We all want a clean home, duh.
However, its really difficult for us to take a whole day (or more) to fully tidy up our house.
That’s why building habits can be helpful.
When you don’t let your house get insanely dirty, you don’t have to take a whole day to tidy up.
Here is what I have found through a little research.
First, a little info about habits.
First, lets define the word.
A habit is a regular practice or tendency, this is especially true if it is hard to give up.
Habits are funny things, my friend.
According to Tracy (2018), a habit can be built (or broken) within 14 – 21 days.
Now that may seem like a really, really long time. But in the grand scheme of things, it will be worth it.
Here are some habits you should begin:
Learn to Value and/or Enjoy Cleaning
- I know this sounds crazy, because cleaning is generally a chore that no one really wants to participate in. However, if we can make cleaning an enjoyable process, then we will be more generous about the time we are willing to give to cleaning. This teaches us value in cleaning. If we can learn to enjoy it, then our homes will be cleaner. Thus, helping us value the process of cleaning. As an added bonus, when we show this to our children, they will be more willing to clean as well. So, put on some music, rip the kids away from whatever they’re doing, and get to work! Things get done faster when the whole family is involved. And hey, they made the mess too (probably most of it).
DONATE – Don’t Hoard
- I feel like I’m the wrong person to be telling someone this. Because (confession time) I have a big, big, issue with this. I always keep things “because I might need them one day”, or because it was given to me by so-and-so, or blah blah blah. When it comes down to it, do we REALLY need that item. Probably not. So, create a process for yourself to decipher what is actually needed, and what you can donate (or throw away, in some cases). I like to begin with use. Do I use it? If so, when was the last time? If it was super long ago, then I toss. Then I ask if this item has emotional meaning to it. If so, what type? Can you take a photo of it and still get whatever you’re get from it now? If so, snap your picture and be on your way.
Clean Your Fridge/Freezer/Pantry on a Weekly Basis
- The absolute beauty of this is, if you can continue this on a weekly basis, it becomes a 10 – 20 minute job…tops. Also, its really gross to pull out food that you don’t even remember making. Or worse, food that no longer looks like food. So, keep up on it and you will eventually get to the point where there wont be much to toss!
Find a Laundry Schedule That Works for You and Your Family
- And stick to it! When do the kids have sports practice? Do you have to wash your nice, church clothes for this Sunday? Decide what days are best for laundry. Some people can do it daily. For me, that never happens. Because then they just sit in the basket and make friends with the wrinkles. So, I tend to do my laundry on the weekends. I know that I will have time to wash, dry, fold, and put away. This is not always guaranteed for me on days that I work. What works for you?
Clean A L L T H E T I M E
- Believe me, I know this sounds like a daunting task. But, its a similar mindset as cleaning your fridge weekly. And what I mean by “cleaning all the time” is not what you think. Please, don’t spend every, single day mopping and dusting. If you are headed to your bedroom and you see your robe sitting on the dining room chair from this morning (actual scenario of my home, everyday), then please, take it with you! You are saving time, which is pretty much the most important thing we’ve all got! If there’s something sticky on the counter, wipe it up! This is probably one of the best lessons to teach your children as well. Get them in the habit too!
Straighten Up Before Crawling in Bed
- I know you’re already tired. Believe me, I have a toddler, I knoooow. But even if its something you don’t think will matter, it will! Are there towels on the bathroom floor that need to go in the laundry basket? Are your couch pillows EVERYWHERE but the couch? If so, do these little things before bed and its one less thing you’ve got to do tomorrow…or whenever you get around to it. My mom has ALWAYS had this idea. She used to make it a absolute point for the dishes to be done before going to bed. She didn’t care who did them, even herself, but they NEEDED to be done. Why? Once my Grandmare (my French grandmother, on my dad’s side) said that the last thing you want is to wake up not feeling well, and then have dishes to do. Well, my friends, I have personally experienced this (because I was stubborn, and didn’t listen) and it sucked. Just sayin’.
Clean While You’re Cooking
- As if I wanted to make cooking an even bigger ordeal for you. Once again, I know that it sounds redundant because you are literally in the process of making a mess. But trust me, even if you wash the prep stuff you used during prepping dinner, it will save time when dinner’s done. And hey, its not like you’ve got anything better to do while you waiting for your water to boil, right? Another thing my mom taught me. I do it now, but I used to just make the kitchen a disaster, then clean up afterwards. Well, I found out that after a delicious meal, its easier (and quicker) to clean up a small portion, than a big one.
- I cannot stress this enough. Does anyone else feel that when things are organized, it makes life better? We just moved, as you may know, and I am doing my best to organize our things. Everything must have a home, even if its a temporary home. When things are organized, we know exactly where they belong. So, by default, that makes cleaning quicker and easier. Because we are not racing around the house trying to find a home for something that should have already had a home.
- By focus, I mean on one room, or task, or “thing” at a time. By doing this, it helps us to actually get it done. As a mother, and wife, I can FEEL like I have cleaned the whole house, but when I look around, nothings done! The reason this is accurate is because we are moving from one thing to another, without ever finishing what we started! We end up exhausted, and expecting the house to be immaculate. This video is scary accurate!
Make Your Bed!
- I’ve said this before, and Ill say it again, and again, and again. Make your dang bed, girl! I’m telling you, it makes a world of difference. It makes the room look neater. It makes you feel accomplished, silly but true. And it also gives you a nice place to lay all the stuff your organizing and donating!
I hope some of these habits can be adapted to your lifestyle. Also, I want to mention that it is not about picking up all these habits at once, or ever. It is about picking and choosing what works for you.
Experiment a little bit. Tweak the habits. But please try them for a least a month before knocking them, and feeling defeated.
If you skip a day to make something a habit, then just continue the next.
Its not a race.
What are some habits you have developed along the way to help keep your home clean?
Boyes, Ph.D, A. (2018, December 20). 5 Thinking Habits of Tidy People. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201812/5-thinking-habits-tidy-people
Strasberg, K. (2017, February 17). 9 Habits of People Who Always Have a Clean Home. Retrieved from https://www.southernliving.com/home/organization/clean-house-habits
Tenhundfeld, C. M. (2016, June 29). The 12 Simple Habits Of People With Homes That Are Always Clean. Retrieved from https://www.simplemost.com/12-habits-of-people-with-clean-homes/
Tracy, B. (2018, March 29). 7 Steps to Developing a New Habit. Retrieved from https://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/seven-steps-to-developing-a-new-habit/