Clean and tidy homes aren’t a myth.
At least I’d like to think so. Though it can be hard when you’ve got a couple of kiddos running around creating chaos with sheer will power and lots of energy (often more energy than you have).
I remember, back when my brother and I were young, our mother would rule everything with an iron fist.
And this was her way of keeping the house clean and in order as a single mother.
Now, that definitely isn’t advice I would give today, because often some more of the important and memory creating moments were stifled because ‘the house needs to be kept clean at all times.’
And while you don’t have to adopt the same philosophy to be able to keep a tidy home, it’s always nice to come across tips that will help you keep things generally organized and clean.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or are renting your first apartment. Now, how exactly can you keep a tidy home and stay sane at the same time?
Here are 5 easy ways that have definitely helped me keep clean and organized without making me feel stifled.
Keep a shoebox by the door
Actually, I think they’re simply called storage benches.
They are clutter life savers and they help keep the odor in check. While you could always find one on Amazon, you can probably find more price friendly ones at places like Ross or TJ Maxx.
They seem basic but when you place them in a strategic spot in your home where you know you’re gonna have lots of shoe clutter then it’ll help you get rid of a storm of stinky shoes just lying around and add some decor to your place while you’re at it.
Wait. I just remembered. They’re called Ottomans! Wow, that took me a while to come by.
An ottoman like this one is perfect to store pretty much anything and help you keep your clutter in check.
They also make great benches too! I mean, they’re the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂
The One thing in and one thing out system
This helps with living a generally more de-cluttered life. I find that clutter leads to more dirt, dust, and overall grime.
But when you keep things at a minimum, you find that keeping the dust and dirt away gets A LOT easier. Especially because you don’t have to constantly clean around and pick up little things that get in your way.
One of the best ways to keep a good habit going is to get rid of the things that make keeping that habit harder and that cause friction.
Getting rid of one old thing every time you bring in a new one to your house keeps you in check. And as you’re throwing away or donating things you tend to start thinking about what other things you can get rid of.
Before you know it you’ve sold a bunch of things on E-bay or OfferUp and your house is less cluttered because of it. Yes! THAT’S what we want more of, right?
Use printables to help keep you organized
Of course I’m going to be biased about this, because I love making printable kits for organization’s sake (and, I mean lets face it, who doesn’t like writing on pretty things?!)
Using printables can be a great way to help you stay organized and keep track of things. For example, if you have a printable planner that you can write down your thoughts in for the day and keep your to-do list, it always helps you clear your head.
And a clearer mind can mean a clearer living space, because you’ll be more willing to tidy things up and put in a little extra effort to put things away. It’s basically about writing down all the most important things so your mind doesn’t feel overwhelmed and hopefully, that shines through in your home too.
Being serious about batching your laundry (this is a lifesaver!)
I used to be my own worst enemy when it came to laundry. I’d stop in the middle of the week when I was overwhelmed by whatever it is I was doing and do a load of laundry so I could feel ‘productive.’
In the end, it always ended up being a huge time suck because it was just a distraction that I could use as an excuse for not doing other more important things at the time.
So I designated a day to do laundry. And for me that day was Monday. I know, right? That’s a weird day to choose to do all your laundry.
But since I work from home it helps me kick start the week as I wash my sheets and fold all my clean clothes for the week. It gets me in the mood and gets my wheels turning.
And most importantly it ALL gets done in one go. And then, until next time, washer and dryer! I won’t need to even glance at them for another week.
Now this might not be realistic for you. It’s about creating a system that works for you. Does laundry pile up way too much to have only one designated laundry day? Designate two laundry days throughout the week.
Once you batch similar tasks together, you’ll see how much of a time saver that can be, whether its keeping your home as clean as it can be or answering important emails in one go.
Don’t fall into the ‘things holding things’ trap
I used to do this and then I caught myself doing this and once I did,well, I stopped. Because it was just building too much clutter.
Stores LOVE to sell us things that we DON’T need…like at all.
For example. I always have a ton of essential oils on hand, mostly for creating my DIY facial toner spray. I was looking online the other day, kind of just wasting time, and I saw an ‘essential oils stand’ for your dresser (that was way overpriced by the way).
It was this simple, tiered type plastic thing that was pink or something and I was tempted to buy it. The essential oil bottles looked so nice on it! I could totally put it on my dresser (where I have very limited space already).
And my room would be that much more organized. Right?
That was my initial thought process. But then you realize that its actually NOT necessary. My essential oils collection doesn’t NEED a pretty stand to look, well, pretty on and not much else.
They just need to be accessible whenever I need them. And they were perfectly fine in the wooden box I currently keep them in. No need for a fancy holder thing.
But we do this all the time. Like often. And it’s funny because it seems like once you buy one ‘holder thingy you don’t need’ then you want to buy another one.
Like when you’re tempted to buy those pretty wire baskets that go on the front of your kitchen cabinets to hold stuff…why not just make space in your cabinets (that were designed for storage in the first place) to put your stuff in?
Buying those pretty wire baskets might not be all that necessary. And overtime, this small practice helps you stay less cluttered, and lets you save some money while you’re at it.
Create your own pleasant smelling spray
Another great motivator to keeping your place nice and tidy is to create an awesome DIY smelly spray that cleans!
I personally love creating a vinegar and green apple soap mix. Once I use it for a quick tidy up of the kitchen, the vinegar and the green apple soap together magnifies the green apple smell and its…just wonderful to take in.
You can do this with lots of things, lemon, essential oils, smelly soaps. You get the idea.
The Spruce has a simple and easy lemon lime spray recipe worth checking out for this.
Invest in a wax warmer
Wax warmers ARE THE BOMB if you’re serious about keeping your house smelling good. They are just heavenly, both because of the fragrance and because they actually work!
I bought mine after I saw a friend of mine use it and I got to smell how MUCH and how GOOD it made the house smell. AND the smell lasts with one or two cubes of wax that you add to it.
So instead of spending tons of money on those one-time wall plugins or those intermittent battery powered spray things, just go ahead and get a wax warmer.
Mine was pretty cheap at around $15 bucks for an electric one (the bulb adds a nice warm glow to the room at night, which is a nice added bonus). And then after that I just buy smelly wax cartridges for like $2 bucks each.
And they last you about two-three weeks!
A wax warmer is more cost effective than other fragrance options and definitely worth the investment if you’re a stickler about how your house smells. It’s also great if you have pets, which can tend to get smelly over time.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas on how to keep your home cleaner. No one has everything perfectly clean and in order all the time. That’s just life. But you definitely always want to add a tidy balance to it all, while not sweating the little things of course. 🙂