5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do

how to have a clean house #tidy #kitchen

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

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


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

Here’s what I’ve discovered…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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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



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

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

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

        • I couldn’t have said it any better..

        • Anonymous says


        • You could not be more accurate when you say that you need to make time for your family because life is short and we don’t know from one day to the next how long any of us have. Losing your children, whether it be by them moving and going off to college, or rather it be God’s will and he calls them home, it’s a devastating change in life that most of us don’t think about until its too late!! So I too believe that time with family is way more important than making sure there is no dust on your furniture or crumbs to sweep or vacuum up!! Spend all the time you can with family and even friends, because all that mess will still be there when you get ready to clean it up!! I promise no one else will do it for you!! (Unless you pay someone to do it for you!!) 😅😄

          • Good organizational skills and discipline in your tidying skills will give you more time with your family. I use the Fly Lady cleaning and tidying method and have so much extra time. You have to have self discipline though. The old – there is no time to keep a clean house without spending less time with my children is pure laziness.

          • I agree!

          • Anonymous says

            You are so right 👏

          • Anonymous says

            Maybe your son has ADD? ADD isn’t always hyper and over the top. Sometimes it’s not being able to manage time or organize one’s personal space and items. Everything, even picking up a piece of trash off the floor can feel overwhelming. Even the best students can have trouble with Executive Functioning skills that may make them seem lazy or forgetful. I’m not saying it’s not pure unwillingness to grow up, but may be something to look into. Adults with ADD can hyper focus on things that interest them or things that they are good at, while other simple tasks can be unmanageable.

          • Anonymous says

            Teaching the kids to clean and making it fun seems to do the trick in my family. I cannot stand a dirty house lol I think the key is making it a fun habit for everyone to just pick up after themselves ;)

          • Hi Heather, I read your reply and agree with so much of it. I was blessed to be able to be be a stay-at-home mom. I cleaned when my 3 sons were busy, sleeping or playing, but as soon as they wanted “mom” time, all of my time went to them. I was thrilled to teach my sons to ride bikes, play football, and especially teaching them to play, enjoy and love baseball. I was given the great job of coaching my middle son’s tee ball team. Those are so many of my favorite memories.
            As you said, life is so short. I lost my precious middle son due to murder in 1999, at the age of 22, and I lost my precious youngest son, who was a Veteran and had 7 fights with cancer. (I had no idea that he was suffering with it again the last time I saw him. My baby boy, at the age of 34, took his life in 2013.
            When I lost my middle son, people started coming to my house bringing wonderful food. Later, they were overheard saying that they were all prepared to wash dishes, clothes, make beds, etc… They were so surprised to see that there was nothing to be done, and everything was in place. I grew up with a mom who has OCD, which passed on to my sister and me, then to my youngest son. 😁 But once I lost my 2nd son, I struggle to deep clean like I used to. Things stay neat, but my life and habits have changed.
            So, love, prayers, patience and encouragement become so important to us.
            So, thank you for this website.

          • Marsha, I am so, so, so sorry. That is a lot of loss. May God keep you and bless you until you see your boys again.

          • As a mother who raised two wonderful sons who learned at an early age, to always pick up after themselves and also had chores to do to help keep things tidy. My house was not always spotless. I would spend a whole Saturday cleaning to have a clean smelling hose, a showcase home for whoever stopped by, unannounced. My dad would always say ” does anyone ever LIVE here , do those boys ever have fun in their home “? I finally realized, spending all of my Saturdays cleaning and washing and folding clothes, then preparing dinner, Sunday spent grocery shopping, my whole weekend shot, not to mention how tired and cranky I was to NOT HAVE QUALITY FAMILY TIME with my sons. So people, spend more time with your family now, because in the blink of an eye, your children are all in grown up and have no time for you. Did I mention I had no help making sure everyone’s needs were met, although I thought, I was happily married, I did it all by myself. Crazy huh? So leave the “lived in home”, cleaning for another day, Yes it will still be there for you, believe it or not, maybe a bit more, but learn to delegate the messes!

          • When our girls were growing up our house was always a mess then they all got married and our house stayed pretty clean. Now we have 8 grandkids and 6 are 11 and under and my house is a mess again. I PREFER THE MESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • We raised our family and they all have home’s of their own. There were seven if us and everyone had a task to do. My house was always clean. Are weekends were full with baseball,softball, soccer, football, wrestling,cheerleading and Dance. I just wanted to say instead of having your kids in everything for me traveling and going to everone’s games wasn’t having one on one time with them. Just going for a walk or reading a book together even going to the beach and find feathers, shells and rocks together to me those were the times I really enjoyed. Not spending a whole day cleaning. Your children grow up and will remember the good times of their youth.

          • Bonny Fugett says

            Agreed! It doesn’t have to be pricey or fancy. There is so much to enjoy and learn from the world around us.

        • Anonymous says

          I love this we often get caught up in appearance and how other will judge us. Keep your house clean to where you and ur family can enjoy it. Those random messes of kids toys and shoe are the things we all will miss.

          • Denise Patton says

            Agreed; I have a friend of mine who applies the mindset that if a house is too clean that no time is being spent with the family. I disagree. You make time for cleaning and straightening up just like you make time for family. I am just not a fan of dirt and clutter and disorder. I agree that every room or space needs to look like it is ready for a magazine shoot, but it doesn’t need to look like an episode of hoarders either.

          • Denise Patton says

            I meant to say that every room or space DOES NOT need to look like it is ready for a magazine shoot*

          • Denise Patton says

            I meant to say that every room or space DOES NOT need to look like it is ready for a magazine layout, but I don’t want to look like I am living in a storage unit either.

        • Anonymous says

          I agree. Thanks for the perspective.👍🏻

        • How do you deal with a inmuture 21 yr old who leaves dirty underwear in the bathroom floor no matter how many times you tell him or never closes the shower curtain back so that the liner doesn’t stay wet and get moldy who IF he throws something in the bathroom garbage but misses just leaves it in the floor, never puts his toothbrush up, who has gone for over 6 wks without changing his sheets even though he was told to do that numerous times (is that my job)leaves food wrappers on the kitchen counter
          Beyond Frustrated

          • Honestly, if it isn’t where it is supposed to go, consider it trash and throw it away. My daughter had a habit of taking off her pants and leaving her underwear in them. I started putting them on her pillow! It took a while but she got the hint and stopped.

            If you can’t bring yourself to throw things away, just throw them in a basket out of sight. If he has to dig this toothbrush out of his pile of underwear he will stop. Put EVERYTHING that is not where it is supposed to be in the basket!!

            The bed- put your food down that the sheets are to be washed on this day- period. People who live in this house change their sheets. My son would say “you are kicking me out?!” To which I would say no, but people who live in this house do what is expected. Be strong!!!

          • My question is…do you clean up the messes he makes? If the answer is Yes, (please accept this opinion as a wake up call) then the problem is not your son. If you continue to clean up after him how do you expect him to take on that responsibility? Set the rules and live by them. He can clean or he can pay you to clean…his choice!

          • Anonymous says

            Answer: At 21 if he can’t RESPECT your home, tell him to move out!

