The new year is quickly approaching! And here we all sit, surrounded by leftover Christmas cookies, piles of wrapping paper, and scrawled to-do lists lying in wait around the house. Is it just me, or does clutter accumulate during holidays more than any other time of year? 🙂
Cleaning and organizing are common New Years resolutions. I’m one of those people who gets great satisfaction out of time spent cleaning (washing dishes as the exception), and the reason I enjoy cleaning so much stems from advice I’ve heard and taken to heart over the years. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the holiday mess in your home like me, here are
3 of my very favorite cleaning tips:
The 1-Touch Rule //
I found this concept a long time ago on a blog called Mother’s Niche and I absolutely love it! It’s pretty common-sense but once you start thinking this way, you’ll find that you’re more apt to actually take that receipt where it’s supposed to go, rather than leave it on the dining table. Hypothetically. 🙂 Here’s how the author’s husband explained the rule to her:
“Let’s say you come in from outside and take off your jacket. You then conveniently drape your jacket across the back of the couch and go about your next activity. Next, someone comes over and wants to sit on our couch so you quickly move it to the counter. Later you are making dinner so you finally move your jacket to your closet. How many times did you touch the jacket before you put it away? 3 Touches. Let’s say you come home, take your jacket off and put it straight in your closet…how many touches would that be?” [My husband] then excitedly exclaimed “ONE TOUCH!” And then he grinned as if he had just given me all the secrets to a successful life.
Simplify Visual Space //
I’m convinced that what we see plays a large part in how clean we deem our house to be. One of the many valuable things my wise mom has taught me is this: simplify the visual space.
So even if all of those notebooks, pens, and sticky notes are supposed to be on your desk, if they are all spread out and piled haphazardly, your desk will still look messy! Our eyes and therefore our minds can easily become overwhelmed by visual clutter. So stack the notebooks or store them vertically out of the way, take the time to stick the pens in a pencil cup, throw away any wrappers, and lay the sticky notes nicely off to the side.
This rule works wonders on any flat surfaces. If I only have a half-hour to clean the house, I attack the counters and tables first, then the floor. It’s amazing what simplifying visual space can do – organizationally and for your mood!
One quick reminder: simplifying visual space does not mean pushing your clutter into a closet! I’ve tried this one before. Ha. Hiding the mess is not the same as addressing the mess. It’s worth it to sort through it if you’ve got the time! 🙂
Time Challenges //
Timing yourself to do something may seem well, elementary, but the hilarious thing is that it really works! No, I’m not talking about stopwatches. I call this cleaning strategy “see how much I can accomplish during…” 🙂
The trick is to find what can motivate you. Blast some upbeat music through the house while you clean and tell yourself, “Let’s see how much I can get done during this one song!” I do this all the time. (Sometimes I even see what all I can straighten up while my tea steeps!!) It’s great how much you can clean if you’re cleaning like you’ve got a deadline to meet; the reverse is sitting down and yawning and getting distracted… I know that one from experience, too. 🙂
All in all, I find that the most motivating way to get myself to do something is I tell myself, If the reason I don’t want to clean that is simply laziness, then I have to get up and do it. 🙂
What are your cleaning tips? What works for you? I’d love to hear your advice!