Whether you live alone or have a big family, it’s really easy for the house to become a huge mess in no time. You took a whole weekend off to get everything in its place, and first thing tomorrow morning there are clothes and shoes all over the floor again! Sounds familiar?
Well, first of all: take a deep breath!
I know how stressful and overwhelming it can be just to read about it, and my intention here is to make your life easier. So, have you taken that deep breath yet? I’ll wait.
Done? Okay, great! Now, keep reading to find the best tips to a stress-free tidy house that will last a lot longer than a weekend!
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” - A. A. Milne
Motivational Tips for You
Developing New Habits
You can’t deny organization is a habit. Much like eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you don’t really have any of those habits, this is the time to start! It’s hard getting it done? Yes! But it’s really worth it.
There are two ways you can change your habits:
- Start with something small each week, or each month - like, instead of cleaning the room, just settle a goal of organizing a drawer.
- Make a dramatic change!
I’d usually never recommend the dramatic change to people because that method can come with a lot of slips along the way that might make you feel guilty and feeling like giving it all up.
There are some pretty strong-willed people out there, and if you know and trust yourself enough to be one of those people, you can try the dramatic change!
Settling goals is an easy way to get motivated. People are driven by the idea of crossing something off the to-do list, especially if it’s an easy task.
So, my advice for you is:
Instead of adding “clean the kitchen” to your to-do list when you obviously don’t have the time to clean it all, just add “clean kitchen counter”, or “organize the pantry”. When you divide those big chores into small tasks, everything becomes easier and more likely to get done.
Give yourself some reward for the things you get done and stop driving yourself crazy about what you need to do next. It’s important for your health that you stop and praise yourself and your efforts every now and then.
Practical Tips for the House
The KonMari Method
First, get everything out before you start to put them back again. Second, what Marie Kondo - the creator of this method - does is she divides the tidying up in five categories:
- Komono (miscellaneous)
- Sentimental items
The idea is that you don’t go room by room, because that will feel more overwhelming and like you’re just doing the same thing over and over again, but never getting anything organized at all.
The solution: to use these categories!
Start by getting all your clothes in just one huge pile. By seeing everything you own gathered in a pile, you realize just how much you have and how you need to let some stuff go.
Kondo’s method also involved the concept of “spark joy”, which is:
You only need to keep things that spark joy for you. Things that give you a warm, nice feeling when you touch them.
It may be harder for people who put feelings into objects, so the tips for those people is to start with something that it’s really obvious sparking joy into your life. From that, you’ll be able to tell better what other items bring a similar feeling.
And remember: Storage boxes are your BFF in this organizing method.
Add Wall Storage
Don’t be afraid to use a blank wall to add necessary storage space. Of course, the idea is not that you find the space for stuff that you don’t actually need, so remember to declutter first and find storage later - if you really do end up needing it.
The Daily Routine Items
There’s really no point in putting things away all pretty and nice if it’s not practical.
In other words:
Put things you use most in easy-to-reach spots! For example, house and car keys can be on the entryway cabinet, by the door.
Have Trash Cans All Around
When you don’t have trash cans in every room, you end up piling up trash in drawers, pockets, and even lying around on the floor! So make sure to have a small trash can placed in every room to avoid paper clutter at most. It may seem like I’m exaggerating, but I guarantee you: this will make your life a lot better!
Get Kids Excited About House Chores
Now, this is a hard task to get completed, right? But it’s totally possible to get it done.
Here are some tips:
- Never complain about cleaning or organizing, that will create a bad association. Instead, transform house chores into a little game and make them excited to help! Like, if you do the dishes you get 5 points, if you make the bed in the morning every day you get 10 points, stuff like that, you know?
- Make it easy for them to find and reach the broom, dust pan, and vacuum cleaner. That way they won’t have any excuse not to use them.
- Organize the kitchen in a way that it’s both easy and safe for them to prepare their own breakfast and afternoon snacks - just stick to cooking lunch and dinner since those require more knife-dealing.
- Teach them early in life how to fold and put away their own clothes, that way it’ll never be a boring thing to do, just an ordinary day-to-day habit.
Stick to a Cleaning Routine
Getting the kids excited about cleaning is hard, but sticking to your own cleaning routine is even harder. The grown-up life comes with a lot of stress, busy days, busy weeks, kids running around all the time, it’s just really overwhelming.
It doesn’t need to be. If you start a habit of writing things down (if you don’t like using paper, use a calendar app, an agenda app, etc.), life will be so much easier you’d start questioning yourself why on earth you hadn’t done it before.
The idea is that at the beginning of the week, you write down everything that needs to be done during those seven days. Then get them sorted as “urgent”, “important”, and “it’s okay if done next week”.
You schedule your days accordingly, getting urgent things done first, important things following, and if there’s some spare time that week, tackle the last category.
If you think this sounds silly, just remember it works for a bunch of people. And if stuff works, it’s not stupid, right? Just give it a try!
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- How to Keep Your Home Organized This Month
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