February 18

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How five generations have passed down my family’s house rules that keep my home tidy

My family's 5 house rules – passed down through generations – help me keep a tidy house

Keeping a tidy house can seem like a mundane task, but it is an essential part of creating a comfortable and organized living space. In my family, we have always believed in the power of setting simple rules to maintain order and cleanliness. These rules have been passed down through generations and they have helped me in making my home a haven.

One of the first rules I remember learning as a child was to always put things back where they belong. Whether it was toys, books, or packets of snacks, my parents taught me the importance of returning items to their designated places. This rule still guides me today and has saved me countless hours of searching for misplaced items.

Another rule that has proved useful is to never leave a task unfinished. Whether it’s washing dishes, folding laundry, or sweeping the floors, I strive to complete each task before moving on to the next one. This not only helps in maintaining a clean and organized space, but it also instills a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

One of the best pieces of advice I received from my grandparents was to “keep a plate, a glass, and cutlery clean and ready for use at all times.” This simple rule ensures that even on the busiest days, I have a clean plate to serve a meal or a glass for a refreshing drink. It also prevents the accumulation of dirty dishes, making the task of washing them more manageable.

Another rule that has become a cornerstone of my organization is to never open an inbox without processing its contents. Whether it’s an email inbox, a physical mailbox, or even a virtual inbox for digital files, I always take the time to sort, respond, and file away any incoming information. This rule helps me stay on top of tasks and ensures that I never miss any important deadlines or opportunities.

The last rule that has greatly influenced my household is to “do what you can when you can”. This is a reminder to tackle small cleaning tasks as they arise, rather than letting them pile up. Whether it’s wiping down the kitchen counters, dusting the shelves, or watering the plants, addressing these smaller tasks in the moment prevents them from becoming overwhelming and time-consuming.

By following these five simple rules, I have been able to keep a tidy house and live a more organized and stress-free life. While some may view these rules as basic, they have proven their effectiveness in the many well-kept homes of my family’s past. So, the next time you find yourself overwhelmed by the growing pile of tasks, try implementing these rules and see how they can help you maintain a cleaner and more organized living space.

1 If you use it you put it back

One of the most important rules in keeping a tidy house is to always put things back where you found them. This simple advice applies to every area of the house, from the kitchen to the living room and beyond.

When you finish using something, whether it’s a plate in the kitchen or a tool in the garage, make sure to put it back in its designated place. This helps to maintain cleanliness and organization in your home, ensuring that everything has a proper home and can be easily found when needed.

Even the smallest task, such as putting away used tea bags or packets of sugar, should be followed diligently. By submitting to this rule, you’ll avoid clutter and keep your spaces free from unnecessary mess. Plus, it will make tasks like cleaning much easier since everything will already be in its place.

This rule is especially important for those with children or aging parents. By instilling the habit of “if you use it, you put it back” from a young age, you are setting them up for a lifetime of organization and tidiness. Additionally, it helps to minimize the risk of broken or misplaced items.

If you’re someone who tends to forget where you left things, incorporating this rule into your daily routine can be a game-changer. No more searching for lost keys or misplaced documents; everything will have its designated place.

By always adhering to the “if you use it, you put it back” rule, you’ll find that your house feels more open, tidy, and welcoming. It will also save you time in the long run since you won’t have to spend extra minutes searching for things you need.

So, next time you finish using something, take a moment to consciously put it back where it belongs. Embracing this simple rule will help you keep your house tidy and better organized, making it a more enjoyable space for you and your family.

2 If you open it you close it

One of the most useful house rules that my family has passed down through the generations is the rule of “If you open it you close it.” This simple rule applies to everything from packets of food to the refrigerator door, and it has helped us maintain a tidy and organized home.

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding an open bag of chips or a half-empty plate left out on the counter. By always closing what you’ve opened, we ensure that our kitchen remains clean and free of messes. It also helps to prevent any food from going bad or attracting pests.

This rule not only applies to the kitchen but to other areas of the house as well. For example, if you take out a book from the shelf, you are expected to put it back in its place once you’re done. This helps us find things easily and avoids any unnecessary clutter.

Another benefit of this rule is that it helps teach responsibility. By closing what you open, you are taking ownership of your actions and showing respect for the space and belongings of others. It also sets a good example for younger children in the family, teaching them the importance of organization and cleanliness.

While it may seem like a small and mundane task, the “If you open it you close it” rule has made a big difference in our household. It not only keeps our home tidier but also promotes a sense of order and helps us stay on top of tasks.

