Keeping a tidy home is a constant chore. I feel like the best approach is the clean as you go method. When you are done with something you return it to its proper place. That proper place might be the place where it came from or the trash or recycle bin.
As much as I think the clean as you go method is the ideal way to keep our home clutter free, it doesn’t work for me. Maybe I haven’t established the habit or maybe I’m not wired that way. Whatever the case I’ve tried and failed too many times to count.
I have also tried the once-a-day method, where I put everything away at the end of the day. At this I have also failed. It’s good in theory, making sure everything is in its proper place before I go to bed. The problem is I usually end up starting the cleanup late, and then it either throws off my bedtime or I feel rushed and anxious as I rush to get it done before bed.
My cleaning method is more of the attack-when-it’s-piled-up method. The clutter and mess accumulates over a few days or a week, and then I attack it. This is certainly not an ideal method since in between cleaning attacks the clutter and mess piles up and I have to live in a cluttered home.
This is especially tough on my wife as she is home most of the day and has to look at the clutter while she’s trying to study. Believe me; she has let me know how much she dislikes the clutter. When she was a stay-at-home mom, she would keep everything clutter free. After we downsized our living space, she decided to go back to school for her master’s degree, and I agreed to take on more of the house work to give her more time to study. This includes keeping our living areas clutter free, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry.
I struggle with all of these things, but the hardest for me is the clutter. With the layout of our apartment, the living area is basically one room containing the living room, dining room, and kitchen. With all that living area in one small space, a little bit of clutter brings down the entire area. A few papers scattered on the couch, some empty cups and kid’s art supplies on the dining room table, and the living area looks really messy.
Last night I went through and did my attack after the clutter was piled up. It only took about an hour to declutter, clean, do the dishes, and vacuum the floors. The apartment looked really great when I was finished, and it felt much better to be in a clean space. I’d like it to stay that way all the time, but I really haven’t found a way to do it that works consistently.
I’m open to suggestions. How do you keep your home clean and clutter free? I think the clean-as-you-go method is best, but how many of you actually do it? Any tips for me and our other readers?