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…

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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.

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how to have a clean house #cleaning

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Comments

  1. Annette Detratto-Chalfin says

    Keep organized…..everything has a place, shoes, backpacks etc., get the kiddos used to putting them where they belong, getting help from them for cleaning up after meals is a good time saver for Mom and Dad as well, plenty of family time and Mom won’t be so stressed out when kids go to bed and she has to tackle cleaning up.

    • I timed study all the chores i didn’t like doing. Then I could see how little time it took. Once knowing that instead of spending time thinking of not doing what is 3 minutes to fold a load of clothes or 2 minutes to empty dishwasher. 4 minutes to make a bed…5 minutes to tidy a room….same way of cleaning 15 minutes a room. It works!

      • Yes!
        i hear the little voice that says GIT ER DONE!
        if it takes a min or 2 i say DO IT NOW
        makes things easier and im all about easier

      • That is a fantastic idea! I bet I spend more time wasted thinking how long it’s going to take than it actually would! I am going to try this. And if it works, maybe I’ll challenge myself to see if I can beat my own time.

        • When I don’t want to clean I set timer for 15 minutes on microwave blast music have to get as much done as I can in that time. I can quit after that if I want. Usually finally making some serious head way not motivated and don’t want to stop. Or set another timer.

          • I do this, too! We have races to see who can finish tidying rooms first! Microwave timer and music for the win!

          • A timer is a great way to stay on task and get things done. I use one with the children I work with. I was an EC teacher and now work as a nanny.

          • I did that exact thing for years when my kids were little. I told them we have to all clean real, real fast and when the alarm goes off (20 mins), then we can all stop and do something fun. It worked like a charm!

          • Suzi Hickman says

            We used to do a version of this at work. We all hated to file, so 10 minutes before the end of the day, we’d set a timer and EVERYONE filed. Other departments were always asking how our department was always caught up. (We kept it a secret, let them be in awe, lol)

          • Never run your microwave as A TIMER without having something in the Microwave! You can burn out your microwave!!!!

          • Never run your microwave as A TIMER without having something in the Microwave! You can burn out your microwave!!!!

          • It’s ok to use the timer feature of the microwave…it’s separate from cooking in the microwave.

      • Awesome idea. I kinda did the same. I identified the chores I didn’t want to do and then had a child for each one. Now, 6 kids later, I never have to do a chore I hate and we spend a total of 15 minutes a day cleaning up.

        • Anita Schrader says

          Check out the Fly Lady as she has a system for 15 minute cleaning and zones each week that will work for anyone.

        • Shellie M Brown says

          Be careful your kids grow up and the trauma of being the only one cleaning can be horrifying

          • She didn’t say she didn’t do chores….i thought her contribution was clever and hilarious….so sad you didn’t see the tease in it !
            If that were me I’d have only had 2 kids to clean toilets and unload dishwasher…..lol…so glad I had 7 !

          • Trauma or cleaning 😂😂

        • You’re too cute….!
          A very funny idea…if i had done that is only have 2 kids instead of 7…..lol…..one for toilets and one for unloading dishwasher…

        • Hahahaha. Brilliant, but it would have been a lot cheaper to hire a housekeeper! Lol

      • I did the same thing and it works for me. Five minutes now means an extra five later yo add to other time savings and I can read a book. 😊

      • I am married to an ex pilot who is also 100% German. He NEVER, EVER leaves a mess and is in a constant state of cleaning motion. I am a Southern belle and have always THOUGHT l was clean. Well after 10 years of marriage, l can truly say this article is SPOT ON! What l thought was clean was just straightened up. My husband has taught me to appreciate the value of living dust free!!! 😂 You can come visit my house ANYTIME!!!

      • I will definitely try this. That is such a great idea!

    • Decluttering Denise says

      Can you explain to me how a tidy person deals with an untidy person? I’ve been trying to declutter for over a year, yet Everytime I turn around something “new” ( which is usually just new to us but junk or old to the original owner) ends up in my house. For example, an old metal tin tray with some big named company design from 1980, or an old toy that’s no longer works from 1970…how do I stop the madness?

      • Sell it. Donate it. Ditch it. The more you mercilessly purge, the less likely the person bringing it home will bring things like that home. This is coming from the person who brings crap home, married to a person constantly selling or donating it. I don’t spend money on things he will throw away, because more than I love junk, I HATE seeing or causing “waste”. So I’ve stopped.

        • Oh that would have never worked in our marriage of forty years. My husband was the tidy one, I loved to collect, but he would never throw away something I bought OR he knew his stuff would start disappearing. Bad advice for a healthy marriage.

          • Agree

          • I agree. My husband is pretty messy. He is an avid reader of newspapers, recipes, novels (me too) and magazines. He is the cook and often has his next project waiting on the counter by the stove, still in shopping bags. I ask before tossing any of his possessions or putting them away — he has rights too, and a healthy respect for his interests is more important than a tidy house. Besides, as I said, he is the cook. Who wouldn’t cherish that “habit?”

        • No! Give that person a place in the house for his/her treasures that no one else can see. Use a piece or two that can work in your home
          It belongs to both of you. Throwing another person’s things awzy is disrespectful and not ok

      • I am this person you describe. Or I used to be. Ask what it’s purpose is, and then maybe show them the things that also do that function that you already have. Broken toys… are broken. Unless there is a clear intent and capability to fix it. Maybe set up a rule all broken items stay in the garage, and only 5 projects at a time, so that they get worked on. Boundaries helped me a lot. Also, I hate dusting around tons of small things.