In addition to this rule, my family has many other house rules that help us maintain a tidy home. We have a rule that if something is broken, we take responsibility and either fix it or find a way to replace it. We also have a rule that if you use something, you clean it afterwards. These basic rules create a foundation of organization and keep our home running smoothly.

By growing up with these rules, I’ve learned the importance of taking care of my surroundings and keeping things in order. They have become second nature to me, and I now apply them in my own home. It’s amazing how a few simple rules can make such a big difference in maintaining a tidy and organized space.

So, the next time you find yourself opening something, remember to close it afterwards. It may seem like a small task, but it will go a long way in keeping your home tidy and organized.

3 Get it over with and relax for the rest of the day

One of the most important rules in my family’s house is to get the cleaning tasks over with as soon as possible. This helps you get it out of the way and frees up the rest of your day to relax and do other things.

To follow this rule, we always try to take care of the mundane cleaning tasks as soon as possible. Whether it’s washing the dishes after a meal or tidying up the living room, getting these basic things done early on can make a big difference.

One tip to help yourself with this is to not leave any task unfinished. If you started washing the dishes, make sure you finish the job and put them away. If you started organizing your kitchen cabinets, don’t leave the task only halfway complete. By completing each task fully, you prevent them from piling up and becoming overwhelming.

Another helpful tip is to break the tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts. For example, instead of spending hours cleaning the entire house, try focusing on one room at a time. This will make the task feel less daunting and allow you to make progress in smaller increments.

As we have aged, we have realized that it’s best not to put off tasks that can be done quickly. Whether it’s putting away that pile of mail or tidying up the garden, it’s always better to tackle these small tasks right away. This way, they don’t pile up, and you won’t find yourself overwhelmed down the line.

One aspect of this rule is to always keep a clean inbox. Whether it’s your physical mailbox or your digital inbox, it’s important to stay on top of things. Take a few minutes each day to go through your mail or emails, and deal with them right away. This will prevent them from piling up and becoming a bigger task later on.

By following this advice, you will find that even the busiest days can be more manageable. Setting aside time each day to tackle small tasks will help you stay organized and on top of things. And once you’ve completed your tasks, you can truly relax and enjoy the rest of your day without any lingering chores hanging over your head.

4 Never hide a broken thing mend it

One of the most useful rules in our family is to never hide a broken thing, but rather mend it. This rule not only helps to keep our house tidy, but also teaches us the value of taking care of our belongings and being resourceful.

There are always smaller tasks to be done around the house, and this rule ensures that we don’t forget about them. Whether it’s a broken plate in the kitchen or a tear in a piece of clothing, we always make an effort to mend it rather than throwing it away. This not only saves money, but also reduces waste and promotes sustainability.

By following this rule, we’ve learned some basic skills in sewing, carpentry, and even electronic repairs. It’s amazing how many things can be fixed with a little bit of time and effort. This rule has also helped us become more organized, as we always have a designated spot to keep our tools and materials for repairs.

For those items that we can’t fix ourselves, we often seek advice from professionals or find creative ways to repurpose them. For example, an old wooden ladder that couldn’t be repaired is now used as a makeshift bookshelf in our living room. This rule has taught us to think creatively and find alternative uses for broken or damaged items.

Not only does this rule apply to physical objects, but it also extends to tasks and responsibilities. If we encounter a problem or challenge, we don’t hide from it – we mend it. Whether it’s a disagreement between family members or a task that seems overwhelming, we always strive to find a solution and make things better.

It’s easy to forget about the mundane tasks of everyday life, but this rule reminds us to always stay on top of them. Whether it’s cleaning out the inbox or organizing the garden shed, we make sure to tackle these smaller tasks before they become bigger problems.

Overall, the rule of never hiding a broken thing and mending it has been passed down through generations in our family. It has helped us keep a tidy house, taught us valuable skills, and encouraged us to be resourceful and creative. By following this rule, we not only take care of our belongings, but also take pride in our homes and ourselves.

5 If you empty it you get rid of it

While organization is important in maintaining a tidy house, the next rule takes it a step further by encouraging the elimination of unnecessary items. The basic rule is simple: if you empty a container or package, you must get rid of it.

This rule helps to prevent clutter from accumulating in your home. How many times have you opened a drawer or cabinet only to find it filled with things you no longer need or use? By following this rule, you will always have a clutter-free space and only keep the things that are truly useful to you.

There are many ways this rule can be applied in different areas of your home. For example, in the kitchen, if you finish a food packet or container, instead of keeping it “just in case,” you’ll get rid of it. This not only helps keep your kitchen organized, but it also ensures that you only have fresh and usable ingredients on hand.

