Now, I’m not saying that my house is ALWAYS spotless as that would be verging on impossible with two young children but I do maintain a pretty tidy house the majority of the time. Even on occasions when it does resemble something of my worst nightmares, it only takes 5 or 10 minutes to whip back into shape.
If I lived by myself then I’d probably only have to clean once a month. Unfortunately the reality of life is definitely against me having a tidy home.
I am the proud mother of two little darlings aged almost 1 & almost 3 who tend to leave destruction in their wake, as I’m sure those that have been around little people will completely understand. I’m also wife to a loving man who although I’ve trained relatively well, tends to verge on the lazy side & does pretty much sweet FA around the house (including DIY & gardening let alone housework, laundry & so on…). From the furry side of life, we have Mungo who despite being a short haired dog (pug), is quite probably the hairiest little pig ever. Little did I know that pugs have a double coat & so malt CONSTANTLY.
Luckily, one of us in this house is a domestic goddess (that’d be moi) & I’ve adopted some little tactics & ‘life rules’ that make life 100x easier on a day-to-day basis but have become completely automatic so basically next to no effort.
1. Only keep what you NEED –
Why have doubles/triples/quadruples of anything? Get rid of anything you don’t need & have a huge declutter. Be completely ruthless & aim to live a simple life. Not only will it make you money by selling these bits on but you’ll save money in the long run by not buying unnecessary items.
2. Do things as you see them –
Walked past a window that you can barely see out of & makes you think ‘jesus that needs a clean!’? Go get that window spray & do it! It’s amazing what little often can do around a house. Also it’ll be done gradually rather than becoming such a state that you feel overwhelmed so end up putting it off or have to waste an entire weekend spring cleaning rather than enjoying your time off.
3. Wipe surfaces after EVERY use –
This will take less than 1 minute but will make the world of difference in terms of surface hygiene & your mental attitude towards the space. Made yourself a sandwich? Don’t just leave crumbs all over the side. Brushed your teeth & left toothpaste splatters over the sink? WIPE IT!
4. Make your bed as soon as you wake up –
This starts yourself off for the day in the best possible way seeing as it’s the first thing you’ll do or see when you wake up. If I don’t make my bed then I always find myself having a lazy ‘nothing’ day & generally feel negative. It puts you in the right frame of mind to have a productive day as well as ensuring your bedroom stays nice & tidy.
5. Make a home for shoes & coats –
Buy a nice basket or storage cabinet to keep all your shoes. Coats need hooks. As soon as you walk through the door, pop them where they live. Again, it’s all about setting yourself up in the right frame of mind & making life as easy as possible get into the habit of AUTOMATICALLY doing things so that no effort or thought is required.
Also, god knows what could be lurking on the bottom of shoes so who wants that being traipsed around your home? I ALWAYS take my shoes off whenever I go to other peoples homes but find a lot of people that come into mine (including my own husband..) walk in then take them off sat on the sofa having already walked through the house, even if they’ve been to my house 100’s of times & know damn well where our pretty obvious storage is. Biggest bug bare. Rant over.
6. Wash dishes or put them in the dishwasher then PUT AWAY –
This is SO important. Once you’ve finished with plates/glasses/mugs/cutlery/utensils….put them straight in the dishwasher (which will also mean it forces you to unload it every morning first thing..) OR wash them up & put them away. Nothing is worse than seeing a sink loaded high with washing to do or even worse, left on the side.
7. Hoover when needed –
For some this may be once a week, others (like myself) may be once a day. Nobody wants 3 day old dried on banana with added dog hair & god knows what else all over the floor. Hoovering is something that doesn’t take too long but ensures that it doesn’t all build up. I have a 2 storey 5 bedroom house so obviously I don’t do the whole lot every day but mainly just the most used areas, so for us the lounge & kitchen as it’s open plan.
8. Don’t let laundry overwhelm you –
This is a huge one for any mothers out there as I’m sure they can relate when I say that I feel like all I do in life is laundry. Husbands constant boxers & work shirts, Elsa’s mud stained tights & don’t even get me started with Rory who’s ALWAYS grubby (typical boy thing…).
I make sure I pop a load of washing on every morning whilst I pop the kettle on for my morning cup of tea. Once dried in the tumble (or outside on the rare sunny day!) I immediately fold & put it away. I’ve gone through periods of leaving piles out & it’s ended up being sat there for days/weeks because it’s so easy to become complacent & ‘just add more tomorrow THEN I’ll put it away’.
9. Leave it how you’d like to see it –
I don’t leave downstairs in a mess before bed EVER (ok…maybe a couple of times when I’ve had one too many prosecco’s). Dishes are put in the dishwasher, sides are wiped, toys away, cushions plumped etc.
If I came downstairs in the morning to a mess, it definitely wouldn’t set my day on the best foot.
10. Have ‘tidy up time’ regularly throughout the day –
I try to encourage Elsa to put a toy away before she gets another out, however that isn’t always listened to unfortunately & Rory definitely has no idea yet. SO, 2 or 3 times a day we play a little game which is called ‘tidy up’ & the funnest thing ever apparently. Turning it into a game means that she finds it entertaining but is actually helping me. We all have a race to see who can tidy up the quickest whilst singing ‘tidy up, yeahhhhh, i’m tidying up, quick quick quick’ & I shout ‘I’M GOING TO BE THE WINNER’ when she starts slacking, obviously she always wins though. Nothing like a bit of competition eh?
In conclusion, I firmly believe that having a tidy home is all about your frame of mind. Once you get into this mindset then it’ll become a walk in the park BUT on the other side of it, I’d absolutely love to be more relaxed about the state of my home.
What are your top tips for keeping a tidy home?
Love Charlotte x