Keeping A Tidy Home For Messy Folks
If you were to walk into my home right now you’d probably notice that overall, it’s quite tidy. All M’s toys are for the most part neatly stored away rather than strewn all over the floor. My kitchen is streamlined with no dirty dishes in the sink and my bathroom is really bare with very little clutter.
Keeping a tidy home isn’t something I love doing. Quite the opposite actually. By nature I’m a rushed, impulsive and anxious type so living in the moment and dealing with mess as it arises is one of my biggest weaknesses.
When I was a kid my father affectionately referred to me as a tornado. I’d walk into a room, make a huge mess and somehow slip out without tidying up after myself.
I was super messy kid that grew up into an even messier adult.
Keeping a tidy home wasn’t a priority until I had kids.
Before M was born I could care less about keeping a tidy home. I was working full-time so living in the mess was far less of a concern than it is today since I was rarely home. Once baby arrived I realized pretty quickly that keeping a tidy home was important for my sanity and I’ve come up with a pretty simple strategy that helps with keeping a tidy home when you’re naturally a messy person (like me!)
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Keeping A Tidy Home When You’re Messy
Keeping a Tidy Home: Tidy Daily
A little truly goes a long way. Rather than allowing your mess to accumulate and crowd your living space it’s a really great idea to tidy areas as you go.
What this means is simple. If you are in a room and you see something is out of place take 10 seconds to put it back in its home. By tidying daily I’ve been forced to find a home for all objects in my home. Now, it takes me literally a few minutes to zip around returning items to where they belong.
Taking the approach of tidying daily rather than all at once leaves your home in a generally tidy state. Once you get into the habit of tidying on a daily basis, the smallest messes will start to irritate you. Often times there’s a misconception that tidying takes heaps of time when in reality it only takes a few minutes. A few minutes a day goes a really long way when it comes to keeping an entire house tidy.
So, next time you leave a room take a few seconds to do a visual scan and tidy any areas that aren’t picked up. You’ll be glad you did because you’re actively preventing the mess from taking over by doing this super simple step.
Keeping a tidy home: Focus Your Energy On The Most Used Parts of Your Home
When you’re used to living in a mess (like I was) it can become really frustrating and overwhelming to figure out where to start. I can’t tell you how many times I looked around my home and gave up before even starting. Messes, clutter and disorganization have this awesome way of stressing us our right?
So, if you’re committed to the idea of tidying every day as a long-term solution to being messy you’ll need to start somewhere. If you’re home is a little or even a lot messy it’s probably best to focus on tidying the areas of your home that are used most. Generally speaking that includes your main living space, kitchen area and bathroom. There’s no sense in tackling your messy basement if your kitchen and living room are in a state of chaos.
Get in there and declutter, organize and streamline you spaces. Find a home for every item that makes sense so keeping it tidy will be a breeze moving forward. Once you’ve given every item a home it’s really easy to put it back.
Prioritizing your tidying efforts by starting in the most commonly used areas of your home allows you to see the largest amount of progress which will keep you motivated at keeping a tidy home.
Make Sure Your Kitchen and Bathrooms Are Tidy Before Bed
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up to a sink full of dirty dishes and a super messy bathroom. Does anyone else feel like the day is off to a really bad start when you’re already faced with work the second you roll out of bed?
My morning routine always starts with making a strong pot of coffee. If I get to the kitchen and find a sink full of dishes, making my coffee gets complicated which is super annoying.
By focusing on making sure that my kitchen is clean before going to bed my mornings are far calmer and a ton less stressful. I always make sure that my dishwasher is loaded, sink is empty and counter tops are clean.
Having a tidy bathroom functions much the same way. Nothing sucks more than getting into the washroom to take a relaxing morning shower only to find damp towels, dirty clothes and other odds and ends littered all over your counter top or floor.
By taking only a few minutes at the end of the day to tidy up the bathroom you’re taking control of the mess and making sure your morning starts off on a tidy food.
Don’t Confuse Tidying With Cleaning
Although my house is generally tidy it isn’t necessarily always clean. I’ve got a busy and messy toddler running around, 3 cats and a dog.
So, naturally there’s pet hair, toddler crumbs and messy toddler finger prints on most surfaces in my home.
But, because my house is tidy it generally looks far cleaner than it is. Beyond this, having a tidy home makes the cleaning process far easier when I do decide to clean it.
Because there is very little clutter and generally no mess I can easily wipe down a table top, windex some glass, vacuum the floor or spot clean the couch in seconds.
