Simple Tips for Keeping a Tidy Home
Keeping a tidy home is an ongoing process. Rather than waiting until things are unbearable and chaotic, there are simple steps you can take to maintain your spaces -- I promise they're not as miserable as you think.
1. Make your bed. Everyday.
Making your your bed is the first thing you can do everyday that will jump start your journey to a clutter-free life. It should really take less than a minute. I recently decided that if it takes more 30 seconds to make your bed, you've got too many blankets. Having your bed made instantly gives the appearance of a tidy bedroom. And climbing into a made bed at the end of the day is almost as nice as freshly clean sheets.
2. Do your dishes. Immediately after eating.
This is the kitchen equivalent to making your bed. Meaning, it should be done after every meal and instantly gives the appearance of a tidy (and clean) kitchen. If you have a dishwasher, put your dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of filling up your kitchen sink or counter top, then you only have to deal with them once. Empty your dishwasher before cooking, that way the dishes can go right into the dishwasher when you are done with them. If you do not have a dishwasher, just wash the dishes immediately after using them. Even if it's just a cup.. just wash it now! I promise it magically relieves the nagging stress of "having to do the dishes later." If you have a drying rack, dry and put up the dishes before you cook so you have a place for your dishes to dry once you clean them.
3. Throw away your junk mail. Immediately after checking the mailbox.
You're probably not ever going to use that coupon to that wine subscription service. Just throw it out. Don't let piles of unopened mail accumulate. You can determine most mail is junk before it is even opened.. just rip it up and toss or recycle it. Mail that needs to be dealt with should have a specific home that makes it easy for you to handle it. You don't need to keep the envelope it came in or the return envelope inside of it (most stuff can be handled online now, right?). Just keep the document that is of importance to you. Whether it be on the refrigerator, on your desk, or a mail caddy, put it somewhere that you will actually deal with it and not let it accumulate as clutter. If you have a mail pile, set a certain time every week to handle it. Or better yet.. deal with it now so you can get rid of that paper. What is it they say... don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today?
4. Clear your living/entertainment room when you are done relaxing there. Everytime.
This means folding up any blankets you were snuggling in, putting your remote control in its proper home, taking your drinking cups out, bringing any stripped clothes (socks, sweatshirts) to your laundry basket, putting any magazines or books up, and bringing your computer or any paper projects to where they belong. This will improve the feeling of the room when you come in next. It will feel fresh, clean and ready to use, not cluttered with leftover mess.
5. Put your shoes where they belong. Anytime you take them off your feet.
Do your shoes have a proper home? They should. Put them there. If you don't have a shoe rack wherever you tend to take your shoes off, maybe you should get one.
6. Deal with your laundry. Everyday.
When you are finished washing your clothes, put them up. When your clothes are dirty, put them in the hamper. The floor is not an acceptable place for your dirty or half-dirty clothes. Designate a place for half-dirty clothes. If you have not worn those items in a week, put them in the hamper.
...Are you starting to get the gist here? You have to work on it, a little bit, everyday. I know this stuff seems so simple, because it is. But we are all guilty of not making these small actions habit, and make excuses for why we don't do them.
"You can have your excuses or you can have success. You can't have both."
(originally published on Leasure Life Blog on 3/14/2018)