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.

untidy

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…

barn

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!

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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.

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

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how to have a clean house #cleaning
 

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Comments

  1. Apparently I’m tidy. I wondered and then I read this and realized YES! I’m tidy! ALL these things apply to meeeeee! Here is the skinny: there is NO rest for the tidy.

    • Love this and all true!

    • I’m exactly the same way. Everything has to be in its place

    • I see myself in each point made. Clean up as you go and I cannot sit down and watch tv or read a book if everything hasn’t been cleaned or put away. Added to my routine thanks to Santa is my roomba “Dusty.” Where have you been all my life?

      • Yass!!! Mine took the name Chico because of somethin funny my husband said but gotta say being tidy has been much more simple since Chico has now come into our lives lol

    • I’m tidy until I can’t be. I always cleanup after the invasion of the crumb snatchers.

    • You are so right! I can’t rest until I have my house in order! I am OCD like that!

      • Amgelyn Coleman says

        Om OCD and always gi d sk.et

        I’m OCD and always can find something to clean .if I cant find something to clean then I’m rearranging . HELP!

    • Soooooo true!! That’s me all day long!!!

    • Sooo true…I’m one of them!

    • Barb Jones says

      Keep the kitchen and bathrooom clean and enjoy life in the rest of the house. Most people are more comfortable in a house that looks like people live there. Unless you have a maid that frenetically runs behind you with a wet wipe and lemon scented spray, don’t sweat the small stuff.

      • Joyce Barton says

        I agree with Barb. If you can t feel comfortable in your own home. Where will you feel comfortable?

        • Judy
          I’m a neat freak. Love a clean and tidy home. And I enjoy my home because it is clean and tidy. I feel comfortable and happy

          • I am the same way!! I love my home and appreciate and respect all that I have. Keeping my home clean and tidy makes me very happy and full of pride.

          • Beth Grant DeRoos says

            And if we take care of what we have we save money, since we are not having to replace items. I became depressed when I was unable to clean and keep our place tiny and clean.

      • Anounimous says

        That’s me. I clean as I cook and put things back up so that when I’m readt to eat.the only thing to wash are the dishes we’re eating out of or serving. Otherwise I’ll feel overwhealmed. I wasn’t that way for the major part of my life. I finally learned in my layer years when all the Children were off and married. I also keep a tidy bathroom. I enjoynrhe rest of the house.

    • Don’t need the tray, one more piece of clutter. Thank you!

    • True!

    • Renee Hamptom says

      Now. Tidy up all the extra words over explaining yourself. Just needed the titles. Don’t like wasting time with all the extra words. Tidy that up. The longer it gets the less interested. Good article though.

    • My #1 rule is everything has a home. If you use it put it back where you found igmt. It has a home. I love it when I come home and its clean and I sigh ahhh im home………….
      Rather then, when home is disaster city and I get home and sigh ughhhh.

    • And being tidy keeps you skinny!

    • Me too! True! We’re little bees!

    • Absolutely

    • You’re right!!! No rest for us!!

    • Shirley Brown says

      This is so me! I do this from the time I wake up until I sit down for the evening. I will start with making the beds first and then go and do something on my phone or watch a program on TV. I will then get up and tidy up the kitchen while I eat my breakfast and go throughout my day and tidy as I go it does make it a lot easier and in the end the two main rooms the bathroom and the kitchen are always clean everyday

  2. I am tidy but I do have baskets on the floor. I also have a lot of things up that require much dusting‼️

  3. My Mom Always had a sin full of dish soap & while cooking she washed dishes as she cooked & if you get in a habit of “cleaning as you go” it becomes automatic & wala! We always had sparkling counter tops , sink this way! Quite simply! I so like the coziness of these pictures gives me ideas! Thank for sharing! Happy New Year! 👏😄👍💕

    • Well I always thought I was tidy and now this confirms it! My motto is less is best.

    • I always wash as i’m cooking. When we are finished eating the only thing to wash are the cups or glasses, plates and silver. It’s great!

    • I realize it’s my compulsion, but I see “wala a lot nowadays… and I realize people only hear it, and don’t get a chance to read it. It’s actually voilà, which sounds like wala. FYI. Ok I’m done 😇. My home is medium messy most of the time…

      • I was thinking the same thing! 😜

      • Thank you, Paul! I was feeling like a Grammar School teacher and cringed with “wala”!!! Thanks for your post!

        • Me too!

        • I’m right there with you! 😁. Still- tips were good. I’m moving to a home half the size end of this month. Tidy isn’t my norm. We got rid of a lot but more to do. In next home I will have to figure out how to keep things off the floor (son’s 70 lb backpack, his dance bag, our work bags/computers that travel back and forth). If I can figure that out, THEN I’d say voila!!!

          • Touché

          • Maybe you can try stashing the bags in something like a cubby shelf, which can provide an additional flat surface to minimally decorate, or a wardrobe cabinet if you prefer to also keep them out of sight.

          • Can each person place there bags & things in there rooms as they walk in or maybe in the washroom..if possible hang them on a hook on a door or wall or in a closet just food 4 thought?

      • It’s actually pronounced VWAH-LA’ with the accent in the second syllable. There is no W sound.

