If there’s one thing that many of us struggle with, it’s keeping our homes nice and tidy. We see magazines with these immaculate homes, sparkling floors, clutter-free closets, ample counter space in the kitchen with a place for everything.
Things pile up as we eventually take an entire Sunday returning our homes to a state of cleanliness, only to look up a few days later to see that all was for naught.
So what do we do? How do we get our homes clean? Well, step one is to throw out those magazines because you don’t have a team of designers and a team of assistants ready to buff out any smudges, but you do have these 10 tips to keep your home clean
1. Shoes Off
It’s a simple start. Keep the dirt from outside in a manageable location, right by the door.
2. Vacuum High-Traffic Areas Frequently
A couple minutes every couple of days keeping your carpet looking beautiful will pay dividends later on as the dirt doesn’t have time to penetrate your carpet, requiring replacement, or professional cleaning.
3. Put Things Away After Use
A bit of a theme appears as we see that small frequent actions have a big impact on tidiness.
4. Throw Things Out
One of the simplest ways to have room for things? Have fewer things!
There’s no need to keep around that fondue set that you received as a wedding gift and never used. Donate it, give it to someone else to clutter their kitchen, or just toss it.
Just because something still works, doesn’t mean it needs to still be in your home.
5. Organize Based On You
A way to help you put things away is to keep the items you use the most frequently the most accessible and stuff you rarely use (see #4), hide it away in storage. That beautiful fondue set might look nice, but it’s taking up space that should be used for something you use more frequently… the take out menu.
The easiest way to organize a room is to take everything out of it, then put it all back together placing only the items that you actually need.
6. Rotate Items In & Out Of Storage
If it’s the middle of summer, why is your closet still full of winter coats? And if it’s winter? Do you really need your closet full of shorts and tank tops? Store them away and rotate seasonally.
You’ll find it much more manageable when you have fewer items to organize and more places to put them in your home.
7. Don’t Buy Small Organizational Products
From glass jars to mail sorters, counter-top trays, and the like… in the end, these become a magnet for visible disorganization. Yes, you had a great idea to put your k-cups into a mason jar, and it does look fantastic. But at the end of the day, you’re buying a 64 pack of cups and the jar holds 5. So you end up just throwing the box in a cupboard anyway and you’ve wasted $7. Organize how you live, not how you aspire to live.
8. When You Buy The New Version, Get Rid Of The Old
A great example is pots and pans. You’ve had them for ages and they still work fine. Sure it’s a little wobbly because you accidentally melted plastic on the bottom and it has grease marks from the pan-fried salmon you tried to make in 2013, but it’s best not to run out of pans (especially since the other one might be dirty).
Nope, it’s time to say goodbye to your old friend and wash your dang dishes.
9. Maybe Don’t Buy The New Version
Yes, that old wobbly pan cooks a bit unevenly, but you love it, and you swear the pan-fried salmon from 2013 “enhances” the flavors of everything you cook today. Why bother buying a new pan anyways?
It’s not like you were going to throw it out.
10. Be Ok With Imperfection
The difference between those staged scenes in magazines? No one is living in them.
It’s important to remind yourself that your home is well, your home. So what if it’s a bit cluttered or messy? That’s just proof that life is still trucking along.
By following these ten tips your home will feel imperfectly perfect, and it won’t require an entire weekend to clean.