Hate tidying up all the time? Here’s how to stop hating housework

Do you hate tidying up all the time? Some people love spending time on home chores, really get a buzz out of the process and seeing it all tidy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love seeing my house tidy and want it that way as much as possible.  I just hate the drudgery of it.  Resent spending all my weekends doing it.

Because I don’t have time.  I work full time.  I want to spend my weekends enjoying my time off, with my family.  On myself!  Whether or not you are looking after your kids all week or working for a paid job, you deserve to relax at weekends.  But also because there is a better way.

Yes, the house needs cleaning.  Yes, it may be a mess.  Yes, there is laundry.  And all the things.

Hate tidying up? What if we tried to make some of those processes quicker, easier, simpler? 

When was the last time you really thought about the process of tidying?  Or why the house gets messy in the first place?

We have the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine because someone could clearly see that that specific process could be automated with a machine.  It saved us a tonne of time.  So much time in fact that it freed women from the home, enabled them to go out to work! 

Women can now pursue careers more than they could back in ‘those days’ because of these time-saving contraptions.  Big problem though.  Those time-saving machines didn’t eradicate all those tasks that need to be done at home.  And because traditionally the say-out-home mum/wife used to do them as part of that homemaker role, we are more often than not still shackled with them, in addition to the 40+ hour weeks many of us undertake for pay or doing childcare.

So I decided to look at all those things we are still doing at home and see how many I could tick off or make easier.  Because like whoever realised there was a place for the dishwasher, or the washing machine, or the vacuum cleaner, I knew that using my corporate systems/process improvement skills, I could whittle down the mental and physical load of home chores that remained even further.  Not completely – I’m not a miracle worker – but by creating the Serenely Sorted System I have saved 2-3 hours a week for myself and clients – yet have a home that’s tidier than it ever was.

Now we all know a few people who seem to effortlessly keep their homes utterly beautiful and enjoy the process of keeping it that way. 

Great if that’s you – but it’s just not me.  I’m naturally messy and equally, I want to minimise the time I spend on home chores.  I do however want a tidy house!

So how on earth can you do that? Especially if you hate tidying…

Firstly, by being realistic – creating systems that can be maintained quickly and easily, that are simple enough for children to grasp by themselves (to 80% at least).  It means that whilst we all love to look at those pictures of matchy matchy pantries with labelled pretty boxes, or lego sorted into colours, the reality is doing this is not realistic unless you want to spend all your time maintaining it.  Creating a realistic system that you and others at home can understand and maintain is fundamental to unshackling yourself from the drudgery.

Secondly, by looking at the behaviour of yourself and others in the home you can see how and why people are creating mess in the first place.  I realised that I always came in and plonked my handbag down on a chair, meaning I had to spend time clearing it up every day, stare at the mess – not to mention losing them and the sunglasses within them regularly!

This is what I did to create the unique Serenely Sorted System that helps people create a home life with less mess stress, ditching the drudgery and saving hours every week on tidying.

Three Serenely Sorted System tips to get you started when you hate tidying

  1. Start thinking about ‘End Homes’.  This concept is the most important concept of the Serenely Sorted System.  An End Home is a place where something lives and always goes back to.  The first step of sorting is to start creating End Homes for your top mess makers, such as your bag, your keys, the paperwork, the handbag.  When I work with clients, we End Home everything so that you don’t need to think when putting it away and are not tempted to brush it into a pile or worse, leave it there.
  2. Buy some baskets.  Or as I call them, Serene Space Dividers.  These are the backbone that keeps the System together and allows you to ‘Divide and Conquer’ your cupboards and spaces for End Homes.  The key to keeping it realistic is not going too detailed, yet having enough categories to keep things in order.  Take the kid’s shoes for example, if you have 2+ kids you can’t just have one basket, that’s just a pile.  But if you have three baskets, for Kid 1 casual, Kid 2 casual, School, then you have something that even kids can use themselves without you having to constantly pick up or find. 
  3. Aim to reduce the ‘Daily Debris’ first before looking what’s under the bed.  By creating end homes for the things you see on your surfaces every day you are getting closer to that serene moment at the end of the day where you can sit down, enjoy a glass of wine, and not be triggered by the mess you see.  Many home organisation approaches have you clearing the clutter under the bed first, but I always think – why do that when it’s what’s on your surfaces that causes you the daily mess stress?

Now, to motivate yourself to get started, begin to think about how you’ll spend that saved time – and get ditching that drudgery – for good.

Author bio

Diana Spellman is the Realistic Home Organisation Expert and founder of Serenely Sorted. Diana works with people 1-2-1 to help them create time for themselves and homes that are serene every day with less effort. Find out more or book a discovery call at www.serenelysorted.com, and follow her on Instagram @serenely.sorted.

People photo created by user18526052 – www.freepik.com


  1. I try really hard to put things away as soon as we get home and it helps. For me, when I need to do a lot of tidying, I turn on some fun music to listen to and help lighten the mood.

  2. I’m always a little ashamed to admit this, but I hate to clean. I really hate it. I mean, there are so many more interesting things I could be doing. But hey! i have to do it sooner or later. Thanks for these tips!

  3. I try to tidy daily where I can. The kids try to mess things up daily, it’s an ongoing battle. I’ve started giving treats if they tidy up after themselves to help reduce the amount I have to do.

  4. These are excellent recommendations! Setting realistic expectations when it comes to tidiness is such an important reminder.

  5. Loving this post and can relate. I do really tidy up and clean behind myself so that there is really never a mess and I have a new robotic vacuum and it is super helpful at sweeping each day… so cleanup is never too much or too stressful. My kids are older too so they help out too 😉

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