Wondering how to keep your house clean and tidy but don’t know where to start? These four simple rules will help you have a tidy home every single day without spending hours cleaning!
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Keeping your house clean and tidy every single day really isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, it all comes down to the habits you create. By incorporating a few simple rules into your daily routine, you can have a tidy home and keep it that way without evening thinking about it!
In my home, there are four rules that I try to live by so my home runs like a well-oiled machine. Of course, there are some days that I don’t abide by all of the rules, but I do try to stick as closely to them as possible because I know they make a big difference in the tidiness of my home.
If you’d like to have a tidy home too without spending hours and hours cleaning every single day, then I think you’ll like these rules! They’ll help you create the daily habits you need to keep your home under control so it never has a chance to get unruly.
4 Simple Rules for a Tidy Home
Find a Home for Everything You Own
This rule is pretty basic, and I’m sure you’ve heard of it before. You know, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” It means that every item you own should have a designated space where you keep it or store it.
That means shoes go in the closet, not in the floor beside the door. Coats go in the coat closet, not on the back of a dining room chair. Magazines go in the magazine rack, not on the table. Dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, not on the bedroom floor. Food goes in the kitchen pantry or cabinets, not on the table.
And yes, I’ve actually been in more than one home where people keep their food on the table or on the kitchen counters instead of in their cabinets or pantry!
When everything has a home, your house will automatically look less cluttered, and you’ll always know exactly where to put your stuff when you tidy your home each day. So, if you don’t have a home for an item, either find one for it or get rid of the item.
Start Your Day with a Morning Cleaning Routine
When you start your day with the same basic morning cleaning routine, your home never has a chance to get out of hand. In fact, just a few minutes of cleaning and tidying each morning will go a long way toward keeping the mess at bay!
And the best part is that when you do the same routine over and over, day after day, you’ll find ways to shorten and streamline it so it takes even less time to complete.
My morning cleaning routine is one I’ve had to tweak numerous times as my schedule changes. When I was a full-time student and homemaker, my morning cleaning routine looked one way. Then, when I went to work full-time, it looked another way. And now that I work full-time from home, it’s a whole new routine, different from either of the ones I used before!
No matter what your morning cleaning routine looks like, the basic idea is that you stick to it every single day so you start the day with a tidy home.
At the very least, your morning cleaning routine should include:
- Making the bed
- Putting away items that didn’t get put away the day before (mail, stray clothes, etc.)
- Straightening up your couch (throw pillows, cushions, blankets, etc.)
- Wiping down the surfaces in your home (kitchen table and counters, stovetop, bathroom counters, etc.)
And while you can make your morning cleaning routine as robust as you like, you should probably keep it to around 15-20 minutes so you can actually do it first thing in the morning, especially if you have a busy schedule.
Use the “One Touch Rule” to Maximize Efficiency
This is a new rule I’ve started implementing in my home, and I have to say that I’m hooked! I’m already obsessed with finding more efficient ways to do things, and the one touch rule definitely helps me eliminate a lot of unnecessary work.
Basically, the one touch rule means you complete the task the first time you touch it instead of putting it aside to do later. This keeps you from shuffling your stuff all around your home before you finally put it where it belongs. And truthfully, moving your stuff around instead of actually putting it away not only causes you extra work, but also causes your home to look messy.
Luckily, the one touch rule cuts out those middle steps so you can move on to more important tasks and enjoy a tidy home at the same time!
Here are some examples of the one touch rule in action:
- When you take off your coat, you put it directly in the coat closet instead of on the back of a chair.
- When you bring in the mail, you sort it right then instead of putting it on the coffee table.
- When you wash clothes, you dry them, fold them, and put them away instead of letting them hang out in the dryer or laundry basket for a few days.
- When you get home from grocery shopping, you unpack the bags and put the food away instead of leaving it on the kitchen counter.
- When you get home from work, you put your purse in your closet (or wherever you keep your purse) instead of leaving it on the table.
- When you take off your dirty clothes, you put them in the laundry basket instead of tossing them on your bedroom floor.
See how efficient the one touch rule is? You cut out all kinds of unnecessary steps when you deal with your stuff as soon as you touch it. But more than that, you also keep your home looking tidy by always putting things back where they belong.
Use the “Two-Minute Rule” to Eliminate Procrastination
This is another new rule I’m starting to use, and I’m pretty impressed by how much it helps with procrastination!
Essentially, the two-minute rule says that if a task will take less than two minutes to complete, then you should do it right now instead of putting it off. It’s very similar to the one touch rule, but instead of trying to maximize efficiency, this rule addresses the issue of procrastination.
For example, it takes less than two minutes to
- Make your bed
- Tidy your living room
- Pick up the dirty clothes from the floor
- Sort mail
- Put a load of laundry in the washing machine
- Load the dishwasher
- Hand-wash the dishes after breakfast
- Vacuum or sweep up dirt from your mudroom
- Spot clean the bathroom
- Clear off the dining room table
These are things we sometimes like to put off, but they really only take a minute or two to finish. And once they’re done, your home instantly looks tidy and put together!
I mean, c’mon. We all have an extra two minutes to spare, so just do whatever task needs to be done so you can move on and enjoy your tidy home. You’ll love the results when you’re finished!
Final Thoughts on Rules for a Tidy Home
So those are the four rules that will help you have a tidy home every single day: find a home for everything you own, start your day with a morning cleaning routine, use the “one touch rule” to maximize efficiency, and use the “two-minute rule” to eliminate procrastination.
Once you make these rules a habit, you’ll do them automatically without even thinking, and your home will feel like it runs on autopilot! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a good deal to me!
Other Cleaning and Tidying Posts You May Enjoy
- Daily Cleaning Schedule: The Simple Solution for Your Messy Home
- Easy Homemaking Schedule for When You Just Don’t Want to Clean
- Keep It or Toss It: 11 Questions to Help You Declutter Your Home
- 5 Ways to Make Your Home a Sanctuary
- How to Keep Your Home Tidy with This Quick Morning Cleaning Routine
What about you? Do you have any rules that help you keep a tidy home?
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