        • The only way to properly post “wa-la” is to go to Google and let it figure out what you’re trying to say. Done this many times. Then – “voilà!”

      • Thank you! This bothers me as well. I also am uncomfortable with “I’m OCD like that”. I have diagnosed OCD. You can have OCD, but you are NOT OCD.

        • Hoarding is also a form of OCD. It’s funny how it became associated with only ‘clean’ habits… as it describes ALL obsessive compulsions … many of which are dirty and unhealthy.

        • THANK YOU!!!

          • Me too. I get nervous when my house is too neat. I hired a cleaning lady to shame me into neatness and it is working it into neatness. It is working. She is here for 3 hours whether she is working or finished. She is now sitting more than cleaning.

        • What the writer meant to say and doesn’t know it is I’m OCPD. It’s totally different from OCD. People with OCPD prefer and like things in specific ways. People with OCD haven’t a choice and it can be a nightmare.Unfortunately Hollywood hasn’t helped in this area.

      • Yep, my compulsion as well! ☺️ Thank you.

      • Merci for the correction.

      • Suzan Rust says

        That wala is one of my pet peeves. You are right about the spelling, but it should sound like “vwala.” 😉

        • It is spelled, “Voila”. Sometimes I let things go because I feel so drained of energy due to my pain meds. I think those with autoimmune conditions can understand my struggle, here. When things are messy they are really messy. But, when things are tidy, they are REALLY tidy. I have a basket on the floor that holds my magazines. But, nothing else is on the floor.

          • Donna, I have auto immune issues too, However, I don’t think I have ever gotten to “really tidy”. :) Not so much due to auto immune, but definitely have those days where I am completely exhausted. Clutter just doesn’t bother me where it’s a major priority. Drives hubby crazy. But in our next home we’d like to invite folks over to a tidy home. And my big mission now is to live light – which will help with keeping it tidy. Investigating better storage systems. I’m sorry you are an autoimmune warrior. It really sucks.

          • Autoimmune SUCKS! Either I wake up in horrible pain or my meds make me feel like I’m living in mud. I think I’m going to try these tricks in my kitchen for now. If I can manage it I’ll move to my bedroom. Hopefully I can get my hubby aboard. I do think that when I walk into a clean room I feel soothed, if that makes sense.
            I wish you all pain free days ahead!

          • When I get too upset about things being messy, I remember a Bible verse that encouraged me when my children were young. “An empty stable stays clean.”

      • Thank you, Paul and Susan! I usually try to ignore “wala,” but I must admit that it really grates on me.

      • Thank you…an obsession of mine also. It actually sounds like vwalla.

        • I’m a French language student since high school. It used to make me shudder when my dad would say “VIOLA!!”

      • Actually, if you pronounce it correctly, it sounds like “vwalla”.

      • Y’all are just too funny! Haven’t had so much fun reading about grammar in a long time! Thanks for lightening my day. And Happy New Year!

      • No…. The V is pronounced. Vwa-lah’.

    • Great point. When you’re in work mode having a sink full of clean suds makes it become part of a seamless process to clean as you cook.

  4. Melody Price says

    My daughter and husband and three kids live with me and at times it is a challenge to keep things neat so I play Betty homemaker with my 4 year old granddaughter and Bobble homemaker with the boys it teaches them how to keep your house nice for your family they wash dishes while I cook or dust their is lots they can do

    • I live with my daughter, her husband and three boys…and the chaos has been getting me down. She and I are working on organization and habits, starting today! I like your job sharing idea.

    • Until they figure out you’re making them do “your” work . . . My kids had friends whose parents told them their job was to just be kids – they’d grow up soon enough, and my kids quit doing anything that looked like housework. Luckily, they’re all grown up and doing well on their own, so I guess it didn’t hurt them to “just be kids.”

      • Oh boy…when my son was a teenager, one of his best friends had a Mexican mom who did everything, waiting on everyone hand and foot, and my son tried to tell me I should be like that. I set him straight quick!

  5. I am tidy, and do these. It wouldn’t even have dawned on me that people wouldn’t realize you habe to clean up everyday or find a place for things, then put them there, each day. I find it relaxing to tidy up, but maybe bc it isn’t a full blown clean up I am doing each day.

  6. I would love to be part of Tidy Club. We have been sizing down. 10 years ago 4,000 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. then to 15,00 4 years ago and then this past May to 1,000 sq. ft. Have done lots of selling and garage sales, they really do work if you price things properly. I still have lots more to say good bye to, purged 2 bankers boxes of stuff off Christmas things. Have 2 more to ride of.. Expect to be part of TIDY by this coming summer. Living room, dining room and kitchen about 95% done but have much to clear off the floor in our bedroom ., and clean up the laundry closet. Downsizing when you have had 4 children and down size from there. Instead of buying beds for grandsons we bought fold up camp cots They love them. Unexpected company still have our fold out sofa. It has been a big job.

  7. So, where do you store the throws?!?!

    • I have a trunk style coffee table I put my favorite ones in and recently donated several to the animal shelter along with towels I no longer use.

    • I have a quilt rack that I hang all of my throws on so they’re not on the floor or layered in a box somewhere that gets messed up anytime I want a blanket that isn’t on the very top. So much more convenient and less messy feeling!