          • Robin Z. says

            I would gather up the stuff that has been left in the wrong place and dump it all on his bed. If he just throws all of that on the floor, I would throw out things he would have to replace, like underwear. Also, I hope we are talking about a 21-year-old who either has a full-time job, is going to school, or both and is paying for board and room. And he must obey the rules of the house, like no wild parties, loud music or TV, drugs, excessive alcohol drinking. Show respect for other people who live in the house. Have him sign an agreement that states your house rules. If he fails to obey these rules, he’s kicked out. It’s called tough love, and you have to do it!

          • Jennifer says

            Take it all away

          • Anonymous says

            It’s time for him to find somewhere else to live.

          • Anonymous says

            He needs to move out

          • Anonymous says

            Kick him out

          • Susan in Florida says

            From one Susan to another, if he is 21, maybe tell him he is a grown man and time to find his own place to keep messed up :)

          • Really.you need us to answer…first he is 21, charge him rent , and tell him there will be extra fees for you to replace hygiene products..sheets..shower etc….if he doesn’t like that …tell him he has 90 days to find his own place…..because basically he has no respect for you…

          • So why does he have clean underwear?Children can learn to do their own laundry at a young age. This is a parenting problem and his future wife is in for a rude awaking!

          • First, hugs. I feel your pain. Second, as my therapist once said to me – shame on us as parents because we created these “lazy monsters” as they have learned from repeated behavior. Wait long enough and mom will do it and whatever consequences we have given in the past have not been enough to scare the beetlejuice & respect out of them. Does this 21 year old have a car? A phone? Insurance? Any if which you also pay for? Here is example the Dr did to his son & it clicked for me. His son disrespected said Dr one day while on phone. Son was at a job, while driving a car (insurance) & phone all Dr paid for. (Son is 19) Doc called phone company & shut off service, called towing company and had car towed and left son stranded at job. At home removed items of sons room to garage. All conversation when son finally got home was to remind him the room, car, phone, house, insurance and life he lived was ALL currently belonging and being LENDED to him. He was welcome to get his own anytime. I got it! Boy did I get it. We have to check ourselves on the human we are raising and the level of self entitlement we are letting them have. I went home & set a new level of boundries and in the past 6 months have a diff 19 year old. Tough love is the hardest to give. Sorry this has nothing to do with the tidy up post- just one momma loving another. We do the best we can every day! ♡♡♡

          • I left home at 21. If he can’t follow house rules, give him a deadline to find some roommates and go live on his own.

          • Get serious with him. If he is still living with you at 21 presumably you still feed him etc. And maybe even support him financially. Withhold meals and anything else you do for him until he becimes a nicer, cleaner person to live with. Otherwise there is no consequence to him for his actions – his future wife will thank you!

          • You didn’t start early enough with that one. Those habits should have been instilled around age 3…

          • Anonymous says

            I agree with Teresa. I was going to say the same thing about the underware. Put them on his pillow or in his pillow case. When he runs out he can go wash them. I would strip the sheets and not put any back on. Febreeze the bed and give him his blanket. Take the trash basket out of his bathroom and take the shower curtain down. He can take a bath. I raised two boys and one girl. They all say I am the coolest mom. Its ok to be tough. No one wants to get sick. If his room smells. Go get one of those horrible car little can gel deoderizer. Hide it in his room. Tell him you will take it out when he becomes more responsible and can keep his room comfortably clean and not smelly and germy. Best of luck! BE the Mom! :)

          • Dont kick him out. Dont throw his belongings away. Dont shame him. Some people are not capable of being tidy. It is not an issue of morality or poor character. Help him hire a maid twice a month and focus on all the things you love about him.

          • Anonymous says

            At 21 he is old enough to live on his own, it is ok to say, to live in my house, live by my rules, and write down those things that are most irritating, then, take money for board which you can use to pay a housecleaner for your home. His room and bathroom are his responsibility.
            My key for neatness is 1) when you walk in, take off your shoes at the door to limit dirt. Go straight to your room with coat and purse, dont drop them on a chair, that causes another time for pickup.

          • Everything he leaves tossed about & those dirty, disgusting, “can-stand-up-or-walk-away-on-their-own-volition” sheets can be solved in one simple solution. Toss everything he leaves into his bed. Dirty clothes on his bedroom floor? In his bed? Toothbrush not where it needs to be? In the bed with the dirty clothes, maybe even wrapped up in a pair of dirty underwear from the bathroom floor or a soggy towel that he neglected to pick up from the floor. Whatever it is, goes in his bed. If he has a habit of leaves dirty dishes about, go out, buy 1 set of of color-coded dishes (everything, just one of each: mug, cup, plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon) that’s all he gets. If it’s not washed for his next meal? Oh well! He washes it or he doesn’t eat. He doesn’t use your dishes.

            But the BIGGEST Ace up your sleeve that you have to play is….get ready…..
            YOU’RE THE PARENT & HE’S THE CHILD! Bottom line, it’s your house, your name on the mortgage. If he wants to act like a child, treat him like a child. Ground him! I don’t care how old he is. If he lives under your roof, he abides by your rules. If he doesn’t like it, he knows where the front door is. Don’t put your foot down. Put it up his bum!

            I’m 34, live with my Mom (I moved back to help her take care of my late grandmother a few year ago, then injured my back & am now recovering from spinal fusion surgery), & it’s my childhood home. We butted heads at first because I was used to coming & going as I pleased, & living my own life. But I’m living under her roof, so out of respect because she’s my Mom & because, even though this will always be my home, this is her house, I abide by her rules.

            I help out with light cleaning (dusting, wiping down the sinks in the bathroom & powder room, paying bills, etc.) I also respect the time she asked that I come home by, (when I would I go out in the evenings, since my injury, I’ve had no social life other than trips to the drs, hospitals, or physical therapy).

            Just like respect, being treated like an adult is something that is earned, not given. If he wants to be treated like an adult, he needs to earn it. If he wants to treat your house like a flop-house, then things he values are going to start going missing (if you catch my drift😉). If he wants those items back, he’s going to have to BUY them back…from you. If he thinks the Cleaning Faerie is going to come in & clean his mess, THAT’S going to cost him as well! And when it comes time for him to go out & party with his friends & he has $0.00 left because he had to buy back his belongings & pay to have a cleaning lady, & Mom WON’T GIVE him money, but the FINANCIAL INSTITUTE OF MOM will LEND him money with an INSANE INTEREST RATE that COMPOUNDS DAILY!!! He will do one of two things: get his act together or he’ll get out; thinking the grass is greener on the other side.

            When you point out the glaring issue of the fact that he has NO MONEY. He’ll change his tune & shape up. Don’t be a doormat. You’re the Queen of your castle. The parent. The Mom. You make & set the rules. Rules that can be changed at any given point in time by you, as & when YOU see fit.

            If you don’t show him how to take care of himself now & to be respectful of women & other people he lives with, he’s going to be a NIGHTMARE for his future spouse.

          • Desiree Everly says

            Tough love is harder on us than it is on them. Imagine the frustration that will be passed on to his future wife. It’s long past due for him to take care of himself, I know. I have a daughter that has a child with a man that would rather play video games than help take care of a child and a home. His mother still comes up with excuses for him and is wearing herself out trying to take up his flack. You see, my daughter works full time and shouldn’t be expected to be a single parent because he never learned to share responsibility.

