Tidying in 3 Steps: Step 3: Maintain

Hi again! It’s been a busy week for me and I’m glad the weekend is finally here. Not to mention, we finally have our new couch that we bought over a month ago!


This is our first big piece of furniture we bought brand new, which means I’ll be obsessing over keeping it in its sparkly new condition despite having a soon-to-be-toddler. Good luck to me…

Last post, we went over the importance of establishing a place for everything–a home. Now we’re looking at the last step: maintaining.

Know Where Things Go

When everything has a home, you know where it goes. It should go straight back to its home when it’s not being used. It may sound silly and nit-picky, but it’s essential if you want to maintain all this hard work you’ve done.
Make sure you have established clearly where things go. If you live with other people, make sure everyone knows the homes you’ve made for your belongings. If you have to use labels, use them. Nothing is more frustrating than finding everything in the wrong place. Before you know it, everything is scattered and it will be harder to keep things organized.

Mindful Future Purchases

The real hard part about maintaining your tidy home is being careful about what you buy from now on. If you don’t room for it, that is, if you don’t have an established home for something you’re looking to buy, don’t buy it. Or get rid of something else to make a home for it.
Similarly to when you were purging through everything, ask yourself questions:

  1. Do I need this/Will I use this?
  2. Do I really want this?/Can I live without it?
  3. Do I already have one?
  4. Do I have a place in mind for it?

If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to maintain the order you’ve created.

If You Have to Start Over

Now, let’s say the unthinkable happens and you revert back to old ways. These things can and do happen. A family crisis, moving into a new home, a new baby. Lots of things can throw us off our groove. No biggie. Go through the steps again. As long as you haven’t acquired lots of new things, purging should be shorter this time. It should also be easier. The more you purge your belongings, the easier it becomes. The first time you purged through your stuff, you had lots of emotional baggage and attachment to those items. You’ve learned that you can live without some things. I’ve definitely had to go through these steps several times.

When People Give You Things You Don’t Want

Over the last few years, we’ve inherited a lot of stuff from good-meaning family and friends. I’m bad at saying no.
This is another hard thing about maintaining the tidiness of your home. If you don’t want something, learn to say, “No, thank you”. Trust me on this! It’s much easier than saying yes to appease someone and feeling that you have to keep it.
The same applies to gifts. If it’s not something you want to keep, don’t feel guilty about exchanging it or giving it away. I know for many people, this is easier said than done, especially when you are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Do what you can to not offend people and let them know you appreciate the gesture and that they thought of you, but don’t let it hold you back. Stuff you keep out of obligation can become a huge burden.

Wrapping It Up

Well, my friends. That’s it. 3 Steps to a Tidy home. It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t.
Here’s the condensed version to refresh your memory:

Purge what isn’t needed.

Clean up.

Find a home for everything.

Put things back in their home.

Don’t add to your possessions unless you have a place for it.

I hope you’ve found these posts helpful. They’ve certainly helped me keep things tidy and keep clutter from overrunning my house.

Who doesn’t love a tidy kitchen and dining area?

Have you tried going through these steps? How did it go? I’d love to hear! Comment below.

2 thoughts on “Tidying in 3 Steps: Step 3: Maintain”

  1. I did my bedroom a couple days ago (Felt great!) and am now currently working on the kitchen. I find the kitchen is the most difficult to do and then to maintain be ause that’s where the most traffic and activity happens. My kids often unload our dishes and put them in the wrong places even though I have told them where they go. Oh well.
    We still have too much stuff amd that’s probably why they can’t remember wherethings go. I’m working on it.
    Thanks for your tips, encouragement, and motivation. I’m finding these steps to be very therapeutic. As I clear some more space, my brain is becoming less cluttered and encumbered. Letting go of some of the emotionally charged items has really helped too. Some things have been in my life for years even though all they do is take up space -physically and in my head everytime I see them. It’s somewhat stressful to keep them around when they don’t help me to relax or make me happy. I only kept them out of obligation or so to not feel ungrateful or wasteful. Not good reasons for keeping things.


    1. I hear you! Having lots of stuff definitely makes it hard to keep track of where things belong. For me, the kitchen and the bathrooms are the most difficult, because those are hectic places where I’m usually rushing to do something. I’m glad that you’re finding some peace and relief letting go of things. Sometimes we don’t realize what we were carrying around as a result of keeping those things.


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