      • Gotta say I agree with Allison. Boundaries are a necessity of life.
        Pitching, selling or just getting rid of things someone else saw value in is not only rude but disrespectful. Maybe ask why they hauled it home in the first place. I have ADHD so it’s “outta sight, outta mind”. If my husband moves it and I can’t find it, I must not have it. I usually end up donating the extra stuff, but it’s offensive when he just pitches it.
        My husband sees something he likes or could use, esp vintage or antique, so he brings it home. Sometimes there’s value in it, sometimes not. But I wouldn’t dream of throwing it out just b/c of clutter.
        Whatever the reason, try common sense first. Maybe even level the playing field and donate my own clutter, or designate an area for only his treasures. We try to stick with “something in, something out”.
        The goal is a balanced life for all. You know the saying,
        “A happy spouse is a happy house!”

      • I started a something-in, something-out policy to help with this. I told the family this (to help keep clutter and duplicates down), and now when any of us wants or needs something, I just ask (yes, even ask myself), what are you selling/getting rid of to take the place? It both helps with impulse buying (wants vs needs) and clutter. My clever husband even uses it to sell me on new purchases: “Babe, I found this X, and it will replace both X and X!” haha

        • I also had trouble with clutter. Mostly things the children would leave lying around. My solution: I hold a kitchen table yard sale. Everything is on the table. Then children are instructed to take the things they valued, anything not taken was tossed or donated. If they come back looking for it much later – oh well – that is how they learned the value of things and the benefit of putting it away when finished with it. It worked because they have children of their own now and the tradition lives on.

      • my husband is a would be hoarder…..when he’s not home I just throw out one of his items (or more) that he hasn’t looked at in months….most of the time he doesn’t miss it.

        • Everyone says this is wrong but I would so do this.

          • I do the same thing when my husband is at work ! And they never miss it people say you shouldn’t do that but half the times our husbands don’t even care

        • Lol, same exact thing here!!

        • I do this with my husband’s magazines. We’d be buried in them if I didn’t slowly purge them

          • I take the magazines to our local laundromat. There is a bookshelf there. Manly magazines as well as the lady stuff goes. It is amazing to listen to the comments about national geographic and Smithsonian, interesting to see who reads what. Took a big mixed bunch one day ( my dryer was broken so I was using the laundromat) and one girl there with her mom had a great time sorting and organizing the shelves. Men were reading the sportsmen magazines. So glad my clutter was someone else’s joy!

          • My laundromat doesn’t allow this anymore. I used to do this all the time – when I was in college I always enjoyed the magazine selection at the laundromat. BUT NOW, according to the laundromat mangers, people simply sit and look at their cellphones. Magazines just clutter the place!

          • My husband collected the Sunday sports sections of the newspapers. I use to take about 10 from the bottom of the stack and move them under the bed. If he did look for them, that ten got tossed and the next ten took its place. After a couple of months I quit moving them and just tossed the bottom 1/3 of the pile. He never caught on.

        • I hate people like you… my biomom did this to me while I was out for a week, came back home, saw that (X) was missing, (I was still using said item)… She didn’t even ask if she could get rid of it…

          I hope you husband notices and gets really upset with you. Especially since you did not bring it up to his attention first. You could have had a discussion about said items. Maybe with a sit down talk as to why those items are bothering you, he night be willing to part ways?

          Just hate people who go behind their loved ones backs and throw out items that they “think” are not necessary. GRR!

          • You are so right!

          • you are talking about 2 different issues I think and bringing the anger you have for what your mom did to you to a situation where the husband hoards magazines! I’d ditch those magazines too! Ridiculous

          • PA Peg - our burnpile can be seen by Google Earth! says

            I typically would think the same thing: shouldn’t throw someone else’s stuff away, but I’ll give an example of an item not used, cherished or noticed when it was gone. Hubby had a huge glass jar to out loose change in. At one point it sat on our stone hearth and when change was dropped into it the whole bottom cracked but maintained it’s form. He didn’t want to out anymore change in there and in fact dumped out all the money, but that broken jar sat in a “spare” room for years, eventually covered by the myriad of other crap he’d salvage roadside.
            One day after he left for work and on trash collection day,I out that sucker curbside for trash. Of course hubby came home because he forgot a tool or something and dragged that dumb thing back to the house.
            SMH! I give up! Items not used, which are not momentous, cluttering our home, AND are small enough to fit in black garbage bag go directly to outside trash can. Haha.
            It wasn’t right what your mom did to you but after 34 years of marriage, we’re talking about two different things: a packrat who is unorganized with mounds of crap heaped up, and someone who had their useful possessions disrespected.

        • I used to hide his shirts that i hated. If he didnt miss it after a few months, then it got thrown out or donated

        • That’s just hateful!

      • If someone brings something home, then it MUST live with them in their room. It doesn’t get to stay on the floor (or the dining room table, which tends to be their go to for placement). For some, they let their stuff build up, to the point where the piles are just ridiculous. I used to be that person. It took getting so sick of tripping over what I didn’t need on a daily basis. Organization didn’t come naturally to me, but there is something that goes off when even an almost-hoarder becomes sick of wading through it all.

      • Encourage your “gatherer” to take photos of interesting things instead of bringing them home and then make time to look at the photos together periodically.

      • Sharo D Neighbors says

        I have been married to that person for 25 yrs. I just take the stuff to the building and it usually gets thrown away during my clean up of the building if he hasn’t retrieved it to use. Mine also leaves everything he owns wherever he used it last. Tools become missing, all kinds of things. Because he just left them in the yard. You would think after all these years he would pick his stuff up but, no he doesn’t. I own more tools than any woman should because I have another building at a rental property I own that I put some of the more expensive things in he leaves laying around. One day I will give them all back to him or maybe our son however; we have talked many times about him laying his things around yet he still does it. With all the thieves around here it really looks like he would take better care of his things. Lol Oh well. Sometimes you just have to deal with them.

