How to Be Tidy when You Work a Full-Time Job

Step one: Delete the accounts you don’t use

We’ve said this before, but once more, with feeling: Delete your old accounts. Think of every online account you have as a window in a house—the more windows you have, the easier it is for someone to see what’s inside.

Spend a day going through all the old accounts you used once and then forgot about; then delete them. Doing this will cut down on opportunities for that data to leak into the world. It also tends to have the nice side effect of getting rid of email clutter.

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The Process for Teaching Kids How to Be Tidy

To teach your child how to be tidy, you’ll need to be directly involved at first. It is a process, but the goal is to help your child learn how to be tidy without your help in the end.

Here is a look at how to help your kids keep their room clean and tidy:

Start clearing out

To begin with, give the room a good clear out with help from the kids. Have two boxes or bags to collect rubbish and another for items that can be donated to charity.

Toys and clothes can become quickly outgrown. Clearing away unused and outgrown items provides extra space and makes it easier to get the room cleaned.

Make sure you explain to the kids the plan of action and give directions to ensure that the items cleared out are unwanted. A little persuasion may be needed with some items that are no longer needed.

In this stage of the process, you’re helping your kids learn how to assess which items have personal value for them. While you should help guide the choices with logic, try to let your child make the final decisions so that he or she learns to make these choices going forward.

Organizing your child’s bedroom

Have a place for everything to make it easier for the kids to know where to put their belongings. Storage boxes and bins are great for organizing and tidying.

These can be labeled and used to sort toys into, which makes it easier for children to find what they want to play with, as well as making tidying away easier, too.

Enlist the kids to help with this task, as it prepares them for tidying on their own. Once all the toys have been sorted into boxes the room will already start to look a lot tidier ready for cleaning.

Don’t forget to sort through drawers and the closet to tidy and organize these areas too.

Get the kids to clean their room

Give the kids a damp soapy cloth to clean their toys and furniture and ensure that the toys are put back into their designated boxes. Take this time to clean the window and higher areas that they cannot reach.

Open the window to let some fresh air into the room. Strip the bed, turn the mattress and take out any dirty laundry.

Place the storage boxes onto the bed to be able to clean the floor. Now that everything has been cleaned and organized, the floor can be vacuumed thoroughly.

Get into all the corners and move furniture out to vacuum underneath. Many lost items are likely to be found during the clean. Don’t forget to clean under the bed!

Tidy up time

Tidy up time

Now that the room has had a good clean, it is time to arrange it to make it functional. Ask the kids if they want any of the furniture moving, and place the storage boxes around the room neatly.

Use any odd toys for display purposes to give the room a bit of fun. Get the kids to help make the bed and arrange their belongings.

Once the room is complete, the kids will feel delighted, as their room will be transformed. Now that it is looking good, they are more likely to want to keep it this way.

Plus, they have now learned how to clean and tidy their room.

Tidy up your room (and make it fun)

Knowing how to tidy your room fast will come naturally if you make a fun game out of it. Here are a few ideas for messy bedroom cleaning games so you don’t get bored!

  • Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can clear away in that time. If you’ve got brothers or sisters, why not make it a competition?
  • Pick a colour and look for things of that colour to tidy away. When you’ve run out of things in that colour, take a quick break and move onto a different one.
  • Put on some songs you love while you tidy your room. Singing and dancing along makes tidying up go much faster! Or, if you’d rather, put an audio book or podcast on.

Try setting up a mini recycling station in your room to collect recyclable plastic, tin cans, cardboard and paper. By responsibly dividing and recycling waste, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact.

Have Company Over

If you do want to shock-treat your home, give yourself a reason. Invite some people over, with a few days’ notice. If you’re good at cleaning – wiping up spills, washing dishes – but not tidying, then you can even host a party. (Some of us find it easier to vacuum and throw out 40 beer bottles than to pick up our pile of shirts.)

Otherwise just have one or two people over for dinner, people who are fancier than you, people you want to impress. People you’re likely to tidy up for. Either way, this gives you both a deadline and a reward.

If that won’t get you moving, have a friend over for the cleaning. Let them sit there while you pick everything up. Complain to them the entire time. Then go buy them dinner.

Dont Step Over It

My mum kept a five-person household clean with this rule. If she caught me tripping over something left out on the floor, she’d shout her catchphrase: Don’t step over it! It worked so well that I occasionally throw out other people’s litter on the street or the train.

You don’t have to be the world’s garbageman and carry around a little bottle of Purell like I do. Just refuse to trip over your own crap. Pick it up instead. Feel bad for yourself. Do the whole Paul Rudd dramatic routine. Really explore the space. Seriously, it will feel great.

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Step three: Audit third-party app access

If you use a social media account to log in to a service (like logging in to Strava with a Google account), you access social media accounts through third-party apps (like Tweetbot), or you use a third-party app to access data like calendars or email, it’s worth periodically checking those accounts to remove anything you don’t need anymore. This way, some random app won’t slurp data from an account after you’ve stopped using it.

All the major tech companies offer tools to see which apps you’ve granted access to your account. Go through and revoke access to apps and services you no longer use:

Facebook

  1. Click the dropdown arrow in the top right, then select Settings and Privacy > Settings > Apps and Websites. This includes apps you’ve granted access to Facebook, and apps you use your Facebook account to log in to.
  2. Go through and remove anything here you don’t recognize or no longer need.

Google

  1. Log in to your Google account, and then head to the Security page (or click your profile picture > Manage Your Google Account > Security).
  2. Click on Manage Third-Party Access, and then remove access to any apps you do not use.
  3. On this page, you can also see any third-party services you’ve used your Google account to sign in to. Click any old services you no longer need, and then Remove Access.
  4. You can also check on app-specific passwords. Head back to the security page, then click App Passwords, log in again, and delete any apps you no longer use.

Twitter

  1. Head to the Connected apps page while logged in (click on three-dot icon > Settings and Privacy > Security and Account Access > Apps and Sessions > Connected Apps).
  2. Revoke access to any apps you do not use.

Apple

  1. Log in to your Apple ID and head to the manage page.
  2. Under the Security tab, click Edit. Look for App-Specific Passwords, and then click View History.
  3. Click the X icon next to anything you no longer use.
  4. Then scroll down to Sign in With Apple, click Manage Apps & Websites, and revoke access to any apps you don’t need anymore.

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