Guest blog post by my friend and colleague Hazel Thorton.
But those are three completely different things:
Clean = the absence of dirt, dust, grime, pet hair, bugs, etc.
Tidy = no visible clutter lying around on surfaces such as counters, tables, and floors
Organized = you can find what you need when you need it, and get stuff done on time
A lot of my clients bemoan the fact that their house isn’t as organized as their friend’s or neighbor’s. I ask them, “Have you seen inside their closets and drawers? How do you know they are organized? Can they find their scissors when they need them? Do they get their bills paid on time? How do you know? Maybe their house is just tidy.”
On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to have a clean house if it is dis-organized and un-tidy. A common statistic states that you can get your house 40% cleaner if you are organized. I interpret that to mean you can access 40% more of the surfaces that need cleaning if you have decluttered and assigned homes for everything, and have a system for staying organized.
When it comes to having company, a tidy house gives the appearance of a clean house, even if it’s been awhile since you vacuumed the corners. Your friends aren’t actually bringing white gloves with them, are they? (If they are, you need new friends.) No, they are coming to see YOU. They do need a place to sit that is free of magazines, fast food containers, and pet hair. And the bathroom is a nice room to clean before they visit. If you are serving food, then clean and tidy the kitchen and dining room too. But otherwise…
The diagram above says it all: Find the “sweet spot” for your comfort level. Your house doesn’t need to be 100% organized and tidy and clean at all times for it to be functional, comfortable and company-ready!