You might know someone who has a home that is always neat and tidy. You might think to yourself, “do they even live there?” as you come back to your own home that looks even more untidy to you after your visit to Mr. and Mrs. Tidy’s house. The truth is, your friends or neighbors probably don’t spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning. Instead, they’ve minimized what they have, and they use a system that works for them. You don’t have to be a minimalist to have a tidy home, but you can’t keep everything you’ve ever owned, either. A good rule of thumb is – if you don’t wear it for an entire year, or use it for an entire year, it’s probably time to let it go! There are also some other things you can do to keep a tidy looking home.
The Three Best Secrets To A Tidy Home
- Sort mail the second you come in the door
- Don’t store anything on the floor
- Never leave a room with empty hands
It’s very easy to start to grow a mail mountain – you know the kind – flyers from the local supermarket, an important bill or two mixed in, statements from your bank, coupons that are meant for the lady across the street. You’ll get to them, you just haven’t had time! And meanwhile, the mail pile morphs. The best thing you can do is start to sort mail before you ever sit down – junk mail, flyers you don’t care about, coupons you don’t use – throw them away or shred them to be recycled immediately. Place bills in a bill drawer or special mail holder. The same is true of any papers that come home in your child’s backpack. You may think you’ll need them “someday”, but only the truly special will you ever keep. The rest just breed malcontent and clutter.
The second secret of tidy homes is to store nothing at all on the floor. Use large wicker baskets if you want to store shoes or dog toys in the living room, but everything should have a place. The more knock-knacks you have, the more you will have to dust. That’s a problem, because most people don’t have that kind of time, so the dusting never gets accomplished, nor does the mopping, because there’s so much stuff on the floor. Minimalism encourages cleaning. Clutter discourages it.
A third rule for everyone in the house – don’t leave a room with empty hands! If you get up to go get a drink in the kitchen, take the dirty plates with you. When you leave the kitchen for your bedroom, pick up your bedroom slippers you kicked off by the sink and take them with you. This will get you in the habit of constantly, without even having to think about it, take things to their rightful home…and that leads to a tidy house.
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