How to Stay Organized When You Live with Real People

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Why is it that it can take so much time and effort to keep our homes clean and tidy?

“WeIl, it’s the kids!”  “It’s hubby’s fault!”

“See it’s the people I live with who make a mess and don’t clean up after themselves.”

I agree!  It can be FRUSTRATING!  However, let’s stop with the blame game, I reckon.

I have been there, done that and it didn’t make any difference in the long run to how clean or tidy my home was.  Instead I’ll let you on 3 secrets I have found make it so much EASIER to stay organized at home.  Even with a full household of kids, partner, pets etc.

Yes, 3 ways you can keep a clean and tidy home (most of the time), and it requires so much less effort on your part!

Bonus: Download my free home cleaning cheat sheet that will get you motivated and have your home looking clean and tidy, with less effort and time.

It might not be what you think!  Read on…

Secret 1.  Have Less Stuff

Seriously, the more stuff you have in your house, the more time and energy it takes to manage it all.

Secret 1 of how to stay organized at home

Less stuff means …

  • Less toys strewn all over the floor.
  • Less piles of clothes waiting to be folded and put away.
  • Less to do projects at home.
  • Less empty mugs and plates to be sitting there waiting for someone to pick them up.
  • A LOT less tidying up each week.
  • Less trouble finding what you need, when you need it.  Usually, as everyone is leaving in a hurry.
  • Less piles of paper cluttering up surfaces.

Stop and think…  Is there more stuff in your home than what you can manage?

If you haven’t already started, then today is the best time to start on that once in a life time event of sorting through the contents of your home.

My Favourite Resources To Help You Declutter Your Home…

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Secret 2.  Daily Tasks

Ok, there are lots of great home organising tips such as:

  • Have a place for everything and everything in its place.
  • Only touch things once.

But I reckon, daily tasks are one of the keys to staying organized at home with a busy family.

What are daily tasks?

It’s simple tidying up or cleaning tasks, that can or are better done every day.

I love daily tasks because done regularly enough, they become a habit.  That is, our brains become accustomed to doing those activities again and again, until it is automatic.

As Becky Rapinchuk, the Simply Clean Mama says, “Every day a little something.”

Let’s talk cleaning!

Here’s my rant, perspective on it.

The only time I want to spend 3 hours cleaning my home on a Saturday morning is if I am getting paid for it!  And for many years I did get paid to clean other families homes.   During my Uni student days and then again when I became a single Mum.  I learnt how to clean a home thoroughly and QUICKLY!

But I have long since stopped trying to fit a block of house cleaning time into my own routine each week.  Time seems to be a much more precious resource after the arrival of kids.  Who wants to spend that much time cleaning their home?  I don’t!

What about zone cleaning then?

Zone cleaning is where you break your weekly cleaning tasks down into zones (E.g. bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen).  Each day you do a detailed clean of one zone, usually about 15 minutes a day.  That is, as well as daily cleaning tasks.

I know some women swear zone cleaning is the best thing since sliced bread! I have tried it and wasn’t as impressed.

Yes, it does mean that your cleaning tasks only take 15 to 30 minutes a day.  But I just think cleaning is still cleaning and I would rather not do it unless I am being paid to!

(Of course, when my Mum comes to visit, there I am madly spring cleaning the house like I am up for a Cleanest House of the Year Award.)

So yes, I really am suggesting…  It is possible to keep your home organized, without a weekly cleaning time or detailed zone cleaning.  Most of the time!

The secret is DAILY TASKS!  

Here are a few suggestions for daily tasks that came out of the Declutter and Organise My Home Facebook group.

Ideas For Daily Tasks…

  • Make beds.
  • Sweep floor.
  • Dishes.
  • Wash a load of laundry, fold and put away.
  • 5 min pick up of the house.
  • Feed pets.
  • Keep kids alive.
  • Self care activity.
  • Quiet time.
  • Meal prep.
  • Vacuum.
  • Check toilet and bathroom – wipe down if needed.
  • Clear and wipe down kitchen counters.
  • Take out trash / recycling / compost.

Take Action: Choose your top 3 to 5 daily tasks and get started today.

Remember, that your daily tasks will be different from someone else’s depending on the size of your family, ages, how big your home is, whether you work outside the home or not etc.

For me personally, living in a small home with 2 adults, 3 kids, and pets, my daily tasks are:

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Secret 3. Have Fun

Ok, you probably weren’t expecting this idea to be included in a list of ideas for how to stay organized at home.

So what is the big deal about having fun?  And I might add, having fun, regularly and often.

Well, to keep your home clean and tidy, you want everyone to pitch in and help.  As parents you need your kids to be cooperative towards doing jobs as well as following through on many other instructions.  Children, well mine anyway, were not born knowing how to clean up after themselves!  Rather than doing it all for them (and risk burnout), your role is to consistently teach them how to contribute and how to take responsibility for themselves.

I reckon that a family that has fun and laughs lots, both together and individually makes for happier family members.

Happy and relaxed family members, means a greater willingness for kids to learn and practice those lessons of responsibility.

It’s true isn’t it, even with adults?  You prefer to listen to and follow instructions from someone you have a good relationship with than a person you don’t.


Make the most of those moments of mucking around and playing with your kids or partner.

Be intentional about planning fun and memorable activities for your family in the midst of ordinary day-to-day responsibilities.

So have fun people and your home will be a lot cleaner and tidier!

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How to stay organized at home - 3 secrets of organized families.

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