Episode 12: How to Tidy Your House *Quickly*Mar 27, 2023
(This blog post is based on one of our podcast episodes! If you would like to listen to the episode- click here!)
Sometimes my husband comments – "How in the world did you tidy everything up so quickly!?" Maybe he is truly amazed or maybe he is encouraging me, but either way, I'll take it!
I just am a person affected by my surroundings and I really can’t relax when spaces are super unruly, so I have learned how to pick up spaces quickly. This is somewhat a passion of mine and I know most people don’t feel that way!
So, I want to share how I do it and maybe it’ll help you. This is specifically for the times you want to relax in the living room but you just got home from a soccer game and emptied your car into the living room. Or you have company coming over in 30 minutes. Times that you are just needing to get it cleared quickly, not necessarily perfectly.
To begin, I picture my entire living space as one big mess and I try to see the mess in categories and then tackle each category at a time. This is easier for me than tackling individual specific areas at a time…. I zoom out, picture it as one big mess, and do the whole thing at once, broken into categories. It’s almost like I walk in 5 big circles through the space, working on one category at a time.
The first category for me is ALWAYS trash. I literally circle throughout the whole space to get anything that is trash and it goes straight to the trash can. So I’ll do living-dining-kitchen quickly, then all the trash = gone. And that makes a huge difference. And those of you listening that don’t have toddlers are probably thinking- how does someone end up with a house full of trash? And I kind of still wonder the same thing myself but it . just . happens. Regularly.! So once all the trash is out- it feels so much better!
Then I move to things that do belong in our home, but don’t belong in the current space at all.
The next circle category would be laundry. Any dirty socks or jackets or dish towels go straight to the laundry room. Again, this usually makes a big difference too!
Now I want to introduce you guys to the concept of temporary holding spaces.
Holding spaces keep me sane. Holding spaces are a specific place in each room to hold things that belong in that room but aren’t put in the exact spot where they belong yet.
But these things aren’t creating a mess, they aren’t lost, they aren’t technically out of place at that time. They are in the holding space which is where they belong temporarily. Most of our bedrooms have a holding space on one corner of the dresser. The whole room can be clean and tidy and there can be a stack of things in the holding spot. And that’s okay! The holding spot is temporary. It ideally is emptied each day. I usually empty out the holding spot in each of my kids bedrooms as we are getting ready for bed each night. I actually think it is good that the holding space is in a spot that IS visible. So on top of the dresser instead of in a drawer. Because, you know, and I know, if I put something in a drawer and walk away I will not come back to empty that drawer. But if it is visible enough, I won't forget, and I will empty that holding space as soon as possible.
So I’ll do a 'primary bedroom' sweep through the space. Anything that goes in the primary bedroom gets picked up from the kitchen-dining-living areas. I’ll sweep through the space and then fill up my arms and take it all to one little holding spot in my bedroom. And I don’t really throw it on the bed because to me that would feel messy. But the holding spot is perfect.
Then each kids room gets a sweep through the main living space. Every little bow or shoe or whatever that goes to my daughters room- I’m scanning the entire living space and gathering it all up and putting it in the holding space in her room. Same for my son’s stuff, it all gets picked up in one fell swoop and then put in the holding space in his room.
Then I’ll circle back through the living space with toys, anything that needs to go in the playroom gets picked up from the entire living space and I’ll throw it into the playroom. Honestly, our playroom is in the back of our house and usually I just toss it into the playroom NOT in a holding space.
Then the last thing I do is straighten the pillows and push in the chairs or whatever to finish making the space look tidy.
It’s really so simple and easy. It does feel like I’m just walking around my entire living space in 4 or 5 big circles but then that’s it.
One other tip along these lines that I don’t personally do but I do think is a great idea especially if you have approximately 1 minute to get your tidying finished - have a plastic laundry bin and you just quickly gather things that don’t belong and put them in that bin. That bin can serve as the holding spot for anything. Maybe you do the trash circle, then the laundry circle, and then the only other circle is to gather things and place them into that bin. And then later on, you empty that bin as you carry it around room to room and take the things out that belong in that room. Don't forget to come back and empty this bin! :)
I think the key is #1 not having too much stuff. And then #2 let everything in your house have a place where it belongs. And then #3 is regularly, put things back where they go. Give yourself a temporary holding spots and be sure to clear it out daily if possible!
I created an online, digital, self-paced course PACKED with specific tips to help YOU get your entire house in order. I know moms don't have hours on end to get things done. I know some of your free time is right after your kids go to bed and you may be unable to have a professional come to your house at that time. I know you may not have hundreds of dollars available to spend on organizing your house. I know, because I'm a mom too!
That's why I created the Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class. It was made for MOMS. I'll take you room-by-room throughout your house, whenever YOU have the time. I'll give you all my best tips and tricks to not only declutter your house, but to set up some systems that keep your house functioning best for YOUR family.
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