How to Keep a Tidy House

As you know, I’m all about minimising stress, chaos, and overwhelm for busy moms. And today I want to talk about why it’s important to keep our homes tidy and clean, as well as how to do it.

My own personal experience was that when I began to tidy up the mess and get on top of my cleaning, I noticed a significant improvement in my mental health, as well as my ability to be calm and less reactionary with my kids (mind blown moment).

I also noticed that I was more sensitive to God’s voice speaking to me throughout the day.

Now, I’m always going to give you grace. I’m always going to tell you to stop aiming for perfection. I’m always going to tell you to take care of yourself, and lower your expectations in order to lessen your overwhelm.

But I’m also going to tell you to get your act together! To get on top of your basic tasks, to take ownership of your territory and manage it well.

 So let’s talk about how clutter and mess affects you, and then how to maintain a tidy home.

What is the meaning of clutter?

To cover or fill with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness and productivity.  

Sound familiar?

Effects of living in a messy house

Here are some effects of clutter and mess:

  • Depression
  • Increased cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Increased stress and anxiety
  • Lack of focus
  • Confusion
  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Inability to relax
  • Diminished sensitivity to God’s voice
  • Lack of peace
  • Tired brain – increases cognitive overload
  • Impaired working memory
  • Lowered productivity
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Impaired immune system and digestion
  • Overweight
  • Poor eating choices

Sound like things you struggle with? Some of these were very real to me!

Conversely, let’s look at the benefits of keeping a clean, tidy house.

Benefits of keeping your home tidy

  • Sense of order and control
  • Peace
  • Released endorphins – feel good hormones
  • Improved focus
  • Regulated emotions
  • Greater self-awareness due to the tidy environment
  • Greater sensitivity to God’s promptings
  • Calmer kids
  • Calmer you
  • Lowered stress levels
  • Less frazzle and chaos because you know where stuff is
  • Sense of security and stability

How to keep a tidy house

Our brains are wired for order, so let’s figure out how to get on top of your stuff.

Little attentions often

Instead of doing a major tidy up once a week, keep things tidy every day by paying attention to little things.

  • Make the beds daily
  • Tidy toys daily
  • Wash dishes daily
  • Do laundry more frequently
  • Declutter one area a week
  • Clean up after every meal
  • Put things away after you use them


When you have less stuff to deal with and clean, your life will be more simple and easy to manage.

Hot tip for letting things go: instead of seeing it as a loss or a waste of money, see it as blessing someone else. Making this mindset shift makes it easy to let go of things I still love, but don’t use anymore.  

Related: How to declutter your life

Prioritise & Plan

Figure out what you really need to get done and create a cleaning schedule for yourself. Assign daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and yearly tasks. This will eliminate the sense of overwhelm because you have a plan.

Get help

This can be in the form of outside help or, more importantly, and if they are old enough, get your kids to help you! You are a team and they should be contributing to the household.

Doing chores is a great restorer of mental and emotional balance.

If your kids are fighting a lot, give them a few chores to do before allowing them to go back to playing.

Pro parenting tip: After 1 hour of free play, give your kids a chore or two before sending them off to play again. This 1 hour rule keeps squabbling and fighting to a minimum.

Related: 12 Reasons to give your kids chores

Give everything a home

Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. Put things away right after using them instead of leaving them lying around. Having stuff lying around increases the cluttered feel = increased stress = irritability with your kids.

Set non-negotiable tasks

These are daily tidying or cleaning tasks that you don’t allow yourself to skip – things like:

  • wiping the kitchen counters
  • sweeping the kitchen floor
  • making the bed

 Make these a habit by doing them daily at the same time.

Clean as you go

This was one of my biggest problems – I left things to pile up.

Instead of doing that,

  • Wash dishes while you cook
  • Hang up the towels right after bath time
  • Pick up the toys before starting another activity
  • Sweep up the small messes
  • Hang up or fold clothes right away after taking them off
  • Tidy the bathroom before leaving it after showering

Keep frequently used things in easy places

A couple weeks back I switched my food storage spaces around to make them more convenient and easy to access – and wow, what a difference it’s made!

If you’re finding yourself avoiding doing a certain task because it’s inconvenient, find a way to make it more convenient for yourself.

Determine what things you use most frequently, and put them in a spot that is easy to access.

  • Keep cleaning supplies nearby
  • Keep the toaster handy if you use it everyday
  • Put your most used pots/pans in easy-to-grab places

Shut down the kitchen every night

Sweep, put away dishes, etc so that you aren’t faced with a mess first thing in the morning.

Each day starts the night before, so set yourself up for success the by tidying your kitchen every night.

Do a 15 minute evening clean up

Pick a time that works for you and set an alarm – then get to work and do a quick surface tidy up in your high traffic areas – living room, kitchen, bathroom.

Pick up toys, put away books & blankets, tidy cushions, put clothes in the laundry basket and dishes in the sink.

Collect clutter in a basket or box, then go and put those things away where they belong.  

Keep large surfaces clear

Kitchen counters, tables, hall-stands tend to attract clutter. Make a point of keeping them clear.

This will go a long way to creating a calm, restful atmosphere in your home.

I’ve been in homes where every available surface is jammed with ornaments and it feels crowded and not at all restful.

There we go! Do you feel ready to keep your home tidy and clutter-free? I hope so!

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has three grown kids and is married to her best friend, Richard. She started this website as a platform to help families, and specifically women, to take control of their lives and grow themselves spiritually, mentally & emotionally, and to discover their God-given purpose and live it out with confidence. She is a trained Life Coach and has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is a certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator. She lives in sunny South Africa.

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