      • Linda Schaffer says

        I have parents who were born in the 1920’s and never, I mean never, got rid of a single thing. They saved every card, every present, every, every thing….I am cleaning out the attic and am taking unopened presents (many that I gave them) to the independent living facility that my mother now lives in and putting it on the employee table with a “FREE” sign on it. Every week I bring a new stash and every week, everything is gone! The staff tells me how grateful they are to have all these new, unused things!! There are ways to de-clutter without throwing things out – which is really what the greatest generation was all about!!

      • You just can’t deal with untidy my BF of 4 yrs went away to do business he will be away for a few months maybe a year,str8 from the airport I was so excited to get home and clean and put alll his stuff away I finally have my closet to myself just selfish of me but it’s great that I can make my bed every morning everything is exactly where I want it and clean, I was almost having a mental breakdown because things wasn’t clean and where they suppose to be..I actually rather live by myself so things stay clean.

      • I tell my granddaughter “if I find it on the floor, I’ll throw it away”. I actually do throw inexpensive things away! She never asks about the stuff.

      • Marilea Reinke says

        If my husband lives alone he definitely would be considered a hoarder, drives me crazy. He will part with nothing and gets mad at me if something appears to be missing or moved. Please help with that one.

      • After 46 years of marriage, my hubby has finally caught onto my secret of keeping stuff organized – the new rule he tells everyone now is that if he brings something in the house, he has to get rid of something. Sigh – finally! 😊

    • I always say never put off to tomorrow what can be done today! You never knows what tomorrow holds.
      I am very tidy and organize. I do it for a living. For me I have daily habits that I can’t make others in the house like me. I get up I make the bed instantly. I do not do laundry baskets throughout the house. I take them straight to the laundry room. I brush my teeth in the morning a rinse the sink out. I today before I go to work, or just leave the house because you never know who might stop in. When I come home. I take my shoes and coat off I put them in the closet. I do not leave them by the door. I do not hang them on the hooks to collect and definitely never hang them over a chair. It annoys me. Wash dishes at dinner is being made so only dinnerware needs washed. Before I go to bed at night I tidy up the house.

  2. Also? If something new comes in, something old goes out….I’m constantly donating, gifting, or tossing. No matter what size home you live in, there’s only so much room (or need!) to keep stockpiling. And generally speaking, I don’t miss things that I’ve gotten rid of…if I haven’t worn something in a year or two, or I know that as much as I love the LOOK of a particular items of clothing, it just isn’t comfortable or doesn’t fit me well, then I’m honest & get rid of it. In addition to donating or gifting, I’ve also sold things on ebay or in local consignment shops. And I try and go through cabinets, closets & shed every so often (maybe once or twice per year) to give honest assessment & then reorganize/clean as needed. But as the article says, it’s an ongoing approach to life —- I stand next to the recycling container as I look through the day’s mail — and anything that requires shredding goes right into my pocketbook so that I can shred it when I get to work the next day. And anything that is getting donated goes RIGHT into my car, and I try to drop off within a day or two. Etc. When you approach life this way, it’s less work in the end! And sentimentality has to be reined in — I don’t need to keep EVERY drawing my son ever did, or EVERY stuffed animal that he loved, I can keep the most meaningful ones, or pictures of items that are special.

    • Anonymous says

      Great Ideas, but you are obviously a “Tidy person.” :)

      • Paula Wooden says

        Sometimes it seems like as tidy people are few and far between.

        • Denise Patton says

          What I hear in most of these threads is that being a tidy person somehow equates to being a neglectful parent. I am also hearing the extreme side to being “untidy” (hoarding) and extreme neatness (OCD, or some form of it), both of which are a disorder. I believe most people are somewhere in the middle. Some of us like organized, tidy homes and others could care less, things not put away, stuff out of place doesn’t bother them. Some people are just better at housekeeping than others…but it does not or should not translate into your ability to spend time with your family or a statement about your priorities or parenting skills. I for one am getting a little annoyed at people who continually try to make the case that if you are tidy and organized then you are not doing your job as a parent…..two different skill sets. If you are not a particularly good housekeeper then just own it, quit trying to justify it by saying that people who choose to be neat don’t have their priorities in line.

          • I so agree with you! I enjoy tidying up snd organizing but I don’t think I’m a bad parent just because I like to keep our house clean and neat. Even my kids know how much I detest clutter and I train them to be neat as well. It doesn’t matter how big or small your house is, if it’s clean and neat, it’s beautiful. I don’t understand why some people think that you’re not having quality time with your family just because you keep your house clean. I enjoy watching a movie with my kids knowing that I don’t have dirty dishes sitting in the sink. To each his own.

          • You are SO right!

          • Amen!

          • Renee knopf says

            However, some people use their cleanliness as a distraction. They obsess on it to the point a child cant be a child. Can’t make any kind of a mess. Or the parent who is always cleaning to avoid closeness. This is how I judge if someone’s cleanliness is preferred or if they clean to avoid and distract closeness. Now, don’t be surprised a lot of successful happy people avoid closeness. Anyway, when I use to say to my Mom. “Mom, I have a problem!” She would instantly start wiping the counter. She didn’t stop to talk and help me navigate through the problem and grow. She just starts cleaning whenever there was an issue, she would avoid. Our house was spotless, but I just remember my Mom always being busy and trying to stay out of her way. I don’t want to be sooo clean I’m not available for my family! If my child wants me and the dishes need done. They can wait. My house is not a museum, I live in it!!

