Houzz Users’ Best Tips for Keeping Your Home Tidy
Many of you add helpful ideas in the story Comments on Houzz. Here are your tricks for keeping a home spick and span
How to Teach Your Children to Tidy Up (featuring Marie Kondo, no less) had tips for getting smaller family members involved. You also had some lovely ideas on making chores fun for children.
- My son started helping me with the laundry when he was 2. He loved the warm clothes when they came out of the dryer, so I would drop the whole pile of laundry on top of a sheet laid out on the floor. While I would fold, my son climbed on the pile, hunted for socks and found the ones that matched. Now that he’s older, we have some great conversations while folding the laundry (he’s moved on from just socks). pds290
- My daughter’s clothes would have kept falling if it hadn’t been for the floor. Some of my happiest moments, especially when she was a teen, was to sit on her bed with a stack of coat hangers and hang her clothes as she picked them up off the floor, and we would talk for as long as it took to tidy her room. She would them hang them up, beautifully in colour coordinated schemes. Her wardrobe was a pleasure to look at. Now as an adult she is very tidy and her wardrobe is still a colour coordinated joy. Peta Giddey
Our story, Neat Living Room Tips to Steal from Tidy People, was perfect for those of us whose default state may not be tidy. You were keen to provide ideas, too.
- We bought a bow-fronted glazed corner cupboard from a junk shop, which we painted a pale colour to match the woodwork, inserted glass shelves, backlit, and filled with glasses and all the cool looking booze bottles. Nothing new or adventurous, but it keeps the room free of dust-collecting clutter. The downside is we feel obliged to offer friends a drink when they visit! East Kent Eco
- We … had the builder fit a slimline cupboard in the hall with a rail for coats and umbrellas and hangers for handbags. We have underfloor heating through the house and the manifold is located at the base of this cupboard, so damp coats get an airing. Sheila Whittam
There isn’t always time for a deep clean or organising session. So what are those 5-minute fixes that prep your home for impending guests? We covered a dozen in 12 Quick Tricks and Simple Cheats for a Tidy-looking Home – and you added your own thoughts.
- My tip is always polish taps so it looks like any mess is recent. apismalifica
- I have mastered the art of cleaning my house in half an hour. The trick is to move quickly, also doubles as a workout. Lisa Bird
- Turn your Venetian blinds. Then the dusty part is underneath and can’t be seen, the clean ‘underneath’ is the part that guests see. Nd T
In 7 Spring Cleaning Tricks to Steal From Tidy People, we covered everything from symmetry to storage. The main advice in the Comments was about how to edit belongings to a manageable amount. Here’s what you had to say:
- To reduce clutter when we renovated our kitchen, we put an extra cupboard on top of the full-height storage units. It makes the kitchen look taller and bigger, and provides a home for occasional-use appliances. Maria
- Kitchen surfaces cluttered with cooking things will always look untidy, no matter how clean it is. I keep most cooking items in the cupboards and pantry when not cooking. Sonia
- Buy less stuff! It’s all a cakewalk after that! We don’t need half as much as we think we need. Sunny
With so many of us working from home, often in multifunctional rooms shared with others, this is a hot topic. Your contributions to our 9 Hacks for a Tidy Work Space story were bursting with inspiration.
- I recycle toilet rolls and use them to organise my cables, winding really long cords around and slitting a centimetre at each end of the roll to tuck the wires in. Crystal Gui
- I now open all my mail next to the recycling bin. If it isn’t important, it doesn’t even make it into the house. tynlon
- My desk area is in my living room, so it has to be neat and attractive. For filing, I keep a nice, 4-drawer steel cabinet in another room. Socal222
- Put everything you can behind doors… I bought an old knotty pine TV armoire and added a shelf. Now, my computer, my printers, all my routers, backup HD, etc, plus storage drawers and shelves are behind closed doors. yytcm
In Neat Bedroom Tips to Steal from Tidy People, it was all about banishing the ‘floordrobe’ and boosting the feel-good factor in your sanctuary. These two ideas from readers were both practical and smart.
- We have a bed with built-in storage which lifts up, perfect for when you need to put away seasonal clothing or bedding. Wharfside
- I iron in the bedroom so clothes can go away as soon as finished. I usually wipe around daily. And in the en suite. [It] makes each day less stressful and less work. June Hulton
Examining the psychology of clutter-collecting was the focus of How to Declutter Your Home and Keep it Tidy. Then it was about tackling clutter hotspots, from the kitchen worktop to the bedroom chair. You chipped in with words of encouragement.
- My advice to anyone at the start of a declutter is just to start and don’t overwhelm yourself by doing a whole room in one go. Just doing a few drawers or a cupboard a day will help to set this as a habit. ehowick
- If you have difficulty parting with low-value sentimental stuff (eg, things children have made), try taking a photo as the memento instead, then ditch the original. If you find yourself buying more storage solutions, ask yourself if you should buy a roll of bin bags instead (for rubbish or charity). It helps stiffen resolve. marns29
- I made a rule to throw out/donate three things a day until our house feels clear. We also now have a rule of one in, one out, so a new item of clothing, ornament or otherwise means we have to choose something immediately that’s parted with. candiceloves
You added some great (and some funny) ideas to our story, Make it Easy for Your Teens to Be Tidy. Sometimes you just have to close the door!
- Best accessory in teenage boys’ bedrooms is a door. Close it at 13 years old and re-open when they are married! moiraford
- I allow my children to have their rooms as messy as they want, they have all of the storage they need – they chose it too! However, if the washing isn’t brought down, put in the washing machine AND switched on, no clean school uniform next week! carolinejackson2a
- They clean/vacuum their room, not done, they live in the mess! Every room has solid wooden door which Mum closes every time she passes. May not be everyone’s idea of a solution but there may be less arguments, and always remember they are only teenagers once and you never know one day they will have teenagers of their own… jannette88a
Do you have any tips previous readers haven’t already covered? Share them in the Comments.