Keeping a tidy home home makes cleaning your home easier folks.
By Keeping a tidy home I’m able to focus on cleaning when necessary.
Generally, knowing that you need to spend a ton of time tidying before actually getting to the cleaning part can be really discouraging and prevent you from getting anything done at all. Sound familiar?
So, don’t confuse keeping a tidy home with cleaning folks. If your house is tidy on a day to day basis giving it a good dusting, mopping and cleaning becomes super easy.
Don’t Let it Accumulate
Messes accumulate quickly if you’re not careful.
That laundry that needs folding that’s sitting on your dresser needs to be put away because I can guarantee it’ll pile up and grow into a monster before you know it.
The dishes that you’re saving to wash later will only sit there and accumulate unless you tackle them right now.
Tidying as you go and in small amounts does make the process more painless. If you allow the mess to accumulate the amount of time you’ll need to invest to get things back in order is far more significant than if you tidy a little at a time.
So, the next time you leave a room, have a quick look around and take care of any messes you see.
The tidy as you go approach is truly a lifesaver for people who are naturally messy and are working towards keeping a tidy home !
My Household Favorites For Keeping A Tidy Home
1. Section Folding Laundry Sorter. I absolutely love this sorter and it’s a lifesaver in our bathroom. The three compartments make sorting dirty laundry a breeze and preventing it from piling up on the floor. When the inserts are full, I pull out the bag and do a load. It really cannot get easier than that!
2. Broom Holder Wall Mount. This super amazing contraption allows me to store my broom, mop and duster out of sight. I keep it behind the door that leads to our basement because we don’t have a broom closet. It’s always near by and super neat and organized.
3. Logic Toys Storage Bins. Margsy’s toy collection is growing and to accommodate it we had to find a storage solution that was affordable, easy to keep clean and flexible. This toy storage bin is wonderful because it holds a ton of toys and will eventually be folded up or re-purposed once baby girl no longer needs it.
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I Want To Hear From You!
What are some of your hacks for keeping a tidy home?
11 thoughts on “5 Easy Ways You Can Start Keeping A Tidy Home Even If You’re Messy”
Very useful, going to try and keep on top of my tidying and cleaning! I also love stairs baskets so my stairs aren’t cluttered up with everything I need to take upstairs! 🙂
Stair baskets are great too!
These are some awesome tips that would make my bf very happy if I followed them 🙂 I am quite messy but have also found living in a tiny space (sailboat) with my boyfriend has made me cleaner. There is literally no room for clutter, and the space is small enough to be manageable to me. Baby steps!
Thanks Kristin! We live in a really small space so I had to get into the routine of using a system to keep things tidy. Cleaning though is something I struggle with because toddler life means that the second I clean a surface it gets dirty again. My kid seems to know something is clean and then promptly makes it priority to make it dirty again.
I know you live on a sailboat and I’ve been curious what essentials you keep versus what you feel takes up too much space. How does cooking and kitchen gear work for you?
I gave a soft chuckle when I read ‘I gave up even before starting’. I can’t tell you how many times I have done it:) I loved your idea of focusing on most used parts at home. Great work! Subscribed to your newsletter.
Thank you so much for stopping in Patricia! I’m notoriously messy and this system of doing a little at a time and tidying on a more active basis REALLY helps keep things under control around here. Glad you found this useful and thanks for subscribing! 🙂
I love “don’t confuse tidying with cleaning!” It took me a long time to understand this concept. I used to think tidying meant cleaning and I would get so overwhelmed by the amount of work that I’d let things pile up. Then, when I really did need to clean it took FOREVER!
You’re totally right, tidying makes a huge difference and makes cleaning much more doable.
Hi Lauren! The “don’t confuse tidying with cleaning” was a game changer for me. Like you, I’d get insanely overwhelmed and just abandon everything because I’d convinced myself that cleaning meant tidying too. When things are generally neat and tidy (they’re never ever ever perfect) it makes the cleaning so much easier.
This is so right. I need to seriously declutter so that every THING in my small town house has a home! Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks for stopping by Annie!
Absolutely love this post! The “don’t confuse tidying with cleaning” really opened my eyes and makes it seem not so overwhelming! I’m 22 and have been out of my parents hoarder house for a year now and it’s been so hard keeping up with everything because I never really learned how to clean as a kid so this really helped me feel not so crazy!!! Definitely going to be using all these tips! Thank you!!