          • Susie Rideout says

            My sons room was upstairs. I became tired of having to go up there and gather dirty laundry after asking them to bring it down. So o made a new rule that if I had to go up and gather it, they had to pay $.50 per article to get them returned. First week, I made about $15 between the two of them. The second time, the 16 year old owed about 2/3 of the money owed. The third time, the 13 year old had it figured out, and owed nothing. It took a couple more weeks for the 16 year old caught on!

            Worked like a charm after that!🤗

          • Anonymous says

            I have a 14 yr old and 11 yr old boy and I struggle so much with this..my 11 yr old takes more Initiative to keep his room neat and will even once in a while organize dust and sweep without being told. On the other hand my 14 yr olds room always looks like a bomb went off in there! I will wash, dry and fold laundry..and simply ask for it to be put away. Ha! Jokes on me..empty waterbottles, food wrappers stuffed in drawers or on the side of the bed. They have PLENTY time to be kids..and in the midst of growing up, sports, girlfriends, and school, I’m just tryin g to teach them how to be good men one day..to take responsibility and have pride in things that have..to take care of their ‘stuff’ – keep on him! Assist and teach when you can and try to make it a little fun..

          • I would pick up his mess and throw it on the front lawn!! Dirty underwear included! I would tell him not to ask me to do anything until he does something. No rides, borrow money, etc!

          • phillips says

            At 21 years old it seems a little late to me. My daughter used to let her house go and say she wants to spend her time with her family. One day I asked her how she would feel if her daughter-inlaws kept her son’s house like that. That gave her pause to think/ The other daughter makes it a habit to keep her house clean and taught her children to do the same. She has way more time for her family.

        • Judi Dietz says

          Wendy come on over to my house. There are only 2 of us but this house is at all times a challenge. In other words HELP

        • I agree…you have the rest did your life for a clean house and all those decorations….well those are memories …I would much rather have a house of memories than a house that is perfectly organized all the time

        • So true. Until the “messes” are no longer made do you realize how much you miss the ones who made them

        • Beautifully said!!! I agree❤️

        • Lyn Schuck says

          Beautifully stated!

        • I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person agreeing with you Wendy! Yes, cleanliness is desirable, as is tidiness. However, it’s been my experience that time spent with my children, family and friends can’t always be repeated……but dirt, dust and the like is always available!

        • When there is a pile of shoes at the front door, you know it’s Love because they ALL came to your house to see you. It is an awesome feeling!

        • Anonymous says

          So true, one can never get back the yesterdays spending time with kids, grandkids, instead of following them with dust map and cleaning cloth, the fingerprints and toys will be there tomorrow, enjoy them now.

        • Thank you, Anonymous…Excellent…so true….loved your reply!!

        • Eileen T. says

          Very well put; a grandmother told me when I complained that we can’t seem to keep the toys out of view in our living room ( note; we do not have a home with a finished basement or “play room”) . She told me she missed the days when her kids toys were around and enjoyed when the grand kids were over. I guess we all need balance, but living in a home that looks like a museum would be overboard for me. That being said, whatever works for every family is great!

        • Anonymous says

          So true….now I love to see my grandchildren’s shoes at the door and toys all over the floor!

        • Anonymous says

          Well said!

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

      • You are so right!

        • Sheryl Kreutzfeldt says

          Agr Ed. My kids are all grown with homes of their own and they still talk how “Mom always made time for me”

          • Anonymous says

            I read a Facebook article about Moms.
            When families are taking photos get in the photo regardless if your hair is not tidy, no makeup, or gained some weight. Your kids want to see you in the pictures, not a vacant spot. Also have someone else in the family take the picture, not just you.

      • Except that if you instill that ongoing sense of cleaning up after yourself, you will do something even better and that’s PARENT THEM. You can still have lots of fun times whike getting them into the habit of doing simple cleaning as-you-go cleaning, like rinsing and stacking their dishes after a meal instrad of just dumping them in the sink (which also makes washing said dish easier, come time), putting things away as soon as you’re done with them, (the jackets, back packs, shoes, etc), can take minutes to do, but make a lifetime of things easier and actually less time consuming in the end.

        • MONIKA L SCOTT says

          so true!!! I spend time with my kid, but I also have a clean house. That said, I have a ton of knick knaks, and wouldn’t want it any different. I clean them off a couple of times a year. They make me feel home and they don’t keep me from having a clean home!

        • Say it LOUD!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

      • Anonymous says

        My mom was super clean and our house always smelled so good. I don’t agree that kids won’t remember. I certainly have warm memories of knowing I would always come home to a clean house and loving parents! I still miss them. Always will

        • Sharon Thompson says

          I agree. I remember my moms clean uncluttered house when I was growing up. She did most of it but it made an impression on me when I got older. I think it makes for less stress free living. Cleaning as you go is worth a fortune. I hate cleaning, therefore I don’t make huge messes.

        • Anonymous says

          I agree with you. I have the same memories and I am 65 years old and I am a tidy person and my grown boys in their 30s and 40s still love their homes clean. I have a grandson 19 that is staying with us and when friends come over, they ask if I can adopt them so they can move in. I think clean homes make for happier families. I have never heard someone say, Man, I wish my house was a cluttery and nasty as hers. I clean daily and it doesn’t take but about 30 mins. Then once a week I do a deeper cleaning. When I left for work, the house was always clean. I had more time to spend with my family when the housework was done. Never embarrassed when someone dropped in unannounced.

      • My mom was super clean and our house always smelled so good. I don’t agree that kids won’t remember. I certainly have warm memories of knowing I would always come home to a clean house and loving parents! I still miss them. Always will

      • Disagree. I remember the wreck of house I had growing up and while yes my family are my favorite humans on earth; I enjoy my own family and Uber busy life while tidying up all day WITH a partner in crime whom also appreciates tidying up throughout the day. Yes we are tired and but you can have a wonderful life while still living in a tidy, organized house. We also don’t have cable so we can’t watch TV and not only value abut PROMOTE a life lived “unplugged”. It’s amazing how much more time you have when not tuning in to weekly tv shows and rushing home for specials and such. Kids DO remember a messy house. They remember being too embarrassed to bring over friends and learned doing chores at an early age so the house is cleaner than usual; builds a lifetime of positive habits.

        • Excellent points.

        • Anonymous says

          Yes yes! I love my family dearly, but will never forgot how messy our house was growing up. Digging through mountains of laundry, stinky dishes, etc….My childhood friends made comments and gave looks that are forever engraved in my brain. Our vehicle was gross as well. As a very tidy person, I agree with these tips! Life is busy, but there is time to invest in both family and keeping your home.

        • Denise Patton says

          Agreed, having a tidy and organized clean home has nothing to do with being a negligent parent. Everybody is not a housekeeper; doesn’t make you a bad parent, you are just not a good housekeeper and the same with someone who is. So all of this shaming someone who chooses to live in a tidy home is ridiculous. I have friends on both sides of this argument and all of them are good at parenting some not so good at keeping a tidy home.