    • In a basket on the floor😂😂. Or a storage ottoman works well.

    • They’re called throws for a reason. You throw them (neatly) over the back or arm of the couch or chair. That way they’re always handy and look like part of the decorating scheme.

  8. I simply host OCD parties….house gets cleaned in no time

  9. At last! Others who share my passion for cleaning and organizing. I love to clean and organize! My family thinks I’m over the top, but.. both adult children have tidy homes, so it has paid off. Let’s have dinner in my garage, you can eat off the floor, it’s that clean. Oh yes friends tease me about it all the time, until they really need me, then its “can you come and clean and organize for me?” Now who is laughibg…

  10. It’s exhausting to be tidy when no one else in your household cleans. How do I get everyone in the tidy mode?

    • I have had to choose my battles and make compromises. I can’t imagine living with another “me”.

    • Natalie thorman says

      What worked for me was I wet on “strike”! I stopped everything except laundry. I really hate dirty laundry. I stopped grocery shopping , cooking, cleaning except what I used personally. Believe you me, everyone noticed and started helping with the house!

      • Not sure I qualify as tidy. I know my kids remember a lot of play time and family fun! They have never said” I’m so glad you spent so much time on the house Mom!”

        • I relate! Fun is more important. I’m not tidy, but not filthy either. Always clean up for company!

        • I totally agree that family time is so important, but I don’t think this is an either/or scenario. The point of being tidy is that you don’t end up spending a lot of time cleaning because you never let the house get bad. 5-10 minutes in the morning tidying up is all it takes. Then pick up after yourself throughout the day, which practically takes no time at all, just a little self awareness. If you keep the house tidy throughout the week, then you only need to spend 1.5/2 hours once a week with the cleaning supplies, emptying trash cans, and vacuuming. I think it’s a common misperception that keeping a clean just takes too much time, but this is only true if you don’t keep a clean house and then attempt to do it all at once.

      • Hey, I did the same thing…strike mode….but I never went back! Hired a housekeeper. Tah dah!!

    • I want to know too?

    • Nothing seemed to work for me. It wasn’t until I came home after eight days of vacation and my house looked and smelled like a landfill. It was 2AM and I was horrified – and livid. It wasn’t like I practically begged this particular family member to pleeeeaaase not let me come home to filth that I simply told him he had to move out.

    • I agree!! I work full time in the financial industry and I cannot get anyone to help me!! I spend all day Sunday cleaning and meal prepping. Then start the week over depressed that my day off was spent working at home

  11. I’d love to be more tidy. I look at may house all the time and say “people don’t live like this.” So, how does everyone control the wood stove mess and keep tidy? Winter, we put a mattress on the floor and sleep by the stove. It seems like no matter how much I clean, I still have wood pile dust everywhere and in .my daughter and my bed. I’d love to hear ideas!

    • I got tired of the wood debris, picked out a gas fireplace converter company. In about 2 hours we had a clean fireplace and were completely happy.

    • I kept a large industrial type entryway mat by the fireplace & wood stove. I’d rl it up & shake it off outside at least weekly. We kept the wood stacked in a holding bin. You’ll track stuff in when you bring in the wood, then soot & ashes when you clean the hearth or stove. Just make a point of sweeping up & wiping down when you get done- otherwise everything spreads.

      • Beth Grant-DeRoos says

        Teresa we do something similar. Also have a wood rack with a mat under it which gets taken outside before reloading the rack, and cleaned off. We use a shop vac when cleaning the wood burning stove.

  12. I wish my roommate would share my vision on this one, especially in my kitchen. She gets the late night munchies, and I wake up to dirty dishes everywhere in the kitchen. And plus, she insists on have duplicates of what I already have on my lovely buffet, which I loved having clear of clutter before she moved in. Clutter makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious, so order helps keep me calm.

    • Lol I always put the dirty dishes on their bed when they left dirty dishes in my kitchen. They got the point real quick.

  13. How many of you tidy people have a full time job and kids? Just curious how you do it. Thanks

    • I am a single mom (not a co-parent) who works 2 full time jobs and wonder the same thing. I try to keep my house up, my biggest problem is that we don’t have a furnace, we heat with a wood stove and there is always wood dust in my house. That, and I come home 7 days a week after working 10 hours and commuting 4…..to dishes and laundry and yard work.The kid isn’t raising herself very well. I leave lists….nothing gets done. It’s frustrating and I am ready for any an all ideas! (Except where I take stuff away from my kid if she doesn’t do. Because we live in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t play video games and has no friends. Shays in bed all day except to get up and fill the wood stove).

      • I would set up an art table with your daughter. It would give her a creative outlet plus to take pride in taking care of her workspace.

      • How old is she? I used to be a single mom to two teens, and was working 70-80 hours a week. The kids ended up getting in a lot of trouble because I wasn’t there. My suggestion would be to move somewhere that will cut down on commute time and where your daughter can interact with family or someone you trust to keep an eye on her.
        As far as the wood dust – maybe the move could alleviate that as well.

        • Good advice…feel sorry for those situations.God bless.

