The longer I’m a homemaker, the more I understand the value of a tidy home. In this post, I’m choosing to focus on how to make your home feel tidy. It’s not just about how it looks at a glance, it’s about how it feels to you and your family! When my home is put together, my mind feels put together too, and it’s so much easier to focus on new projects when the space around me feels likes it’s under control. Learn 7 easy tips for how to make a tidy feeling home. You can start today!
Why I Need These Tips Myself
I’m usually pretty good with time. I can randomly think to myself “I’m guessing it’s around 3:30”, and mostly without fail, it will be 3:26. Not too bad!
But when it comes to how long it will take me to tidy my home, that’s a whoooole different story.
I can paint my toenails in ten minutes, but tidying my living room? That will surely take at least 9 hours. Maybe more.
It may seem like I’m exaggerating, but my view of how long it will take for me to pull my space together is always way off. And because I think it will take me so long, I put it off. Until I have time. Until I have 9 straight hours to pick up the two amazon boxes, three pairs of shoes, and my big fuzzy blanket that somehow always ends up on the floor. Not to mention my endless supply of empty iced coffee cups that collect on my side tables.
It’s taken me lots of practice to learn that my home can go from a complete disaster to tidy in far less time than I give myself credit for. And that messy living room can be taken care of in 10 minutes flat.
The key to a tidy feeling home is to start with the big stuff that makes a huge impact in minutes, and then let the motivation of that win carry me through to the end.
Or maybe all I get done is the big stuff, and that’s okay too. I’ve heard the phrase “done is better than perfect”, but I like to add my own spin at the end. “Done is better than perfect, but better is…well, better…than not started at all”. What an eloquent phrase, I can’t believe everyone isn’t saying that version. Ha!
But it’s true, spending 10 minutes on my living room is infinitely better than sitting on the couch stressing about how messy my living room is. Even if I don’t have enough time to get it perfectly done.
So here are the “big things” I can take care of in just a few minutes that make a huge impact on my home! And you can too.
1. Make the bed.
I know, you’ve heard it before. Trust me, I too once thought it was a complete waste of time. It’s what everyone calls “a quick win”, but it will for certain be messed up again tonight. Why take the time?
It’s one of the big spaces. The bed in a bedroom is often like 25-50% of the space in that room. It’s hard to make a room look tidy when half the room is a mess! No matter how tidy the rest of it is.
Not only that, but we aren’t trying to permanently tidy our homes. This makes the excuse of “it’ll be messed up again tonight” invalid. What we tidy today is peaceful today, and that’s what matters!
I’ve found that when the big areas like the bed are tidy, the little ones are either not as noticeable, or are soon to follow.
Take the 3 minutes (yes, it takes only THREE minutes or less) to make your bed. And just like that, half your room is already done.
2. Gather and/or wash the dishes.
Here’s another one. I thought I knew better than all of the other people who said to start with the bed and dishes. Why take the time to gather or wash dishes that will for certain be dirty again by tomorrow, or even later today?
Because it’s hard to make a living area feel clean when there are dirty dishes scattered around.
It’s also hard to feel like life is under control when everywhere you turn has dishes that you know need to be tended to.
Now that I’ve learned better, I prioritize the dishes. It’s non-negotiable that I wash my dishes daily.
If all you can do is gather them to the sink, then do that! It’s better to be one step closer to being clean, than scattered everywhere and making the entire house feel cluttered and adding to the overwhelm.
3. Empty the trash can.
I think we have all had those times when we walk into the bathroom or office and the trash can is overflowing.
So what do we do? We leave it there.
You know, because we don’t have time to take care of it right now. It would take at least 15 minutes to empty the can, and we just don’t have the time!
Except that it doesn’t. It takes approximately 90 seconds for me to carry the trash can from the bathroom to the main garbage and back.
Good thing I saved those 90 seconds that I didn’t empty the trash! Because when I got to the end of the day, well, I had an extra 90 seconds to sit on the couch stressed out about how messy my house was.
Plus the 3 minutes that I didn’t make my bed.
And the 5 minutes that I didn’t gather the dishes.
4. Get the big stuff off the floor.
This one seems obvious, but the number of times that I have continuously walked around something in the middle of my floor is astounding.
If there’s something in the middle of your floor that’s out of place, just move it. It’s nearly impossible to have a tidy feeling home when you have big stuff in the middle of your floors!
5. Wipe down the counters.
Wiping down the kitchen and bathroom counters does two things for me.
First, it gets the counter clean (obviously.)
Second, it makes me tidy the counter, because I can’t easily wipe down a counter that has clutter on it!
So if for no other reason, I wipe my counters so that they stay clutter free. This takes me less than 2 minutes, and makes a world of difference!
6. Vacuum the floor, even if it’s just a spot vacuum.
Once I got into the habit of washing the dishes daily, that led me to wipe down the counters daily, which naturally led me to vacuum the kitchen floor daily.
I’ve noticed that when the kitchen is a mess, the whole house feels like a mess.
But if I can keep the dishes under control, the counters wiped down, and the floor clear of crumbs, then I feel like I’m maintaining our home like I should!
I know this is a major splurge item, but on a huge deal last year we purchased the Shark Vertex Cordless Stick DuoClean Vacuum, and this is what I use on the kitchen floor daily. No cords to fuss with! And it’s far better and more thorough than the Dyson, in my opinion.
7. Declutter. This isn’t the same thing as tidying.
This was the big one that I was missing in the past. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to keep all of the items that I’ve ever owned. Every space in our home was overflowing with things we didn’t even use, and that was getting in the way of us enjoying our home.
Now that we’ve decluttered (as in, gotten rid of the excess stuff), it’s more peaceful and feels more tidy overall.
It also makes our home easier to tidy when it gets messy, because everything has a place that it goes. Don’t underestimate the power of a decluttered drawer, closet, room, or home!
To recap the amount of time it takes to get a tidy feeling home, here’s the duration for each step!
- 3 minutes – Make the bed.
- 5 minutes – Gather the dishes.
- 2 minutes – Empty the trash.
- 3 minutes – Get the big stuff off the floor.
- 2 minutes – Wipe the counters.
- 5 minutes – Spot vacuum the floor.
- 15 minutes – Declutter one area.
This means that in total, I can get my house feeling tidy in 35 minutes or less!
It’s all about prioritizing the big impact areas first. You can work on fine tuning once you’ve done these. But for me, this is enough. This gets my house feeling tidy and under control, and there’s no better feeling as a homemaker!