As a full-time professional organizer and member of the National Association for Productivity and Organizing Professionals for 13 years, people always want to know if my house is super organized.
I’m not saying that I always have a clean house, but here are my secrets that you can use to fake it if you need to:
Cleaning is different than organizing. If you keep clutter off the surfaces, it instantly appears neater, and it’s also easier to clean. Dust bunnies congregate around piles. No piles = fewer dust bunnies!
I never clean…and I’m always cleaning.
I never take a day out of my life to clean. I never think, “I have to clean the house on Saturday.” Instead, I’m always doing 2-minute tricks, like quickly sweeping the bathroom floor while my kids take a bath. Or wiping up around the pet bowls as I feed them. Or shaking out the entry rug every other day or so, meaning less dirt gets tracked in on the floors.
It’s not all up to me. My family of four all does little things each day. The kids run a small vacuum under the dining room table every couple of days. (Hey, they made most of the mess!) They can play as much as they want in the main rooms of the house, but they also have to put away their craft items and toys and put the pillows roughly where I had them to start.
I never clean my bathroom. Instead, I spray the shower and sink (almost) daily with this awesome DIY shower spray, and I swish the toilet once a week with Scrubbing Bubbles wand and inserts.
We make sure there is good lighting in the house.
I know from my own house and from work with clients that dark corners tend to collect clutter. Having a light in closets, basements, and even corners of the family room means that clutter is less likely to build up there.
Dirty dishes always go in the dishwasher. Always.
A place for everything is essential, even if not everything is always in its place. If drawers are jammed full, then we clear a few things out until the keepers fit in the drawer.
We don’t buy at warehouses…because we don’t want our house to look like a warehouse.
We use containers to, well, contain things.
The size of the pantry determines how much food we keep. We don’t store food in the garage or the basement.
The size of the toy bin determines how many toys we keep on hand.
The size of our craft cabinet determines how many craft supplies we keep on hand.
The size of the linen closet determines…well, you get the idea.
But back to that first idea…because it’s probably the most important one in this article: keeping random stuff off horizontal surfaces goes a long, long way toward keeping (or faking) a clean home.
What are your best tips for seeming to always keep a clean home, even if you are faking it?
Darla DeMorrow is a certified professional organizer (CPO®), decorator, personal photo organizer, speaker, and owner of HeartWork Organizing, LLC, based in Wayne, PA. After twenty years in corporate and small businesses, she is having more fun by combining two loves, making homes more beautiful and meeting interesting people… because boring people don’t need organizing. With two active kids and a busy blog, she’s perfecting the art of “good enough” if it leads to a full night of sleep. Her best-selling book is Organizing Your Home with SORT and SUCCEED.