    • Yes I would say you are a tidy person…AND NOT a SENTIMENTAL person at all!! I understand I need to get rid of some things which I have had to do because we are downsizing big time… BUT when I look at an item, I see a MEMORY not just a THING! What I do believe is that if you put things back right after you use it; if you do the dishes right after dinner; if you put your dirty clothes in the hamper as soon as you take them off; if you fold and put away your clean clothes(must admit I still struggle with this one)as you take them out of the dryer; your tidy life will be easier. And if you have young children, forget everything I said and go with the flow because spending time with them is much more important than keeping a tidy house!!!

      • Anonymous says

        Take pictures of the items

      • Anonymous says

        Kids will always remember the time you spent with them and not the tidy house….

        • Anonymous says

          You can still have a tidy house and spend time with your kids.

          • Denise Patton says

            Yes, you can !!!!

          • Marilyn Read says

            You absolutely can! When your feet touch the floor, make the darn bed. Straighten the interior of the bedroom before you go to the bathroom. Follow the same ritual in each room you enter. Dirty cloths in hampers and clean cloths? Hang them up!
            Kitchen is a must for cleanliness. After eating, dishes go in dishwasher and washed when a full load. It is mindlessly easy. Develop these rituals and you have time to be the parent, partner you should be.

          • Yes!! I’ve always had a tidy, clean home and I spent quality time with my kids. I taught them to be responsible and clean up after themselves and to help with the house and laundry. If you don’t at the time it takes very little time and the result is time for your family. So please people STOP saying people that are clean and tidy do not have time for their family. That us such bull.

          • I would include my kiddos in the chores, they learn to do tasks that will be around as long as they live. iI got quality time… Mine never felt neglected, but included…some people make things much harder then they have to be!!

          • Granny Annie says

            Ladies, a large part of valuing our clean homes depends on how much time you have, I.e., do you work outside the home, how many children you have (2 or 3 or 4), how many outside activities THEY each have, how you address their individual needs (does your oldest need someone to listen to him read for homework while your youngest needs to breastfeed?), does another child need to discuss the kid in class that called her names and so she doesn’t want to go back to her new school. These are all scenarios I dealt with while raising my children. Now that they are all grown and out of the house, I am learning how to get back on track with decluttering and cleaning. Don’t start judging each other’s approach to parenting and cleaning. Each desire comes in its own time. We continue to want to have it all, and we can, just not always at the same time.

          • You can keep a tidy house and enjoy your family. I babysit my granddaughter and when the parents pick her up I pick up. My husband is where he will pick up and put things in place and I don’t even say anything to him. I think once you start it is something that you get in a habit of doing.

    • I am the same way. I have a small chest for each of my children. It holds their stuff from the hospital, and has room for a few really important things. During their first year I kept a few onesies from each size that I really loved on them and a few burp rags. My mom and I are making them into a quilt for them. Anytime the kids get more toys, I distribute them evenly between floors and bedrooms. If there is more than can fit in a toy box some get donated. It helps a lot.

    • Thank you for saying this. My daughter is 3 and a hoarder in the making ;) I am surrounded by toys etc she has grown out of but if I even move them it’s like the sky is falling. I feel bad and put it back bc I feel like kids really only have their stuff even if it’s clutter to us. I need to find a balance between allowing her sense of home and mine but thank you for making this point.

      • Go through her stuff when she is not around, them what you know she doesn’t use donate sell whatever. The stuff she does play with split into 2 bins. Put one away in a closet and she can play with the one that remains. Every other week or so swap out the bins. She will be happy playing with the toys that you had put up. Then swap out again. They actually play with the stuff they forgot they had, and you don’t end up with so much that it
        Clutters the houses

        • I used to group toys in boxes placed in the top of the closet. If you wanted to play Barbies, you had to put the Lincoln Logs away before Barbies were taken down. It helped a lot. I also did this with clothes for my ADHD child, or every outfit would be strung around the room. Clothes were allowed back in drawers as she learned that only one set was worn a day.

        • My youngest son (grown, married now and has 2 messy kids of his own) was (is) the biggest pig on the PLANET. He was/is SUCH a collector/hoarder. All his life I bagged up and hauled parts of his junk to the attic or basement. It didn’t go straight to the curb for pickup, I had an intermediate “wait and see” stash. I didn’t have a timer set on the “junk”, but loosely I was keeping tabs. If he didn’t mention it or look for it in (give or take) 6 months, it was either at the curb or rehomed. Mommy doesn’t do useless clutter. He is someone else’s problem now!!!

      • Misty Warren says

        My granddaughter lives with us. She also loves her “stuff” BUT over time and because we make it a point to stop and help others or just do a random act of kindness, she has really embraced donating things she doesn’t play with or use anymore.

      • I remember the truck piled high with all of the toys ( like a wicker carriage for my dolls)my mother thought I had outgrown, and the globe that facinated me( i became a work history teacher) . The truck was taking these things to aucton…i mourn their loss to this day. Be carefull of what you judge to be clutter.

    • I want to be like you! Time to start!

  3. Sandra Baumann says

    I learned after having our house on the market several times over the past few years – to make sure the house is ‘realtor ready’ every morning before I leave for work. No, our house is NOT for sale right now, but I’ve kept up with my realtor-ready attitude!

  4. Susan McCard says

    My realtor once told me that she had remarked to a potential buyer as she was showing my house: “Mrs. McCard would just die if she knew we were standing in her kitchen right now while she’s at work.”

