This secret has helped me make a room look tidy in just a few minutes for years and it is super simple. It is a housekeeping tip I learned years ago and today I am going to share it with you so that you too can tidy up your home fast.
If You Want To Tidy Up Your Home Fast Every Room Needs One Of These
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So what is this magic item that every room of your house needs to make your home look tidy fast?
But there is a little more to it than that.
Some Rooms Might Need More Than One
Go through your home room by room with a pen and paper and take note of where the clutter is landing in that room. If it is everywhere, you might want to join my decluttering challenge.
Chances are there are perhaps one to three clutter hot spots in each room–and you will need a basket for each one of them.
You Need The Right Basket For Your Needs And The Needs Of The Room
While you are noting how many baskets each room needs to contain and give limits to the clutter hot spots, you should also consider what type of basket would best suit the space both in size and in decor, but don’t forget to consider function and upkeep too.
Don’t buy baskets that will make more cleaning jobs for you
I love the look of wicker baskets, but generally they are not practical. They collect dust in their nooks and crannies that can be hard to get out and they snag things like homemade crocheted blankets.
I find that fabric baskets are just as hard to clean and most don’t hold their shape for long, but they again look nice.
So what types of baskets do I like? I prefer wire baskets and plastic baskets. They are easy to clean, hold their shape well, and generally don’t snag on items (although sometimes if you buy a poorly made wire basket, it will snag items).
I do, however, have all four types in my home, mostly because I stumble upon wicker baskets and cloth baskets still in good shape at yard sales for a quarter to a dollar and those are prices that suit my budget more than new plastic or wire baskets. So I use them until they lose their shape, get dirty, break or start snagging items.
But when I am buying new, I stick to the wire and plastic baskets and try to save money by buying them on clearance.
You Need To Train Both Yourself And The People You Live With To Use The Basket Right
There are two types of baskets in our home: baskets for general clutter and baskets for specific items. For instance, in the dining room, we have a table that we call our “dump it” table and on it is a bowl for keys (ceramic and wooden bowls make great small basket alternatives), a small basket for “nonspecific” items like things from our pockets, and a clipboard that holds all the “need to deal with” paperwork. Before the clipboard, the paperwork at one time landed in a plastic basket that was just a bit bigger than a piece of paper.
Make sure to give each basket in the room a purpose and inform everyone in the household what that purpose is. Remind them it takes just a half second longer to toss something in a basket than it does on the floor or another surface so there is no reason for them not to do it. That last sentence is why this system works so well, random items can be cleaned up in seconds! And baskets can be rounded up and hidden in minimal time before guests arrive.
(providing you have already dealt with any significant clutter issues in your home…if you haven’t, here is a list of my articles on decluttering to help you do so)
You need to empty the baskets regularly
Another reason why I love the basket method for keeping my home tidy is that it provides me with a time limit for avoiding dealing with my clutter. I have made it a self-imposed rule that when items in a basket start to flow over the top of the basket, it is time to dump the basket out and sort through it –no putting it off! And no buying a bigger basket to make it all fit.
You Need this Type Of Basket Too
To have success with this way of making your home look tidy fast you need to have another kind of basket–a giveaway basket.
I prefer to use a cardboard box for this, usually one that came from something I ordered using my Amazon prime account. I do this because unless it has a value of $15 or more I give all items to the thrift store.
By placing my giveaway items directly in a cardboard box, I get rid of the need to transfer them from one container to another, meaning I don’t have to question my decision to get rid of them one more time.
Put your giveaway box in a place that is not in plain sight, but still easy to get to. Mine is currently under my bed. As you see items in your home that you know you don’t use anymore, take a minute to walk them over to the giveaway basket and drop them in.
If you are reselling items, you are going to want plastic tubs with lids and a holding area to place items that is out of the way until you get the item sold. To make sure you do get the item resold, place a post-it note either on the item or the plastic tub it is in that has a date you must sell the item by otherwise it goes to the thrift store. Stick to this sell-by date and you will no longer be buried by items you have already decided you don’t want anymore.
And a few of these are handy for a deeper tidy when guests are coming over
I like to keep two extra laundry baskets (I bought a similar set to these by the same company years ago and they are still going strong) in the bottom of the cupboard at the top of our basement stairs. When surprise guests tell us that they are in town and will be at our home within the next hour, I grab one and give another to whoever is home and we start grabbing up the visible daily life stuff that makes a home look untidy and throwing it in the laundry baskets–when done we put them in the master bedroom. We then make another round for any baskets of stuff that look a bit untidy and place those up in the master bedroom too.
Finally, we grab cleaning supplies and wipe down the bathroom and kitchen and if we have time give the floors of the whole house a vacuum and our home is visitor ready and it took very little time to get it that way.
And that is the magic of the basket. It keeps things tidy, gives limits, and makes it easy to take your home from comfortably tidy for you to guest tidy in minutes.
Need help getting your clutter under control? Join the Snail Pace Clutter Removers Facebook Group.
3 More Posts To Help You Keep Your Home Tidy The Quick And Simple Way
- 7 Ways To Create A Self Cleaning Home
- 3 Secrets To Keeping A House Clean In Less Time
- How To Catch Up On Housework Fast When You Get Behind
Stop Feeling Like You Are Drowning In Clutter And To Do Lists
Many individuals that struggle with clutter also struggle with time management, which is why I recommend Crystal Paine’s life management courses. As a mom of three who runs a thriving blog, she knows her stuff when it comes to productivity and making the best use of your time. She offers several highly effective courses that can help you gain control of your day instead of it controlling you including:
- Make Over Your Mornings
- Make Over Your Evenings
- Four Weeks To A More Productive Life
- Make Over Your Year
These courses are inexpensive and get right down to the helpful How-Tos. Each of the 14 lessons contained in the courses take no longer than 15 minutes. The formula is 5 minutes of video, 5 minutes reading, 5 minutes of creating your plan of action. The 15 minutes you spend each day on these courses will quickly pay you back in hours each day to finally work on obtaining your dreams. When I took the Make Over Your Evenings course, I found one hour each morning–that is 30 hours a month!–that I can now use to reach my goals.
Isn’t it time to stop drowning in overwhelm and start living your dreams? Go here to grab Crystal’s courses.
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