Clean vs Tidy

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Clean vs Tidy

Some days I look around mt home and frustration kicks in big time! I just cleaned but there are things just laying around everywhere. How can my home be so cluttered after I’ve cleaned it?

First of all, I’m not the only one living here. So there’s that.

Second, is it really dirty or is it just untidy?

That’s the question of the day, isn’t it? Can your home be clean without being tidy OR tidy without being clean? This is a very confusing concept to even think about and process.

My mom has always used a phrase that went something like “as long as the health department doesn’t close us down” as a motto … at least some days. In theory I know what she’s trying to say but the reality of it isn’t as clear.

When I think of the term “tidy”, the word uncluttered comes to mind. Counters that are clear of items, no mail sitting on the dining room table or desk, everything in it’s place. It looks like those pictures in magazine where you don’t see any personal items anywhere.

Do people really live like that? I certainly hope not. Those pictures are staged. What we don’t see is what they don’t want us to see. If they turned the camera around, our impression of these homes might be totally different. If we dropped in unexpectedly, we may even find crumbs on the kitchen counter from the sandwiches made for lunch.

Is living with an “everything in it’s place all the time” realistic?

Remember people live in our homes. People who eat, sleep, change clothes, shower and many other activities. There will likely always be evidence of people when looking around your home.

This isn’t a bad thing! This means that those came people enjoy themselves, relax, laugh, watch TV, eat together, and play games.

That atmosphere is what we all strive for in our homes!

Our homes shouldn’t be shrines. If that were so, they would only be houses, not homes. We want our homes to be warm and inviting. A place where family and friends feel comfortable and relaxed. Where people can be themselves.

What about the word “clean”? This word brings something different to mind – free from dirt.

If you have a cleaning routine, then your home is as clean as you have made it. You have conquered cleanliness in your home by keeping up on those routines so that your home is clean and healthy for your family.

If you don’t have a cleaning routine, then I’d recommend starting one. There are a couple of posts to get you going in the right direction.

Scheduling vs Block Planning

Daily Routines – Do they really work?

Make the Perfect Routine


A routine helps keep you on task to accomplish what you desire to do each day. They are crucial to having an efficiently run home.

Once those cleaning routines are finished, the cleanliness of your home is handled.

Think of it like this, clean goes deeper than tidy. Cleaning is underneath and tidy is the surface.

If your “underneath” is clean, then the untidiness or clutter can be handled easily with a 10 minute room blitz (most of the time anyway).

So are clean and tidy the same? My answer is “NO”!

Keep up on your cleaning routines and relax and enjoy the “untidy”. It just means that you’re family is home!



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