If you’ve been following along with my story (click here to read Part 1), you’ll remember that I don’t claim to have a perfect home. In fact, I don’t claim to even have a really clean home all the time. With that said, I have improved by leaps and bounds since I first got my own home and there are several ways that has happened.
Clear the Junk
First, as I mentioned before, I got rid of the clutter. We had so much stuff, it was very overwhelming. I remember literally crying over the amount to stuff in my home because I just didn’t know how to handle it. And even when I began my journey toward removing the excess stuff, I often froze in front of a pile of random junk because I just didn’t know where to even start. But as I did it a little more, it got easier. To make it easier, I used boxes labeled Give, Toss, and Keep. As I went though each category/room/pile, I put things into the box that was appropriate. My first “give” box was a bit sparse but as I did it more, that pile grew and grew. In fact, it got so much easier, it even became cathartic. Freeing.
Enjoy Your Things
Secondly, as I got rid of the clutter, I began to take better care of the things I decided to keep. As I got rid of massive amounts of unneeded stuff, I could see the things I liked and wanted in a different light. Not only that, I began to appreciate all of my belongings more. We tend to care for things better that we really love and use.
My third stage was learning to clean every day. This looks different for me most days. It’s not a set routine. That’s something I’m working on. For me, when I make a goal of cleaning everyday, it’s more like a goal of cleaning and/or tidying something that day. The goal is to leave a room or a space better than it was before. This tip is especially helpful for someone with young children. When you have littles, most days are simply about survival. And that’s normal. Sometimes the only thing I get clean is the kitchen. Or the laundry. Or maybe I tidy the desk one day. My goal is to clean at least one area of my home at least once a day. With that as my goal, I don’t get overwhelmed as easily. Sometimes I get more accomplished, sometimes I don’t get as much accomplished as I want to. But at least I’m doing something.
Fourth is organizing. My overall goal is to have a home that functions well. It should be practical and purposeful. Organization is key in this. I am still working on this, but nothing compares to a well organized space. I will be writing a lot about organizing in future posts, but for now, check out my Helpful Resources page if you’re in dire need of help in this area. I have many organizing resources for you there.
Amp up the clean!
The fifth step for me was upping my cleaning game. I mentioned this in step three, and it’s something I’m still working on: setting up a basic cleaning routine. I say basic because if it’s not simple, I won’t do it. For the most part, I still stick with my clean something rule. But I’m starting to implement cleaning certain things at certain times. For instance, every day around 4:30, I try to tidy the living room. I vacuum, have the kids pick up toys, fold blankets and wipe surfaces. Since I try to do this regularly, it only takes a few minutes. I also try to make sure I have an empty dishwasher at least once a day. This doesn’t always happen, and most of the time, I still have dishes in my sink, even after doing this, but I still try. Lastly, I try to have most of the high traffic surfaces wiped down at least once a day. Kitchen counter tops, dining room table and chairs, bathroom counters. Again, it doesn’t happen every day, but it’s a goal. Same as the living room, when this is regular practice, it takes only minutes.
Take pride in your work and home
My final idea is to simply start taking pride in your home. Doing the steps above will help with this. But I had to take pride in my home before I cared enough to do the work. And when I started doing the work, I began to care more about my home. It will help! I promise.
If you’re struggling to keep a clean home, know you’re not alone. Maybe some of these steps will help you! Comment below. What are some things that have helped you keep a cleaner home?