I’ve not always been the cleanest person. Honestly, for a while I was probably the dirtiest person. Something about cleaning always made me procrastinate. There was once a day where I would rather sit and do a billion math problems that I don’t even know how to do before cleaning anything. It never made any sense though. At work I was always the cleanest employee and I always felt happy cleaning, so why was my house so dirty? I didn’t like living in filth and I never felt settled. For some reason, I just couldn’t get motivated to clean.
If it made me so unhappy, why didn’t I just clean? Why wouldn’t I just put in even a little effort to make my home better? Well, because it never felt like home.
I’ve always rented, so I never settled in. Something about living in a place that someone else owned never felt right to me. I never felt like it was mine, so I never settled in, so things never had a place, so how could I even clean if nothing actually had a place to be put away? I didn’t even feel like I had a place in my home. I’m such a homebody but I’ve never been very good at creating a comfortable home environment. Things in my life felt temporary for a very long time and it wasn’t until I moved into my current rental that I actually figured out how to find the motivation to keep my house clean.
KEEPING A CLEAN HOUSE
LIGHT A CANDLE
Scent is the ultimate way to make any space feel like home. In our core, we’re animals. We have instincts that are not so different from any mammal that walks this earth. Scent tells us when something is good or bad. There are scents that bring us back to a memory. I specific place where that scent was prevalent. It’s no surprise that our homes can be the same. Finding a candle or some kind of scent to fill any space you occupy. This will make it your and in turn, you’ll want to take better care of it.
BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
Maybe it’s just me, but when I have a fresh bouquet of flowers in a vase I feel fresh. Flowers have always been a staple of a clean home so it makes sense that they would motivate you to keep a clean house. They are a reminder that you deserve nice things. Flowers aren’t just meant for the cleanest and most successful people, and neither is a clean house. Give yourself the home refresh you deserve to remind yourself that you are good enough for a clean home.
FOLLOW THE 60 SECOND RULE
Now it where the cleaning starts. Whenever you see something that needs to be done, if it can be done in 60 seconds or less, do it now. Don’t put it off, don’t wait to do it along with another task. Waiting will only give your future self more work. When you take care of quick tasks in the moment, you’re more likely to actually do it. After all, would you rather take care of cleaning that one plate now or wait until you have ten to do?
DO A MORNING, AFTERNOON, AND NIGHT RESET
Personally, it takes about 10 minutes to reset my house. So in 3, ten minute sessions, my house goes back to impeccably clean. Doing these 3 resets throughout the day will help even out the work load. When we wait and do everything at once, it makes simple tasks seem daunting and our motivation to get it done deteriorate with every skipped reset. Do yourself a favor and add these resets into your daily routines. Your reset may take more than ten minutes, it may take less. Either way, it’s better than doing it all at once and it will keep your house looking consistently clean.
CLEAN AS YOU GO
Going along with the 60 second rule, before you walk away from a task, clean it up. Whether you’re cooking, crafting, or snacking. If there’s a mess, clean it up before moving on. A clean house is not something that has to take up all your time. When you make a point to not call a task complete until it has been cleaned up, it will help you to keep your house clean without feeling like you’re cleaning.
GIVE EVERYTHING A PLACE
Decluttering may not be for everyone, but having a home for your things should be. Personally, I had to declutter to avoid overwhelm. If you don’t want to declutter, it at least helps to at least categorize your things and spaces. Things you rarely use can go in storage (attic and garage), things you sometimes use can be put away in easy storage (cabinets and closets), and things you always use can be put on display. When everything has a place, you’re more likely to put it away. It helps you avoid deciding in the moment where something can go and makes putting it away a second thought.
KEEP A SCHEDULE
For actual cleaning tasks, keep a schedule. Your home doesn’t have to be spotless all the time, so spread out your cleaning tasks to avoid avoiding a “cleaning day.” Maybe sweep one day, dust another, etc. A clean house is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t have to take over our days. If we do a little bit at the same time everyday, it will become so second nature that we’ll barely notice we’re doing it.
Photo by Kate La Vie