I am a sucker for blog posts with enticing titles offering tips and trick to keep my house clean. I recently saw a post about twenty things people do on a daily basis to keep a tidy house, and I just about went bananas. TWENTY THINGS. Without clicking, I conjured up a list in my head and stopped at ten because twenty things seem impossible for the average person.
This year I reimagined what kind of home I want to keep, and it’s inspired new routines and the way I look at my space and interact with my things. My house is a reflection of how I see life–a work in progress. I’m not done organizing or decorating, and I’m totally okay with that. My house is far from what some would consider clean, but on most days, my house is clean enough for me.
Five tips for having a cleaner and happier home:
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Your home should be a judgement free zone
Have you ever gone over to a friend’s and she profusely apologies for the state of her house? Do you insist that her house is fine, and that it’s not a mess at all. You say, “Oh please, you should see my place!” My guess is you’re very familiar with this type of exchange. If you don’t judge your friend for the state of her home, why are you judging yourself so harshly? Your home should be a judgement free zone.
Little messes exist wherever we dwell because that’s where we live. Let’s work on being proud of our homes, no matter the state they’re in at any given moment.
How you judge someone else’s home says nothing about them and everything about you
If you find yourself inwardly cringing at your friend’s house and thinking, “Ugh, get it together, sister. Your house is a dump,” I implore you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Judging someone else because their home is not to your standard is a reflection of your own internal struggle to feel good enough. Being critical is the result of insecurity, and while mocking and judging may create a sense of superiority, it also seriously undercuts any potential for true friendship.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but let’s minimize this kind of negative thinking and focus on positivity instead. An attitude adjustment can go a long way in making a home happier.
Figure out what works for you and don’t get fatalistic
I’m a messy person, but I’m trying to reform. I haven’t perfected a system for keeping my home truly neat, but I haven’t given up yet. One area I really struggle with is my son’s toy collection.
After Christmas my husband and I read the now infamous The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Marie Kondo helped us confront our issues with purging items that had been gifted to us. We were able to effectively sort this massive toy pile into bags we dropped off for donation and organized what we kept in our underutilized storage cubes and baskets.
Keep going until you figure out which method of cleaning and organizing works best for you, because dear reader, I don’t want your loved ones to have you removed from your home via crane when you’re old and senile and have forgotten the way to your front door.Was it over the tupperware collection and through the plastic bags or was it under the freebie water bottles and over the Time magazines?
It’s okay to take cleaning shortcuts
I run our robot vacuum every day. You heard me, I have a Roomba, and I love it. I was not always so on board with a robot vacuum (they’re not cheap!), but I’ve become so dependent on my Roomba over the past ten years that I’ll definitely shell out more money to replace it immediately when this one dies. My Roomba vacuums my house EVERY DAY, so I’m still way ahead of the game even if the Roomba doesn’t get corners so well and occasionally eats a sock.
Swiffer mops and dusters, Clorox wipes, and other convenience cleaning items can be worth a little extra expense. I don’t have access to laundry facilities or a a utility area directly in my condo, so it’s unrealistic for me to keep a hoard of wet, dirty cleaning rags or a dirty mop hanging around. I know I can save money by cutting out these convenient indulgences, but realistically I know I won’t clean regularly if it’s more difficult.
Decide what is clean enough for you
I would love to have a spotless kitchen, but I’ll settle for doing the dishes every night. I make the bed and run the Roomba every day without fail. My husband takes out the trash, cat litter, and diaper pail every night. Anything else we accomplish on top of that is gravy.
Maybe your list of what must get done on a daily basis is very long or maybe it’s very short like mine. Whatever you decide works for you is clean enough, and you should be so proud of yourself.
Are there any cleaning tips or tricks that really work for you? Have your perspectives on housekeeping changed over time?