When it comes to housework, it’s never done, and if you’re not careful, it can pile up. All too easily, life can get busy, and tidying and cleaning habits can fall by the wayside.
There are some simple habits, though, that if done consistently, can go a long way toward preventing the kind of chaos in your space that leads to stress and shame.
If you aim to maintain a tidy and welcoming home, start with these habits first.
Never Go to Bed With a Messy Kitchen
At nighttime after dinner, you just want to relax and unwind. Think of your morning self and how happy you’ll be when waking up to a clean kitchen instead of one with dirty dishes to put away.
It takes just a few minutes to wash the dishes or put them into the dishwasher, wipe the floors and counters, and get the kitchen ready for the next day. You may even want to program the coffee maker for your morning self before settling in for the night.
Make Your Bed
When you wake up in the morning, maintain the habit of making your bed. A made bed makes the entire room look so much cleaner. It takes just a couple of minutes and becomes automatic if you do it at the same time every day.
Do One Load of Laundry a Day
Laundry is one of those things that pile up quickly. One way to avoid a dreaded mountain of laundry is to do one load, from start to finish, every day. So begin in the morning by loading the washing machine and ensure that you end your day with that load dried, hung or folded, and put away. It’s much easier to do one load than spend an entire weekend day doing laundry.
Set Your Timer for 10 Minutes
Another simple habit that makes a big difference is to clean up in short spurts. Use the timer on your microwave or phone and set it to a very manageable amount of time, like 10 minutes. Even if you really don’t feel like cleaning, you can do anything for 10 minutes, right? While the timer is running, dash around your home and clean, straighten, and tidy as much as you can. It’s no problem if you don’t finish to your standard of perfection. Instead, celebrate that you accomplished your goal of cleaning for 10 minutes. If you do that daily, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your home becomes the tidy, welcoming place you hope for.
Pair Chores With Enjoyable Activities
Let’s face it, even for the most positive among us, some chores are just not that much fun. When you’re tackling those you’re not jazzed to do, add an element of entertainment that makes it more fun for you. Blast your favorite playlist, listen to an enjoyable audiobook or podcast, or even indulge in some TV if that’s what helps.
Break Projects Into Tiny Chunks
You look around your home and wish it were more organized, cleaner, or differently decorated, just like the Instagram feed you scroll through too often. It’s easy to see all that you wish were different and to become overwhelmed by the dissonance between that and your current reality.
Rather than waiting to have time to dive into a huge project tackling all of these issues at once, identify the tiniest chunks of improvement you can possibly make. For example, don’t clean out your entire closet; instead, find five things inside to purge. Rather than reorganizing all of the kitchen cabinets, clean out one drawer. Relish small wins over and over. Keep going, and before you know it, you’ll love your home just the way it is.