          • When someone says they feel sorry for us, it confuses me because I have worked hard (and honest) to get where I am. I don’t understand pitying someone for being a good person? 18 months ago, we were homeless. Just last month, I actually bought a fridge for my daughter and I. We are doing well. And to those who think she is depressed….think back to when you were a 15 year old girl. If no one MADE you get up and do the dishes or vacuum the dust from the wood pile…would you do it? She just lacks motivation, and I haven’t quite figured out how to motivate her when I work 80+ miles away. In answer to moving – I am pretty much smack in the middle of my two jobs right now. It’s one hour 50 minutes to the east on M, W, R and one hour 10 min to the north on T, F, S, U.

      • She’s 15….and oh, how I would LOVE to move. But I just don’t have $100,000 laying around right now. I currently live 1 hour 10 min from my T,F,S,U job, and 1 hour 50 min the other direction from my M,W,R job. My current house is worth about $9,000 according to my taxes. So selling it wouldn’t bring me enough to buy something else. I’m planning to save up enough money to replace the roof, trusses, and have insulation put in next year. After that, I think I will be able to sell it for a little more, and maybe buy something else.

        • Those tax notices dont even come close to true value. Mine says around $16,000 and my house appraised for $175,000

          • Wow!!! That would be nice. I tried to get an appraisal so I could get insurance and was told without heat or running water (which you can’t have if you don’t have heat) they would appraise it as a “livable space” whatever that even means. Apparently if you heat with wood, they don’t consider it a homestead…..but what do they think people did in the 1900’s before there were furnaces? Now I’ve sidetracked myself and wondered how they stayed tidy in 1910….because wood really is messy and is the root of my frustration.

        • we bought a house in Tennessee that had a wood stove for heat and it appraised for 60,000 when we bought it and only appraised at 67,500 after we spent 5000.00 putting in central heat and air and new insulation but couldn’t get anyone to buy it for that so we took the 60,000 offer and took our losses. Whoever was doing your appraisal had no idea what they are talking about, however having running water would be a huge plus and that probably hurts the value of your house more than the wood heat does. If you are tired of burning wood then buy some electric ceramic or Infared heaters, they heat well.. We had them in each room before we put in the central heat because one of our kids had asthma and couldn’t burn wood. It was actually cheaper to use the small ceramic heaters in each room than our central heat bill was the next winter. They were safe because they would turn off if they got tipped over with our little kids and they didn’t get hot enough to burn the kids if they touched the heater. We still use them for a few of our bedrooms that don’t heat well because they are above the unheated garage and the central heat doesn’t blow much heat in those bedroom vents. One heater can heat up to 1000 square feet if you have an open floor plan. If you have land, it would probably be cheaper to build a house up to new codes than to remodel that one to the new codes since it doesn’t have plumbing it probably doesn’t have a big enough electrical box to handle central air/heat. We upgraded our box to a 200 amp to carry all the electricity we use plus have some designated circuits to run a Generator when the power goes out to run the whole house.

          • Anonymous.. you’re a good person for trying to help this person. Most wouldn’t waste their time! I wish i had good advice but i appreciate you getting the knowledge across without seeming to be an ass.

          • I am actually concerned about your daughter if she actually does that she may be suffering from depression I have it in my family so I understand. I would say make her do two things wash her own dishes and sweep wood mess 1x per day obviously she can refuse. Also do a 20 minute speed clean 1x per day set a timer :) A lot can get done in 20 minuets a day way more than you’d expect at the end of the week. I have lived in tiny spaces b4 & it’s a constant battle

        • Juli. Wow you are really overworked. I have an adult daughter who leaves mire of a mess than what she cleans with. I wish i had been more of a designating mom than i was. At least try getting her to do one chore. I hope your situation changes soon.

      • I live miles from town and my only heat is wood as well so I can relate. Try a reward system for you child it worked well for us. We will never be spotless we have a farm I do sweeping and mopping everyday from all the dust and dirt. Just be happy we don’t have to be perfect, a little mess shows you actually live there.

      • Kids need responsibility… my parents worked long, hard jobs and raised 4 girls… we ALL cleaned and helped with a garden… we did not get allowances. We got fed and clothed. It was part of growing up and learning. Your daughter needs to help. Your house should be cleaned by her everyday. Cleaning never hurt a kid! All of my sisters and I now keep clean homes… we were taught that! It’s part of who we are… none of us are lazy, either. You are doing her an injustice if you allow her to NOT help!

        • It’s certainly not that I tell her she doesn’t have to help. It is trying to motivate her to help. I leave the house at 3:05am every morning, and roll back in at 8:25pm every night. I have to be in bed by 9:30pm to get 5 hours sleep so I can survive. In the one hour I have every night, I typically spend it eating dinner, washing my lunch pail, packing my lunch bag for the next day, laying out my work clothes and doing one “adulting task” (like laundry one night, grocery shopping one night, pay bills one night, schoolwork two or three nights). I just don’t have the time to pick a fight with her over what is not done, and I haven’t figured out how to motivate her to do it. There really isn’t much reward….her love language is quality time….so it’s not like I can say, “hey, if you clean the house, I’ll spend more time with you” because that is unrealistic, if I missed a day of work…we wouldn’t have food on the table. Trying to find a way to encourage her to be the Mom and care for the house, while I am the Dad and go to work to pay the bills….but she really doesn’t want to play house.

