Three Tips you Need to Keep the Home Tidy and Clean – even if you’re super busy with a baby and a family!
Has your dining table ever looked like that? A campsite of miscellaneous items and dirty dishes? Mine has!
Before I was a mum I was a messy, messy person. Don’t get me wrong, my house was clean – but it was never, ever tidy. I’d have clothes on the floor, dishes left for more than one day, laundry scattered about. My books and games would be haphazard all over the place and my desk would look like it belonged to a teenage boy, not a middle-aged woman. My mail piled up and I never knew exactly where anything was. Every now and then I’d get overwhelmed or someone would be coming to stay and I’d follow a cleaning house checklist and go into a frantic blitz of cleaning until the place was spotless. For about a day.
Now I try to keep on top of things, as the clutter and mess only escalates when you add kids to the mix. Of course, it’s also good to encourage the children to help with the tidying up and the cleaning, as this will make your job a lot easier!
The first thing I will say before I launch into my three favourite tidying up tips is that the house will be a lot easier to tidy and to clean if it is well organized and decluttered, so if you have the time then tackling that task first will definitely make a big difference (I highly recommend watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo to help you when you’re organizing!). These tips are about how you keep the house tidy and clean and how you can do that with just a tiny bit of effort every day.
Tidying up Tip 1 – Maximise your efficiency and multi task when tidying and cleaning
If you are heading out from the living room to the kitchen spare 30 seconds to glance around and think “What needs to go with me?” My grandmother used to say something a lot – You have two hands, always make sure you’re using them! Now when I’m in the bathroom I take the time to stop and pick up the laundry. 5 seconds. In the nursery to pick up the baby clothes off the floor. In the kitchen, to make sure everything is in the fridge and nothing is on the worktops.
If you’re making a bottle, you’ve got a solid 90 seconds of downtime at least! Why not give the worktops a once over or make sure there are no dishes in the sink? If you’re sitting on the loo, get off the phone and look around you. Are there any shampoo bottles that are empty? Is the bin full? Any clothes on the floor? Keep a sponge handy and give the sink a little scrub after you wash your hands.
Always make sure your hands are full and you’re being efficient and tackle the tidying up and cleaning in bite size chunks. No point in making 5 trips back and forth from the kitchen especially to clean up if you could’ve dropped something off whilst passing. You might be thinking can I really tidy up quicker and easier with the odd 30 seconds or a minute here or there? That’s not enough time to do anything! But you’ll be really surprised at what a difference it can make to multi-task and tidy as you go.
Tidying Up Tip 2 – 5 minutes a day per room
Spend 5 minutes per day per room tidying up and cleaning. It doesn’t sound like much does it, but it’s actually enough to keep on top of things in small doses. 5 minutes of collecting any books, games, DVDs or toys that are scattered around the living room. 5 minutes of opening the mail and putting it away neatly in the office. 5 minutes of wiping down the surfaces in the dining room. 5 minutes of washing up in the kitchen. 5 minutes of cleaning the shower or making the bed… you get the picture. It should amount to about 30 to 60 minutes a day depending on the size of your house – but in small chunks that you can tackle any time. You don’t have to do it all at once.
5 minutes a day will seem a lot less overwhelming than having to do an hour at the end of the week when everything has built up – and it creates good habits. I forced myself to start doing it and now it’s second nature and I really feel like I’m keeping on top of things.
Give yourself a pat on the back after each 5 minute chunk too. You’re working hard and you’re making a difference. Small bite size achievements feel good.
It’s important to do the 5 minutes a day to tidy up even if you feel nothing really needs doing. This is how you stop it ever looking like anything needs doing!
Tidy Tip 3 – Make sure everything has a place
It’s all very well to talk about putting the books away but you need a bookcase. The toys need a drawer or a toy box. Your clothes need somewhere to live. Look around at your living space and question whether there’s anything that could make the room tidier and help you to find where things are. I never used to know where I’d put something but now I’ve organized and made sure everything has its place and then put everything in it during my 5 minute daily clean, I know where it is! Except for my keys. Those buggers always evade me, I’m pretty sure I have key gremlins.
Three simple tips that I’ve implemented in my life and have made a huge difference. I’m still a messy person really, but now it’s become a habit to clean up after myself every step of the way, dedicate the time to putting things away and having places to put them. My house no longer looks like it’s lived in by a bunch of teenagers and I’m not going into full panic mode when someone tells me they’ll be nipping around in 10 minutes. Try it!
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This post was updated 3rd March 2019.