If you read my post yesterday, then you have learned how to get you house in order. If you have not read it yet, you can find it here: Controlling Clutter and Getting your House Organized.
Now, the bigger problem (at least for me) is how to keep your house organized. It is so easy to slip back into old habits and before you know it, your house is a pig sty again.
I have found some tips over the years to help me stay on “the straight and narrow” and I want to share my infinite wisdom with you (just joking, I’m not that wise but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve).
One thing I need to tell you. In order to make this work is you need to keep doing these things until they become a habit and feel like second nature. Usually that takes about a month. Just keep at it. It well definitely make your life easier.
First of all, we are going to assume you did the steps in my previous article and your house is now clean and organized. Now you want to keep it that way. Below are some of my best tips.
- Schedule monthly, bi-weekly and weekly jobs onto your calender. I put them on my google calender, which sends me an email reminder but you can put it on any calender you check regularly. An example of the jobs is, the first week of every month I wash my comforter, clean out the frog habitat, and give the fridge and freezer a good cleaning. Every week, I wash the sheets on my bed and mop the kitchen floor. Every other week I give the dogs a bath.
- Get in the habit of doing things on the same day. For example, laundry on Monday, deep cleaning on Tuesday, gardening on Wednesday, grocery shopping on Thursday.
- Clean up spills and messes as they happen if possible. It will save you time in the long run because the longer a spill sits, it “sets” and hardens which makes it harder to clean.
- Have several times through out the day when you go through the rooms you use the most and just de-clutter. This is especially important to do if you have kids or a messy hubby. Ideally, they have been trained to pick up after themselves but either way, stuff seems to manifest in the rooms you use the most. So just pick it up and put away or throw away. I do these “straighten ups” at the same times through out the day. When I come downstairs (because others get up before me and have already left for work). I also do it after I put the baby down for a nap. Lately though, I have been doing it before I put her down for a nap and I get her to help me. I’m training her early. I also do it after I have finished the dinner dishes and before I go to bed. You don’t have to do it as much as I do. Adjust it according to your family’s lifestyle.
- Multitask. I know multitasking has fallen out of favor but I find it works well, particularly if one of the things you are doing requires very little concentration. For example, I may clean out a desk drawer while chatting on the phone, or fold laundry while watching television.
- Chunk your time. If you are putting off a job because it seems too daunting, just make yourself do it for 10 minutes. Set a timer. I bet when the timer goes off, you will continue with chore.
- Use boring housework time as learning time or fun time. I use my ipod while I’m cleaning and listen to an audio book, a podcast or just some energizing music. By the way, when I listen to the music, I usually clean faster. If you have your kids or someone else helping you, turn up the stereo so the music can pump all of you up while cleaning.
- Get kids in the habit of picking up after themselves. If you start them young, you will save yourself years of grief. I’m the voice of experience here. I am training my grand daughter that every time she pulls a toy out to play with, she needs to put the one she was playing with before away. It’s what I call, the one toy in, one toy out rule.
So I hope these tips will help you keep that house nice and clean. Please leave me a comment if you found anything helpful here. And also tell me any of your own tips that help you keep your house organized and clean.