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7 Secrets to Always Have a Tidy Home

7 Secrets to Always Have a Tidy Home


Do you know people that always seem to have their house in order? Even when you stop in unannounced their home is beautiful and nothing is out of place.

I wasn’t always clean, in fact, I’m a recovering “messy”. And even though I felt like I cleaned all the time. When people just stopped by I would look around and it looked like a tornado had been through the house. It. Was. Awful.

I’m pleased to be on the other side of that and I can tell you now that if someone just stops by, I am not embarrassed- I gladly welcome them in for a visit. And here are the reasons why:


  1. Get rid of excess. The reason there is clutter around is because there is just simply too much. When we don’t have a place for items, they end up floating around and always in the way. To have a clean home,  you have to get rid of all the excess. This includes doubles and items that you are saving “just in case”. Getting a bigger home doesn’t work, even if you “upgrade” to more square footage, homes are only made to hold so much stuff and we can’t organize it all.
  2. Eliminate paper. Paper clutter is overwhelming. I know- I hate paper. I still get anxious throwing paper away. But the thing is, we don’t need it. Switch as many accounts as possible to “paperless”. Unless you have a home business, you don’t need to keep receipts or bill stubs. The whole point of a statement is make you aware of what is going on with your account, once you are aware, the statement has served it’s purpose and it is no longer needed.
  3. Give everything an assigned place. Once the excess is gone, it’s important to give each item you have a “home”. For example, your purse always goes on a hook by the door, your shoes always go on the shoe shelf, the TV remotes always go on this shelf. To learn more about implementing this rule, read here.
  4. Put things away when you are done with them. How many times have you left things out to put away later? Far too many times in my past! If you are in the habit of always putting things into their “place” (see rule #3) then you never have to play catch-up. Saving it for later just creates more work in the long run and you actually have to set aside time to clean up, no one has time for that.
  5. Develop routines. My routines are key and a big part of keeping your home clean and organized. But I think I turn people off when I say routines. To many it’s a rigid list of things to do in a specific order. But it doesn’t have to be. Really, routines are just a tool. Decide what your priorities are, for example, if your priority is to have a clean kitchen, the dishes have to be done regularly, because anytime there is a sink full of dirty dishes, the kitchen looks messy. To keep the dishes done, they have to be washed regularly, preferably after each meal. My routines don’t keep me captive, but rather fit into the rhythm of my life.
  6. Get the rest of the family involved. I have been reading “Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement” and I believe she is spot-on. We are a generation of people that do things for our children, but, instead of helping them, we are teaching them to doubt their own abilities. Growing up and gaining confidence means they have to struggle, make mistakes and learn to improve themselves. The best way to help them grow in confidence is to get them involved in household chores- have them cook, wash the dishes and clean up their own messes (without criticizing or hovering).
  7. Work where you are. If you are in the bathroom, giving your little one a bath, use the time to straighten up a drawer, declutter toiletries or clean the toilet. When you are cooking dinner, wash the dishes as you go- either with a sink full of soapy water, or putting them right into the dishwasher.

When you implement these 7 secrets, you won’t need to set aside time to clean, instead, it’s in the way you live and yes, you will work as you go, it will seem like less work all the way around, simply because it’s done. When you get to the end of the day, you won’t be met with a mess, you will be able to relax and enjoy your free evening. 🙂


About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. katheen s. on 02/07/2015 at 12:20 PM

    I am trying to rid my house of excess, but my husband is a hoarder and gets very upset when I get rid of anything. He says he doesn’t want to buy it again sometime down the road. Any advice for converting a hoarder? I try to tell him that he is not trusting that God will provide for us in the future, or that some other person in-need might need the object, or piece of clothing that we have not used.
    My other challenge is looking at blogs like Susan Branch, the queen of cozy ( she is called that)! So many pretty things, but so cluttered.

    • Sara Jane on 05/07/2017 at 7:00 PM

      I am in the same situation. I have prayed about it and have found that all I can do is declutter my “stuff” and lead by example. I’ve also set some parameters like my kitchen counters are not places to leave items. I also have the one touch system, similar to #3 and 4 above. I put everything away immediately; coats to the coat closet, dirty clothes in the hamper. I’m trying my best to lead by example and although the process takes time, I am starting to see minor changes in his behavior.

