The doorbell rings and I look around in horror. The house is untidy. I haven’t done the dishes, the bathroom needs to be wiped down and I forgot that my sister-in-law was coming by to go to lunch with me. Rather than open the door right away and invite her in, I grabbed my purse, put the dog outside and opened the front door. My momentum kept her from entering the house and as I locked the door I said, “So, where are we going for lunch today?”
I hate it when I let my house go, even for a couple of days because then I never want anyone to come into my home. That’s never a good plan. Instead of allowing my home to get messy, I knew I needed to set up a plan where I could keep the chaos inside my home under control to the point where I was never embarrassed to have someone come in to visit. But more importantly, I need to keep my home uncluttered because it is important to me to be at peace with my surroundings.
For me, the kitchen table is the dumping ground. It’s where the mail goes, the groceries, the books from the library, the kids’ laptops for school. For years we rarely ate on the table because it was always so cluttered. The only way I could figure out how to handle that was to have a plastic bin for every person in the family. At dinnertime, we scooped everything from the table and put it in the respective bins. My daughter’s laptop and math books went into her bin. The big pile of mail and magazines went into my husband’s bin. It took me years to figure out this simple, yet effective method of having a kitchen table to eat meals together again.
That was my jumpstart. To be able to handle the chaos of the kitchen table so quickly made me more interested in keeping the house more tidy. The living room is actually our music room, so anything related to music finds its home there. Anything that doesn’t have to do with music is no longer stored in the living room.
Kitchen and downstairs bathroom both get a quick spray with disinfectant and a paper towel to keep both tidy enough for visitors and I rather enjoy using a clean bathroom myself.
It only took me a few ideas before I realized that keeping the house tidy takes just a few minutes each day. As long as I make that a priority, my house is no longer an embarrassment when someone unexpectedly rings the doorbell.