You know that feeling where you look around your house and it looks like a tornado just barreled through and you're really confused because you just did your weekly cleaning? It's not that it's dirty — it might just be untidy. And we bet there are some common culprits behind how it got so cluttered so quickly. This week, try not doing one of these things and see if it makes a big impact on the look of your home next week.
No — you can't skip your usual cleaning chores or your home will appear dirtier! But starting Monday, try not doing these things for a week and see if they make a difference on whether your home looks a bit tidier (instead of magically seeming cluttered even after you've cleaned).
1. Wear your shoes in the house
If you're not already in the habit of slipping your shoes off your feet just before or right after walking into your home, reconsider it. Yes it can be hard to remember if you're not used to the idea, but keep those shoes from walking all over your floors can help keep dirt, grime and dust from spreading around. No, you won't be able to stop mopping altogether, but you might notice your the clean floor look lasting a bit longer in between vacuumings.
2. Put any dishes in the sink to do "later"
It doesn't matter how clean my kitchen floor and counter tops are, my entire kitchen feels dirty when my dirty dishes start multiplying in my kitchen sink. Which they seem to do even when I just put one bowl in the sink to clean "later." Before I know it, one bowl turns into two, turns into a truly impressive tower of dinnerware and pans that threatens to topple over at any minute. But, if I always clean the dishes the moment I'm finished with them, the sink stays empty and the kitchen feels cleaner.
3. Put the clean pile of laundry anywhere except in your drawers, folded
Piles of clean laundry grow exponentially somehow, spreading over couch cushions and across table tops. And once you delve in to take socks or workout clothes from a pile? It's like the pile knows you won't be folding it, instead whittling it down as you need clothes throughout the week.
4. Let the mail pile up
Not stopping to file important paperwork, toss the unwanted junk mail in the recycling and making sure the mail that comes in has a place to go instead of all over your dining table is one way to contain clutter before it happens. So if you don't already have a system in place for dealing with the mail as it come in, work one up this weekend. And then don't let the mail your leave your mailbox without a plan for where it's going to go.
5. Put anything down where it's not supposed to go
Okay okay, easier said than done, but what's really behind a home that gets untidy faster than you can blink your eyes? It's honestly a bit of laziness — and not taking the few extra seconds to move the jacket/shoes/briefcase/whatever to where it's really supposed to live, instead just tossing it on the chair, or kicking it it out of the way. Particularly bad hot spots for this kind of activity are in the bedroom where outfit changes can pile up pretty quickly (rehang passed-over apparel choices immediately) and the bathroom, where getting ready in the morning can make a small bathroom go from organized and calm to shared-by-10-teenage-girls bad.