A few years back I was in a bit of a cleaning and organisation rut. It seemed as though I could never get on top of anything. The dishes would pile up on all of our extremely limited bench space. We would fish out our clean, now wrinkled clothes each morning from the bottom of the basket as there never seemed to be time to put them away. Just hoping that what we were looking for had been washed that weekend. If we had guests coming over it was a huge ordeal getting the house into guest-ready status. We were convinced we needed a bigger home. One with more bench space and bigger area to wash up, a larger laundry room and more cupboard space. It would surely solve everything.
I quickly realised that more space was not the answer (in fact more space = more cleaning and work!) and seeing as we were hoping to own our home sooner than later up-sizing was not going to be an option either. I had to find a way to make what we had work. Coming home to mess, attempting to cook and make dinner with dishes everywhere and trying to use what scrap of bench space I could find could not go on. Life wasn’t meant to be this hard, surely!
Let me tell you it is not! There is a way to get on top of things before they get out of control. The key is to not let is get out of control in the first place and to do a little bit each day. A small amount goes a long way. And it doesn’t take hours and hours! Read on for 4 Habits For a Tidy Home Now!
Do a general tidy daily
Let’s not build cleaning up to be more difficult than it is. Sure vacuuming and mopping and the rest take a lot of time but we don’t need to have show homes 24/7. A daily habit of doing a general tidy up is good enough. Spend five minutes a day doing a general tidy of the main areas of your home. You’re not going to be able to clean every space, surface, crevice but you will make your home look much more tidy with a small amount of effort.
Set your timer. I use the one on our oven so I know when to stop. During your general tidy go to each area of your home and pick up what doesn’t belong. A clothes basket can work great so you can chuck everything in there and move a lot of things quickly.
THINGS I DO IN MY GENERAL TIDY
- Hang up the towels in the bathroom and clear the vanity counter.
- Make the bed.
- Straighten up the couch cushions and fold the throw.
- Pick up any clothes on the floor and either throw them in the hamper or hang them up again.
- Put anything away that’s lying around.
- Bin any water bottles
- Move any cups or plates to the kitchen
- Pick up mess from the floor
If you just do five minutes a day or even just as often as you can, you will be amazed at how much tidier your home will look. If your spouse or kids can help out you will make even more progress. Everyone living in your home adds to the mess- get them involved, delegate!
If after your five minute general tidy is up and you are on a roll then keep going. You’re better off tidying when you feel like it or have the time than to leave it for a day where you just rather not move from the couch.
2. Clean as you go
This is such an important tool for keeping your home tidy. Get in the daily habit of cleaning up as you go. When you are finished with something in the bathroom of a morning, put it back in the drawer or vanity. When you are walking from one room to the next take a second to look around and see what doesn’t belong and grab it to take with you on your way. Are you going out to the car? Grab that bag of donations you’ve had sitting at the door for the past week.
If you want to save time on cleaning and getting back to more enjoyable tasks think ahead and find ways to be more efficient with your time. Are you waiting for the microwave for five minutes? Go and clean up the mess from your meal prep or empty your dishwasher. Utilise what little time you have! Once you get used to this daily habit it will become part of your routine.
>> If you are interested in getting organised you might find value in
3. Clean your kitchen daily
For me, cleaning the kitchen was the one daily habit that drastically changed my cleaning habits and stress levels. I used to feel completely overwhelmed with dirty dishes and marks on our bench tops that had hardened and become difficult to clean. I would struggle to cook and prep dinner with our limited bench space covered with last nights dishes that I just had not got around to yet. And try cooking anything when your sink is over flowing. It’s just going to make your daily life much harder than it needs to be.
A chaotic kitchen can add so much unnecessary stress and being the hub of the home, it’s rare that you can ever walk past without seeing the mess piling up. Set yourself a new daily habit of tidying the kitchen. I used to put this off as it would get so out of hand that I would need a good half hour to get it back in order but now i set the time for 7-10 minutes and knock it out as fast as I can. I find it a challenge to work against the clock and love how efficiently I can clean my kitchen with a bit of forethought.
ALLOCATE YOUR TIME
Work out a time each day where you can spend 10 minutes on your kitchen. Whether it be in the morning, when you get home from work, or before you go to bed. Whenever is most convenient for you. The key is doing it every day so there is no mass of dishes you have to sift through. Set the timer and get started.
MY KITCHEN CLEANING METHOD:
- Grab all your dirty dishes from wherever they may be (save yourself some time and effort insist on a rule after meals all dishes and cups are returned to the kitchen!). Soak any in hot soapy water that you need to wash.
- Spray all surfaces with an All Purpose Cleaner so that can break down your stains whilst you get onto the dishes.
- If you have a dishwasher quickly unload it (if you unload it in the mornings and load in the afternoon this will make like easier :)) and put all your dirty dishes in. If you don’t have one, quickly arrange your dishes into plates, cups, cutlery and bigger items like pots and start washing.
I let my dishes dry on a drying rack and put them away when they are dry (hey ,we’re trying to save time and make life easier here, let’s not do things that we don’t have to ;)).
4. Then wipe all surface areas. The stains should easily come off after being broken down by your All Purpose Cleaner.
Hopefully you’ll be done before your timer goes off. If not I promise you it won’t be more than a few extra minutes and the next morning when you see your beautifully clean kitchen and when you go to cook the next night you will not regret the effort 🙂
4. Don’t let your laundry pile up
I’ve never really understood why people have wash days and tackle their entire laundry pile in one horrible sounding day. I like to plan ahead for my washing. I certainly don’t wash everyday (thank you Minimalism!) but I prefer to do it in manageable chunks.
Make it a daily habit to do your washing. Now I personally don’t have enough washing to wash daily, but it’s certainly a daily habit to check if I do or don’t. I normally throw on a load of washing on Friday before I go to work and hang it out in the afternoon (Love that timer function!). By Friday I have a full load of darks so hold off until I have a full load.
Saturday morning I’ll then wash and hang out another and set another load to go before I head out for the day. Sunday is then just a catch up day for towels, sheets and anything else that needs to go in. Again get someone to help out if that is possible. My husband and I both do washing. I work full-time and have more important things to do than spend hours each week washing.
Consider decluttering your wardrobe! If you have 50 shirts to wear and 10 pairs of jeans you are going to be washing 50 shirts and 10 pairs of jeans in a never ending pile of washing. Set yourself a more realistic laundry limit and wash regularly.
Don’t let that pile get a mile high whether that be washed or unwashed, as it will just be so much harder to tackle and get motivated.
If you chip away at your washing, load by load, and make it a daily habit to at least check your clothes baskets to see if you have enough for a load, you will save yourself the stress of endless baskets in your laundry and waiting to be folded.
These are the four daily habits I have implemented in my routine and I have never felt more on top of things in my home.
Try them and comment below to let me know if you feel things are getting less overwhelming!
Feel free to share any daily tips that you use to keep your home tidy! My goal is to help you minimise the excess in your life so you have more time for the essential!