HOW TO RESET YOUR HOME SO IT STAYS TIDY AND CLUTTER-FREE
Struggling to manage your home? In this article I’m sharing some tips on how to reset your home so it stays tidy and clutter-free. Habits and routines to minimise clutter in your home with less stress and more ease.
WHY YOUR HOME WORKS HARD FOR YOU
Our homes work hard for us. If you’ve got a busy family and/or a busy life, the chances are that your home isn’t always the clutter-free, calm and inviting space you’d like it to be.
From toys to dirty mugs, stacks of paper from school and work to half-sorted laundry, crumbs to half-finished art projects, dirty trainers to empty dishes, there’s always some form of stuff or mess that works its way through or builds up around the home during the course of the day.
The last thing I feel like doing in the evening is spending my precious free time tidying, cleaning and sorting. Yet, it stresses me out if I leave it all until tomorrow to sort out. I dread going downstairs in the morning knowing that I’ve got the remains of yesterday to clear up… oh, and then I’ve still got today to get through!
STAYING TIDY AND CLUTTER-FREE
I’m a firm believer in getting my kids and husband to help with chores and I do delegate what I can. As I remind them frequently, I’m not the only one making a mess so why should I be the only one to clean and tidy it up?!
However, I also have a trick for keeping my home clean, tidy and clutter-free (well, mostly) which means it never really gets the chance to get out of hand. It’s also a useful trick when a friend phones to say they’re popping over in 10 minutes and I want to look like I’ve got it all together!
The trick is really simple, it’s to reset my home once or twice a day! And, in this article I’m going to share with you some ideas on how to reset your home too.
THE BENEFITS OF A CLUTTER-FREE HOME
A home reset not only turns your home back into a functional and useable space, it also clears your mind so you can be productive, present and thinking clearly. These are all helpful when you’re managing not just a busy home but a busy life too.
A tidier, calmer and clutter-free home creates less stress and more ease in so many ways! It looks and feels more calm, more peaceful and more relaxing as your sanctuary from the outside world. It’s one less thing on your To Do list and less of a burden on your time and energy so you’ll have more of these precious resources for other things, not just managing your home.
And, going back to getting your family on board with chores, a tidy and clutter-free home requires simpler and easier maintenance so your family can also take on the responsibility for helping out at home. Although I do the majority of the deep-cleaning, cooking and meal-planning, my family can still do their part regularly to contribute to a tidy home (and, of course, their own bedrooms and personal items). In fact, this is one of the reasons why I’ve set my home up to be easy to look after – so my family can help manage it too!
WHEN TO RESET YOUR HOME
I often do a reset of my home once or twice a day. If we’re all at home, for example at the weekends or holidays, then I’ll use mealtimes as a loose framework. We’ll do a home reset just before lunch and just before dinner. You can obviously choose what suits you. You might need to reset your home more or less frequently but I do encourage you to pick a time or times during the day and stick to it.
Resetting your home is a helpful habit, but like many positive habits, it can take some time and practice for the habit to become a habit. Something that you do naturally without really thinking about it.
James Clear writes about habit-stacking and building new habits by taking advantage of old ones. Resetting your home before mealtimes is a great example of how this strategy works so well. You’re probably used to having your meals at certain times of the day so adding a new habit just before or after, and that you’ll remember to do because it’s triggered by the familiar habit of meal time, will make it much more likely you’ll keep it up.
Decide on when you’re going to reset your home during the day and keep to it as much as possible. This will also make it easier to see and feel a difference in your home as the stuff of the day won’t get a chance to build up as you reset your home regularly.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RESET YOUR HOME?
Make a note of the time it takes you to reset your home. Ten or fifteen minutes, less or more? Knowing how long your home reset normally takes will help you plan when you need to start it, particularly if it’s just before meal times.
If resetting your home takes significantly longer, then you might need to think about decluttering your home and some organisation tips. It might be that you just have too much stuff and your home isn’t set up for how you use it. Take a look at these decluttering questions to help you identify clutter in your own home.
HOW TO RESET YOUR HOME
In terms of what a home reset includes, this again depends on your home and who and what lives there. If you have young kids and a busy family life, you’ll probably need to reset your home more often than if you were a single person working out of the home each day.
Below I’ve included a few ideas on what to include in your own home reset. Choose what works for you and add or subtract to this list depending on what suits your home and family.
1. Return items to their proper rooms/places
Gather up anything that’s in the wrong room or wrong place and return it to its proper home. Dirty mugs to the kitchen, toys on the floor to the toy box/playroom and so on. I use a basket, box or tray to gather things up and move them room to room.
This is an example of how helpful it is to make sure that everything in your home has a ‘home’ of its own – a place to be stored when not in use. If an item doesn’t have a designated storage space then it’s likely to be left out where it doesn’t belong! As you return items to their correct homes, make a mental note of what doesn’t have a place to be stored. You might need to create a space or consider whether you really need that item in the first place!
2. Check the floors and stairs
All the floors should be clear. Nothing on the stairs, no toys on the floor, nothing to trip over or stub your foot on. The stairs are not shelves! If you’re going upstairs, take something with you and vice versa if you go downstairs. Not only does a clear floor make it easier to mop or vacuum, it’s also easier to walk through your home without trip hazards and it makes your home feel more spacious with better flow room to room.
Straighten the rugs and, if you have time, give the most used areas of floor a quick mop, vacuum or sweep (think under the table where you eat, the entrance way if you’ve got muddy boots, the living room if your baby’s crawling around).
