four ways i stay tidy...

hello friends! okay, so obviously i haven't been blogging weekly like i aimed to at the beginning of the year, but having the flu three times since the new year will do that to ya. ;) i've actually been attempting to write this post since the end of january by the way, but sickness and life keeps getting in the way.

i often get asked how my house is always so clean. well, the truth is, it isn't. ha! i, like most everyone else, attempt to clean it once a week, with the help of my family, but i have found one thing that really helps when it comes to doing the actual cleaning, and for the house to feel and look good daily, is for it to be "picked up". here are four simple ways i have kept on top of that the past several years. i have many more things i personally like to do, but i thought i should start with just these easy four. i initially tried to make this a three steps post, but found the fourth step is pretty vital for me. so here we go:

1. nightly pick up {and fluff up} - since our daughters were small, we have incorporated this nightly routine and it makes all of the difference around my house. basically, this means getting everyone to chip in and pick up their stuff in the main living areas...every single night. of course, there are exceptions, but we really do aim to do it every night. now, it helps if you start this process before every one is beyond exhausted. it should only take about 10-15 minutes tops. what does this look like? well, for our family, this means we simply pick up all of our stuff; shoes, books, dishes, etc. we also fluff up our sofa cushions and pillows in the living room, coasters get restacked, throw blankets get folded or put in a basket, you get the picture. basically, the goal is for the floors and surfaces to be cleared of "stuff", and for things to be put back into their rightful place. i know it may sound crazy and simple, but it really does make each morning so much more pleasant. it also makes actual cleaning so much quicker and easier.

2. dishes - our dishwasher gets loaded and ran every night. one of us {usually me since i work from home} unloads it every morning. this simple practice does wonders for your kitchen and makes it so easy to immediately put dirty dishes back into the dishwasher throughout the day, rather than having them pile up in the sink. obviously, if you don't have a dishwasher this looks a tad different for you, but not greatly. the goal is to keep dirty dishes out of that sink.

3. clear the floors - i know i kind of mentioned this in #1, but i'll say it again: pick stuff up off of the floor, throughout the house. not only will this make your house seem more picked up, but obviously it's safer for your family too. i often think of worst case scenarios, just ask my family ;), and if something horrible occurs in the middle of the night, tripping over clothes, shoes, or whatever, could be your undoing. so, even if you don't immediately hang, or put those clothes in the hamper, at least get them off of your bedroom floor somehow. you might be the kind of person that would never dream of the following, but i'm just keeping it real here - sometimes that means i pile ours on our chair or window seat until i can hang them {because i don't always wash my clothes every time i wear it}, but i find i'm more likely to just hang it right away if i do that one simple step. so, in every room, just get into the habit of picking up whatever items tend to pile on your floors, i.e.: clothes, toys, towels {very common with teenagers - oy vey}, books, sports equipment, etc. i've learned a floor that is not littered with stuff makes a huge difference in my mental state and safety.

4. trash - collect and take out the trash daily. i typically do this while my girls are at school and my husband is at work. i start with the trash upstairs in my girls' bathroom and work my way downstairs. i remove/replace the liner and gather any other trash that i may see upstairs. i use that same liner to collect from our other two trashcans downstairs; then i simply toss that smaller liner/trash bag into the larger one in our kitchen. i take a minute to look around and see if anything else needs to be tossed [dead flowers, expired bread/food}, then i make my way outside to clean up after our pups. not at all glamorous, but hey, someone's gotta do it, and i hate for trash to pile up...yuck.

i could go on and on, you guys...really. again, this is just what's worked for me on the daily, so that when i do tackle the deep cleaning, it's so much easier and more pleasant, and my house feels and looks nicer in between. i know these all probably seems like common sense to most, but i really do get asked often, and i personally love hearing what others do in the day-to-day stuff, in hopes of learning and tweaking in my own life to make the daily grind just a little easier; so i thought i might share in case one of these tips makes yours a bit easier too. :) i love to wake up to a somewhat orderly house, it really makes all of the difference for me, and i think for my family too. not to mention, if unexpected company drops in, the humiliation isn't nearly as bad. ;) feel free to let me know what your tips are on my instagram post that directed you here! i would love to hear them!