Why It’s Impossible to Keep a Home Tidy Without Processes and Systems

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, and I thought I’d share it with you. I would like to hear your thoughts. It is a very funny video (1 minute 16 seconds), and I am sure most of us can relate.

It’s called “Why Moms Can’t Get Anything Done.” Watch it, then keep reading. (You may need to raise the volume by clicking on the icon a the bottom right of the video box.)

It’s Impossible to Keep a Home Tidy Without Proper Processes and Systems

It is so easy to get one’s mind scattered as much as things are scattered in the home. After all, clutter and messes are equal to decisions delayed.

That’s why you need systems and processes that are proven to work for everyone.

I want to share with you, at no cost, a process I use with students in my Declutter for Good Program:

All you need is a small trash bag. Work on one room at a time:

  1. Scan the floor of the room and look for 13 items that are indisputably trash, and put them in the bag.
  2. Scan the floor of the room and look for 7 items that could be recycled. Take them to your recycling bins.
  3. Scan the floor of the room and look for 3 items that are torn or broken and could not be repaired. Decide whether they need to go in the trash bag or taken to a recycling bin.
  4. Scan the floor of the room and look for 5 items that do not belong in that room. Take them to the rooms where they belong and put them in their proper places.
  5. Scan the floor of the room and look for 7  items that belong in the room but need to be put back in their places.

When you are done running this process, do the same for beds and seats. When you are done with those, move on to the tops of night stands, tables, counters and low dressers. When you are done with those, work on the tops of tall dressers and shelves.

If the room still looks messy, repeat the process, starting again with the floor. If you feel tired, take a break, or continue another day.

My sons have been tidying up their rooms using this process since they were 8 and 5. If they can do it, you can do it, right?

Share with Me

Use the reply feature below to share with me:

  • Have you ever done what the mom in the video is doing?
  • Do you find that when you make the commitment to declutter and organize you tend to skip from room to room, or object to object?
  • Do you get stuck with making one decision about one object and then abandon your decluttering purposes?

(If this is your first time commenting on this blog, I will need to approve your comment before it is posted. If you have commented before, it will post right away.)

Processes Are not Enough

The best process or system in the world won’t work for you if your heart is not in it. If you really have deep set reasons you want to keep stuff you don’t love or use, or if you keep telling yourself you need things you don’t really need, your spaces and your life will not improve.

The most important aspect in a Decluttering program is to help the student or participant change their emotions around decluttering and organizing. If you can get yourself to a point that your heart wants to declutter and organize, nothing can stop you.

Watch this free webinar on decluttering:

To discover what is the most important decision you can make to declutter for good, and be happy with the results, register for the free webinar below:












  1. Moni,

    Because I have ADD I have to have a plan when I clean. If you get a load oflaundry inthe wash and the dishwasher going it creates some sinergy. We actually take as much time to laundry as our grandmothers did, but we have far more clothes and wash them every time after they are worn. My husband does a lot of the laundry and washes everyone’s clothes separately so he doesn’t have to sort. I’m not a fan of this method but he likes it. After starting the washer and dishwasher I take care of the animals dust and vacuum. I try to clean the bathrooms during the week. It only takes minutes to clean a toilet or sink. And it is easier to clean a shower, well, when you are showering. I use dawn dishwashing soap. Or I spray that green cleaner or gunk be gone–let it sit and then spray it down before using the dawn. I use the no dye dawn when I work in the yard to get poison ivy oil off me. My big issue is the piles. I really struggle with the piles.

    Also, concerning the mom who put her kids dirty room items in the trash bags. I wouldn’t do it. My boys are 16 and 20. They wash their own clothes. They will clean their rooms if I really stress it. But they are such good boys. They have never given me a moments true trouble. I just don’t see the reason to pick a big fight over a messy room. They have never been in trouble, work really hard at school, will do anything I need the first time I ask. To put all their stuff in a trash bag seems disrespectful and very controlling. They need to express their “separation” and “breaking away” somehow. If they are not getting traffic tickets, make good grades, not involved in anything nepharious and helping me when I ask, the first time I ask. I am not going to micromanage if they have dirty clothes in a corner or don’t wipe their sink off as often as I would like. When I was in college it was those micromanaged kids I knew in high school who went off the deep end with all the freedom they got in college.

    You have to let your kids learn to fail. If that means losing a homework assignment in a messy room so be it. I learn more from my failures than my wins.

    Thank you Moni, I enjoy your emails so much. I’m interested in seeing what you think of the mom with the trash bags.

    • Thank you for sharing, Linda. I also believe in doing things simultaneously, with the aid of appliances, to make the best of our time.

      Regarding the mom with the trash bags, I think what she did was ingenious, although I think she should have given them a warning, and $25 seems like a lot of money for teenagers. I can’t make a “judgement” because I do not know if she actually taught her kids to clean and organize. Kids need to be trained and re-trained. Every new interest introduces new items into a child’s room. The child needs to be taught how to keep and organize those new items. I believe it is important for children to do housework as a habit, so that later on in life it does not feel like a chore, but something that happens automatically, without thinking and without effort.

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