Easy habits for a neat & tidy home

Keeping your home tidy feels like a huge job when the rest of your family messes it up again right after you’ve tidied it!

Yes, we should be encouraging our partners and children to tidy up after themselves.

But the reality is, they don’t.

This leaves you with 3 choices:

  • Fight about it with your family daily (extra stress)
  • Live in the mess (goodbye tidy haven to relax in)
  • Tidy it yourself (more work for you)

I prefer to relax in a tidy haven, but I don’t want to spend much time tidying up, especially when it’s not my mess, so I have a few little hacks that make the tidying quicker and easier.

And honestly, it's not all the kids messing it up and leaving it - some of it is stuff I never really thought about myself until it built up and created a mess.

Think of these as little habits that don’t take a lot of time and effort but have a big impact when you add them to your day:

Sort and recycle mail as I open it.

I open my mail by the bin and get rid of anything immediately after actioning it so it doesn’t become a big pile.

If it’s a bill, I pay it with my phone right after I open it, then I throw away the paperwork (I can get copies online whenever I need them - and so far, I’ve never needed them).

Make my own bed when I get up in the morning.

So no matter what the rest of the house looks like, I still have a tidy bedroom to relax in

Let the fresh air in.

I like to open windows so it doesn’t feel stuffy inside and we get as much natural light as possible, keeping the space feeling fresh and airy.

Wipe surfaces after using them.

It’s tempting to leave those crumbs or small coffee spills because you’re hungry and want to eat now, and you think you’ll come back later to wipe down the counter. I usually find I forget about it, so I wipe it down just before I sit down to eat.

Nothing sets in, it’s an easy wipe-and-go rather than needing to scrub.

Hang my clothes or put them in the basket as soon as I take them off.

No extra chair or pile to hold clothes waiting to be worn again. If it’s clean enough to wear again, it goes straight back into the wardrobe. If it’s dirty, it goes straight into the washing basket.

Do a quick reset before I relax in the room.

If I’m about to have a bath, I give the bathroom a quick clean as the bath fills. If I’m about to relax in the lounge room, I’ll collect everyone’s things they have left out and put them in their bedrooms, then straighten the cushions.

Empty smaller bins regularly.

My kids have small rubbish bins in their bedrooms, and I tend to find they need to be emptied once a week, so I do them on Saturdays as a regular habit.

This means the bin is never overflowing or crammed down and hard to empty and the kids keep putting rubbish in the bin instead of dropping it on the floor (usually).

Shut the doors on messy bedrooms.

It's quick and easy to do, makes a big difference to the look and feel of the house, and saves me from tidying up all the time or feeling cranky walking past the messy room.

Wash dishes as I cook.

I put my dishes in the dishwasher as soon as I’m done using them, but unfortunately, my kids don’t.

So just before I start cooking, I collect the dishes lying around the house and bring them into the kitchen. I fill the kitchen sink with hot soapy water, stack the dishwasher and hand wash the rest and the cooking utensils as I cook - usually while I’m waiting for water to boil, onions and garlic to sauté, etc.

Using those little waiting moments to take care of the dishes means less work later and helps keep the house tidy without feeling like I’ve created an extra job for myself.

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you’re ready for next steps in organising your home & life, you might want to check out my popular House & Family Binder. It’s a simple set of prints to help you get organised and run your household without stress or overwhelm.