You made it! You budgeted. You researched. You dreamed and you came back to reality. You broke ground and put it all back together again. You went through the torture of complete upheaval and made it out with a beautiful new space that sparks all kinds of joy within your soul. And in a week it’ll be messed up again, right? That may have been the old you. But since you’ve thrown out old appliances, furniture, fixtures, and design trends why stop there? Why not continue this “new” groove with some new, tidy habits? It may seem daunting at first, but follow these rules of thumb from tidy people themselves and before you know it you’ll be an unstoppable force of tidiness.

Square One: Decluttering

Before you can begin to stay tidy, you first need to clear away the clutter. You may have taken advantage of having to move out all the items from your room-undergoing-construction and already begun the process of getting rid of unwanted things. If the thought didn’t cross your mind at the start of your remodel, fear not. You have the entire renovation to go through your things. But as the construction starts to wind down, before moving everything back, pick and choose what’s staying and what’s going.

There are plenty of donation centers where you can drop your discarded items. If you happen to be going through your closets as part of your renovation, consider donating gently used blankets, suitcases/backpacks, sheets, towels, and clothes to shelters. The altruism One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is most definitely fulfilled by going this route. Job interview appropriate clothing given to a homeless shelter can help get men and women in the room, book the job, and get back on their feet.

Everything In Its Rightful Place

Perhaps the biggest hurdle in keeping your home tidy is getting things put away. When there’s no designated space for the items in your home it can be even harder to put them away because you have to think about where to store them. Where is there room for the tweezers and notebooks and remote? The french call it mis en place and it means everything in its place. When you begin the process of putting everything back in your newly finished room, don’t just place things willy-nilly. Decide on a specific spot for each item. Think about how you use these items, when you do need them where’s the first place you would think to look and then make that its home. When everything in your home from trinkets to cleaning products has a “right place” to return to, cleaning up messes will be exponentially easier as you simply won’t have to think about where it goes, you already know. It will also help whenever you need to use these items because you’ll know where they are already.

Don’t Put Off Today What Might Kill You Tomorrow

An excellent piece of advice that just doesn’t click in the brains of procrastinators. But hey, they’re probably the reason we have this quote in the first place, right? Whether you’re a procrastinator extraordinaire or you just have a lot on your plate, the last thing you want to do when you get home at night is clean. It happens to the best of us. But when it comes to things like laundry and dishes, especially, staying on top of it makes a world of difference. Mainly in the way that you can see your floors and counter spaces. But sticking to the idea that putting something away now and not waiting until you feel like it will keep messes at bay. It’s a new habit that you’ll have to form, but definitely one worth striving to implement.

Ask anyone who has their Tidy Life together and they’ll most likely tell you that when it comes to messes the most important thing is to take care of it before you go to bed. That being said, you know your schedule and routine. Figuring out who takes care of what chores within the family as well as when will not only help keep the house and your new reno clean, but it will also instill a sense of responsibility and prioritizing with you and your children. Make it a rule that laundry has to be put away before after school free time; declare dinner time will always happen and the table, and dishes and leftovers will be cleared and put away before sitting down to binge your newest true crime obsession. In other words, if you aren’t going to want to do it after sitting and relaxing for any amount of time then take care of it first, get it out of the way and then you can really relax.

You Can Do It

All this being said, there will come a day – or days (okay weeks) – when you are so busy that even feeding yourself slips to the back burner. Your home will get messy. That’s just the nature of things. While it only takes 21 days to create a new habit, it can seem like it’s never going to pan out. And that’s okay. Don’t get down on yourself if you walk into your house one day and it looks like a tornado ripped right through it. Just take a deep breath and remember you’ve already done the hard work of organizing; now it’s simply a matter of tidying up.