Do you know people that always seem to have their house in order? Even when you stop in unannounced their home is beautiful and nothing is out of place.
I wasn’t always clean, in fact, I’m a recovering “messy”. And even though I felt like I cleaned all the time. When people just stopped by I would look around and it looked like a tornado had been through the house. It. Was. Awful.
I’m pleased to be on the other side of that and I can tell you now that if someone just stops by, I am not embarrassed- I gladly welcome them in for a visit. And here are the reasons why:
- Get rid of excess. The reason there is clutter around is because there is just simply too much. When we don’t have a place for items, they end up floating around and always in the way. To have a clean home, you have to get rid of all the excess. This includes doubles and items that you are saving “just in case”. Getting a bigger home doesn’t work, even if you “upgrade” to more square footage, homes are only made to hold so much stuff and we can’t organize it all.
- Eliminate paper. Paper clutter is overwhelming. I know- I hate paper. I still get anxious throwing paper away. But the thing is, we don’t need it. Switch as many accounts as possible to “paperless”. Unless you have a home business, you don’t need to keep receipts or bill stubs. The whole point of a statement is make you aware of what is going on with your account, once you are aware, the statement has served it’s purpose and it is no longer needed.
- Give everything an assigned place. Once the excess is gone, it’s important to give each item you have a “home”. For example, your purse always goes on a hook by the door, your shoes always go on the shoe shelf, the TV remotes always go on this shelf. To learn more about implementing this rule, read here.
- Put things away when you are done with them. How many times have you left things out to put away later? Far too many times in my past! If you are in the habit of always putting things into their “place” (see rule #3) then you never have to play catch-up. Saving it for later just creates more work in the long run and you actually have to set aside time to clean up, no one has time for that.
- Develop routines. My routines are key and a big part of keeping your home clean and organized. But I think I turn people off when I say routines. To many it’s a rigid list of things to do in a specific order. But it doesn’t have to be. Really, routines are just a tool. Decide what your priorities are, for example, if your priority is to have a clean kitchen, the dishes have to be done regularly, because anytime there is a sink full of dirty dishes, the kitchen looks messy. To keep the dishes done, they have to be washed regularly, preferably after each meal. My routines don’t keep me captive, but rather fit into the rhythm of my life.
- Get the rest of the family involved. I have been reading “Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement” and I believe she is spot-on. We are a generation of people that do things for our children, but, instead of helping them, we are teaching them to doubt their own abilities. Growing up and gaining confidence means they have to struggle, make mistakes and learn to improve themselves. The best way to help them grow in confidence is to get them involved in household chores- have them cook, wash the dishes and clean up their own messes (without criticizing or hovering).
- Work where you are. If you are in the bathroom, giving your little one a bath, use the time to straighten up a drawer, declutter toiletries or clean the toilet. When you are cooking dinner, wash the dishes as you go- either with a sink full of soapy water, or putting them right into the dishwasher.
When you implement these 7 secrets, you won’t need to set aside time to clean, instead, it’s in the way you live and yes, you will work as you go, it will seem like less work all the way around, simply because it’s done. When you get to the end of the day, you won’t be met with a mess, you will be able to relax and enjoy your free evening. 🙂