New Year’s Resolutions are upon us, and maybe yours, like countless others, is to finally keep your house tidy this year. Below are tips we’ve incorporated into our own household routine that have helped us keep our home cleaner amidst crazy schedules. Though some may not mesh with you and your family, hopefully you’ll find one that will help with your tidy home!
Tidy Home Tips
Every morning we put a load of laundry into the wash. Like brushing teeth or eating breakfast, it’s just a part of the morning routine. Every afternoon when we get home from work it gets switched to the dryer. Then, each evening when our son is in the shower it gets folded and put away. Another thing we’ve incorporated is one central basket. We used to have a basket in my son’s room, and two in the bathroom for each of us. Now there’s one right between our rooms and the bathroom, to cut down on the confusion of which basket needs to be washed next.
When it comes to folding, do it on your bed! When it gets folded in the living room, or on the dining table, it inevitably gets left there when something else arises, and the next day it’s still not put away. If it gets folded on your bed, then you can’t go to bed without finishing it!
When I fold, I start by sorting the whole load into piles – towels over here, son’s over there, husband’s over there. Then I fold each pile, and put it away as I go. This way if distractions come up at least that much has been folded and put away. Also, doing this makes it possible to fold a whole basket of laundry in under 10 minutes! (Yes, I’ve timed it!)
Incorporate doing the dishes into your routine, the same way as the laundry. In our case the dishwasher gets filled during the day, turned on at night before bed, and unloaded in the morning, meaning the sink doesn’t have dishes in it, and the calming sound of the running dishwasher lulls us to sleep.
Each night when our son gets out of the shower, I take the face cloth he used and wipe down the edge of the tub. Each morning after he brushes his teeth, I wipe off his face with a fresh cloth, and then wipe down the sink. At night I use the back of the microfiber cloth I wash my makeup off with to then wipe off the mirror. You can also use your bath towel if it’s then going into the wash.
Keep Lysol wipes under the sink, and once a week wipe down the toilet. When we moved into our current home, we were excited to have a half bath – until I realized we now had two bathrooms to clean! My husband found a time that fits into his schedule, and wipes the whole thing down every Friday morning.
These are just daily and weekly routines of course, and deep cleans should also happen (as much as no one likes them!)
The 10-Minute Speed Clean
I learned how to speed clean from the “Speed Clean Queen” vlogger Emily Norris and honestly this method has helped keep our house tidy ever since.
First, turn off your phone. I don’t mean tuck it aside, I mean power down. All too often we just pick it up to answer a quick text, or hear the ping of an email, and 20 minutes later you’ve seen the meme your second cousin posted on Facebook, but the kitchen’s still a mess. So start by powering down. I promise you can turn it back on when you’re done.
Pick one room or area, and set a timer on your microwave or smart speaker for 10 minutes. Then it’s a race against the clock! You will be so surprised how much you can straighten up in 10 minutes! I use this tip ALL the time – especially with my son and his room. It turns tidying into a kind of game, and it’s so satisfying when the timer goes off (especially if you beat it!). Rather than trying to tackle the whole house, this one room at a time approach makes things seem less overwhelming.
I will say that it took practice before these became our tidy home routine. We found that incorporating these tips into our house’s natural flow made them more likely to work. Getting everyone involved takes the burden off one person to ‘keep the house clean’, and teaches our son that it takes everyone to keep the house running smoothly and looking good.
Whatever method you personally find to keep your house tidier, I hope it leads to less stress, and an accomplished Resolution!