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I clean, blink, and everything is back to its unkempt state. Really?
If you have or have had a child of any age, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Let me start by telling you that my house is clean, it’s just not always tidy. But I’m going to share my #1 quick tidy tip that just might save you an ounce of sanity and tons of time.
Where does it all come from?
Papers. Toys. Used cups. Dirty laundry. So many socks…
This is what I see as I look around my open living space, right now, as I type this for you. I try to keep up with the chaos, but some days it seems like a losing battle. And that’s OK.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I love organization. A place for everything and everything in its place. But ladies, it’s just not attainable, and I’ve accepted that. My significant other has accepted that. And I know that my friends and family do not walk into our home expecting perfection.
But I still try, because a tidy home (even for a few hours once a week) is a happy home for this mom.
Clean VS Tidy
Saturday mornings are when I clean the house. The task of keeping it tidy is the daily battle. Here’s a general idea of what falls into each of my categories:
Cleaning chores (weekly)
-Tub & Toilets
Tidy Chores (daily)
Say I’m tidying in the living room and grab a dirty sock off the floor. I carry it to the bathroom, where I toss it down the hamper. One item down, 47 more to go! But then I find a toy near the vanity, so I bring it into the girl’s room and place it in their toy bucket. While in their room I notice a DVD on the floor that’s out of its case. It’s full of fingerprints. So I grab a cloth and wipe it off, but not just one. I end up sitting on my butt wiping off all of the DVDs that I know they’ve watched this week.
What just happened? I started cleaning the living room and ended up spending an hour doing another task in another room. Nod if you’ve ever been there.
I needed a way to separate the macro tasks from the micro, and I know that I work best by batching my activities. For me, this means sweeping all the rooms, wiping down all the counters, and disinfecting all the light switches instead of finishing one room in its entirety at a time.
My Secret Weapon
Totes. Baskets. Boxes. Anything large, empty, and portable. Since I’m a hobby Thirty-One consultant, I have many Large Utility Totes at my disposal, making them my go-to for tidying. But you use whatever you have handy. Here’s what you do:
Walk into each room and toss anything that doesn’t belong or is out of place into the tote, then move to the next space. I’ll admit, some weeks I need two totes.
When your home looks like no one lives there, you know you’re done! HA! You’ve completed Step 1 and can place the tote(s) out of sight for now. Step 2 is cleaning all the empty surfaces you’ve just uncovered!
Like I said before, I work best at batching, so this is the fun part for me! Armed with a Norwex envirocloth and water bottle I begin my wipedown marathon before moving on to floors. Once everything is clean and dry, I find those totes and begin Operation Find a Home.
The Best Part is…
Mom. Mom. Mooooommmm?!?
Oh shoot. Did you forget you have children? Do they love to interrupt you when you’re in your grove?
You may find yourself pulled away from your tidy job at any moment, but here’s the great news. If you’ve filled your tote and wiped everything down, your home is now clean and happy! Whatever is in the tote can either wait for your next window of free time or be easily found!
Genius, I know.
And when you do get that opportunity, it’s simple to carry your tote or basket into each room, put the miscellaneous items away, and be done. Well, until tomorrow that is…
I hope this quick tidy tip inspires you and helps in your journey to a less cluttered & chaotic home! If you’ve tried it and it worked for you, let me know below in the comments!