          • She is probably depressed. If she is staying in bed all day, except to load the wood stove, she is probably also cold. Could you rent a place closer to work for less than what it costs you to commute? Change jobs to somewhere closer? No insulation, no running water and no heat except for the wood stove makes me wonder if she doesn’t see the point in cleaning. She should have chores, but she is a teenager, not “the mom””. I understand you are in a difficult place, but your lifestyle needs to change. In a few years she will be gone and will no longer care if you spend time with her. Reevaluate if there is anything you can do, change jobs, change residences, whatever, before it is too late. She will waltz out of your life and you will be alone.

    • made chore assignments. Check off lists for chores, lists for shopping, lists for events, lists for who does what cleaning and when. Organize pantry, closets and cabinets keep them organized. Once you get everyone on board with doing their part it’s easy. It’s getting them to do their part and do it properly that’s hard. It takes consistency and strength to carry it off but well worth the effort in the long run.

    • I work 10 to 11 hours a day, 5 days a week. Most days I don’t go to work until mid day so after my son goes to school I clean, or start a crock pot meal so they have food while I’m at work. I clean during this time, so when we are all together we have family time. I find the less items you have the better. I keep decor clean, simple and easy to dust around. No small tickets, or a lot of table top items. Everything has a place. I change out seaonally and deep clean during those days to keep a fresh look in my home. Organized baskets are a must that are easy to hide away. My office has a stand with drawers, my 10 year old son has toys in them. Rules are in place, before he moves to another play item he has to pick up others first. I receive unexpected guest in my home all the time. Such as parents of the kids that play over after school, or a friend stopping by in the am for coffee and a quick chat. So, I wipe down faucets, and sweep my floors everyday or every other day. My son is responsible for dusting weekly. My sons gaming items have bins and then those bins are behind doors in the entertainment center. Smaller homes you have to declutter, it is hard, but when we lived in a 1200 foot space we purged, and never hung on to items that didn’t fit our life style. Now in our 2900 foot space. I keep that going. Big rooms, match with furniture that fits the space and keep it simple. If you have large rooms opt for larger pieces of furniture vs more smaller pieces. It will keep it looking cleaner. (If you can’t afford to buy bigger furniture to fill larger spaces, pull the furniture off the walls and arrange them around a rug in the center of the room) trust me it sounds weird but it works until you can replace the furniture. Small room don’t over furnish. Couch, one chair, coffee table and one side chair is all you will need. (Any more in a small space and it is harder to clean and you will look cluttered no matter what you do.) Less, less, less.

    • I have a full time job and a kid! I think the misconception here is that tidy=clean 24/7. To me, there’s a huge difference. My house is, for the most part, always tidy, but not 100% clean. We always, always do the dishes immediately after dinner (washed, dried, and put away). Usually I wash and my husband dries and wipes down the counter tops, but we also clean as we go when making dinner. We throw garbage out when we’re done with it and everything essentially has a “home” which makes thing easier to clean up. And when I say home, I mean it’s something we can easily toss stuff into without having to rearrange. Examples: my son has a huge toy box. Toss everything in and shut the lid. It matches his furniture so it doesn’t make his room look busy. My son went through this phase of collecting sticks and pine cones so we have a basket he can just toss the into. Our throw blankets we just fold up neatly and put them on the top corner of the couch. Makes it seem decorative while also clean. In my bathroom I don’t have drawers so I took a small basket and hung it inside the cabinet door with command hooks. It’s one that technically hangs in the shower, but I took off the suction cups. I just toss my hair spray, dry shampoo, deodorant, etc in it so I can clear off my counter tops really fast. I also have a small plastic drawer thing under my sink for random other things like hair clips, nail polish, etc.

      I always look at “tidying up” as the lazy mans cleaning. Which I don’t mean in a bad way, because that is all me, all the time! We do deep cleaning and laundry on the weekends. Bathrooms every other weekend, laundry every Sunday. Kitchen is always clean because of clean up during the week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even consider myself much of a tidy person until reading this post which seems like a common thing. Once it’s a habit, it’s a habit and you won’t even realize anymore.

    • I work a full time job and have 2 kids in Elementary school and based on this article I would quality as tidy. I think a common misconception is that cleaning time takes away from ‘family’ time and that doesn’t have to be true. After each meal together, we play fun and silly music (that the kids love) and we tidy up as we dance / strut around. My older daughter and I do laundry and fold together and use that as mom/daughter 1:1 conversation time. Eventually in the future, kids have to learn to clean up after themselves as adults, so making it more a
      habit than a chore goes a long way and seems less daunting. Also having less clutter and a place for things helps.

    • I’m retired now, but I worked fulltime when they were home. During the week I came home and cook full meals everyday. The kids did dishes while I did 2 loads of laundry. Then Saturday morning they cleaned their bedrooms and their bathrooms, while I did the master suite. They ran sweeper through rest of house while I dusted (the house was over 3200 as ft). Then they could spend the rest of the day with friends while I did yard work (hubby traveled). I also taught them how to sew and cook and iron. We did go out somewhere together every weekend.

  14. I’ve always kept a cleaner than average house. When.people would come over and remark how clean it was, I was surprised because I thought everyone kept their house as clean as mine. As I’ve grown older and visited a many of homes I’ve come to realize not everyone was taught to clean up after themselves. I choose my cleanliness over mess and clutter any day! And, yes this article is accurate!