  5. I am not a fan of Mrs. Meyers products; I prefer Seventh Generation.

    • Marilyn Read says

      Cynthia, if I ever purchase any more Mrs. Meyers, it will not be Honeysuckle. Just weak and sickening odor.

  6. Another important aspect of being tidy is cleaning up after yourself – especially when cooking. I clean up as I go, putting away the spices, washing up the used utensils and dishes and keeping the counter clean. Then after eating the clean up is so quick

    • I do this also-can’t stand to cook in a messy area or have any one in my kitchen while I’m cooking, it just throw me off my system I have going

    • I do this too and have been teaching my kids the same now they that are learning to bake and cook with me. I say “do we need the 1/2 cup anymore? nope, wash it and put it in the rack”. The worst part of cooking is the cleanup. I can’t imagine having to clean up EVERYTHING at the end, it would never get done.

    • That is also what I do – put away each ingredient after using them while making the recipe, makes the final clean up go much faster!

    • Eunice Byrd says

      Cleaning dishes as I cook keeps the clutter down and final clean up after we eat is minimal.

  7. Tip#32 Don’t marry a hoarder. I mean, collector, fan of repurposing (someday), salvage aficionado, enthusiast “picker”, etc.

    On a completely unrelated note, please send help. Merry maids coupons are accepted with gratitude….

    • Funny!

    • Oh gosh I so agree. The man who keeps every single bolt, screw, nail, etc that he finds laying around, until you have buckets of them. *mad face* lol

      • Connie St.Romain says

        🤣🤣🤣🤣

      • Margaret Kenney says

        My favorite cartoon: wife looks at hubby and says we really need to clean out all this junk. I mean look in this drawer there are 2 bent screws in it. Hubby looks at wife and sys” Yeah, you’re right. THrow one of them away.” Lol

      • Happy after 50! says

        I totally understand this. We have a 26 by 40 foot garage that never once in 23 years did we park in because I was to full of his “stuff”. The joke was always that if the walls caved in nobody would notice because the roof would only drop 6 inches. It drove me crazy. And then it started creeping into the house. I couldn’t change him no matter what I tried.

    • Cecile Thompson says

      Amen to not marrying one who likes to collect junk to repurpose it.

    • This is so true I married one and my yard is full of picker stuff and I forced him to part with closets full of things he wanted to bring from an old house to a new o e I said no way pick your favorites the rest is leaving I’m not a full on tidy person though id like to be but somethings I just can’t handle lol

  8. I really need to get rid of clothing. I am not contributing much here, i need help!

    • Read these books
      Atomic Habits- James Clear ( has website)
      Better than before- Gretchen Rubin ( she has a large website of lots of help being “Better than before”! and is quite involved with her website, has podcast,2
      and
      The Life changing magic of tidying up- Marie Kondo (pronounced Mah-ri-ah
      That should keep u busy on the road to being organized ( from the inside out)
      All the best!

    • I learned that little trick from my Dear Mother-in-law, years ago…Remember the saying” “A watched pot never boils”…She taught me to busy myself doing something ‘else’ while waiting for something to cook fry, bake or ??? …such as washing up the soiled pots/pans/utensils…cutting up the ‘next’ vegetable or ???…But, NEVER go sit down for 2-5 minutes…That way, when the meal is finished, so is most of the cookware and cleaned
      surfaces

    • Clothing hoarder….Only hang what you will wear THAT season…separating items such as pants/skirts/blouses, dresses/jackets, on hangers…t-shirts (in drawers) etc….Store the rest in storage boxes, BY THE SEASON…..IF it looks too old or you KNOW you will not wear it again…donate it to charity…OR close your eyes and pitch it.

      • Unless you live in the south and the temperature can jump 40deg from one day to next! You legitimately need clothes for all season available in the “winter”!

        • TRUTH

        • Amen to that from southeast Texas😂

        • Uggh! Hot and rainy for 12 days straight in Central Florida – with somewhat chilly evenings – need all the clothes AND rain gear. Plus, we are in the process of moving – it’s gross and anti-tidy 😝

        • Winona Latona says

          Thank goodness I live in South Florida- our seasons are called wet and dry. My hubs is a clothes hoarder. 2 drawers full of t-shirts. I do have them separated those with designs and those without. These are not counting undershirts. At last count he was at 50. My goal was to be a minimalist with my clothes. I really didn’t have an abundance to begin with just multiple sizes from losing weight. So I was finally able to toss all the larger sizes. I have 10 pair underwear/ 10 socks/ 5 bras- not including speciality ones for specific dresses/ a few dressy dresses etc.
          Our biggest clutter issue now is going through paperwork and pictures and getting them in some kind of order.

        • Same goes for Colorado. Forty degree changes in a day are normal here. Need warm and cold weather things handy all year round. Hardest is keeping organized all the footwear!

  9. Sarah Kauffman says

    The best book I’ve rad on hoarding is “The Hoarder in You” by Dr. Robin Zazio.

  10. I purchased the ebook on covering furniture with Pay Pal but it would not download. How do I get the book?

  11. Sharon Ronan says

    Use the correct Japanese pronunciation that she uses. Mah ree a

  12. Being a “tidy person” isn’t that difficult, even if you are a beginner. Everything you own right now you have already “found a home” for. So begin there. CLEAN AS YOU GO and to tidy up grab something that is out of it “home” and put it there. It does not have to be a one day chore. Clean your kitchen mess as you are cooking….waiting for pasta to boil, clean the mess you made while you are waiting on the water. This practice can be used on anything. I get quick easy chores done during commercials if it is a program on t.v. I really wanted to watch. Keep i simple, keeps it clean.