3. Cushions and throws
Rooms always look better without squished cushions or crumpled blankets hanging off the back of the sofa! Plump and straighten the cushions, fold up any blankets or throws and put them neatly away.
4. Dirty dishes, glasses, cutlery
Head into the kitchen and give used plates a quick wash, dry and put them away or load them into the dishwasher to finish before bed time. A sink full of dirty dishes makes a kitchen instantly look cluttered and it’s not a welcoming sight for you as you try to make a meal or for guests to see if they stop by for coffee. Plus, stuck-on, hardened food is much more difficult to remove. Get into the habit of washing dishes or loading the dishwasher straight after meal times, not just when resetting your home.
5. Kitchen counters
Whilst you’re in the kitchen, do a quick sweep of the countertops to remove random clutter that’s built up during the day. Give the counters a wipe down with spray and a clean cloth. Clean countertops give a clear line of sight around the kitchen, make it easier to prepare and cook food and create space and flow. Read more tips on how to declutter kitchen counters and keep them clutter-free.
Next check the bathrooms. Wipe the surfaces with a baby wipe or cloth and spray. Straighten the towels and make sure there’s toilet roll and soap. Here are some tips on how to declutter your bathroom! The bathroom is also a great place to start decluttering if you’re new to it and want to build confidence.
Sort through today’s post, letters from school etc. Throw or recycle the junk, action what you can or put it in a neat pile to deal with tomorrow. File the rest but don’t just leave it in a random, disorganised pile on your counter or table. Clutter attracts clutter and paper clutter is one type of clutter that can build up easily and get out of hand. Keep on top of paper clutter by dealing with it in short, regular bursts.
Much like the kitchen counters we looked at earlier, check over any table tops including coffee tables, bedside tables and tables in the hall or entrance way. Clear the surfaces of any random clutter. If you do this daily there shouldn’t be an opportunity for clutter and stuff to build up. Only keep what you love to look at and/or really need. Deal with the rest.
Put a load on as often as your household needs. I do a wash daily so I don’t get a build-up and my family always has clean clothes. This way we don’t need so many clothes either! Here are some other ideas for clutter-free daily habits.
OTHER TIMES TO RESET YOUR HOME
In this article I’ve shared some ideas on how to do a daily reset of your home. Yet, there are other times when a home reset can be helpful. During these times you might like to include other household tasks such as meal-planning or cleaning, depending on the time you have available and what needs doing.
Here are some other ideas when a reset of your home can be helpful:
- At the start of every season to coincide with changing outside temperatures, light levels and the colours of nature
- At the end of each school holiday to restore a little calm and order after the chaos that comes with kids and to help you get ready for back to school
- When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and just need to regain a sense of calm, clarity and order. Cluttered spaces make it difficult for us to focus and think clearly. I find a home reset also helps to reset my mind too! Read more about what clutter does to the brain and body.
- Every Sunday to help you have a productive week ahead or mid-week if your week feels heavy and you want to feel lighter and more free.
- Once a month as part of your regular home maintenance.
When you do a home reset, always use the opportunity to check that your home is still working for you in the best way possible. Here are some examples to think about:
- Have you got too much stuff?
- Are you too disorganised and could benefit from some organisation systems?
- The rooms not functioning or laid out as you need them to be in this season of life?
- Maybe your kids have outgrown their toys or can help more around the home?
- Maybe you’re working from home now and need a quiet office space?
Things change and your home needs to change with the needs of your family and yourself. A home reset is a good time to take note of how well your home is working for you (or against you!) and do something about it.
KEEPING YOUR HOME CLUTTER-FREE
Once you get into the rhythm, this daily home reset shouldn’t take long at all, maybe 10 to 15 minutes at the most. Even less if you’re keeping on top of the clutter and mess on a daily basis as it never really gets a chance to build-up.
Keeping your home clean, tidy and clutter-free doesn’t have to take lots of time and energy. It’s just a question of making it into a habit and incorporating it into your daily routine.
Here are some other resources which you might find helpful:
- How to declutter your home and life – A complete guide to clearing your clutter and keeping it away.
- 10 simple daily household routines – As well as a quick reset, this post will help you find ways of making it generally easier to manage your home. We look at how you can set up some regular routines, such as cleaning, laundry and dishes, so that they’re done little and often.
- Clutter hotspots – What they are and how to overcome them
- 32 things that make your home look cluttered – Do you recognise any of them in your own home?!
- How to do a life reset – Try these tips for resetting your life (not just your home)
YOUR NEXT STEP…
I hope you found these quick ways to tidy your home helpful. I think most of us prefer a tidier home and maybe even a calmer one at that. After a busy day at work, a busy day with the kids, or a mix of both, our homes are our sanctuary from the world! We make them into extensions and expressions of ourselves. They can be quirky, colourful, neutral, open, cosy. There are as many different styles as there are people.
We also use our homes for a variety of purposes – to have fun, relax, entertain, play, hide away, recharge, eat, watch TV, play games, sleep…
Our home should be a space that rejuvenates and protects us, definitely not one that saps our energy or time. You’ve got other things to be doing with those instead!
As Marie Kondo says “Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order”!
Clearing the clutter has so many benefits and is the first step to freeing you up for other things.
If you’d like to learn more about decluttering your own home then I encourage you to check out my complete decluttering guide and checklists in Simplify Your Home.
GET YOUR FREE WORKBOOK!
As well as decluttering your home, the other way of making sure your home runs as smoothly as possible, with minimal time and effort from you, is by setting up some household routines.
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