    • Margaret on 11/15/2018 at 12:47 AM

      Another idea, explain to him that you are worth more than having to clean all the time. That is the word I gave my kids, and it is working. It took me 10 years to come down to a livable plain with stuff, but I keep repeating this, I’m worth more than this. At this point, I haven’t had to say that lately. I’ve been saying, “Where is all the chaos? What is wrong?” The fact is we get addicted to the adrenal drain of cleaning up mess, but if we tell ourselves our lives are worth more than this, it helps. Unless your husband keeps everything in meticulous order, you may be enabling something, just by not sharing with him the effect it has on him. Don’t tell him anything is wrong with him, it’s your issue. As long as you keep enabling it, it will drain you, but if you explain that your life matters more than having to clean all the time, ten to one he will get on board, as he loves you and you matter to him. Just a thought.

  2. Karrie on 02/07/2015 at 1:00 PM

    Awesome tips! Thanks!! I used to feel exactly how you described yourself. Now that I’ve begun de-cluttering I feel so much better. 🙂

  3. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished on 02/09/2015 at 2:36 PM

    I love this post so much!! I’m on a journey towards minimalism and humility as well… and de-cluttering has been so refreshing. Thank you for sharing this, I’m so glad I found your blog!

    • Rachel on 02/09/2015 at 2:46 PM

      I’m glad you found me too! 🙂

  4. Wendy on 02/10/2015 at 11:53 AM

    You cannot organize clutter is preached by The FlyLady, who also believes in the importance of routines. For anyone needing help and encouragement in these areas I highly recommend her website, as well as heading the advice of Rachel!

  5. Sharon on 02/10/2015 at 12:22 PM

    I totally agree! It’s convincing my significant other that this works, and is less painful in the end.
    Happy wife = happy life 🙂

  6. Linda on 06/15/2015 at 11:13 AM

    I used to try to clean by the “see-do” method: See it; do it. I think I read about this on Zen Habits, and it made sense to me. It probably works for a lot of people, but I’m just too distractible, and end up with a lot of partially done jobs. Now that I have a routine, I stick to it, and add things that I see need to be done as I work. Of course, things that need immediate attention get done, like a spill on the floor, for example. A simple cleaning checklist on my smart phone has made all the difference in my life.

  7. Liz on 08/11/2015 at 4:00 PM

    Rachel I wonder if you ever get criticised for your tidy house? I’m a mum of 4 (soon 5) and have received criticism from some because if I have a tidy house (the result of minimising belongings with help from your blog) some friends think I must surely be spending all my time cleaning and neglecting my children’s needs, when in reality I’m kinda bored when the kids are t school during the day since the house now runs so efficiently. Just curious if you have met the same opposition in your journey? Liz.

    • Rachel on 08/12/2015 at 4:44 PM

      There you go Liz- just tell them it’s like this (kids need these skills too- why not spend time with the kids and do housework?!):

      I know for sure that our parents have been frustrated with me getting rid of things, but they haven’t said anything.

      Most people who criticize have themself in mind and are likely jealous, and comparing themselves. I have found that being honest about what clutter was doing to my emotions and being real about the struggle helps. You can either intimidate them, or inspire them. If they aren’t offended by you sharing information, share resources that have helped you.

      I’ve had quite a few readers talk about similar situations. People are threatened when they see others succeeding. It makes them look at themselves and they don’t like it. They either will disappear from your life, or join you in improving their own.

      I used to be surrounded by people who criticized and were judgemental, but about 15 years ago, I learned boundaries and started removing myself from unhealthy relationships, so in all honesty, I haven’t been criticized about minimalism, but I now have friends who would be honest with me and tell me if they saw an issue in my life.

  8. Tony W on 09/11/2015 at 11:01 AM

    It took me a lifetime to realize you can’t clean clutter. LOL. Once I got rid of the clutter cleaning was easy. Now after cleaning it really looks like cleaning was done.

  9. Amy on 06/03/2016 at 2:14 PM

    Okay, this is one of my favorites! And I have quite a few of your posts that I absolutely love! Thank you Rachel!

  10. sandra pinnix on 03/06/2017 at 3:47 AM

    I would like to be added to your FB posts and/or blog. I could use all the help I can get. I’m struggling with the loss of my parents who were married 66 yrs & never got rid of anything! We cleared out their house as best we could, but unfortunately, I found myself bringing home “sentimental items”. now, my it has caused massive clutter in what used to be a rather neat home. i would appreciate any help/advice.

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