  13. charmie centers says

    Our home economics teacher always said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” That’s my motto today.

  14. annette gagliardi says

    I’m a tidy person,so I see the main thing in any situation, and note that the debris around the edges needs to be cleaned up. I see that your main thing was advertising for the cleaning product company – a worthy goal, but then don’t advertise this article as a self-help thing.
    You are correct about the five things tidy people do: I do try to clean / pick up after myself as I go along and definitely do the clean sweep or reset every day. Here are a couple more. Put one thing back before taking out another. Also, everything has a place and everything in its place.

  15. I agree on DON’T sneak in advertising while claiming it is a self-help column. It is misleading.

    • But helpful! Grove Collaborative has helped me keep a stock of things I used to run out of…and all natural so good for kids, pets, environment and affordable. Knowing that HAS helped me…and no, I have zero to do with advertising or working for/with the company in case you wrre wondering! Just a fan and it was a similar way I discovered the company a year ago. Not all advertising is bad if it is helpful, true? You can always move on! Best of luck in ALL our endevor to be more tidy!😊

  16. This article is spot on. I’ve been a “tidy” person all of my life and I do every single one of these 5 things every day. Therefore, it takes me 15 minutes a day to keep a tidy house instead of 3 hours every Saturday!

  17. Anonymous says

    I wish i wasn’t a lazy slob. I like a tidy house, but i work in a high stress job with plenty of hours. When i get home, i just want to crash. And weekends…i try to unwind and re-energize. I try to stay caught up, but my spouse and I are just not good at the little tips like cleaning as you go. Unless I am cooking. I can’t work in a messy, cluttered kitchen.

    • I agree with you.

    • This was me. Everything RE teaching (and home) was color coded organized to the nth degree. Little personal time to destress actually became a decision fatigue handicapp that my brain has actually revolted to instant super high stress upon an injury…and unable to “work.” Now the 3 yr accumulated clutter at home is a “symptom” and it’s not that I Want the stuff, but in 1,050 sq ft, idk What to do with it… compounded by executive capacity extreme deficits. I truly NEED help to minimize. This thread is Definitely more helpful and practical than Anything I’ve ever seen. Short term memory and accessing this again are going to trip me up though. LOVE the comments! Keep them coming! TIA!

  18. I loved your book “The Nesting Place”. Just discovered your. A fan for life. Thank you..

  19. Connie St.Romain says

    🤣

  20. I kind of agree that keeping a minimalist interior design works best. It helps me find my stuff easily and cleaning your room becomes much easier.

  21. thanks so much,very good information

  22. Kathie Colgrove says

    I tidy by dedicating a few minutes a day to one room. If I clean the largest bathroom then I will usually clean the powder room too. The next day I will dust, vacuum or sweep. Laundry is done usually daily or every other day, with one load going in so it doesn’t pile up. It’s not about working every day, it’s doing a little each day so that you’re not stuck doing chores for hours. I also do not allow things on the floor so that the room appears tidier. People really make it more difficult than it needs to be. And, I never leave the kitchen dirty ever. All done before bed.

  23. This is a teachable moment for parents when kids are old enough; they need these organization & cleaning skills for a successful future. I work with adults who grew up in state custody and never learned these skills so they really struggle.

  24. As someone who is NOT a Tidy Person, I agree with everything she mentions in this article! (Yes, there was a sales pitch in the article however, I am a big fan of natural cleaning products and make my own But realize for some it’s easier to purchase!) I used to be a Tidy Person until i simply got out of all my tidy habits. I’ve slowly been working on re-implementing them and my step daughter was over recently and commented on how much better the house was looking! Since I was doubting my progress, it really warmed my heart to know she took notice and was proud of my efforts!! Remember people, the house didn’t get cluttered/messy in a short time and it won’t get completely clean and tidy in a short time! It’s all about making a little more progress each day until you reach your goal!

  25. Gorkdoddess says

    All this article has taught me is that I am not, nor will I ever be a tidy person. Thank you.

  26. Will someone show me the tombstone that says she kept a clean and tidy house.

    • Hi Martha. This article isn’t about tombstones. It’s about cleaning tips for those who may be looking for some.

  27. Will someone show me the tombstone that reads she kept a clean and tidy house.

  28. I try so hard daily to be a clean and tidy person! And for the people who day they get to spend time with their kids and family even being tidy….I don’t see how!! I’m not shaming in any way but it takes me all day every day to clean my house which having four children makes life difficult. I either clean all day and dont see my children, or I see my children while I sit and a state of anxiety knowing my house is a disaster! And I’ve tried to train my children to br tidy as well but it takes my 5 and 7year old all day to clean their one shared room! Sometimes multiple days! Then I’m stressed bc I have to tell them over and over to get it done! And my poor boys one being 2years and autistic and my other being 1year and the baby of all of them they dont understand cleaning yet. So instead of cleaning up for myself and my husband I have 4 children and one person doing the cleaning! My husband cant, he works 12hr overnight and has to sleep during the day.

    • Tere, this is your survival season! You can only do what you can do right now! Give yourself lots of grace and do little things while your kids are still babies. It WILL get better. Happy New Year!