  15. I use to be tidy: Even when raising a family, doing all the sports activities and teaching school with all its responsibilities. We live on a farm with all its surrounding dirt and my husband is no help indoors as he has mega duties outside and doesn’t recognize my need for “clean”. I’ve grown tired over the years and weary of the constant cleaning. So I’m no longer tidy, but not nearly as tired. Sometimes you do have to prioritize.

  16. Alana Denise says

    I loved this article and have decided to become more tidy as well. I love the pics everything looks cozy and lived in and not like a museum. But I have a sewing room .. it is the land of untidy.. any ideas for that? Thank you so much!!!

    • I have a sewing riom t… its hard to keep tidy, but I try to clean up after each project … I am a tidy up as you go person.. don’t leave a room without something to put away or throw away. I have a bad back so my cleaning is ike this, floors one day, bathrooms another, sheets usually Mondays, dusting another, clean as I go while cooking…it is a struggle to keep the kitchen counter cleared off. I do have a small desser in my kitchen that acts as a junk drawer/tool place. Occasionally I have to clean it out, but I know where thungs are that I may need…I do laundry as I have a load… hubby is disabled so I do it all yard work too… a that with my back… A body in motion stays in motion!

  17. Keeping your home , house and property in order is not rocket science. It is so easy …..Eveything needs a place to be given a place …..So,once you have a new item , give it its own spca. Then later there is no effort when putting that item away.
    Why waste precious time cleaning up after yourself and others. Come in the house, put your shoes and coats in the closet. Why throw it on a chair or the floor to have to waste energy later when tripping over the clutter.
    As you climb out of bed, straighten the sheets and blanket and pillows. Pull the cover on. Done..

    Tidy as you cook. Put items away as you cook. Rinse dishes used. .pots and pans and Dishes in the sink,,,NOOOOOO it takes just as much energy to put them in the dish washer.why do things twice.
    You cannot tell me otherwise , that it feels nice, relaxing and to just have a general good feeling when there is no clutter.
    The say CLUTTERED HOUSE….CLUTTERED MIND!!!!!!! SCARY!!!!!!!

  18. My mom always said “it’s easier to keep a house clean than to get it clean” meaning keep it picked up rather than letting it get in a mess that takes a long time to clean. It is easier to do that now that no kids live with me but I still occasionally let it get in a mess and once I spend the day cleaning I tell myself “don’t do that again” but sometimes I do.

  19. I am for sure a tidy person. This article describes me to a “T”. What I have found that keeps things tidy and less to do later is putting things back after you use them. Do a quick sweet up and wipe off each day so that when you do the complete Saturday cleaning it won’t be much.

  20. How do you keep your white couch and surfaces so clean. We have a paving business so my hubby and sons constantly come in with dirty clothes, shoes, etc. They finally learned to remove shoes. We also have 2 dogs and live in the country on a dusty dirt road. I have a brown leather couch which I hate but I know if I go lighter it will be ruined in a day. Hardwood floors in entry keeps down some mess but with 4 grown men at home I’m fighting a losing battle. I literally deep clean every day and am exhausted from it. If I miss one day you would not believe the mess. It’s like if I leave a mess it gives them permission to do ten times worse. Help! Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • I live in the country too…and heat with a wood stove so we always have tons of dirt and soot. I started putting couch covers on on my couch. I have three that came from Bed, Bath & Beyond, that are white so I can bleach them. Irotate them every day, washing the dirty one at bedtime and hanging it up to dry overnight. It usually takes 2 days to dry each one. If you get the fitted ones, |out can’t tell it’s a cover…it just looks like you have a sparkling couch every day. And yeah….when I only worked 1 job, I spent 4 hours a day wiping dust of counters and mirrors and sweeping floors Every. Single. Day.

    • Make them take off shoes at the door, and change clothes if they’re dirty, BEFORE they can sit on any furniture or have a snack. I used to throw my son’s shoes out in the hall if he didn’t, and he’d have to hunt for them to go out again. Now he’s better than ME at leaving shoes at the door, and his wife says he is way neater than HER (and she’s a tidy woman)

    • I have no advice for keeping white furniture and surfaces clean. My advice is to not have them :)

  21. Thanks for the article and all the comments. It is helpful information. I was super tidy all my life until I started painting portraitures, writing art books, and traveling. There would be no hours left in my day if I constantly did it all. So, I have had to compromise after retirement. Some things can wait with the exception of cooking meals, doing the dishes, keeping the bathrooms cleaned, and vacuuming the floors. Oh, and visiting our family, that’s high on my priority list. So, in the end, like everyone else, we do what we think is right for us.

  22. I’m just wondering how many of you “Tidy Queens” work full time jobs? I am exhausted when I get home and don’t feel like doing housework.