This rule is especially helpful if you have children. Kids have a tendency to accumulate broken toys, outgrown clothes, and other items that they no longer use or need. By teaching them to follow this rule, you are instilling good habits of tidiness and organization at a young age.

Another area where this rule proves handy is in the cleaning and maintenance of your home. Frequently, we hold onto cleaning supplies or tools that are past their prime or no longer effective. By getting rid of these useless items, you make room for new and more efficient tools, making the task of cleaning a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Setting a good example for yourself and those around you is always a good idea. If you follow this rule and apply it consistently, others will notice and will likely follow suit. Your clean and organized home can serve as inspiration for friends and family who may struggle with clutter and disorganization in their own homes.

So, the next time you find yourself tempted to keep something you don’t need or use, remember this rule. Empty it, and get rid of it. Your home will thank you, and so will you.

What are good house rules

Setting up house rules helps in maintaining order and organization in a home. Many families have their own set of rules that have been passed down through generations. These rules not only help in keeping the house tidy but also teach important life skills to the growing children.

1. Divide and conquer the tasks

  • Assigning different tasks to family members can make the workload more manageable.
  • It helps in teaching responsibility and cooperation.
  • Each family member can contribute to keeping the house clean and organized.

2. Clean up after yourself

  • Always put things back where they belong after using them.
  • Don’t forget to clean up and wipe down surfaces after cooking or eating.
  • This rule ensures that clutter doesn’t pile up and that the kitchen remains clean.

3. Never leave a mess for the next person

3. Never leave a mess for the next person

  • If you open something (e.g., packets, drawers, doors), make sure to close it properly.
  • Leaving things open can lead to accidents and create unnecessary chaos.

4. Help out with smaller tasks

  • Even if a task is not assigned to you, lend a hand when you see someone struggling or busy with another task.
  • These small acts of kindness and cooperation make a big difference in maintaining a tidy house.

5. Never submit a dirty dish

5. Never submit a dirty dish

  • Always clean your plate after eating, and never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • It’s a basic rule that instills a sense of cleanliness and discipline.
  • This rule also helps in preventing the growth of bacteria and pests in the kitchen.

These house rules, while mundane, are extremely useful in maintaining a clean and organized home. They ensure that everyone contributes to the overall cleanliness and organization of the house, making it a better place to live in. So, if you’re looking for some ideas to improve your house rules, consider adopting some of these tried and tested rules used by many families.

How can I set house rules

Setting house rules can help maintain order and organization in your home. Whether you live alone or with a family, establishing clear guidelines can make everyday tasks easier and create a more harmonious living environment.

1. Identify the areas that need rules

Start by identifying the areas in your home that could benefit from some rules. It could be related to cleaning, organization, time management, or any other aspect that you feel needs improvement.

2. Determine the goals

Before setting rules, determine what you hope to achieve. Do you want to maintain cleanliness, promote better communication, or simply create a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere? Clearly defined goals will help you develop rules that align with your objectives.

3. Involve everyone

3. Involve everyone

If you live with others, involve them in the rule-setting process. This ensures that everyone’s needs and preferences are considered. It also promotes a sense of ownership and accountability among family members or housemates.

4. Keep it simple and specific

Ensure that your rules are simple and specific. This will make it easier for everyone to understand and follow them. For example, instead of a vague rule like “Keep the kitchen clean,” a specific rule like “Wash dishes immediately after use” is clearer and easier to implement.

5. Be consistent and lead by example

5. Be consistent and lead by example

Consistency is key when it comes to enforcing house rules. Make sure that the rules are applied consistently and that everyone, including yourself, follows them. Leading by example will set the tone for others to do the same.

6. Create a visual reminder

Creating a visual reminder of the rules can be helpful, especially in shared spaces. You can use a whiteboard, a poster, or even print out the rules and display them in a common area. This serves as a constant reminder for everyone and makes it easier to hold each other accountable.

7. Provide rewards and consequences

Incentives and consequences can help motivate everyone to adhere to the rules. Rewards can be small gestures like compliments or treats, while consequences can be logical, such as not being allowed to use certain appliances if a rule is broken.

8. Review and adapt

8. Review and adapt

Periodically review your house rules to see if they are still relevant and effective. If something isn’t working, be open to adjusting or even removing a rule. It’s important to be flexible and make changes as needed to ensure the rules continue to serve their purpose.

By following these steps and putting in the necessary effort, you can establish house rules that promote harmony, organization, and cleanliness in your home. Remember, setting rules is not about being restrictive but rather about creating a better living environment for yourself and those around you.


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