Manage Your House

Readers Share Their Top House-Neatening Tricks

For most people with attention deficit, a picture-perfect house is an impossible dream — but these ADDitude readers take up the challenge and share how they’re succeeding.

View of clean and neat home.

ADDitude asked readers: “What are your best strategies for neatening up the house?”

I clean up in stages. I’ll dust everything one day, clean the sink and toilet while my daughter is in the bath, and vacuum all the rooms on another day.
-Cheryl, New York

I turn on music and keep moving from room to room until almost everything is put away. It’s not a big deal if I get distracted, as long as I keep putting stuff away.
-Helen, California

I have a cleaning person come every other week. If I don’t pick up my stuff, she can’t clean.
-Nancy, Arizona

I keep only what we need. Get rid of Tupperware and dishes that you don’t use, as well as old clothing, toothbrushes, toys, books, plastic bags. Use bins to transfer winter and summer clothing to the attic.
-Kristine, Washington

I use the Motivated Moms app for my iPhone (motivatedmoms.com). It isn’t overwhelming, and it reminds me of daily chores, as well as special ones.
-Julie, Idaho

One word: FlyLady! I follow her plan to keep extra stuff (or clutter, as she calls it) out of my home. When my children were young, La Leche League had a saying: “Do I want that knickknack (or whatever) on that table, where I have to dust it, or do I want a nice empty spot, so I can spend that time with my baby instead of cleaning?”
-Sarah, South Carolina

I use a chore chart with stickers, just like the ones you would use with kids. I give myself a sticker if I do some of the chores. I emphasize progress, not perfection or completion. Doing a little each day means progress over time.
-Tara, Texas

I’m old school. I use a to-do list. I discard junk mail daily. I set up a file system for most-used papers, so there are no “treasure hunts.” I keep one assigned “catch-all” basket in every room, to temporarily hold things that don’t belong there.
-An ADDitude Reader

I invite people over for dinner or a visit, so I have to clean up for them.
-Christine, California

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