Six Tips for keeping a tidy home
Before Brighton and I moved to Minnesota, I was an air traffic controller. Now let me clarify who an air traffic controller is before I get any further. An air traffic controller is not the guy standing on the tarmac waving batons at the aircraft. That’s a ramp agent (aka glorified baggage handler). Air traffic controllers are the people in the airport tower or in the dark room with no windows staring at oversized computer screens (called radar scopes) and talking into headsets. We are the ones who keep the hundreds of aircraft in the sky from hitting each other and getting them safely from A to B. Without controllers, long distance commercial air travel would be virtually nonexistent.
Now as an air traffic controller, my responsibilities while at my sector (the oversized computer) consisted of ensuring the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of traffic. Seems simple, right? Get Pilot Joe from his starting point to his destination in a safe and orderly fashion but as quickly as possible. Well, it sounds easy until you’re the newbie trainee sitting in front of the scope staring at all the planes moving miles per minute that you have to separate while remembering every single rule and guideline set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration.
It’s crazy how out of hand and chaotic the sector can become as a new trainee. But, not to fear. Those newbies have a well-trained veteran controller standing behind them ready to take over and save the day. (And believe me, they don’t waste any time fixing your mistakes.)
Anyway, one of the things my trainers ingrained in me early on in my training was the acronym KISS. Now controllers aren’t the most sensitive people in the world, so the PG version of this acronym is “Keep it simple, stupid”. (I will let you decode the explicit version for yourself.) KISS was a valuable reminder for me, because I am freaking amazing at over analyzing any given situation, whether it be as a controller or as a wife shopping in the grocery store.
So KISS has become a tool I use on a regular basis, but most importantly in keeping an organized home. Although, I have made it into an even friendlier version: Keep it simple, sweetie. Sounds much more endearing for home life, don’t you think?
Keep it simple, sweetie! Organizing and cleaning your home doesn’t have to be rocket science! It doesn’t have to take you hours a day to clean your home! If you follow some simple tips on a daily basis, your home will stay tidy, clean, and organized with only an hour maximum of your valuable time. Here are my six tips for keeping a tidy home:
1. Wake up early.
You hear this tip for working out or for making more time to get ready in the morning, but this also comes into play for your home. Get out of bed an extra half hour earlier than your spouse and kids to get a jump start on your day. You will be amazed at the amount of things you can accomplish in half an hour. Cleaning a bathroom only takes twenty minutes. And then you have ten more minutes to start a load of laundry or to sweep the kitchen floor.
2. Make your bed.
If all else fails and the house is a war zone at the end of the day, you can walk into your room and find peace and solace at the sight of a made bed. And who doesn’t enjoy the satisfaction of pulling back the covers after a long day and collapsing under the cool sheets?
3. Tidy the house as you go.
As you leave a room, pick up one or two items sitting out and put them away. When you develop this habit there will be less and less for you to have to pick up and it cuts down on the time it takes to clear out everything before vacuuming or mopping.
4. Choose one big chore per day.
There's no need to overwhelm yourself with a major cleaning day. Saving all your housework for Friday will only add to the stress, especially when Sally ends up staying home from school with the flu and Timmy needs you to bring his research paper to school because he left it on the kitchen counter. Tackle one cleaning task each day. For instance, Monday clean a bathroom, Tuesday vacuum, Wednesday clean bathroom #2, Thursday dust. Get my drift? Spending twenty minutes each day will keep you and your house in a consistent state of organization without the overwhelming shadow of time hanging over your head.
5. Clean up the kitchen after supper.
Don’t go to bed with your kitchen in a mess. Just don’t. Coming into a messy kitchen for your coffee or tea in the morning is not a positive way to begin your day. Clutter adds unnecessary stress whether you feel it right away or not. After supper each evening, load the dishes in the dishwasher and run it. Wipe down the counter tops and maybe even give the floor around the dinner table a quick sweep. You will thank yourself the next morning when there’s clean coffee mugs in the cupboard and a clear counter top to prepare breakfast on.
6. One load of laundry every day.
This coincides with #4 quite a bit. Laundry grows like a weed and can be impossible to stay on top of. But washing and putting away one load of laundry each day will make the chore less overwhelming. While the laundry baskets might never be empty, the drawers will always have clean clothes for your family to wear. Don’t stress about completing all of the laundry. Simply keep rotating through with one load, one day at a time.
So there you have it. My tips for keeping a tidy home and a sane mind at the same time. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to housekeeping! Drop a comment below. How do you keep it simple, sweetie?
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