Do you sometimes feel like you were born under a messy moon?
I often think of a fun-loving client of mine who breathlessly arrived home after learning that she had been robbed. A good neighbor had stopped by to water plants and nervously called my client to tell her the news; her home had been ransacked while she was out for the day.
Upon arriving home, my client carefully looked around knowing quite well, that everything was as she left it. She hadn’t been robbed after all.
Is it possible though, that the messy things we don’t see really do rob us? They rob us of our peace of mind and our enjoyment. To the point that even when we leave home, the messiness becomes an accessory that we take with us.Sometimes our homes are so messy that we don’t see it until we feel it and then we have to see it with a new lens. Click To Tweet
Here are 8 simple ways to get dressy when it’s messy, without tripping over chords and papers and all the scattered stuff that keep you a prisoner in your own home.
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What Makes Your Home Look Messy?
Your house may be clean but it can still look messy. The truth is, clean doesn’t mean organized. Even if your piles are neatly lined up on your counters, it’s still a heap of topsy- turvy clutter.
So, just what is it that makes your home look messy?
The following 8 solutions, will address the different spaces that can contribute to the messy home look you’ve been battling for way too long.
Always Clear the Dishes
Dirty dishes that linger in or near the sink after meals look downright cruddy. Plus, they can quickly multiply into a wicked mess that turns your otherwise pleasant nature to cranky.
Solve this messy messiness with reason: It takes 10 minutes to do the dishes plus a few pots and pans. Not so bad compared to 10 minutes of obsessing over whether or not to do them, add an extra 5 minutes for the family squabble over whose turn it is, and more wasted minutes of moaning. Then roll up your sleeves, pack on some hand lotion (or olive oil), slip on a pair of dishwashing gloves, and turn this conflict into a spa treatment.
Say No to Scummy Sinks
As much as we love the look of an empty sink, the job is not quite done yet. Slimy streaks and scum in the sink also contribute to a messy-looking house. Regardless, of whether you have a metal or porcelain sink, you can clean it easily with warm soapy water. For extra sparkle, sprinkle some baking soda on it and rinse it a few minutes later. Repeat this for all sinks in the home.
Make the Bed Every Morning
If your bed remains in shambles after you get up in the morning, you’re adding to your messy stress. Making your bed in the morning is one of the first important tasks as it sets the tone for the day. It will inspire you to be more productive, such as straightening up around the house. Looking at a tidy bed can (surprise!) also lift your mood. So, take some time to tighten the sheets, pull up the comforter, and fluff your pillows each morning. Besides, it feels so nice to get into an already-made bed at night.
Get Rid of Floor & Counter Clutter
Floors or counters strewn with toys, pet bits and pieces, magazines, beauty products, unopened boxes, mail, shopping bags, and other everyday items are an eyesore. Nothing says messy more than clutter. Walk through each room and clear the clutter from the counters and floors. One room at a time will create a positive cycle of success. Make sure everything gets put back into its correct place. (A place for everything and everything has its place.) If things don’t qualify for a designated home of their own, then make sure it gets donated, recycled, passed on, or tossed if no longer needed. Clearing floor and surface clutter is the fastest way to prevent your home from looking messy.
Save Your Spotty Floors
The floors are the most obvious feature in any room, so if they’re full of yuk and spots instead of spotless, it will be noticeable.
I was recently with a client who has 2 sweet and gorgeous Ragamuffin cats. Clumps of their beautiful shedding long hair were scattered everywhere. It’s amazing what the sweep of a broom or a vacuum will do in a purring minute.
Avoid Dump Zones
If your dining room table or the kitchen island are the places where everything gets set down, it’s going to look like a higgledy-piggledy mess. Make sure that if you dump in these areas, you have an undumping system ready to go. Get a basket for mail to be sorted, an organizer or rack for magazines, a hook on the wall for hanging your keys, etc. This allows you to leave your dining room table for eating and your kitchen island for cooking.
Finish the Laundry
When your laundry starts to look like it’s a part of your décor, it’s time for a redo. The never-ending laundry cycle can be exhausting but not following through with the process until the end, is a recipe for a messy disaster. Heaps of dirty laundry and piles of clean laundry only add to the messy look. Try to confine dirty clothes to the laundry hamper and return clean laundry right away.
Check Your Bathroom
Make sure to keep the clean aesthetic going throughout your home, even in the bathrooms. A clean bathroom also consists of fluffy towels without unsightly makeup stains. This includes face towels, bath towels, and even the trampled-down bathmat. Make sure to wash towels once a week and replace them with new ones. The bathroom can be a big source of clutter when not kept in check. Whether it’s hairbrushes left out, open toiletries strewn about, tissues lying on the counters, or toothpaste spilling out of the tube. If you have drawers in your bathroom, use dividers or trays to ensure that everything you store and use in the bathroom has a spot. A Lazy Susan is also a great storage solution for toiletries of various sizes.