      • Anonymous says

        I remember the spotless house I grew up in. My mom had extreme OCD. She was never in the moment with us. She obsessed about her clean house. I remember she would skip my swim meets to clean. My friends who would visit would always ask if that was all my mom did. I noticed sometimes I am not iin the moment because I’m thinking of what I have to do next and how my mom would disapprove of our messy home.. I’m so worried about pop-in visitors that I don’t get down and be in the moment with my kids. Sometimes I observe people who our admiring our family and especially the little ones, they always say they wish their children were that little again.. They also almost always say, ” it goes by so fast.” It has been making me think lately. This messy stage is probably temporary but such an important time in making memories and messes. Sometimes those things go hand in hand.

        • The messy stage is temporary. While raising my 2 sons, our house was always a disaster. I was also trying to manage a child with autism and another with mental health issues, so they became my focus and the good housewife in me took a back seat. We did clean the house, but not often enough and sometimes had to stop, leaving some rooms untouched. Now I have one in college (the neater one, though) and one is a senior in high school. It’s way easier to keep a tidy home, but I also recognize my insufficiencies & have hired help with the deeper cleaning. I have a bad back, so sweeping and vacuuming are big nos for me. I was also told not to reach high or bend over. Sometimes a mess isn’t just because someone is lazy. I was raised in a tidy home. I’m thankful to have someone to help and it’s much easier for me to keep it tidy now. If I didn’t have the back issues, I’d do it myself. It is much easier to pick up after one high school senior than 2 little boys, though. There’s no more stepping on toys for one. I still hate washing clothes, though. It’s just never finished! I admire people who can be good parents and keep a tidy home without help. I’m just not one of them. I’d rather be the good parent.

          • I am not being critical, but why do you have to “pick up after” a high school senior? That is not being a good mom. A good mom teaches her son how to pick up his dirty clothes and how to wash them and put them away, also how to put away the things he uses and to do chores. Being a good mom is not being their slave. You must prepare tham for when they will be on their own. My son is 34 and is developmentally delayed, and I taught him when he was a young teen how to wash and dry his own clothes, how to clean his room, run the vacuum cleaner, etc. I never thought he would have a job but he has been with Family Dollar for about 13 years now. A good mom does not do everything for her children.

          • Catherine you are so right. Both boys and girls need to learn to take care of things themselves. Many times this is a problem in marriages. I’ve seen it especially if the boy has been catered to by his mother. It’s sad.

          • dawn johnston says

            my son is 31 and he sleeps all day uses enough dishes for 6 people won 6t put dirty clothes in hamper puts with clean clothes it ends in fight every night he tells me he doesnt care is not working will not go to get help ie had cops here theyy wont do anything

    • Liz Larsen says


    • Paula D Malone says

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

      • Anonymous says

        Love it!!! 😁

      • My family joke was that I wore the same pair of underwear every day because when I woke up, yesterday’s were already clean and back on top of the drawer.

      • Wish that was true of bedbugs! My daughter never makes her bed but she brought home eggs or a bug from her boyfriends. I’m a clean freak and now after 47 years I’m dealing with bed bugs in her room, scared we will end up with them in the rest of the house. Nasty things! Almost as bad as roaches, which I grew up with!!!

        • Lori Anderson says

          Sorry to hear about the bedbugs. They are terrible. I got them a while back and the exterminator couldn’t even get rid of them. I found food grade diatomaceous earth and was able to get rid of them myself.

      • Anonymous says

        Did u know in the old days Bedbugs were spread when coats & hats of guests were latex on beds because homes didn’t have many closets or front/foyer closets. So if your having a party ? Think twice about piling everyone’s coats on your bed.
        I’d never believe I’d get bedbugs because I make my bed , they don’t just magically appear, clean house, clean habits . It’s sad that you can bring them home in your suitcase . You just don’t know when you hang your coat up on a rack with other coats, like at church or check it at a restaurant.
        We travel a lot & if we ever brought bedbugs home I’d just die.

    • Amen! I look at my siblings, some of whom are extremely OCD about tidiness and realize, they’re trying to keep order physically but need order emotionally and mentally. It ain’t the same thing! Keeping an eye on myself in this regard.

      • My mom always went on a cleaning binge when she was upset, angry, etc. Wish she had been able to verbalize her emotions instead!! My sisters and I now struggle with healthy expression of emotions .

        • That’s very real,. Sometimes our surrounding say a lot about what’s inside us. Not always, but it sounds like that’s what you two experienced. I feel you! In my own experience, it is hard to decouple the pressured feeling of having to be neat, from the simple convenience of having your things tidy and findable. I want them tidy, I don’t want to be distraught when they aren’t. It’s a surprisingly fine line

    • I throw a pot luck open house the 3rd Sunday of each month. My house is clean once a month. I do make my bed as soon as I get up in the morning. I am one for routine.

      • YouTube a video of Admiral’s commencement speech about making your bed. 2014

        • Anonymous says

          Everyone Needs to watch that video! I make my bed up every morning. The room always looks cleaner just by making it up and I have always accomplished at least one thing every day.

    • I agree completely!! And yes, you have permission to relax and do something for you even if there are dishes in the sink. The world will not end if you do.

    • Anonymous says


    • Amen!

    • What a fantastic thought. I love some things. It they don’t love me back!🤔

    • My first husband wanted a spotless house. We had 5 children. I drove myself crazy trying to keep our home spotless. Needless to say…he found a woman who would keep his house spotless and he divorced me and married her. I was kind of happy to see him go. My stress level went way down.

    • Keep it simple. If you get it out, put it back. If you set it down, pick it up. Put trash in the bin and empty the bin while you can still close the lid. Keep drawers,closets and all lidded containers closed. If they don’t close it’s time to pick, sort and possible pitch or donate. You may have dust but you can’t trip over dust😉.

    • I grew up in a house that we considered lived in my grandma was a stay at home parent to a couple of us grandkids, she did things with us but we were raised to respect her and her rules. Grandpa never had rules and was our best friend but they both made sure we cleaned our own messes from a young age. As an adult I am very ocd about the way my house looks and recently moved in with my boyfriend that has 2 girls, 12 & 17, they are the biggest slobs and so lazy. I’m struggling with this situation he says I need to just leave it alone but it’s not in my nature so now I work 8-10 hours on my feet all day to come home and clean up after them cause I can’t relax with a messy house. My children come stay with us and are clean after themselves or they have consistencies. Any suggestions on how to get threw to this hard headed man that it’s not going to kill these 2 girls to clean up after themselves?

      • My first thought is to explain to your boyfriend that while picking up after themselves seems unimportant to him and his daughters, you NEED to have some changes in order to be happy. Ask if he will please help you; explain that you feel incredible stress with the mess. It doesn’t matter what you had before, or that you feel his daughters are lazy and … likely malicious/manipulative in their unwillingness to change, what matters is how you FEEL. If he loves and values you, if he wants YOU to be happy, he needs to support you. TEACH them what you know. It will be most effective if Dad is present and you keep it short. Stand in their rooms and point to what needs to be done on a daily basis. Be sure they know how to do their laundry, tell them if they need help with delicates, that you have some tips if they’d like you to share…you’re a valuable resource!

