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The 9 Secrets of Tidy Families {you kinda wanna know this stuff}

Fat Mum Slim /

The 9 Secrets of Tidy Families {you kinda wanna know this stuff}

I’m not a particularly tidy person. I wish I was. My family wasn’t either. Everything always looked lived in. We definitely lived in our house. It wasn’t insanely messy, but just not visitor ready. I never understood when I’d go to friend’s houses how they managed to keep it so perfect and pristine. Maybe it was because they didn’t have as many kids as us. Maybe.

Anyways, I think you’re either naturally tidy or you’re not. Some people have to work harder at it {me!}. So, I thought I’d ask the naturally tidy people of the world what their secrets were over on my Facebook page… in hopes that some of their tidy skills would rub off on me and you too.

THE 9 SECRETS OF TIDY FAMILIES

ONE // IF YOU HAVE LESS STUFF, YOU HAVE LESS MESS

This advice is simple, but oh-so-true. A Facebook reader, Donna says, “The less clutter you have the easier it is to put stuff away. If you need to make your bed but you have 15 scatter cushions then that is going to make your job harder. Simplify your space.” I’ve found the KonMari method is great for simplifying stuff, starting with your wardrobe. Less things = less mess!

TWO // DO IT ONCE, AND DO IT RIGHT

How many times do you double handle something? I do. I move something to the bench, then to the sink and then eventually to the dishwasher. Newsbreak: It should go straight in the dishwasher! Rowena suggests, “The biggest game changer I came across was the ‘do it once rule’. Getting changed? Hang away clothes or pop them in the hamper straight away. Use a cup? Rinse it and pop it in the dishwasher. Brought in the mail? Open it, sort it and file it. Brought in the washing? Fold it, sort it, iron it. This one rule saves me so much time and I find there are few, if any, unfinished jobs needing to be completed. The house always looks tidy.” Makes sense, right?

THREE // DO THE HALF HOUR OF POWER

I love this advice, and I actually do it at home too. The thirty minutes before you leave the house, should be your hour of power. Renaye says, “We are a family of 7, we both work full time and the kids are all at school now. I like to leave the house tidy so about 30 minutess before we leave we pretty much all run around like mad people yelling and pointing, unpacking dishes, packing dishes, vacuuming, hanging washing out, making beds and then we pile in the car and take a deep breath! On Saturdays we usually spend the morning doing a proper clean, packing the dishwasher straight after dinner is always a saviour in the morning and glass wipes on the bathroom counter means an easy wipe over while brushing teeth in the mornings.” Personally, I love doing the quick clean, and turning on our robot vacuum cleaner so it can do the work while we’re out!

FOUR // MAKE A FAMILY RULE

Kirsty has a naturally untidy husband {and a little bit on the lazy side too} so she delegates, and has created a family rule to keep everyone in line, ” My rules is that no one sits down until we have all finished our jobs : it’s not fair for one person to do it all. And I hire a cleaner fortnightly. Life lessons learnt by kids & I get time off myself. Life’s too short!” If you can afford it, a cleaner is great help… even if it’s just to do the bathrooms and floors once a fortnight.

FIVE // TIDY AS YOU GO, AND MAKE A ROUTINE

Melissa is a lover of cleaning and keeping things organised, and has her routine down pat, “Do the dishes whilst cooking! Squeegee after every shower, vacuum twice a week, linen changed and bathrooms cleaned each Sunday. Washing folded straight off the line (i refuse to iron!), make the bed and open all curtains and windows each morning before leaving for work. I hate mopping and dusting so try to clean/tidy up as i go to avoid having to do those two things!”

SIX // MAKE IT FAST & FUN

Kim makes a game of it, which I love. She says, “I am not tidy naturally. I am so disorganized! The only way I can clean is to set my alarm on my phone for eight minutes for each section of the house each day. Five minutes seemed too short, 10 minutes seemed too long.

This way, cleaning up does not take over my life and I’m not overwhelmed with clutter!” Other readers love popping in their earphones, listening to their favourite music and getting their clean on!

SEVEN // CREATE A SPACE FOR EVERYTHING

It makes sense that if everything has a space, it will be easier to put things away, right? And if you know where things go, the kids might too. Stephanie says, “Always keep a clean kitchen, my house automatically looks clean if the kitchen is. I clean as I cook, I don’t let the dishes pile up and I keep the benches wipes and clutter free. Having storage and a place for everything helps A LOT. The kids know exactly where their things go and that helps keep toys in check.” My own living area is open, with the kitchen/dining/lounge all in the same space. So the bedrooms might be utter chaos, but if that space is clean I feel kinda calm.

EIGHT // INTRODUCE CRAP BASKETS

I love this advice from Melissa, “Crap baskets, music & a timer! I allocate 5 minutes to each room. Anything that doesn’t belong in that room goes in the laundry basket & at the end put in the room it belongs. Each kid has a crap basket in their room. Their folded washing & bits & pieces go in there. They have to have put away by bedtime. I use my phone as a timer & play Spotify.” Sounds like a fun way to clean!

NINE // CREATE REWARDS AFTER CLEANING

Kids will ask for things, as you probably know already, so Nicole gives this advice, “My tip for keeping the house tidy is, when the kids want to watch a movie, or go for a swim, or have an ice block etc, I say “Yes, when the playroom is tidy!” or “Yes, when all the beds are made!” or “Yes, as soon as we tidy up all these paper cuttings!” You get the idea. I make sure to keep the goal achievable and I’m always amazed at how quickly it happens when they’re racing towards the thing that they want to do!”

And if all else fails, Denise has some awesome advice, “The biggest secret to keeping a tidy house is waiting until the kids grow up and move out. Then it stays remarkably neat.”

There’s always that! Or you can Fake A Clean Home, which I’ve been known to do! Read about it here.

What tips do you have to keep your home tidy?

@Fatmumslim