Keeping a tidy house can be difficult at times. Life can get a little crazy and if you have little ones running around it can seem almost impossible but over the years I’ve discovered a few tricks that have worked wonders in our home and I wanted to share them with you!
First Iet me say that I’m not a professional organizer or expert on the matter but having a clean and functioning home has always been really important to me. I can think more clearly, I have less anxiety and I’m more creative. Before Josh and I had kids I kept the house neat with little effort. Once Charlie came along I had to learn a way to keep organized and clean with a little one running around. Here’s 5 tips that have kept me sane and our house running smoothly.
1. Keep a basket at the bottom of the stairs or at the end of the hallway.
In the last couple of years I purchased a basket for our staircase and as I find items down stairs that belong up stairs I stick them in the basket and at the end of the day I carry the basket upstairs and we put those items where they belong. It saves time and you don’t have to go up and down the stairs 50 times a day!
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2. Wash those dishes as you cook.
This one took me a while to learn but it has saved me so much time in the evenings. Before I start making dinner I fill up a mixing bowl with soap and hot water, (you can fill up your sink if you prefer.) even better if you can use a bowl that you’ve used while preparing your meal. As I go along I throw in items that can’t be placed in the dishwasher. Once dinner is done we place plates and silverware in the dishwasher and the other cookware that’s in the bowl is scrubbed and rinsed clean. I don’t always remember to do this but when I do it makes a huge difference. Waking up to an empty sink in the morning is the best feeling! Even the coffee taste better.
3. When you leave a room take an item that doesn’t belong there and place it where it goes.
This can take some time to really become a habit but stick with it and it will eventually. Any time I’m leaving or walking through a room on my way to another I take something from that room that doesn’t belong there and drop it off where it goes. It takes only seconds and makes a big difference. Instead of spending an hour at the end of the day puting things away, try doing a little throughout the day. It’s keeps the mess from becoming too overwhelming.
4. Provide yourself and children with storage baskets for easy clean-up.
You can’t have a tidy house if you don’t have any place to keep things. Baskets have become my best friend since Charlie came along. It’s easy for him to put his toys away and they hide those not so pretty items. I’ve used them on our built-ins in our family room, Charlie’s room and in our office. Two of my favorite lidded baskets are used as an alternative end table in our family room. Those are linked below. My favorite places to purchase baskets are TJ Maxx and Pottery Barn.
5. Keep an empty box or bag available for things that you wish to donate.
declutter, declutter, declutter! I can not express this enough. Sometimes our homes become messy and unmanagable because we simple have too much stuff. I’m referring to the things that we don’t use, want or need anymore. We all have it and if left unchecked it can take over. If the thought of decluttering your whole house overwhelms you, start small with drawers, closets and go from one room to the next. You can find my tips for decluttering here. I like to declutter twice a year, in the spring and once right before the holidays. This keeps the “stuff” at a minimum.
I like to keep a basket in my closet and as I come across things that we haven’t used in a long time or things that we no longer need I put them in the basket. Once it’s full I place them in a box and take it to goodwill. It’s a easy job that makes a big difference.
I’m always trying new things in the hopes of making it easier for us to keep our home tidy. If you have some favorite tips please share. I really believe it’s one simple task done routinely that keeps the home clean and your stress low. As I find new and better methods I’ll share them here with you guys. Keeping a tidy house doesn’t have to be stressful or time consuming. I hope some my family’s tips will help and inspire you to discover what works best with you family.
Michele (Finch Rest) says
Great tips – I keep a tidy house but lordy lordy am I ever a hoarder with all my excess treasures in our unfinished basement.
I have been working on purging for months – little by little. It is a huge deal, and is taking forever, but feels so goooood! I can actually FEEL the difference it is making in my life!
I gotta say, you take incredible photographs. I sure wish I knew how to do it. Every pic on your posts is just WOW.
Thank you so much, Michele! Your kind words have made my day. Photography is something I really enjoy, as much as design actually. 🙂 I totally get it on the stuff. It can take over before we know it! I started my decluttering journey over a year ago and have never looked back. It has been so rewarding and I feel like my whole house has breathed a breath of fresh air. Good luck on your spring cleaning!
Thanks for the tips!! Could you tell what color is the back of the front door? Thinking of painting doors in my hallway black but afraid It will make It too dark! Thoughts?
Absolutely! The color is Graphite by Benjamin Moore. It’s not quite as dark as a solid black. I would start with one door and see what you think. Depending on the natural lighting and color on the walls it might just be the perfect amount of drama for your space. 🙂