        My point is, you MUST get your boyfriend on board first. He has to understand how stressed and miserable you are and that you can’t just shut a door and walk away. That you NEED to be able to see the windows and sunshine, that you NEED to be able to run the vacuum and keep the floor clean. You KNOW the slobs need discipline and to grow up, but your approach has to be cautious. At a minimum, they need to take care of their clothes and bedding, including laundry, keep their rooms clean enough with dusting and being able to see the floor, and take care of their trash. They must have a space for studying, they have to be able to use their room(s) as their refuge. …and YOU can’t do it for them. Look at the big picture, what do you WANT them to do? How would you teach a grade-schooler to do it? Then plead with your BF to support you and stand by while you tell them the first 4-5 things they have to do from that point out.

        If your BF scoffs or ridicules you, then something is wrong in the relationship. He MUST respect YOU to teach his daughters to respect you and your wishes. I learned early on in raising my 3 sons, that threats result in negative expectations. Everyone waits to see if you will do what was threatened. (Threats were too difficult for me to even remember, no less follow-through with!) I’d state simply, firmly, what WAS TO BE DONE. Period. I didn’t need my husband to follow-up and ask them if they did what their mother told them. You WANT to impose your will on them, but you need to show them you care about them first. Teaching them independence is a life tool. God bless!

    • perfectly stated.
      I am not tidy, I have a family that I cherish first and foremost. So what if the counter is not always tidy. I would rather spend time chatting with my kids than cleaning while chatting. I don’t mind stepping over a few pairs of shoes to go hug my child. and oh that bathroom. If you come to visit and don’t like that the dog is sleeping there or that the towel that my child just wiped his hands on is not perfectly on the holder well then to bad you don;’t have to use my bathroom A house is not a home unless you live in it and that Is what our family likes to do…. (I must say tho that I do love a tidy place and some day I will have just that but not until the kids are grown and the dogs are no longer about. Right now Family is more important)

    • Anonymous says

      I have always said you can have a clean house or a happy family..but not both

    • Sue Smith says

      I tidy up each morning. I go thru each room, pick up, do laundry, if necessary, make sure dishes are out of the sink – takes about 20 minutes… I am done for the day!

    • I have always been a tidy person. My sister and my kids, well, that’s another story. I live with my daughter and my son who are both not tidy and it does drive me nuts, but I have learned to not see it anymore.

      • Stay in your own Lane says

        If you have learned to not see it any more, then it shouldn’t drive you nuts. 😉

        • it still drives her nuts but has “Learned not to see it anymore”. In a situation like that its hard to live with others who are not as tidy as you are but the only thing i do is keep my own space tidy & tidy up after myself in the common areas & “Hope’ it will rub off lol

    • You said it Suzy-Q! My mother was the same. She would make me sweep my room, run the vacuum to get the dirt the broom didn’t get, mop the floor afterward and then vacuum again. One day, I finally told her no. I was a good kid and fairly tidy but I don’t need a home that looks like a page from a magazine.

  2. Marsha england says

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

    • Anonymous says


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

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

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

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

      • I agree wholeheartedly.

      • Anonymous says

        Everyone saying tidy people are some how crazy and don’t give attention but I agree, it’s just tidying up after things are done. I’m the hang out house for my kids. No shoes and clean up before you go around here but the kids of the neighborhood always end up here. I clean up as I go and one big swoop before bed.

        Today doesn’t mean we don’t live. My kids know how things get put away when we’re done or before bed.

        It’s also been shown to help kids learn to prioritize and responsibilities. Making a bed is a military tactic so you feel like you always accomplished something.

      • There needs to be a “like” button on this conversation. I agree with everything you said. If something starts piling up, it gets to me. If something isn’t taking care if right away, then it is before I go to bed. I make sure I wake up to a clean and organized house.

      • Exactly! There are a few areas in the house that are “open storage” but if I need to clean /clear for a reason, it all can be put into a basket and voila! It’s not cluttered.

        What works is having a place for everything, and putting it back when you are done and you can find it again next time.

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

      • Cynthia Mayville says

        Food falls on the floor. You pick it up immediately. If you don’t have a dog/back saver. Not a neatnik. First of all. I am a senior & if I stepped on it I would be liable to slip & fall. As I am already a world class klutz this is a distinct possibilty. And only a guy would think that being neat is a negative. My husband has a mancave . Upstairs. We’ve been in this house almost 10 years & I’ve only been up there 5 or 6 times. The EPA needs to decl;are it a Class A biohazard.

      • Patty Daffron says

        I don’t feel comfortable in homes like this. I feel I am going to do something wrong.

        • Boy – I agree. I was a working parent and a working empty-nester and now a retired do as I like wife, mother, and grandmother. I have two dogs and a cat, lots of free time to read and to hang out with my friends. My husband and I are voracious readers and also news junkies. We have books on tables and on floors as well as in bookshelves. News magazines and the NYT are on the counter where we grab lunch and read. My husband is a great cook — he uses multiple pots and pans and side dishes to create lovely meals. Sometimes they wait until morning to be cleaned because we are in our mid seventies and have no idea how much time is left to watch the movie we are interested in or to get back to a book we can’t put down. Our children and grandchildren and our friends say they love coming to our house because it is so comfortable. I was a happier person when I realized that a perfect or even tidier house did not fulfill any need or expectation that I had of myself or others had of me. Time is short, friends. Your last words are not going to be, “I wish my house were tidier.”

          • Sounds like us! And we sleep WHENEVER we want…may read till dawn and sleep till dinnertime! We keep our bathroom and kitchen clean, but neatness is not our thing. We thrive amongst books and heated throws, and our i pads & fav TV shows. When our nest areas begin to get too crowded to function well, we clear out the old and make way for new! We live in a tiny home with a large sliding glass door to an outside deck with a forrest view. Our little birds entertain us, and life is wonderful. We visit at our local cafe with friends, arranged, or locals dropping by. Enjoying this us long as we are able!

    • MOST tidy people are OCD! Yea, I clean up after myself, but I think about this quote I saw once or 25 times, “a clean house is the sign of a dull life’ and I believe this is true…Last thing, I recall going to a friend’s house who had a son..maybe 3 or 4..you’d NEVER have known it. My husband was the observant one..He asked me in the car on the way home– “Was it me, or was that house inordinately clean? You’d never know they had a kid.” UGH to this article….

      • My daughter in law was like that. She lived with me with 2 children under 4 yrs old. They weren’t allowed to take their toys out to play with them. If they took one out of the box, it had to go back in before they could leave the room. So, they just stopped playing with them. I made a room in the basement, took all their toys down, put up a sign “no parents allowed” and let them play . They could spread them all out and leave them. They were totally different children.

        • Anonymous says

          Different how? Happier? More respectful? Did they learn more from the educational toys they had that were scattered about the room? Children need to be able to play. They need to be able to make a mess. They also need to learn to respect the toys they’ve been given, learn how to properly play with them (care for them and destroy them) and learn from that experience. It’s our job as parents to teach them through play as young children. Yes, through making messes but also through cleaning those messes up. We aren’t teaching them anything by throwing toys in a room in the basement and putting a sign on the door that says no parents allowed. Well, maybe you are teaching them something…

      • I had a child and yet my house was clean and tidy. The problem with young people today is they spend too much time on social media or socializing and never get anything done. There’s nothing wrong with picking up throughout the day, making sure beds are made and dishes are done and toys are picked up. When we keep our grandkids they know my motto is no toys left out before going to bed, and when they are down for naps I clean up the entire time.

