Hey my loves! Good morning… It’s a quarter to 11 am and I am done with all my morning chores. I was going through my messages and I find one similar question popping up. How to keep the house organised? Indeed it is one thing to work on that one huge project of cleaning and organising the home but how do you keep it clean and tidy? Here are my Five Tops Methods to Maintaining a Clean Home.
- One Touch Rule
The first and very important thing is to put something away immediately after you use it. DO NOT pick it up and put it in a convenient space out of the way because believe me it might end up never moving from there. So, pick it up as soon as you are done and put it back.
If you find that you are often not putting something back, it could be for a few reasons and one of them is that the “home” is not convenient, it is too high up or too far from where you tend to use it. Let’s deal with those situations in the next tip.
2. Creating Homes for Everything
Right, so you keep being told that everything should have a “home”, simply said that means there should be a specific space for every single thing in your home. Believe me that is the only way to ensure that you do not have things sitting on the countertops.
Now we go back to the above problem of not putting things back where they belong. If the home is too high up, too low down or too far away, and you find yourself constantly leaving things in another area, then you need to modify the home. Find a more practical space, something that takes less effort. Buy a basket or dedicate space in a drawer for things like these. I will discuss with you what keeping things intuitively means to me in another post.
It is very important to declutter, it is like doing a detox. There are always things that need to be removed and purged from the home. This should be done constantly and regularly. We buy new things which are meant to replace old items that no longer serve their function. This means, the old item has to be donated, given away or thrown out. You should NOT be keeping the new item alongside the old one.
Secondly, you need to be doing some decluttering maybe monthly. This is more for clothes and books or magazines. Look through your things. See what you wear, what you don’t or what you no longer want to read and discard those objects.
4. Have Routines
There is no way you can keep your house clean without having routines. You need your daily cleaning routine and then the weekly routine, a monthly routine etc. While daily routines are very universal for almost everyone plus and minus a few chores, the weekly routine is much more personal.
You need to see what your personal style of cleaning is.
- Cleaning by Area
This is also known as cleaning by zone. If you like cleaning one complete room in a day, doing all the chores needed, then this is the method for you.
- Cleaning by Chore
On Monday, you want to get your mop out and mop all the floors, on Tuesday, you want to wash all the bathrooms… maybe this is your method.
- Cleaning by Need
This is a secondary method used by some homemakers. Whereby they keep a lookout for what needs doing around their home and then pick a day of the week that they want to do it. Although they still favour either method a) or b), they miss out a day and replace it with this secondary method.
There is no right or wrong so any method you prefer is what is suitable for you.
- Cleaning by Day
Some of us work from home or work outside the home and are unable to clean every day, then maybe you clean by day, cramming everything into the weekend or on your day off. Great! If that works for you, then that is your style. You are a weekend warrior or a day-off dwarf, whistling your way through everything that needs done.
5. Who are you cleaning for?
Ask yourself this question the next time you get frustrated with cleaning. Who exactly has asked you to do all this cleaning? Where is this rule that says you need to do all this work? It’s all in your mind. You are house proud and you want to be a good homemaker. This cleaning is essential to your peace of mind. So why are you nagging your husband and scolding your kids? They are quite happy leaving things the way they are. So, it is not about nagging them but about gradually shifting their habits. Scolding and nagging will never give you the results you seek. Instead, you can try other methods.
- Inspire by example
Show your children and husband how much you appreciate the little things that they do to help you. Ask them to help you, so they get to spend more time with you. Make cleaning together part of your evening routine. You will be surprised how even little children love to help. You can even use rewards to create good habits. A friend of mine would reward her children with a treat if they cleaned up after themselves throughout the day and it worked.
As they grow older and realise that they need to put their things away so they know where to get them from the next time, they will understand. If they see that you always know where things are because you keep them back where they belong, they will follow your example.
This is a more drastic method but it is often needed if the children and husband (sorry!) are more resistant or you can say stubborn and refuse to help. STOP DOING THEIR CHORES! Do what needs doing around the house but stop doing the tasks that they should be doing, especially in their rooms. Ignore the clothes they throw around, only wash those that are properly placed in the laundry basket. If necessary don’t even clean their room. If they want to be difficult then you will need to be a bit of a hard-core disciplinarian too. Again, it is entirely up to you whether you choose this method or not, but it does work!! When they have no clean clothes, or their room is a mess and their sheets are dirty, they will grumble, I admit they will grumble but they will do the needful and slowly it becomes a habit!!!
I hope these ideas work for you as they have worked well for many of the ladies I counsel. I wish you well and I hope you create your own style of cleaning.
Happy Homemaking !