    • hi there:)
      i hear u!
      i think what mite be helpful is to know we go thru different seasons.
      In this season you cant do it all.
      There will come a time you can do more.
      on quote i heard of & wrote down so i can see it its beside my BREATHE note
      Done is better than perfect!
      So be kind to yourself cuz the kids see mom frazzled, tense & not being in the NOW. ( i work on this one TOO)
      Here are 2 book recommends u can get them on audio ( i get many of my books from the Public Library- both ebooks ( Print & audio) & i have Audible….
      Atomic Habits- James Clear; Better Than Before-Gretchen Rubin.
      There r tons of interviews with them & both have a good website with a ton of resources…
      Pls feel free to email & keep us updated on how u r doing.
      Big Hugs
      u r not alone

  29. CourtneyBklyn says

    It saddens me that in reading this thread women are still dutifully stuck in the 1950s. Even with full time work & careers, the responsibility of keeping the house tidy, cleaning, cooking & child rearing has barely shifted. I’m an only parent, my daughter was 5 months Old when her father died, that’s my excuse and why I’m in search of better solutions & balance. When will the men (husbands & fathers) be held equally accountable for a clean & tranquil home? My father did more than half of all tidying, cleaning, child rearing, so it is possible. Why can’t it say in point 2 “like you Dad and Martha Stewart cleaned all day”? Speak up or step up fellas.

    • I dont think the article was intended to be targeted at women. I have a son and husband who do JUST as much housework as my daughters and myself. It’s definitely a team effort and that is the message I took away from the article. Anyone can stock up supplies, do dishes before tv, etc…Sadly sometimes I think we feel targeted when we feel overloaded. I hope you have some support for yourself to not be the only “tidier” in the home! I think you’ll find if you read the article again it’s really not meant to target any group. Best of luck and I wish you a Hapoy New Year with a bit of time for you!!!♥️

      • i was going to say something similar.
        I don’t think the intention of this article was to “Shame” anyone.
        I take it as 5 Things Tidy ppl do kind of thing.
        i know FOR ME i feel better when things are neat and in order AND
        less “Stuff”. i wouldnt consider myself a minimalist by any means tho i take
        some of that & incorporate it & energy wise: Neat, Clean and not a whole lot of extra stuff
        feels so much better, saying that i know there are those who really like alot of things, which i get, but tidy & clean apply to that too, just alot more work, dusting and cleaning.
        I always say to myself b4 buying or taking a hand me down , etc. Do i have the energy for it, move it, dust it, clean, usually my answer is no.
        All the very best u all
        Blessed, Healthy, Happy New Year u all:) ♥

  30. The subject of this article was not women who are “stuck in the 1950’s”. This article was for anyone who is interested in cleaning tips.

  31. Just curious….do these Tidy People include any single moms, working two jobs, and being head of the household? I would LOVE to have a few minutes to tidy up each day, and the extra cash to order my cleaning supplies. But being single with kids and two jobs…that’s just not going to happen. I need that few minutes to supplement my 4 hours of sleep each night, to do family finances, do major jobs like laundry, grocery shop, walk the dogs, get the oil changed, cook dinner, or finish up the “take home” work I have from my teaching job. Every single minute of my day is spoken for. Tidying Up is a luxury that I just don’t get on a regular basis.

    • I’m one of these mom. Living alone with kids. Two jobs. College professor during the day. University tutor online in another state in the evenings. I make my bed before I even go to the bathroom in the mornings. That takes me less than 3 minutes I would imagine. I unload the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen from breakfast while the kids are eating in the morning we are discussing the needs of their day. That way the house kitchen etc is clean and straight when we come home to it. Everyone puts their dirty clothes go into a central basket. When we get enough for one load, we start a the wash, no matter the day. Each child knows how to run the washer and dryer. Folding and putting away clothes is a shared job with everyone doing their own. So that takes probably 5 minutes since it’s only one load and can be done in the time of commercials or watching a TV show together. I do frequently make all-in-one sheet pan meals and use the crock pot for nights when I have lots of tutoring students lined up. I have to vacuum frequently due to my daughter’s allergies and having a dog in the house, so that happens on the weekends with earbuds because I find music makes it more palatable. Best of luck to you. I know it’s a struggle.

    • My mom was definitely one of those people. The kitchen is Queen immediately after dinner. The laundry is hold it as it comes out of the dryer and put away immediately. Shoes in the middle of the floor? Mom called us back from whatever we were doing to place them in the right spot. She was a single mom in a rural area with an unreliable car, Masters studies, and a full-time job. If it weren’t for those ingrained habits, life would have been a lot more stressful. As a messy person I am very familiar with the frustration of trying to find matching clothes, a spice jar that didn’t get put away, important papers mixed with unopened bills… I am so much less efficient than she was. Obviously her level of rigor isn’t going to suit everyone. But the idea that it can’t be done? Just not true. You do the best you can with what you have, and not everybody has the Tidy “gene”. But boy is it handy if you have it!

  32. We have lived in a very small house for the past 21 years. Ten days ago we just moved into a bigger house that’s twice the size of our previous home. Our old tiny house was packed full of so. MUCH. STUFF. Entirely too much stuff. Now our new double car garage is packed FULL of all of that excess clutter. This move has given me the opportunity to search my heart to discover why on earth I felt the need to save everything that I’ve held on to for the past 26 years. I’m discovering that there is so much peace in creating cleared spaces. Even my walls are joyful in not having a ton of stuff hung from them. There’s a quietness that comes from unclutteredNess. There’s a peace that comes from creating intentionally uncluttered space. Reading all of these comments this morning has motivated me even more so to not unpack all the clutter in the garage and touch every item and bring it inside. I remember back 30 years or so ago, when I was 15 years old I bought a book in the airport called Messy No More. Long before I knew how the reality of this would ultimately play out in my life I was seeking some sort of assurance that there was hope for my Messy nature. I can’t wait to dig in to the boxes that have temporarily occupied space in my garage, and toss them all right into the bed of my husband’s pickup! *ironically, my hubby works at the local landfill!!
    Happy New Year everyone!