    • AGREED!

  3. Carol Banks says

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

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

  4. Cha Sellam says

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

  5. Julie Barnes says

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

  6. Sandra Boone says

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

    • Linds Riddle says

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

      • Love!

      • Lol. That’s luke 2 hours of cleaning per day…kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office, living room, family room and dining room. Cleaning and you will soon either be in a love or hate relationship, but if you have to cook dinner and don’t get home until 6 or 6:30, be prepared to be one echausted mama.

      • Stay in your Lane says

        Wow. Our house has 17 rooms so no way would that work for me. I will say, I used to be ocd and friends would joke that I was always cleaning a clean house. That’s because my mother ruled with an iron fist and nothing was ever allowed to be dirty or out of place. I was like that for several years of married life. Then my kid almost died. That was a game changer. Nothing else mattered for a long time. Then they almost died a second time. Now, I’m disabled and my kid is disabled. My house is a giant mess. But I always know where everything is. I learned to re-prioritize. It does start to bother me some when it gets super bad. Then I do what I can. People need to be less judge-y about how other people choose to keep their home and raise their kids.

    • Caroline says

      That’s all there is to it: Use it and put it back where it belongs right away. It also helps to weed out things on a regular basis. Most Americans I know have too much stuff and then become overwhelmed with clutter. We had only a few simple rules for our daughter growing up: make the bed, no clothing on the floor, put things away, especially if they are not yours.
      I find it easy to be tidy and always have. I have friends who really struggle with this, but they are better at other things than I am.

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

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

    • Anonymous says

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

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

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

  10. OCD and proud of it says

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

    • Anonymous says

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

    • 100%

  11. A small fixer-upper? Hardly. This article is just an ad for Grove.

    • Leigh Anne Boyington says

      That’s what I was going to say too! Just a Grove commercial.

    • Actually, I follow this blogger, and this home was absolutely a fixer upper when she first bought it. She’s been fixing it up for several years, one room at a time, which is why it looks so lovely now.

      And yes, the article was probably written with the Grove affiliation in mind and with an eye toward making money off affiliate links. Bloggers don’t blog to entertain people and provide advice for free. Bloggers blog to make money. Blogging is a business like anything else. However, the information, IMO, is still good information and thoughtful. Think of the article as a TV show, and the pitch for Grove as the commercial within the content. TV shows don’t entertain people for the people; they build content so they can sell ad space to companies that want to air commercials. Blogging works the same way but on a smaller scale, and most bloggers aren’t making mega bucks off the advertising.

      The author of this blog has a great book out about decorating and creating style with less stuff in your home. She focuses on homemaking. So this type of content falls into the scope of her brand.

      • Stay in your Lane says

        I second ALL of this. As long as the content is good quality and decent in quantity, the advertising is part of the pkg. No one wants to work for free.

  12. Anonymous says

    This was so obviously an ad for Grove Collaborative.🙄

  13. Anonymous says

    I like my house neat and clean. I don’t understand why someone would have to learn or be told that you don’t leave stuff laying on the floor in the first place. That’s not someone being tidy, the person leaving crap all over the floor is just a slob. Picking up after yourself should just be normal.

    • I used to be very clean & tidy when I had kids at home. I wanted them to live in a clean house but it wasn’t spotless. I had a neighbor who asked me why my house was always so clean. I told her it wasn’t always. She said it like “what’s wrong with you?” Her house was never clean and I think she . just wanted me to feel like the odd one. No living in a dirty house is not “normal” folks.

    • Any ideas how to change a 23 y/o slob, Nephew in basement is driving me crazy?

      • Anonymous says

        Yes. He’s old enough to be on his own. Throw him out. He can get room mates somewhere else..

  14. You had me till “They value a cleared off surface more than a highly decorated surface.” Nah. I dig ‘vignettes’

  15. My mom always had a clean house. She was through by mid morning. Then the pea shelling, bean snapping etc. while we listened to the radio. Saturday morning was a clean all. Sweep, mop, dust, laundry etc. Her 3 kids were 8 years apart, each. I don’t think I ever saw anything out of order. That’s just how she did it. My kids were about 2 years apart, and the first 3 were very active. The 4th came along 6 years later. When the first 3 were still small I could not keep a neat house. First if all, I didn’t try. I washed cloth diapers for 5 years straight. My mother-in-law was there one day and after she left, she made the remark to my husband “you need to tell her to pick up the house and clean it up.”. He just told her she didn’t chase after 3 kids all day. Later she kept the kids overnight and I don’t remember why. When we came to pick them up, she told him she understood what he had told her. It isn’t as easy as some think, though I know I could have been a neater 🏠 keeper. I have a daughter now, that has 3 grown and married children. She started out being clean and neat, but by the help of her husband, became an almost imaculent house keeper. Her husband was one that couldn’t stand for a crumb to drop on the floor, else he was there to pick it up. They had a few words about his habits, too, and now she is almost as bad. You won’t find a lot of clutter, but you will see throws on the fabric chair, to keep the cat/dog hair off. If company is coming, the cats and the litter box go upstairs into another room and the throws come off and are put away. She makes it look so easy. She still works full time and has a problem slowing down when she gets home. They walk the dog first, then sit by the pool and let the dog swim to cool off. She is constantly up and doing something. Planting flowers, puling weeds out of the flower bed, etc. It is almost like a whirlwind all the time. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Yes, it is much easier said than done, but I still say it is a good blog and will take note of the points she gave. I hope I can keep up with my notes, and not lose them in the pile of junk mail.😏

  16. Hi all😀
    This article, for some , has hit a nerve.. I enjoyed it, for what it’s worth, knowing that it was a collaboration with Grove . I want to address an often used, incorrectly used term ,OCD. It irks. OCD is a mental health issue. I have experience with OCD, as I’ve lived with 3 people that have it. Personally i would prefer a different term, maybe, some one is “anal retentive” or just short, anal ( in the non sexual way, lol.)
    Anyway, many have made good points. For me, I prefer, for my emotional health, a clean, tidy place. Gretchen Rubin wrote a book that came out in March called “ Outer order, inner calm. ( plz check out her other books “ Better than befor; The Four Tendncies, The. Happiness Project ) For me, I can’t agree more that how tidy or untidy a place is, is dir calypso related to how I feel.
    All the best🌻

    • Anonymous says

      FINALLY! Someone said it! A collaboration with Grove was what the article was REALLY about! Very clever advertising!

    • * I cant agree more that how tidy or untidy a place is, is directly related to how i feel.
      And Annon, i wasn’t the first to bring up the Grover collaboration. :)

  17. Dirty dishes say ..ive eaten today dirty laundry means I had clothes to wear toys everywhere says my kids are happy

  18. I make my own cleaning supply that kills germs learned it on Dr Oz. 1 oz of vodka , 1 cup if lemon juice, 1 cup of vinegar
    In a spray bottle i add a few drops of lavender oil to improve the smell. Totally safe, cheap and edible it works kills as many germs as lysol per the good MD

  19. It’s not “OCD” to be clean and neat. As someone who actually has OCD (it is DEBILITATING and NOT A DISEASE), people putting it in those terms is offensive, and those who do that are clearly ignorant and uneducated. Please stop using OCD as a buzzword.