If you’ve been struggling with a messy home, you now have 8 ways to spruce- up and create a fabulously organized place to come home to.
These 8 areas of the home can quickly become a disorganized mess unless you take the steps outlined to keep them neat and tidy.
With this knowledge, you can prevent having a home that looks messy and start afresh in your own comfortable space again.
What are the messy areas of your home that need to be transformed?
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Wow! So many great tips. I have a hard time choosing my favorite but it probably is “make your bed”. The bed is a large piece of your bedroom and by doing that one simple task that will take less than 10 minutes you really make a big change in how that room looks.
Making your bed and clearing the floors seem to be the two favorite remedies for messy. I so agree that it makes a huge difference when you enter a room. It also feels better! These are small changes for a big result.
I have a client with whom I’ve been encouraging the bed making and dish clearing for a long time. I know it will help her, but she allows her emotions to dictate whether or not she will follow through on any given day. It’s a complicated situation, but I know that daily disciplines lead to freedom!!! This is so good:)
Seana, thank you!
I was inspired to write this piece because I can’t make friends with messy. It makes me itch.The antidote to clearing the mess is easier then people think.😊
I so agree, Ronni, It’s all about the floors. I’ve always noticed that if my floors are clear and swept, everything looks ten times better!
Isn’t that the truth? It’s not fun tripping over sneakers, pet toys and other random items that haven’t been put away.
I love all these tips! I was told by my grandma at a young age if the bed is made, the room looks less messy. And it really does! Thank you for sharing these great tips!
Thank you, Sabrina! The room looks completely different if the bed is made. And it feels good too.
I take just a few minutes at the end of the night, before I turn in, to quickly straighten up. I’ll fix the pillows on the couch, put pet toys away, make sure the sink is still clean, and off I go. That too feels so much better in the morning, when I return to the family room and kitchen.
As I was reading your advice, I couldn’t help but think about my mom. She was a HUGE advocate of having an empty sink (after a meal) and making the bed each morning. She instilled both of those habits in me. She could never go to sleep if the kitchen wasn’t clean and the dishes weren’t put away. And the same was true in the morning. She was the fastest bedmaker I ever met, and even at age 91, she still made her bed every day. She was like that with laundry too. She believed in full-circle thinking. Laundry wasn’t done until it was folded and put away in the drawers.
I love everything you say about your mom. She instilled in you so many lovely talents, habits, integrity and more.I’m sure you’ve adapted them in you own way.
No matter how I try, I can’t make my king size bed quickly. It just doesn’t happen. But my son, wow, he is speedy!
Ronni, these are fabulous tips and do wonders to keep a home from developing into a messy place. Taking 10 minutes to do chores in these 8 areas are the key to maintaining order in a home.
I really can’t see past messy. It looks uncomfortable and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I like my surroundings to be neat and clean, the kind of home I love coming back to.
Love this common sense solutions for keeping a home mess-free. These are tried and true, yet so often overlooked.
Sometimes the easiest solutions are right in front of us. So often I’ve heard clients say, “Why didn’t I think of that, it’s so simple.”That’s the point, right?
I love a clear floor! I do think that it makes everything else look organized. Maybe it’s just that picking things up off the floor and putting them away keeps most of my stuff organized.
I do practice the “do it now” rule, so clutter doesn’t have a chance to collect.
I’m with you. I tend to pick up right away because I don’t want to have to think about it again and come back to it. “Do it Now” is my motto. Whether it’s a to do or some thing to clean up. I like to check it off my list as soon as I can.
I love clear spaces, and also that you differentiated between unclean, disorganized, and messy. I think of “organized” as a measure of functionality and messy as a metric or descriptor for aesthetics. I’d never call a bedroom with an unmade bed disorganized (unless there were other issues). Thus, I agree with all of your points (and think they were well-made) except the one about bed-making. It may look disorderly to someone who judges in that regard, but in a room where no one ever sets foot except when actually getting into or out of bed, I think we make too big a deal out of bed-making. (It’s all sheets and blankets and pillows on top of the bed; unlike all the other examples, there’s nothing to subtract, just rearrange!) For some people, and unmade bed is more inviting and snuggly than one with hospital corners and straight edges. I guess it’s the exception that proves the rule of your eight, very wise, solutions.
I really like your distinction, I think of “organized” as a measure of functionality and messy as a metric or descriptor for aesthetics.
There are times an unmade bed is so incredibly inviting and needed. Crawling in could possibly be the best part of a long and tiring day. My focus was more about the things that can make an otherwise organized or clean home look messy. An unmade or disheveled bed definitely fits in that category. It can upset what is already a lovely and calming space. And yes, for some and not for everyone
What’s important here is to take what you like and leave the rest. I’m always very happy for your opinion.