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I don’t know about you, but when I see moms post photos of their homes and they look like pages from Better Homes and Gardens, I wonder what the heck their secret is. I’m not a slob by any means, but I sure as heck can’t keep my home looking spotless enough for a magazine photoshoot.
However, I have figured out several ways to keep my home relatively tidy. These hacks are easy to do and help my home look less like a disaster zone and more like a place Joanna Gaines wouldn’t mind coming to visit.
Here are 10 Hacks you can use to keep you home tidy!
With the amount of ways to go paperless these days, there’s really no excuse not to. It’s better for the environment and definitely creates less waste. Plus, it eliminates a lot of paper mess that tends to accumulate over time. Instead of mailing in your bills, pay them online and only use paper when necessary (like if you have a magazine subscription that comes to your door).Also, reusable grocery bags are great because then you don’t have a growing pile of plastic bags taking up space. The greener you live, the nicer your home will look.
Make Your Bed(s)
In the morning, time is of the essence. It’s hard to get children out of bed and ready for the day in a reasonable amount of time. But if you take just one minute to make the bed(s) (children can do this on their own by around age five), it will make your home look nicer and more put together.
You don’t have to smooth every wrinkle out and arrange throw pillows like you’re a design blogger. Just pulling up the covers and tossing the pillows on top works fine. If you’re feeling extra ambitious and want to take things up a notch, go for it!
Give Everyone a “Stuff” Bin
Why is it that moms are usually the ones who end up cleaning up after everyone else? I’ll tell you why. Because we don’t give everyone their own “stuff” bin. What’s a “stuff” bin? It’s a bin that each person in the house can use to collect all of their personal belongings.
Find a pair of dad’s socks on the floor? Toss ‘em into his stuff bin. Find a Hot Wheels car that belongs to Tommy? Race it into his bin. With this method, anytime a member of your family loses something, you can tell them to check their bin and you don’t have to stress about things being all over the place. Eventually, they might get so tired of looking for everything there, they might actually put it back where it belongs!
Do a “Crap Cleanse”
At least every other week, I do what I like to call a “crap cleanse” through my home. I go through each room and collect anything considered “crap” - pieces of paper, food wrappers, random objects like paper clips, etc. I collect all of the crap and toss it. It doesn’t get rid of the toys and socks and everything that’s strewn across my home, but it at least gets rid of the stuff that doesn’t ever belong there.
The key to this, however, is to do it when your kids aren’t around. Because one mom’s trash is some child’s treasure, and if they see you throw away that magical water bottle cap, well, hell hath no fury like a child scorned.
What about all those school papers?
One thing that constantly clutters my home is my kids' school papers. They bring home tons of papers, art projects, etc... I wrote an article with some ideas on what to do with all these papers. Check it out.
Create a Junk Drawer
You know all that random (but useful) stuff in your house that doesn't really have a “place” of its own? Things like batteries, scissors, coupons and such? For all of those items that don’t really have a good place to call home, designate a junk drawer. Throw all of the miscellaneous household items in there so there will be less clutter.
Sure, the junk drawer itself will be a collection of rarely used items, but it’s better to keep them there than in various hiding spots around the house. I suggest choosing a drawer in the kitchen or home office.
Use the “Two-Minute” Rule
This trick is actually from a mom named Amanda, who runs the blog Love & Renovations. She suggests using the “two-minute rule.” The basic premise is that if you can accomplish a task in two minutes or less, you should do it in the moment instead of putting it off.
This handy tip keeps you on top of things so that your to-do list doesn’t become overwhelming. Any small thing you can get done, whether it’s wiping down the counters, starting the dishwasher or taking out the trash, if it only takes two minutes, just get it over with.
Keep Cleaning Supplies Within Reach
I tend to put off doing dishes or cleaning the kitchen for as long as possible. But I’m definitely more motivated to clean when the cleaning supplies are close by. Keep ones you use all the time under your kitchen sink or in your pantry, so that right after you eat, you can clean the mess. You won’t have stuck on food or dirty countertops to worry about later.
In the bathroom, same thing. Keep a plunger, toilet cleaner and bath scrub all within reach (like under the sink) so that when it’s time to clean, you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
Storage, Storage, Storage
In real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.” When it comes to keeping a tidy home, it’s all about “storage, storage, storage.” When everything has a place, there’s no reason for anything to be out of place. There are really great storage bins for kids that can be used to hold toys, books, even clothes!
Super Mom Picks Bright Idea
A more stylish (and discreet) way to create more storage is with a storage ottoman. You can put this in your living room, a mud room, a front hall or anywhere you need extra space to keep things and also want to add a decorative touch.
Divide & Conquer
Not only does assigning chores teach children (and dads) responsibility, it takes some stress off of moms. If each child is in charge of keeping their room clean, you shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning it.
I know, children don’t always listen, but if you make the expectations clear and do a room check every so often, they should learn that tidiness is important and that they are required to contribute to the neatness of your home.
Put Mail and Groceries Away Immediately
For me, this is how grocery shopping trips usually go once I get home and bring the bags inside...
First, I will take out all of the items that need to be frozen or refrigerated and put them away. Then I leave everything else in the bags until I feel like putting it away too.
But this is not the way to do it! A better idea is to put everything away as soon as you get home. Then you don’t have to worry about the bags sitting on your kitchen counter all day (or longer) and you’ll have a sense of accomplishment in getting it done.
There’s a lot of pressure on moms to keep their homes looking pristine. Honestly, the goal should just be to make sure your home is inhabitable. And by using these simple hacks, you can do just that without having to go overboard.