May 23

If a Tidy Home Is Important To You, Here’s a Great Tip

Design & Photo: Samantha Stein

If keeping your home neat and tidy is as important to you as it is to me, I have a really great (and easy) tidy home tip to share. I do, however, want to preface this by saying that if your home is not neat and tidy, or if you aren’t one to care about these things, that’s incredible.

I have so much respect for those who can chill out about stuff that I know, factually, is not the end of the world. But as a visual person who can get overstimulated easily, having things in their place is particularly important to me. That said, it’s also not something I want to dedicate my whole life to maintaining (I’m very much in a season of wanting to just go slow and be present and *live*). So I’m always on the hunt for little tricks and ways I can maintain a tidy home, without much effort.

RELATED: Falling In Love With Your Home (For Free)

All that to say, though I have my issues with TikTok, I have found some wildly valuable nuggets within their pages. Some that have, at the risk of sounding dramatic, even changed my life. And today I wanted to share one of them. It really has helped me keep my home significantly tidier (without any extra effort).


small entry
Photo & Design: Flora and Font
pink marble shower gold glass enclosure
Photo & Design: No. 17 House


I believe the woman who originally shared this thought is named Tracy McCubbin. Her neat and tidy home tip is as simple as repeating to yourself “don’t put it down, put it away“. I find I now almost sing it to myself as I’m going about daily tasks. Like when I’m tempted to put my dish in the sink in lieu of the dishwasher… Or leave my pen on my desk instead of the cute little cup holder I bought just for him… If it takes less than two minutes to do, I try to tackle it right away. This goes for emails and work stuff too, by the way. It actually saves me a step – and that item is checked off my future to-do list in the end.

I am by NO MEANS perfect. I give myself a ton of grace and leeway. But I’ve really found it to be a valuable way to help keep my home neat and tidy (or as neat and tidy as it can be in this season of life with a pre-schooler).

english country home and garden
Photo: Ali Harper

Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay on top of messes? I’m still figuring out all the little life hacks along the way and am all ears.


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  1. Wanda says:

    My trick to getting neat and staying that way is to overcome feeling overwhelmed by having tunnel vision — only look at one small area at a time. For a messy kitchen, for example, focus on one section of messy countertop — maybe three feet wide — and clean that section without paying attention to anything else. Then move to the next three-foot section. If a room isn’t extremely cluttered or dirty, crake your “section” larger — maybe the width of e wall and tell yourself you lonlynhave todo that area.

    Don’t set expectations high! Your only goal is to do
    one area completely. Then move to the next area. If it takes you two hours or two days, at least you are organized and will eventually finish the task.

    I think there’s an old saying that the easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. And another that says a journey begins with one step. I remind myself of that when I am overwhelmed. I don’t have to clean a whole room — only a small section. But seeing one clean section makes me want to accomplish more!

  2. Kathy says:

    I fold clothes and put them away after each load…it’s seems easy enough but actually at first it takes a real commitment, then eventually you don’t even think about it

    • Oh man laundry is the bane of my existence – I always feel like I’m behind! I try SO hard to do this! It really is so helpful when I’m able to make it happen – I need to prioritize this next I think ha. Thanks for the tip!!

      • Wanda says:

        Because my large master closet also contains my washer/dryer, I discovered that having a full-length mirror I can see when I am unloading dry towels helps me fold them quickly and easily. I fold mine in half horizontally, then in thirds from side to side, overlapping slightly, then in half again horizontally. Makes a neatly folded towel that I place on nearby shelves of an open linen closet.

        But my greatest time-saver is the floor drain I had our builder install in front of the commode. It is normally covered by a heavy cotton bath mat. Because the tiled shower room is adjacent to the tiled commode area, I use the shower nozzle to wash down the commode and later squeegee the excess water into the drain. I then use old white towels to dry the commode, wall and floor tiles. Cleaning commodes has always been my least favorite task—now it’s a breeze. Wish I had done it in the upstairs guest bathroom, too.

  3. linda says:

    I love the Morris pimpernel wallpaper in that first photo. I just can’t seem to find that particular color way. Please help!

  4. Dawn says:

    This resonated. It’s something I always try to do – deal with paper and “things” immediately. I think it helps if everything you use or keep has a place where it belongs. It makes putting things away so much easier and that helps keep a tidy home. I try to organize things by how frequently I use or access them, with very little left out on counters. I am not perfect either but keeping my environment tidy helps me keep my thoughts uncluttered and my stress levels lower.

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