Have you ever wondered why your house always looks so…messy?
You have stacks of mail on the dining room table. Shoes piled at the front door. Dirty dishes all over the place.
And let’s not mention the mountain of clothes in the corner of your bedroom.
You just can’t keep up with all the STUFF.
Can I let you in on a little secret?
There’s actually one simple habit you can adopt to change all that.
It’s the secret that all people with clean homes know.
It’s called the Golden Rule of Home Tidiness.
(Okay, I just made that up. But stick with me!)
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The #1 Secret to Keeping a Clean House
This ONE simple practice makes all the difference between being able to actually eat at your messy kitchen table or not tonight.
It’s the answer to keeping your household organized. And to stop spending half your life looking for lost things.
Ready to know what the secret is?
The Golden Rule of Home Tidiness is this:
Don’t put it down, put it away.
Yes, really. Every time you use an item around your house, put it AWAY the moment you’re done with it.
Don’t set it down somewhere with the intention of putting it away later. Because you probably won’t.
And then all those items lay around everywhere. And before you know it, you’re drowning it messy clutter.
Did the simplicity of the Golden Rule surprise you? Are you thinking of 20 reasons why it won’t work for you?
Look, I know you’re busy. And you have other family members that might not take so kindly to the Golden Rule.
But you have to train them.
Teach your kids to put a toy away before getting out another one. Or at least to put it ALL away before moving onto something else in their day.
Tip: Family members not catching on? Grab all their stuff from around the house each day, and pile it in their bedroom doorway. They’ll start to get the hint.
The Golden Rule of Tidiness is the remedy to all the cluttered ‘flat surfaces’ in your home.
See, the kitchen counter, the bedroom dresser, and the dining room table are like magnets for your stuff.
(Because you’re setting it down there instead of putting it away!)
Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t have time to put everything away every single time.
In most instances, it doesn’t take any more time!
You set a dirty dish on the counter…or you put it in the dishwasher.
You fold the blanket instead of leaving it in a lump on the couch.
We’re talking seconds of difference here.
(Time yourself if you don’t believe me.)
Plus, when you DO end up taking all of Saturday morning to clean up, you’re actually spending the time anyway.
So what do you do if you genuinely don’t have the time? You’re in a hurry in the morning and tried on 12 different outfits before work, for instance.
Take the next possible moment to take care of it.
When you get home from work, take 3 minutes and hang those clothes back up.
Don’t go to bed until you have!
1. Have a donate box or bag going at all times. Every time you come across an item you don’t need or want anymore, toss it in the donate box. When it’s full, drop it off at your local donation center.
2. If this process is puzzling to you because your stuff doesn’t all have a place to go, you have too much stuff. Use the free Decluttering Checklist below to pare down your belongings.
3. If you really are too busy running around all day, set aside a very specific time each day to put away all the things. (ie. before bed, while dinner cooks, after breakfast, etc.). Choose a realistic time, when you have a little energy, and are unlikely to be interrupted.
Ready to try this new secret?
It might take you a couple weeks of practicing this new routine for it to become a firm habit.
But once it has, your future self will be so happy enjoying your more peaceful home space!