    • Where do I begin teaching my messy 17 year old son to “tidy up”? He is very creative and smart, but leaves everything where he put it down. It is exhausting always asking him to put things away. Surely, there is a trick to making picking up become a habit. Even if it starts small. I don’t care. I would like some simple, kind advice. If we don’t get ahead of this (and he has been a “keeper/collector” his whole life, he will be a slob at work and at his own house someday. I want to help him, as well as the rest of our family who are neater (but not perfectly neat) than him.

  33. I guess I am one of the tidy people 😂 but when I go to help others clean up, I take a minute to survey the landscape and then start in one room and move on to the next. It lets you see things getting done and allows you to move trash or clutter as you go so the last thing to do is take the trash out.

  34. Grove Collaborative is an outstanding way to stay stocked! There is an extra soap refill and counter spray in the kitchen and every bathroom. Never running out of what you need for a 10 second spritz keeps yhe house smelling good and that is a big plus! No one wants a stinky house!…and I have 3 teens!! Lol…Highly recommend Grove!!

  35. Something that I decided to do with my messy kids is to eliminate the argument of “clean out from under your beds issue” because mine love to shove everything under there and say their rooms are clean is the place boards around the bed frame to make it look like platform beds. It stops them from being able to shove things under there and I don’t have to get mad about said topic.

  36. I’m not always a tidy person, but it is much easier now that my husband & I are empty nesters. I do think that it is unhealthy, mentally speaking, to live in a cluttered, unorganized home. Also, it’s way more difficult to actually clean your home when there’s too much clutter. A tidy home isn’t necessarily a clean home, but it’s certainly more likely to get cleaned when the home is tidy!

  37. Teresa Harrison says

    TheFly Lady helped me.

  38. lynn barry says

    One of my favorite cleaning tips: Keep disinfecting wipes in each bathroom for a quick touch up. ALWAYS have a clean bathroom ready for your guests!

  39. I have found these posts very helpful. I raised 3 kids and saved probably a lot more than I should have. Between childhood memories, things of my moms I just could never part with I have a house filled with nostalgia. Now I am selling the family home and finally breaking free of all my clutter. One day at a time I go through a room or a closet and it is so freeing to let go. I am so excited to start my new life clutter free. It is not easy lol but I read some where to take pictures and that helps. Thank you for your posts

  40. I have had people come to my house and because my house is clean they ask if I want to earn some extra money to clean their house. I laugh and tell then no way I hate cleaning the house and that I am way too lazy. I learned because I am lazy that if I clean up as I go along that I never have to clean house. I used to get up at 2 am I go to work, an hour to get to work, work 10 1/2 hours, then an hour home cook, eat wash dishes, make lunches for the next day. If I didn’t keep up with everything I would get serious anxiety, so I had to learn to keep everything up or I could not function. Now we are retired and I was lucky my husband picked up the same habits. We now work together to get all the chores done even before breakfast. We have no carpet so he even runs the dust mop through the whole house and even the back porch. I am very lucky to have him.
    .

  41. I was a single mom of three girls and realized I was walking into a mess every day after work. So I picked the three areas that were the most frustrating and that became a rotating chore list – living room, bathroom and laundry. They got home at 3:30, so they had until 5 to get it done. Added bonus, whoever had first chore that week also got front seat and first shower. Did THAT solve a lot of hassle.

    My adopted mom and I made up two sayings: Just because it’s cute doesn’t mean you have to bring it home, and, when you put something down ‘for now’ – for now is forever.

  42. I always made my family leave ALL shoes in the garage. We had a couple shelving units by the garage door where we came in. Never had lost shoes or dirty shoes inside. Each family member also had their own shelf for their backpack, books, what they should remember to take back to school, etc. Nothing around the house and nothing lost. Worked beautifully.

  43. Thanks a lot for publishing this blog. Really great kind of information is sharing.

  44. Thanks for sharing..

  45. Thank you for this wonderful post I have downsized and in the process of still going through boxes and paperwork. My goal is to make things warm and simple when decorating.

  46. I have 5 kids, a husband, my mom & my brother-in-law all living in the same house. I am also in the Army, full-time. My house has its messy days, but my kids all clean their rooms, do their laundry & no how to cook simple meals. My house always looks good because everyone picks up after themselves. We do this so we can have family time & do things together. My kids always know I am there for them. My kids are smart, caring, kind, self-sufficient & capable. By de-cluttering & staying on top of the mess, you have more time to spend with your loved ones.

  47. Loved this memory jogger, these tips are precisely how I used to keep house and have free time to be with my kids when they had free time. Then I married a slob.. h just doesn’t see a mess… till I say were having company with babies lol , then everything gets put away vacuumed and dusted. And all I have to do is was dishes as I go so by dinner time were enjoying family instead of me angering over what they think of my own bend of lazy. It works for now and one day I’ll quit tripping over everyone’s shoes by the doors and couch :)

  48. Very interesting this article, I am one of the people who try not to mess up the home but I have a little girl and it is not so easy to keep everything tidy, but with all these steps you can support me more. I will start applying it at home

  49. Janel Burgess says

    Years ago when my kids were little I started a cleaning system that I still use today. I didn’t have time to clean my house in one day so I cleaned one room each day of the week. Monday is kitchen day, Tuesday is bathrooms, Wednesday is dining room, Thursday is living room and family room and Friday is bedrooms. Then we just enjoy our tidy house on the weekend…works for me!

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