6 Simple Tips for a Relaxed and Tidy Home

Sometimes life is extra-busy, and we just have to muddle through each day as well as we can.

My two young grandsons had an overnight visit last weekend, and my husband Jon has report cards due this week.  I'm just trying to keep up with it all while continuing to write every day.

Work, school, kids, pets, and more may conspire to keep our homes in a jumble.  Everyday activities like cooking and crafting can add to the chaos.  But there are habits we can learn that make every task easier.

a bouquet of sharpened pencils

Read on for some guidance on how to keep the mess at bay to create a calmer, more relaxing and efficient home.

6 tidyness tips that make daily life simpler

1.  First, declutter.

If you haven't done it already, a quick declutter can really help, since fewer possessions means less time spent cleaning and tidying.  Take the Declutter Dare, or focus on one area like the living room, play room, or kitchen.  Ask yourself  questions like "How often do I use this?" and "Do I really need so many of these?" 

2.  Create a place for everything.

Everything you own needs a home – somewhere you can put it back after you have used it.  If an item doesn't have a place to belong, it will always be in your way, and you'll have to move it around constantly.

Sometimes it's the small things that are the most difficult to store.  A chair or your rain coat may have an exact spot to belong, but all of the pens and pencils, paper clips, earrings, batteries, and Barbie clothes may drift into unexpected places or wind up on a counter or in a jumbled drawer.

Often this is because we simply keep too many of them.  You might have only a few extra blankets or one TV, but your plastic shopping bag stash could be out of control.  

Sometimes, with little things, we hang on to more than we need because they're so small and so we don't see them as a problem.  But when you have to dig through a bunch of expired makeup to find your favorite mascara, search for the right-size screw in a jarful of assorted hardware, or step on yet another stray Lego or Matchbox car, frustration mounts.

Here's more advice for creating homes for your tiny bits and pieces.

3.  Avoid impulse buying.

Clutter grows when you shop without a plan.  Think of shopping as a necessary job for securing what you need, rather than as entertainment or a social occasion.  Go with a list – even if you don't know the exact item you need to buy, have some idea of the need you are trying to fill (such as two new warm shirts for winter, athletic shoes for your child, or a baby gift for your nephew's new daughter).  Never shop mindlessly.

4.  Make it easy for children to put toys and books away.

Use a separate bin or basket for collections of Legos, blocks, vehicles, stuffed animals, balls, the train set, etc.  That way kids can simply sort and toss things into the correct bin, and easily find what they want to play with.  For small items, like doll clothes and craft supplies, use a mini chest with clear plastic drawers or a door-hung shoe bag with clear pockets.*  Books are easier for kids to access and put away when the covers face forward.  This bookshelf lets you make a neat and enticing display.

Work with your young children until they learn to put toys away on their own.

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.

5.  Tidy up immediately.

Whether cooking, crafting, or doing homework, always tidy up right away when you have finished.  Don't let the mess take control!  It's so much easier to put things away immediately rather than letting them pile up, leaving more work at the end of a long day.  For example:

  • Hang up clothes or put them in the laundry hamper as soon as you take them off.  
  • Clean up splashes on the bathroom counter or mirror as soon as you've finished using the room.
  • Wipe up spills immediately, and wash kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and mixing bowls while food cooks.  You'll have less to clean up after your meal.

Clean as you go, and you'll spend less time and effort overall.

6.  Make it a habit.

Most importantly, you need to make each of these behaviors routine.  Practice until it becomes natural.  Your home will be tidier, everyday life will run more smoothly, and you'll be happier too.

Updated June 2023


Popular posts from this blog

Why You Should Make "Less is More" Your Mantra for Life

How to Make Habits that Stick: A Simple Guide to Change Your Life

How a Hospital Stay Made Me Even Happier to Be a Minimalist

Minimalism Isn't Magic (but it can help change your life)

Enjoy the Rewards of a 15-Day Declutter Challenge