    • For people with kids, I have a friend with four children. They each have ONE set of dishes and that’s it. If they don’t clean up after a meal, they are forced to if they want to eat again. When my stepsisters were growing up, if they didn’t pick up their things when they were asked, their Dad would go through and put all their stuff in a bag and put it in the attic. It was usually at least a couple of weeks before they got it back. I struggle with this but I try. It’s much harder when you have a houseful and no one is consistent with trying to help. We have 8 people right now. We all push each other to do their part but it gets exhausting. I have resorted to choosing a peaceful zone and am pretty meticulous about keeping it perfect. When the rest gets to be too much, I retreat and shut the door so I can keep my sanity. Right now it is my bedroom and I have made it as nice as I can. If the noise is to much, I resort to quiet music and headphones.

    • Beth Grant-DeRoos says

      I come from a family of two working pr0fessional parents and have worked all my life. My mother taught me the value of living in a smaller home, since less space often means less work in the long run. Have no idea how working women with bigger homes do it all.

  23. Kathleen Dillon says

    I am exhausted in the evenings, but have energy in the morning. I pile the dished in the sink at night and they wait for me until morning!

  24. Six minute clean up! Set a timer and clean each room of the house for six minutes each and everyday! Six minutes doesn’t seem long, but if you do it everyday, it adds up and nothing ever gets too messy.

    • I could never do this. I would start, then see something else, and then something else, and then something else. It would bug me to the end if I couldn’t get all I see within 6 minutes. Now I do start with one room, then move to the next room and if I can’t get to all rooms I’m ok as long as I don’t start.. if I start I have to finish.

  25. NORWEX! Forget the cleaning products, Norwex does it all. Takes me 10-15 minutes to clean my bathroom top to bottom. I don’t sell it (though I think I should), but if you are not familiar, check it out. Cleaning is so much easier/faster/chemical free. Another trick — purge your drawers/cupboards on a regular basis; a place for everything and everything in its place.

  26. That is a great idea! 😂

  27. Dr. Wendy Halar says

    I’m married with two adult children. My son & his wife live hours away, but my daughter lives less than ten minutes from our house. We have two grandchildren (my daughter’s) who visit often and very frequently sleep at our house overnight. A third of the living room I consider their “stuff” has their library and the other side has their toys behind the chairs. I always had a housekeeper, but have retired so it’s difficult to justify having one. I’m always tired. Where do you get the energy to clean all the time? My husband collects metal trash which is outside and it drives me crazy to see such a mess!

    • I find that the point of keeping the house tidy is so you don’t have to spend much time at all cleaning. I have a full time job, husband, three boys, and all the sporting activities that go along with them. 5-10 minutes in the morning is all it takes to tidy up. Then just putting things away as I go throughout the day, so instead of leaving my hoodie on the back of a chair, hang it up when I take it off. I do dishes as I go. Then the only real cleaning is on Saturday morning when I get out the cleaning supplies and clean bathrooms, kitchen, dust, and vacuum, which take about 90 minutes.

  28. I organized myself first. Sit down in the morning with your coffee, coke, smoke, what ever. Visualize your rooms and make a list of everything you would like to accomplish in each room. Then start and mark each item off as you get it done. If you have children that can read they can pick whatever items they want, hubby can work on things, even if you dont get it all done at least you have visual proof of what did get done. We used to do this every thursday evening so the house was cleaned and our weekends were for family time. Of couse dishes were done nightly, or more often if needed. Laundry was kept up with daily. Some things can’t be put off but 2 hours on Thursday evenings was all it took for my family of three to keep the 1200 sq ft house clean. Sheets were stripped every week and the 2nd set put on so I wasn’t trying to wash them, dry them and remake the bed. Now I also have a recipe box with index cards that have things like change filters on furnace, wash light switches, clean light fixtures, etc. Those things that aren’t done daily or even weekly. I pull the box out and have the grandchildren pull a card. They put a date on it when it is done so if they pull a card and it was done recently they put it back and draw a new card. Also don’t think the 2 or 3 year old is not capable of helping. They can dust, wash table and chair legs and things like that, not really important that they do it to perfection. If they miss a spot they will get it next time. Meanwhile they are learning and contributing which makes them feel important and needed

  29. Beth Grant-DeRoos says

    Have slowly become a tiny, less is more person. But being disabled I had to swallow my pride and asked for help. Now I have someone here twice a week to help me.

    Bet there are a lot if working moms/dads, often single parents, and my fellow disabled counterparts who need help, and need to step out in faith and ask a family member or friend to hep.

  30. Maybe tidy people are rigid, boring, and obsessive! There is a down side to order and tidiness. You might want to read the article ‘ the merits of messiness. ‘

  31. So my question is this…referring to #4, where do they store stuff?! I have two small kids and don’t have enough pieces of furniture or closets to hide the toys. They are currently in baskets…on the floor. Need solutions.

    • Beth Grant-DeRoos says

      We had an only child and to save our sanity we had to limit the amount of toys he had, Often times we would use a tote to stick toys in which would be put away and rotated out every three months. Often times American children have way to many toys.

  32. Obviously. Those of us who aren’t “tidy” know what we should do.

  33. Life’s to short to spend time constantly cleaning

  34. Beth Grant-DeRoos says

    Reading many of the comments I think some people misunderstand the word tidy. Its not about being a neat freak, but having items where they belong or at least where they can be found. A desk can be cluttered yet one knows what is in each pile, that all the pens and pencils are in the container etc.

    Being tidy need NOT make a person rigid, boring, and obsessive. It does not mean constantly cleaning. It does not mean an sterile environment. A tidy home can be warm, welcoming and a safe haven.