  20. Kathleen Sommer says

    I grew up with 7 siblings and there was no way for a tidy house. When the boys were small a clean tidy house was a must. I didn’t want my boys to grow up in a messy house. Now they are gone, I have gotten real laid back as to how my house looks today. Seems like I need a purpose to do a lot of cleaning. My house is now just lived in. Wish I had that attitude when boys where growing up. Now that they are all grown men I regret not spending more time with them. But both of them have clean, tidy homes. lol Live and learn

  21. Jennifer says

    Lol. I’ve got a couple points to make….
    OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a horrible, real, and difficult thing to deal with. Its about doing the same thing over and over and still not being satisfied. For example, washing ur hands until they r raw every time u go to the bathroom is true OCD. Many people with the disorder r COMPLETE SLOBS with certain unrelenting ticks. Please b patient with people like that. They r doing the best they can with what they have.
    Second, lets try to unify everyone here.
    Everyone remembers their childhood home. We know if our home was pristine or dirty or embarrassing in any way.
    Too much clutter or bad smells will leave a lasting memory.
    Magazine ready homes will do the same thing!
    Lets try to meet somewhere in the middle.
    I am a mom of 7. My kids all know where the laundry, trash, dishes n broom r. Toys for the babies r always around during the day and picked up b4 bed. Legos n Playdough r both loved and hated for obv reasons!
    We have some neat traits and some chaos.
    Try it, u might like it.
    If u don’t And prefer one of the extremes, that’s ok too! Whatever u choose, I won’t judge. I’m gonna do what I do. Ur gonna do what u do. Lets just coexist and not shame anybody. I read this article for some help fine tuning my habits with 5 boys and 2 girls. They r 16 15 11 7 5 4 and 3. Paperwork is currently killing me! Lol.

  22. Where do tidy people keep the things many do keep on the floor?

  23. Tidy people don’t play with their kids, they don’t bake with kids, they don’t jump in puddles with their kids, they don’t cook much and they are so not doing arts and crafts or paint furniture, etc

    • You are so wrong. I am extremely tidy but do all that with my grandkids. I also have Christmas cookie baking days at my house with family. Don’t blame laziness on arts and crafts because you can do it all and still be neat and tidy.

    • Anonymous says

      Wrong. I did all that and more and my house was tidy and clean. Its all about respecting what you and your husband work hard for. If you let your home get trashed that is disrepectful.. if its just messy but clean that’s normal.

  24. I concur—anyone can have a tidy home and still be an involved parent and family member— even have a job. None of these roles and attributes are mutually exclusive. A tidy home does not mean your life is lacking somewhere else and a tidy home is accesible to all— some want to do what it takes and some don’t— and that’s okay.

  25. Vicki Plavchak says

    My grandmother always said to put everything back in it’s original place. It works. My mom said to always leave a room the way you found it: tidy. No glasses, no rings on the table, no furniture or pillows out of place. My husband and daughter are clean, but messy. I purchased two large bins which were kept by the garage door. Every night before I went to bed, I made a sweep of the common rooms. Anything left on the floor or counters would go into their respective bin. If they were missing anything, I would refer them to the bins. Worked for me. I do not suffer from OCD, just a lack of patience.

  26. I tidy while I’m awaiting the toaster, microwave, teakettle. Amazing how much can be accomplished in that 4 min. or 2.

  27. Lorraine Boyd says

    Flylady will help you set daily, weekly, and monthly routines so your house is clean. I enjoyed this post too.

  28. I must confess that i agree 100% of the guide lines of Tidy people…I do not want to dedicate allot of time cleaning and organizing my house. There fore i do it as I go……..a little every day.

    It’s habits I developed along they way and I truly don’t feel comfortable with clutter.

  29. I had 3 kids under 3 and worked full time. I gave each bedroom a laundry basket. Cleaned up after they were all in bed. I loved waking up to a clean house and never missed any games, school events because our house needed cleaning…..this isn’t that hard. Whe you use things-put them away. When you cook-clean up. When you undress put the clothing away.

  30. Katherine says

    If you pick up as you go during the day, and have a home for everything, then tidying isn’t an all day task. Teach your children to pick up after themselves. This includes toys, backpacks, shoes, and sports equipment. Then Mom isn’t the one responsible for all the tidying and everyone does their part. I have 2 boys (now adults) and they were expected to clean up after themselves, put their laundry in the basket, hang up their coats, put their folded clothes away, and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher or on the counter when they were little. I don’t like clutter because it ruins my day and if I have to clean it all, then nobody gets to enjoy the day.

  31. Sharon Thompson says

    I agree. I remember my moms clean uncluttered house when I was growing up. She did most of it but it made an impression on me when I got older. I think it makes for less stress free living. Cleaning as you go is worth a fortune. I hate cleaning, therefore I don’t make huge messes.

  32. Regarding the 21-year-old, dont kick him out. Dont throw his belongings away. Dont shame him. Some people are not capable of being tidy. It is not an issue of morality or poor character. Help him hire a maid twice a month and focus on all the things you love about him.

  33. I am the tidying type referred to in this post. I prefer to clean as I go, and I teach my kids to clean as we go. Before we leave the house or start a movie, etc, we take 5-10 minutes for “team work makes the dream work”. They are 8 and 10 but we’ve done this for several years – even 3-4 year old can place toys in the basket or bring mommy the dirty dishes. This allows us to spend our time together without the stress of the mess waiting on us after fun is over (at night, after you’re tired and grouchy usually). It also teaches my kids the freedom that getting responsibilities completed provides. On the other hand, I have a friend who spends uninterrupted time with her kids all day, most days, and you can barely see the counters and floors when you walk into her home on any given day. Then she tidies after they go to bed and she has a day she has someone come help her deep clean. Even though she’s commented she’d like to learn how to pick up along the way, her approach seems to work for her because the big job she’s storing up for later doesn’t stress her like it would me. So, personalities. 😊 That being said, friends always feel welcome in my home and I’m not a snob about where people sit and what they touch. I always want people to feel cozy in our home – I just don’t want to save little 5 minute jobs as the last 2 hours of my day, or the last entire day of my week. But some people may love that. 😊 I have plenty of tidy friends who have very cozy and inviting homes. (On another note: sorry I don’t use Grove. We use very simple, effective, non-toxic cleaning supplies.)

  34. My trick with three children was 10 min time at night. We set a timer and made if fun. We all picked up and put away for a crazy ten min time!! It was fun and easy. We ran around like crazy!! They thought it was fun! I sure miss those days.

  35. 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.

  36. I have a lot of nic nacs but they are all in their place. I have a bad back so once a month I hire two women to do a deep cleaning. I make my bed
    I put things back after using them. I clean the sinks and toilets and tub. The dish are put in the dishwasher at the end of the day. Comfortable home, no stress. I am retired and watch a lot of political news.

