I don’t know how I did without it. Two cats and a dog, porcelain plank tile floors. I have the Dyson hanging in my utility room and its so easy to grab it whenever I see dust bunnies/fur. My best investment ever! I vacuum with my Kirby every couple of weeks, but the cordless Dyson is my go-to for spot pick ups. I’m a neat freak, but its been a challenge. I down-sized from a 2300 square foot house to my mother’s basement when she needed someone to live-in. After she died, I’ve been slowly moving upstairs and have finally just about completed the purge (took me over 2 years).

  42. Tidy People need a hobby LOLOLOLOL apparently they don’t have children. (kidding here people)) #GOALS

  43. I call it ADD cleaning, as it suits my diagnosis. I dropped the expectation to complete an entire cleaning task and instead contribute just a few minutes to whatever needs done in whatever room I’m in, wherever I go. Somehow it all gets done. For me, it can feel overwhelming to look at an entire space or list and know where to start, or to feel like I can’t possibly complete it all, so deciding to just wash five dishes, or sweep one floor, prevents me from deciding I don’t have time and shouldn’t do anything at all.
    I convince myself that cleaning is therapeutic and do it to destress the way some people eat chocolate. I feel pride when people walk into my space and remark at how good it feels, and that’s nicer to me than not having to clean or buying more trinkets. If it doesn’t have a home, out it goes. If I have sentimental attachment to an object but otherwise don’t use it, I do a soft delete and put it in a bin in the laundry room or garage for a month or so and if I don’t think of it again, out it goes. If I want to buy a new thing, I have to already know where it will live and how it will be used before I pull out my money. I don’t save things that might be useful or are only used once in a blue moon, especially if I have a friend with the same item that I can borrow as needed. I am weary of buying more stuff to organize my stuff- that just doubles my stuff. And when all else fails, I imagine someone I respect a lot having to go through everything I own and deal with it after I die, and if I feel embarrassed, I start a massive cull and never regret it.

  44. Elizabeth H. says:

    This was a lovely gift to read as I’m working on this too. Trying to convince myself cleaning is relaxing and enjoyable. I love the end result, process not so fun.

    I understand you have to push your sponsors but it takes all the joy out of it for me. Esp as I work with people with multiple chemical sensitivities and a lot of what is promoted as natural is anything but….
    Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine for example – there is no disclosure of this chemical (yes it’s a chemical, whether they describe it as a “mild surfactant” or not) and its toxicity. If it’s so safe, why aren’t they showing us. To name one ingredient….. There are lovely things in it. but to make it stable and work the way most people like = chemicals, Crunchy and attractive packaging notwithstanding

  45. When my girls were small (7 and 4), they used to love being on the floor at my feet playing with pans, dishes, spoons and such. I gave them one cabinet to use with their dishes, pans, empty food container and told them to organize it however they wanted it. I think my husband even added a wooden divider at their request. After play time, all the dishes had to be put in their cabinet before we ate so they would rush to get it done. Later, they started re-organizing my other cabinets because we had accumulated so many new items. I would even allow them to change around the entire pots and pans area to another part of the kitchen. Before long, we were organized, we all knew where everything was stored and they grew up to be cleaning machines just like their momma.

    • Excellent. You made it a challenge, something to be part of instead of you follow MY organization. My daughter enjoyed making a check-off sheet for cleaning her room then seeing how fast she could check them off – a game. I’m 60 and still do the same myself, a little challenge, do something during the commercial or such, or when the sun is shining on something (and you really see the dust) clean that one sunny spot – silly but kind of fun.

  46. I like a clean house but keeping my floors clean seems impossible. I have wood and tile floors and its a lot of work keeping them clean. Seems that 5 minutes after 3 hours of hard work vacuuming and mopping I’m back to where I was. Dishes and keeping things tidy not a problem but those doors will be the death of me! Of course my two boxers don’t make things easier!

  47. Tidy people don’t have fun because they spend all their time cleaning up!!

  48. 1. Stuff that belongs upstairs goes on the step. Going up? MUST bring up item and put it in proper place. Same with going down. Rule in my house.
    2. Five minute dishes rule. I do the dishes for 5 minutes 4 times a day while watching the birds at the bird feeder and then on a commercial during my favorite shows. Do a pot every commercial. No commercials? Turn on a song and do the dishes until the song is over.
    3. I don’t buy “stuff”. I save to retire and save to travel. When I’m dead, people will just throw it all out anyway.
    4. Once you read a book, you’ve read it. It’s not doing anyone any good by sitting on a shelf. Share that book with other book lovers so they can read it too.
    5. So true about nothing being on the floors. Why would you have things on the floor and not just buy a bookshelf or closet storage bin? Look at what you have, but the right tool for the job.
    6. Even if you can’t get the laundry done, throw it in a closet with a door. I’ll never understand why people throw piles of clothes on the couch. Just throw it in the closet in a basket and shut the door until you can get to it.
    7. You actually can change your brain by saying to yourself well that was easy. Doing the dishes this way is so easy I’ll do them like this again tomorrow. I grew up in a packrat, messy home and my home is very neat=)

    • I, too, grew up in a messy house (mom worked so 4 kids didn’t help because the others weren’t helping.) I could never find anything as a kid – loved going to my grandmother’s where everything was in its place. I remember never being able to find the scissors because no one put them away after they used them. All 4 of us are neat-niks now but we REALLY should have helped out our mother – maybe she should have REQUIRED it. I never felt like bringing anyone home because of the mess and didn’t want my kid to feel the same way. She helped growing up but I admit to doing most of it because I wanted it a certain way. Now we ALL FOUR help our parents a great deal – elderly – they don’t have to raise a finger – guess we’re finally helping.

  49. Two comments:
    I agree with the person who likes a clean house, just not the process of getting there.
    The second — it’s a matter of perspective. I mentioned to my neighbor about how her house always was cleaner & neater than mine, to which she said she felt the same way about her friend Sally.
    To each our own 8-)

  50. Tra, I am a tidy person, because I have a housekeeper of thirty ye who allows me todo what p love ❤ as she tidy’s.!

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