7 habits of highly tidy people

At some point in your life, perhaps during childhood, you realized that not all people live the same.

Perhaps you went to a friend’s house and found it unusual that you didn’t have to move the laundry before you sat down on the couch or, for the first time in your young life, you found out that not everyone’s mother let them eat food in their bedroom.

Perhaps you realized you lived in the messiest house on the block, or the cleanest, or somewhere in between.

Whatever the scenario, you figured it out, not all people live the same.

What’s the difference? The difference is habits.

I’ve visited many homes in many different countries, in fact, and I’ve noticed several things that set the tidy apart from the rest, I call them (a la Stephen Covey), “The Seven Habits of Highly Tidy People.”


The highly tidy like to clean. It’s not drudgery to them.

They do it because that’s the way they like to live and not because company is coming over.

Regardless of whether fussy Auntie So-and-So is visiting, the kitchen floor is mopped with regularity.


Sometimes the kitchen floor will be mopped whether it needs it or not.

The highly tidy keep cleaning schedules, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the days they mop the floors.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are vacuuming days, or as I like to call them, “Dyson Days.”

Highly tidy people make time for cleaning. It’s as important as a doctor’s appointment or a meeting at work.

Cleaning gets put on the calendar like the other important things in their lives. The highly tidy even deny themselves of “playtime” with friends in order to take care of the business of maintaining their homes.

“Sorry gals, can’t go to lunch today. I have some ironing to do.”


Think of someone you know who has a really clean house, then think of that person’s favorite TV shows.

I bet you’ll be hard-pressed to name them.

The highly tidy don’t waste a lot of time on TV or the Internet or other time-wasters.

For the highly tidy, there is always something to do around the house that takes precedence over superfluous diversions.


The highly tidy think that cleaning is not a one woman or man show. They delegate responsibilities to everyone in the house.

After dinner, everyone clears his own dishes. Nobody leaves the kitchen until it’s sparkling again.


The highly tidy are not impulse buyers. They think about where they will put things before they buy them.

They’re not afraid to throw away or donate items that are not useful to them anymore.

That’s not to say that the highly tidy are not collectors. In fact, they’re the best collectors. They put their treasured items in a place of honor, such as a lighted cabinet, and never neglect its maintenance.


One of the best collections of the highly tidy is their cleaning supply collection.

They take advantage of what the market has created to maintain their home — disposable cleaning wipes, swivel mops and microfiber cloths. If a cleaner says “new and improved,” the highly tidy buy it and try it.


If there is one thing I’ve learned from the highly tidy, it is that their lifestyle is deliberate.

They put thought into the life they want to live and have adopted philosophies to support it, such as “a place for everything and everything in its place” and “touch it once,” meaning to not just move the mess around but to deal with it right then and there.

Don’t take a dish from the table and put it in the sink. Take it from the table, rinse it and put it in the dishwasher.

So, if you want to adopt the habits of the highlytidy, don’t just set this newspaper on the counter to be dealt with later. Finish reading it, then take it to the recycle bin.

Touch it once.


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