  37. MNGrandma3 says

    It seems to me that there are 2 schools of thought being lived and expressed. And a few people who are in the middle. There are those who like it tidy, neat, and clean and can’t stand it any other way. And there are those who want a more relaxed atmosphere and don’t care what others think about how they are living. We had a pastor once who always told the shut-ins he visited to never apologize for their home – because it was their home and they were comfortable there.
    I can even relate to almost everyone except the ones who say it has to be “this way.” The person who said that she lived in a mess but always knew where thing were, that’s me, too. But not all of my “space” is that mess. My messes are because I don’t know where to put things that should be “organized.” Like newspapers, magazines, and crossword puzzles that I read and do all throughout the day and evening, and legal papers, and scrapbook things I want to keep. I struggle with those things. And yet, my kitchen drawers have silverware all facing the same way, knives in one area, glasses arranged by size and shape, etc. And the clothes in my closet are arranged by color. All of the pants ore in one area, the sweaters on another rod, the shirts on a different rod, etc. But they are all color coded, so to speak.
    We don’t have to be one way or the other. And we certainly don’t have to call people OCD or slobs. None of that helps the conversation. I keep looking for ways to “organize” my life. I have chosen to “let go and let God.”

  38. I have made this twice now. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe. Definitely a new favorite.

  39. Katherine Lisa Mellott says

    As a tidy person, I am totally comfortable with who I am & take pride in this quality. Is it difficult to live with others who are not? Of course it is at times. So, I have learned to pick up after those people and clean extra hours to tidy up their messes. My standards for cleanliness and things in their places is higher than most but then those same people are the ones that come to me in a panic when they can’t find their things and beg me to help them. We are all differnt and to me their brains just can’t orgainize the way that mine can. Their thinking is more abstract. It is as hard for me to try to think the way that they do as for them to think the way I do. My traits make the best nurses for obvious reasons and you will be lucky to have one tending your care. Your meds will be correct & on time. Your treatments will be done to presicision and everything will be timely. Rarely a med error or any type of error for that matter. Our brains work on precision, orderliness & correctness. God is good.

  40. Is it really that hard to pick up everything before one goes to bed – what, 8 minutes at the most? Lack of quality time – I hardly think so – plus I can sleep well at night knowing that my house is organized when I wake up in the morning!

  41. All true. We micro clean, tiny little deeds that take seconds, so relationships can come first.

  42. Well. . . ever since the magic faeries quit showing up and cleaning, I figured I was on my own. Sigh. I am a very tidy person, and for my entire life – with growing children, pets, a full time job, a busy social life, and a husband with a business (which I help him with,) I did every one of the things mentioned in the article. Today, with just the two of us, and three dogs, our house is still clean, the laundry is done, the bills are paid, the pantry is stocked and I cook everything from scratch. It is my nature. It’s not onerous. IT is a joy to make our home inviting, comfortable and to keep it well run. It’s simply a matter of constant picking up, wiping up, etc., as you move along through the day or evening. Boom! Done! (Procrastination makes the mess! )
    For those with dirty houses – make whatever excuse you wish. No worries – I won’t judge. I simply can’t stand it, and we’ll have lunch or dinner at a nice restaurant when we visit!

  43. This article was about keeping a house tidy, not white glove clean and to that point, I agree with the writer. I spend tons of quality time with my family but I will not step around piles of stuff. We cook and eat and clean up after together. There are no jobs or chores. These are all just opportunities to teach RESPECT for oneself and for the world they live in and the people who inhabit that world with them.

  44. I am like this. A little everday. I don’t spend my days off cleaning. My husband works in restoration and he has told me some very disgusting stories about what he has seen in people’s homes. I wish more people thought sbout this when people have to work in your home. Plus it’s a good habit for children since they have to keep things clean at school, the bus, daycare ect..

  45. Great article about tidiness. I noticed that you didn’t say cleanliness, big difference. My mother-in-law was so over the top tidy and clean that none of us felt at home in her home. The kids couldn’t look at magazines for fear they would rip a page (of a magazine, come on). My home on the other hand is the polar opposite…I wish it were tidier, cleaner, but the love that abounds here…well, the grands always want a sleepover if that is a clue.

    • Denise M Patton says

      I certainly understand that; but it seems to me that this conversation is about people who are good housekeepers and people who are not and how that somehow that translates into whether that makes you a parent who spends more time cleaning then making time for your family. I have friends on both sides of the spectrum with regard t; o being tidy or not; and all have great parenting skills. So I am not understanding why those who chose not to clean or tidy up seem to think it has an effect on parenting skills. Keeping a neat and tidy house just isn’t on your radar or list of things to do; while people who do make a choice to tidy and cleanup put it on their “to do” list.

      • Dinah Johnson Wright says

        Agreed but good household habits transform to your family, they travel across generations. I played music while we tidied up or did big cleanings, that in itself is oppurtunity to bond. I got teased about my old songs and they got schooled on a history they might have missed. We also got out into nature as well. I do agree that households should be clean and orderly but I don’t think they should appear clinical, the house needs personality. I enjoyed reading all of your posts. My sympathies Marsha.

        • Denise Patton says

          Yes, I agree. I remember the home that I grew up in it was neat and clean and I and my brothers were taught to pick up after ourselves. The basement was our designated play area when friends came over and when we were done playing we cleaned it up. Never felt ignored or neglected because we had to pick up after ourselves it was just a part of what we did. Because of those good household habits, I am a tidy person, which I, in turn, passed on to my children.

  46. Linda Berglund says

    We had public and private spaces. Private being their bedrooms. Public being the bathrooms, kitchen, living room, etc. My ‘reasoning with them was that because we had pets who would eat anything left out – if they had kids over it was fine with me. But public areas had to be picked and cleaned up. They hated it – but they did it. Their bedrooms? I asked for any dirty dishes to come down. High school+ I began teaching them to do their own laundry (with notes on the washer and dryer, to help). Especially when they began telling me how they wanted their things ironed. They are now wonderful adults – if you do not put down some rules you cannot expect results. That does not mean that at some times you do not step in to help.

  47. Donna Lambert says

    Everyday I look for the messiest area in the house and spend just 20 minutes cleaning it. It makes such a huge difference in how the house looks but also in my attitude. . I am in control of the area I chose, the length I time I spend and even the level of intensity of cleaning. By the end of the week the house looks great and I am not exhausted.

  48. I will note many things you share. It was really helpful to me. I hope you will have more articles to share with us.

  49. Tidy people don’t have young children 😂😂. I consider myself a tidy person but there is no hope with three young kids unless I sacrifice all my time with them for cleaning. Just saying 🤷‍♀️. There are stages of life.

  50. If you aren’t somewhat tidy you spend more time looking for your kids missing socks, shoes, book bag etc. If you aren’t organized before bed by picking out our clothes to wear the next day or what to pack for there lunch etc. YOU ARE not spending anymore time with your children like some might think. In fact, it creates a hurried and stressful situation for the parents and there children…Go one step further and have them help you with chores. This way you have there undivided attention and not looking at the tops of there heads while they are engrossed in electronics!!! Nope I am far from perfect in all aspects of life but a cluttered house leads to cluttered minds….

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