Keeping your home clean and tidy takes an effort, but when you live by yourself, there’s no excuse! True, some of us just don’t have the habit of being tidy, but the good news is, habits can be created! It will take some patience, of course, but I’m sure it will give amazing results and we will all be happy to enjoy being at home with no clutter all around us.
So I’ve done some digging for you guys and for me, and these are the best tips on how to keep a clean house that the Internet is offering us:
1. Start by making your bed
This is something that EVERY SINGLE MUM in the world knows, even if you don’t believe yours: making your bed automatically gives a room another look. This is probably because the bed is usually the largest single piece of furniture in a bedroom, where all the eyes are going to go before looking anywhere else. Making your bed in the morning as soon as you wake up can also give you an extra motivation: you started your day by tidying up and it wasn’t so hard, was it? Plus, it’s a great feeling coming home to a nicely made bed…
Making your bed is already quite simple, but you could meet some handicaps. For example, my little sister sleeps in a bunk bed and when I stay with my parents I sleep in the top bunk, which I HATE because making the bed is really hard (especially for me, as I’m short short short) and they won’t consider by a duvet to make my life easier! (Which to be fair I understand, since I spend 10 to 20 days a year there anyways).
To make the process more comfortable, get rid of anything that is causing chaos on your bed. The top sheets, the extra pillows, everything that will get in your way when moving around it… That kind of stuff.
2. Clean as you go
Let’s imagine you are cooking, right? You first cut the veggies and meat, or fish or whatever you want to cook, and then place everything in a pan. Chances are good that this will take some time to cook in the pan, unless you need to keep whisking or your pan is too sticky and food could get burned if you stopped looking for a second. If this isn’t the case, I’m pretty sure you can start washing some utensils while the food is cooking, whether this is in the hobb, microwave or oven. By doing this, you will have removed half of the utensils you had used before you even start eating – isn’t that fantastic?
Another example: you just came back from work and you have two choices now – hang your coat in the cupboard or coat rack, or leave it on the bed or sofa. Think about it: leaving it on the sofa will take you twice as time as hanging it up on the coat rack, as you will have to come back, pick it up and make a place for it.
You’ve just woken up? Make your bed. You brushed your teeth? Leave the toothbrush in its place. Had a glass of water? Rinse it up and leaving it drying.
This kind of small acts will save you a lot of time in the long run!
3. Not enough space or way too many things?
Nowadays we are fortunate enough to be able to acquire lots of things, but half of the time we don’t really need them. I find that this feeling of never having enough is usually focused on clothes, more than anything else. This is a problem for our purses, for the planet (as we are recently seeing that the resources ARE NOT unlimited, overproduction could cost us the Earth), for our mental health and for the development of simple tasks as tidying up.
Because, yeah, where were you planning to hide all the stuff you bought in the last two months? There’s simply no space in your flat! (I’m talking to myself here).
If you’re renting, you have probably noticed the lack of storage space and storage furniture in rental flats. I speak by experience, as I have two medium size cupboards that are pretty much useless. There are two drawers in total in my house, way too big to be able to keep track of what’s in them, and a lot of cupboards in the kitchen that I can’t reach because, again, I’m not tall.
But that does stop me from buying sh*** that I don’t actually need? Well, no it doesn’t.
One of the most interesting things I learned when I was little and I suffered the Spring Clean sessions, is that you can always get rid of enough stuff to make space for new – or just to declutter and have space to move around in your rooms. In this sense, there is an idea or maybe a movement going around lately that people call minimalism. It’s based on some interesting points like Something in, something out, which means you will have to get rid of something if you want to buy something, and the Capsule Wardrobe, an idea that I really like but haven’t been able to bring myself to it yet… Soon! It will be pretty soon!
4. Put your coat and shoes away
As it happens with your bed, having your coat or shoes everywhere doesn’t help with a tidy appearance. It could even make you stumble in the night and hurt yourself, but you haven’t thought of that, have you?
Keeping your shoes in a shoe rack at the door, as well as your coat, won’t only make your house look better, but it will also keep the dirt you could be bringing in from the street right there in your hall and not in your living room or bedroom.
5. Don’t leave a room empty handed
If you have some experience in waitressing, you will remember how efficient you had to be back then and hopefully realize that you can be this efficient in your day to day life too. One of the most important features of a good waitress/waiter is multitasking, as my (not very loving) manager used to say day after day after day after day after day…
What do I mean by this? That you should never leave a room empty handed.
It’s easy to leave things out of their place when we are, well, living. You went to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea, but you won’t probably drink it in the kitchen; or you got took off your jumper, but never took it where it belongs in your bedroom. By using this rule, every time you leave a room you could carry something to another, which should make the process a lot easier at the end of the day – even if you don’t fold and put everything in its place, at least you will have it all together!
6. A place for everything
Everything in your house should have a place. You will feel more inclined to take it out of sight if you know where it should go, and even better, you will always know where it is.
This especially useful when you need glasses, by the way. I don’t know how many millions of times I have lost them only because I left them somewhere they didn’t belong and couldn’t find them afterwards.
7. Always clean up after cooking!
Let’s be honest: I hate washing the dishes just after I finished my meal. I like relaxing and maybe cleaning the kitchen after… after a couple of hours more or less!
The only problem with this is that, in this occasion, time doesn’t solve the problem and plates are going to still stay dirty and they will be harder to wash. Also, you could find yourself having to wash the utensils and dishes from two different meals at the same time, because you didn’t wash what you had used previously.
This is probably one of the things that annoyed me the most when I was sharing a flat (after all, you don’t want to wash someone else’s dirty things, blegh, disgusting!), but now that I live alone I can have dishes sitting there for two days. I’m sorry, I’m not a good role model for anybody (not that I’m trying to be either). However, here comes the problem of the space again: if I’m making a few meals on a Sunday to be ready for the week, or dinner required a little bit more of cooking, I’ll find myself with too many things to wash and not enough space to let them dry. SO, a little problem here that I’m still not sure how to resolve… I would suggest myself to move to a bigger flat with a bigger kitchen, but I’m too poor for that!
8. Organize your clothes before you go to bed
This I have to admit I have been doing all my life – not every day, but every second day, maybe. It helps you in two ways:
- You’ll get to see what’s clean and can be reused and what should go to the laundry,
- You won’t have a massive pile of clothes on Saturday or Sunday when you finally decide it’s time to do something about it.
Organizing your clothes before you go to bed will clear the room in just a few minutes. And some say could also help you sleep better . Of course it will help you choose something clean for the next day – unless, of course, you want to take the risk of appearing with a tomato stain in your favourite blouse because you couldn’t see if it was dirty as you were too sleepy in the morning.
So these are my favourite tips on keeping your home clean and tidy. And I have to say, writing this post has given me some motivation to start my cleaning, so I’ll have to leave you! I need to make this mess look like a home before I go to sleep! My future me will thank me.
Are you a messy person like me or you consider yourself a Monica Geller type of person? Do you have any tidying tips that you’d like to share? How do you keep on top of your house duties? Let me know in the comments below!