  35. Mrs. Myers products are not recommended as “green” or even safe, in some cases. Let the buyer beware: https://www.ewg.org/guides/brand/6630-MrsMeyersCleanDay.

  36. Here’s my tidy trick. I clean things during commercials. That way I can watch tv AND clean and not feel like a couch potato. I hate commercials so it’s the perfect time.

  37. More advertisements, and if I am supposed to be clearing out all my junk, why would I need a “cute” little enamel tray with my purchase? What would I do with that thing? Just more junk to clean out another day….

  38. It says FREE trial kit. It’s NOT FREE if you have to spend $20.00 for a product that you cannot test first!!
    Why can’t a supposedly FREE product, REALLY be FREE, without a catch??

  39. As much as I would absolutely LOVE to be a tidy person, I’m a realist!! I’m not sure I have the energy for it . . and I give myself permission to say it’s ok . . as a single mother with a full-time job, two teenage girls to run around and get them where they need to be (work), grocery shopping, bill paying, errands . . I can barely think of what’s for dinner!! I ‘let go’ of leaving dishes in the sink a long time ago!! When I have the time and energy . . I will make sure they are taken care of either by me or one of my daughters . . I work in Special Education . . somedays I’m drained when leaving school . . so much so I have to go home to take a nap to regain some of my energy! Then get up gather my thoughts for dinner . . so . . as much as no paperwork on the floor sounds like your reality . . it’s not mine! My self-care, mental health and children come before being ‘tidy’. It might be in my vocabulary one day . . when both of my daughter’s have moved out . . I’m guessing not in my near future . . my home is in a constant state of picking up . . and I have to be ok with that otherwise, the pressure of keeping my home ‘tidy’ . . would put me in a mental hospital . . first . . above all else . . I need to be kind to myself and be ok with letting a lot of things go . . and remember . . I am doing the best I can . .

  40. Ann Ferndale says

    I am not tidy by nature. However I do keep the downstairs picked up. My houses are full of furniture and stuff. I am trying to cleanse but it is a slow process. I pick up one room at a time and get the most done right before leaving the house. When kids are over I let them tear the house up!

  41. Well, very interesting article. I really don’t know why I read articles like this….oh wait….yes I do! I read them in expectation that when I finish, I’ll raise my head up….and ‘poof’! My house will magically have everything in place! Ahhhh well….sweet fantasy anyway!

  42. I bought a couple of Mrs Meyer’s cleaning supplies at Target. They smell okay but they don’t clean the surface of the stove or the counters. Not spending anymore money on those.
    Mr. Clean magic eraser is my go to cleaning tool.
    Clorox wipes for disinfecting and Lysol for the bathrooms.

  43. You done a great job about this category, I got the best and useful information and suggestions from this category. You made a good site and it’s very interesting one. Thanks for sharing the best information. Regards.

  44. My 7 year old son said, “Time is one of God’s most precious gifts. It would be very sad to waste it on cleaning your room and organizing.” Good try kid!

  45. Beth Grant DeRoos says

    In reading many of the comments I think some folks confuse the term tidy with neat freak or clean freak. Being tidy can mean picking clothes up off the floor and either putting in the hamper of hanging them up. Or cleaning as we cook, and doing the dishes after we eat which can take less than 15 minutes.

    Growing up both of my parents were professionals who worked outside the home, yet meals were cooked, place was clean. Looking back I realize a LOT of this had to do with not having so much STUFF! The bigger the house the more stuff.

    Some people think they need a LOT of stuff to fill up a room. Or a walk in closet packed with clothes. Or a big load washer dryer which studies have shown were created in collaboration with clothing manufactures in hopes that folks would buy more clothes!

    To many people make excuses!

  46. We are Tidy — come, enjoy!
    Green Gate Guesthouse, Greensboro, NC
    http://greengateguest.com/

  47. I came by being tidy from my mom. There were 5 kids, close in age and very messy. We had little money, an old broken down home, and it was never really dirty or a total mess. I blame it on our German ancestry. But honestly, I am more relaxed and have less stress when my house is tidy and clean. Not meticulous, but I don’t feel bad if someone stops by unannounced. And cleaning is exercise, burns calories, so I think of it as a win, win.

  48. This was a great blog! I’m one of those tidy people. :) I also blog. You may get a few ideas on my post about cleaning. One, for example, is I clean the clean…

  49. Beth Grant DeRoos says

    Yes, there are ads. So many people seem to think folks who spend hours creating vlogs, blogs etc. should do so for FREE. No one is being forced to subscribe or read a vlog/blog. Anymore than when one goes to Macy’s Target, William Sonoma etc., one is being forced to buy something.

    And I personally found some of the ideas (#4) eye opening since it made me stop, look around the room and see where I a self described a less is more, Zen type person, just left some items on the floor with the intention of putting them (books, clothing) away.

  50. I was taught at a very young age to clean up after myself. It was my job to keep my room picked up, make my bed when I got up, and to help with dishes and dusting through out the week. I was raised in a clean home and it just stuck with me when I moved out and was on my own. I keep my home clean and organized and it takes little to keep it that way. Everyday there’s always something to do!!

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