I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the best homemaker in the world. Not by a long shot. In the past, if you stopped by my home unannounced, you just might have been met by toys all over the living room floor, unsorted mail on the dining room table, and unfolded laundry in a basket on the couch.
With that being said, it’s probably pretty hard to believe that I HATED messes. I love having a clean, fresh smelling home to live in. I’m sure most people do. But I got overwhelmed so easily by the chores I needed to do in order to make that a reality everyday. And so sometimes things just didn’t get done. And I ended up with a disorganized, cluttered existence.
Although I still do have a tendency to let things slide, I have found some easy ways to keep my house cleaner and more orderly. Incorporating these tips have made such a difference for me. And if I can improve my homemaking game, anyone can!
Fold laundry as you unload it from the dryer
I used to just pull clothes out of the dryer (…you know, once I finally remembered they were in there 😉 ) and throw them in a basket. And there they would sit. Of course, I had the intention of folding them. You know… later. But I would never get to it, and so my husband and I would grab our clothes and towels out of the pile as we needed them.
The problem with this method is that we could never find what we needed and everything would end up so wrinkled it looked like a truck had run over them. Somehow we would also have a problem with them getting mixed up with our piles of dirty clothes, and so we wouldn’t know what was clean and what was dirty. This lead to us washing the clean clothes again, which ended up being a whole lot more work.
In order to avoid all this extra work, I try to fold clean laundry as I’m pulling it out of the dryer. Then just carry the basket of folded clothes upstairs and put them away! Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. No more wrinkly shirts, and we’re actually able to find something we like to wear! And if I ever feel like skipping this step, I remind myself that I have to take the laundry out of the dryer anyway, why not take a few minutes while I’m at it to fold as well? It saves so much time and frustration in the long run.
Load dishwasher with dishes as you dirty them
I have my wonderful mother to thank for this tip! When I was growing up, she reminded us over and over again to put our dirty dishes in the dishwasher, not in the sink. It’s really not a hard thing to do, and a great habit to have. Not only does a sink full of dishes look awful and stink, but for me, seeing all that work I have to do makes me die a little inside. I put it off so long that when I finally do work up the courage to tackle the mountain of dishes it’s way more work, and usually more than one dishwasher full.
All it takes to avoid this is to simply load dishes as they get dirty. Did you have a bowl of cereal? After you finish it, just put the bowl and spoon in the dishwasher. Repeat with each meal and snack and drink you have. At the end of the day all you have to do is turn on the dishwasher and your work is done. No sink full of dishes. No smelly kitchen. Ha!
Don’t leave things where they don’t belong
Okay, this one seems so obvious, but I leave things out all the time. I’ll leave the peanut butter on the counter while I eat my sandwich because what if I want another sandwich when I’m done? I usually don’t. Instead of leaving it out it’s better to just go ahead and put the jar away. The counter stays clutter-free, and it’s really not hard at all to walk to the pantry and get the jar out again if I actually do need it.
Put things away as soon as you get done with them and you’ll have way less clutter in your home. And really, this only takes a few seconds instead of spending 20-30 minutes to put everything away at once. I’m actually trying to teach my daughter this rule as well in hopes of cutting down on all the toys everywhere. Hey, a mom can dream…
Before you leave a room take something with you
Maybe this is just at my house, but there’s always at least a few things that don’t belong in each room. Books in the kitchen (and not the Betty Crocker variety lol), toys in the living room, dirty clothes in the bathroom, shoes in the hallway. You get the idea.
Instead of walking out of a room empty-handed, I try to grab at least one thing from the room that doesn’t belong. Sometimes the item that doesn’t belong actually goes in the room I’m about to go to. There’s really no excuse whenever that’s the case!
Have a landing place for stuff when you get home
If you’re anything like me, as soon as you get home you just toss your purse and keys on the dining room table or the closest chair as soon as you get in the door. I always do this with the excuse that I’ll just put them somewhere else later. I’m tired and just want to relax so I don’t want to deal with putting anything away just yet. But my purse stays right where I put it, and so do my keys, and my jacket if it’s cold outside. Adding to the clutter in our house. Or my toddler grabs everything and throws it all on the floor, dumping out all my purse contents in the process. Even more clutter.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t do something about this problem sooner. That may just be my procrastination at work. But all I have to do to help keep my house looking orderly and keep from misplacing my things is to have a designated place for these items. And of course actually putting them in their designated place. It really is so simple! Plus, it saves me time when I leave the house again because I know exactly where my keys are.
There you have it!
Keeping up with cleaning may not be something that always comes naturally for me, but I have been able to improve in this area of my life. You may be like me and homemaking might be a weak area for you as well, but don’t get down on yourself for that! I used to get so frustrated with myself because I just couldn’t seem to be the homemaker that I felt I should be for my family. I’m still very far from perfect, and my house may still get a little messy sometimes, but using these tips have helped keep things from getting completely out of control. And I don’t get near as overwhelmed anymore!
What are your tips to keep your house live-able? Are there any simple little things you like to do to keep things orderly in your household?