Is anyone else’s home constantly untidy? I love spreadsheets, but my house can look like a tornado hit – shouldn’t it be one or the other? Organized or not?
Apparently not. My closet is beautifully color coded, but my worn clothes end up in a heap on the floor. I’m at peace when the house is clean, yet I kick off my shoes who-knows-where when I get home. I have a cubby for my phone, but I know for a fact that it’s currently in the kitchen by the dishes.
In short, I have trouble being tidy.
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. My junior high homework planners were perfectly organized, yet whenever my best friend Melissa came over, she went straight to my bedroom and closed all my dresser drawers. We’re still friends, and she hasn’t stopped.
But there’s hope!
When I remember this tip, it cuts my tidying time in half! Thank goodness! I’ll take all the help I can get.
So without further ado, here it is:
The Touch-It-Once Tip
Touch it once!
If you’re touching something, put it down where it should go so you don’t need to touch it again.
For example, I sort the mail on my way in from the mailbox, and by the time I get into the house, I have a handful of mail that goes immediately into the recycling, and a handful that goes onto my desk.
Before learning this tip, I would toss everything onto the kitchen table, then at dinner time move it from the kitchen table to the counter, then eventually move it from the counter to. . . who knows where. It’d hopefully make it to the desk and recycling sometime – but it’d be a long untidy road to get there.
Much better to just touch it once.
The great thing about this tip is that you can apply it to anything, in any room!
When I’m on my game, here are some ways that I use this tip:
- Take off shoes, put them immediately on the shoe rack
- Take off clothes, put them immediately in the hamper
- Finish meal, put dishes immediately in the sink
- Brush teeth, put the toothpaste immediately back in the medicine cabinet
- Use ingredient, put it immediately back in the cupboard
Don’t Overdo It
Careful, though! If you’re like me, you can jump on “new habit” bandwagons pretty aggressively. Don’t throw your life out of whack by militantly adhering to this idea. This is a a helpful tip, not a mandated rule. Don’t overdo it.
There will certainly be times where your clothes just stay where they drop. If your husband is whisking you away (wink, wink) – don’t put the brakes on to toss your jeans in the hamper.
When you’re baking with kiddos, focus on keeping their hands out of the mixer rather than returning the ingredients to the cupboard.
If you’re feeling antsy, maybe leave the dishes on the table and get outside for a walk before sunset.
It’s all about balance!
Being Honest about Tidying
Still, having the words “touch it once” in my head has been a tremendous help for me! I’ve not yet perfected it, but since this this blog is called Wildflowers and Progress not Wildflowers and Perfection, I feel safe inviting you to the journey with me, without having already reached the destination.
Plus, I am making progress toward being more tidy!
I’m proud to say that if Melissa came over right now, she’d have very little to do!
All my dresser drawers are all closed.
. . . At least for the moment.
Are you a naturally tidy person? What do you do to keep your home under control?