Are your counters overflowing with clutter? Do things get lost in your house? Perhaps you are embarrassed to bring company over? You’re not alone and you’re not without hope.
Action is impossible without determination. Ask yourself why cleaning is important. If you’re looking for the motivation to clean, rather stick to determination. It’s much easier to come by. There are things that can motivate us to clean. But only determination will turn motivation into action. Determination drives you forward even if you have no motivation, yet.
Finding Your Determination
Before we find our motivation, we should be determined to have a clean house. Without both, we slack and find excuses to leave the dishes for tomorrow. Your reasons can be practical or emotional. List a few, for example:
- A dirty kitchen makes me depressed and angry
- A clean house makes me happy
- Cleanliness is next to godliness
- I have to keep my family healthy, a clean house is important
- It helps me relax
- I got to get rid of the piles
- I can’t function in chaos
- I want a pleasant home for my family
- My children are happier when the house is clean
- It makes my husband happy when I am a tidy person
Find out what motivates you and feed it. Watch YouTube channels that will encourage and teach you to clean and organise. It is often easier to clean when we see others do it. If you sit down to watch, then ditch this method and find something that works for you. Music could also be helpful. Set an alarm for ‘cleaning time’ each day and stick to it.
Know When to Clean What
Have you ever seen those shows where OCD sufferers clean their toilet a thousand times a day? Or of the hoarder that throws their trash away only when some rescue team shows up to do it for them? Learning to find a balance is important.
There will be days where your house isn’t clean or tidy. Learning to overcome the habits that led it to that place is important. Learning to accept one or two days a week where the house is chaotic, can keep us sound.
- Tidy: A tidy house is organized (hopefully the drawers too).
- Clean: This house is free of dust, grime, and dangerous germs. Tidy isn’t clean, we should note the difference.
These are the areas that we should work on regularly. If you clean as you go you won’t need to clean each room every day during your cleaning time. I generally divide cleaning and tidying tasks as follows:
- Livingroom and Diningroom
Clean as You Go
This is a principle that I earned during my consumer science studies. Whenever you’re doing something, find a way to clean at the same time. Here are a few handy tips to keep your home clean and tidy:
- Put two things in place when you walk through a room.
- Clean when the microwave or oven’s timers are running, or when the kettle is boiling.
- Tidy-up your surrounding area when you’re in the bathroom (showering, brushing teeth, and bathroom breaks).
- Clean the bathroom while you wait for warm water or the tub to fill.
- Clean during short breaks if you work from home.
- While watching a movie with family, or kids, have a 20:20 interval timer.
- If you have a show you want to watch, fold laundry or clean as you watch.
- Use your work or study breaks to clean.
There are many ways to clean as you go. The kitchen is always the danger zone of the house. When cooking or baking, never move on to the next task unless you complete the first. When you use something in the kitchen, finish using it and put it away. Then, take out the next thing you need and complete that task. Having 700 things on the counters at once means you’ll spend 7 hours afterwards to clean.
Declutter With Wisdom
I believe in practicality. Keep only what you use and use what you keep. If you really use two laundry machines every week, keep it. If you buy extra electronics for when something breaks, toss or sell the old items. Save money and buy something only when you need it.
Pay attention to the things you use, and invest in creating a home that suits your needs. Simplicity is the foundation for practicality. Having less isn’t always practical. Having too much isn’t either. Here are a few tips.
- Furniture: Decide how you want your home to ‘run’. Keep the things that build towards a practical and peaceful home and donate or toss (if broken) the rest
- Clothes: Dedicate a space for everything in your closet. When you have more things than you have space for, toss it. Unless you have almost no storage space, don’t buy storage solutions to stuff with unworn and unwanted clothes. Don’t keep things you never wear and don’t toss things you need
- Cutlery: Have guest cutlery and family cutlery. Keep the family cutlery cupboard small and simple. Having too many cutlery means too many dishes means too little time to enjoy life. Only buy utensils and tools you will use Toss the ones you’ve never used even if they were expensive. Toss also includes selling, so don’t panic
- Consumables: Listen to the space available to you. Don’t buy more than you can store. Don’t buy more than you will use. It is straightforward. Always have at least one back-up of the essentials
I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to know what works for you. Knowing to listen to the space in your home is important. Learning to fill your space with what you need only, is the key to practical and peaceful living. Having a big home doesn’t mean you should hoard either. Balance your space with what you actually use. The more you have the more you need to clean and maintain.
Learn to be content with what you have. Having the newest and best isn’t always what is best for us. Don’t be caught up in consumerism. Stand your ground and spend your money wisely.
Keep it Simple
Once you figure out what you need, learn to manage it. Living practically does not mean living with nothing. It means living only with the things you need. People also need other things, like hobbies and entertainment and a place to host people. Humans are not simple beings.
Your needs are those things that add value to your life. It does not burden or complicate life. You don’t need a bigger house, unless you need more space for more people. You don’t need a new car, unless yours is broken and too old to maintain.
People with many possessions have more to worry about, more to clean. More things break, are stolen, and are controlling their lives. Materialism seems wonderful, but it is a spider’s web. Control yourself. Live simply and wisely. A home is a sanctuary, not a storage container. If you really can’t let go of everything, rent a storage container.
If you’re a clutter bug, learn to respect your family, keep your stuff in your own space or storage container (like tools, or furniture you want to restore, etc). If we love someone we try our best not to burden them. Learn to love people more than stuff. If someone told you you’re too messy, work on it. Stubbornness and the unwillingness to change damages precious relationships.
Set time aside to clean and tidy every day. Put some energetic music on and clean as if it’s a gym routine- fast paced full effort. It’s good for your health and for your time management. Target the most obvious messes first. try to have set days for things like laundry, scrubbing floors and taking out the trash. Time yourself as you clean. This helps you to keep up the speed and to decide how much time to set aside each day.
A clean house adds value to your life and benefits our wellbeing. A clean house helps us to remain calm. Keeping it simple is the key to keeping it clean. Listen to your space, consider others, keep what you use and use what you keep, and clean as you go. One last thing – your house should be livable, so avoid becoming obsessed and uptight about it. A home is a sanctuary, not a show-house.