I recently asked you all how you keep your home in a liveable, not-too-messy state, and you responded with all sorts of great tips, most of which I plan to implement myself.
Photo by storebukkebruse.
'Keeping house' is something my grandmother has always excelled at. Not only does every dish, appliance and Snowbaby have a very specific place that it mustn't be moved from, but she has a very strict dusting schedule that keeps those aforementioned Snowbabies looking their best.Read more
There were a lot of clever ideas, and the below five stuck out as particularly beneficial:
Give Everything a Home That Fits Your Habits
As Fing Fang Flareon points out, it’s much easier to organise in accordance with your natural impulses, rather than against them:
Give things a home that works with your habits. Don’t fight where you drop things without thinking because ‘it shouldn’t go there’. Screw that, make that place where it belongs. Put a bowl on that table for the keys, or a hook on the wall for your coat. If you drop your dirty clothes in the same spot in the bedroom, then put a hamper or basket there. The same thought goes with your kitchen and bathroom storage – put things where they make sense for you.
Schedule Cleaning Around Something Entertaining
If you have a hard cleaning on a regular basis, try StarryNight17’s trick of making a date with weekly podcast:
My best tip: Find a weekly audio podcast you like and listen to that while cleaning.
>Perfect for scheduling. The podcast comes out every week and usually will be the same length every week, so it makes it cleaning nearly automatic – every Wednesday evening when the new episode is released, I’m spending 45 minutes cleaning my apartment.
>Auditory medium, so it’s less distracting than TV.
>Many podcasts are easy to zone in and out of, so if you happen to miss a few sentences because you’re suddenly focused on that stubborn spot on the counter, it’s easy to get back in.
Clean in Quick Spurts During the Week
Rather than try to do several hours of chores after a long day at work (or saving it all for the weekend), Melissa Hermes cleans in one or two 15-minute blasts:
Still trying to master it but I have found a few things. I do a quick 15min run through as soon as I get home. Any major clutter is picked up and I can see what else needs to be done. Energy level pending, I spend another 15 min on things like putting laundry away. We also have a list on the fridge of little things that need to be done like dusting the ceiling fans. Lastly, our second bedroom is our office. We have it off limits to baby and most other people. Most of the mess is regulated to that room. We don’t see it feasible to have our sewing table and such clean.
Don’t Worry About What Mum Would Say
Though you may be a product of your raising, it doesn’t mean you have to conform to your mamma’s standards of cleanliness. As Rae wisely points out, it’s all about maintaining standards that are right for you. You should read all five points of Rae’s comment, but their last point really spoke to me:
1) Believe that my standards are perfectly fine even if my mother maintains that I’m a slob — this means bathroom and kitchen are sanitary, floors aren’t sticky, it’s okay for clean dishes to hang out on the counter in a drying rack, and laundry isn’t piled up on every surface, but dusting often is only done once a month and true deep clean of everything (including the inside of closets and cabinets) is done once a quarter;
2) Be super organised and not have a lot of useless knickknacks around means that when I’m ready to clean, it takes minutes to put everything in its place so that I have nice clean surfaces to wipe down;
3) Not having had easy access to laundry for most of my adult life, giving myself permission to use paper towels and Lysol-type wipes instead of rags and cleaner was absolutely life changing (it’s so easy to grab a wipe every evening and wipe down all the bathroom surfaces;
4) Having company over regularly;
5) Probably most important — visiting the homes of all sorts of people from different walks of life has helped me get over my ridiculous notion that the only cleaning standards that matter are the ones that I was raised with, which are not realistic for a single person who works 12+ hours a day at her business to maintain. There are plenty of midway points that are perfectly acceptable. For so much of my life I thought that since I couldn’t reach my mother’s standards, then there was no point in even trying to keep a nice home. Now, I have a clean comfortable home that I can easily maintain. I’ll never be a person who thinks it’s necessary to wake up at 6AM on Saturday to spend the whole day cleaning, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a person who has no problem cleaning and resetting the kitchen every evening at 9PM because that’s just what works with my circadian clock.
Have a Place to Hide Clutter
According to Taco Bebe, having a place where you can put crap you just don’t want to deal with right now can be very helpful:
Not sure if this is in the spirit of “neat and tidy”, but having a private place for clutter. In my house, that is our guest bedroom and our office. Guest bedroom is a good staging area for things that need to go in to storage but I don’t want to deal with yet. Our desks are for paperwork and personal BS. Having privately messy spaces makes it a lot easier to keep the rest of the house tidy.
Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my clutter box. If the concept feels a little lazy to you, think of it less like “procrastinating” and more like “prioritising”.