Heading into a new year is always a good time to evaluate one’s lifestyle and prepare for making improvements. Many take the year’s starting months to toss out the old and welcome in the new, and this often means trying to finally get the house clean (and to stay clean!)
People often struggle to get past the initial burst of ambition – frantically scrubbing room to room and pledging to stop leaving random items on that spot on the counter where things always seem to pile up – and find that chaos and clutter quickly settle back in.
The reason is likely not lack of motivation or effort, but rather, lack of a consistent sustainable cleaning routine, which is exactly what we’re going to cover in this article. But before you get started establishing a new routine that keeps your home clean, it’s helpful to consider what is causing a lot of the messes. In most cases, this is excess clutter that people simply don’t know what to do with.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when cleaning is kicking the can down the road on clutter. When you pick up items around the house that don’t really have a place or purpose, and then tuck them away in a short term hiding place, they will only reappear to haunt you later.
The start of the year is the perfect time to purge clothes, children’s toys and random odds and ends that you don’t have good use for. Remember to donate what you can and avoid tossing things in the trash that could be recycled or reused.
You may do an excellent job ridding your home of unnecessary items, but still find that many of your things don’t have a proper place to be stored. In these situations, note that this is also a good time of year to think about your storage options around the home. Upgrade storage systems in closets, cabinets and the garage. Spend a weekend organising kitchen drawers and cabinets to free up space and make items more easily accessible. Utilize furniture with storage space wisely, as well as vertical shelving.
Once things have their proper place, it is much easier to clean, and you’re ready to start forging new habits to keep your home as clutter-free as possible.
Establish Monthly, Weekly, Daily Routines
To avoid the snowball effect of a little mess becoming bigger and bigger without knowing where to begin, start thinking about cleaning in terms of monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.
You can search online for some great template cleaning checklists, but of course, your own living situation is likely to have needs that differ from another’s, so you will want to sit down and think out all of the necessary cleaning tasks and decide what should be done monthly, weekly, and daily.
The most helpful part of this in my experience is a thorough, but manageable, weekly schedule. It’s certainly helpful to have the big once-a-month tasks written out, as well as the daily habits to follow. But by having simple tasks spread across the week, you are far less likely to let things pile up or get neglected.
It also really helped me to create a standing checklist for each day of the week with different tasks, print them and keep them on the fridge so I can see them every day. I tried to structure each day with similar tasks. For instance, Mondays we tackle floors, surfaces and toy clutter, and Tuesdays we focus more on scrubbing things such as appliances, cooking surfaces, toilets and mirrors, and so on. If you are forgetful like I am, this is a great way to stay on top of your tasks and manage clutter.
Decide How Often to Hire House Cleaners
For busy families, it might seem impossible to adequately keep up with a thorough cleaning routine, and it might be a good idea to get an extra hand. To make this easier, consider having a set frequency rather than just doing it “as needed.”
Keep Expectations Realistic
Lastly, know that while it’s possible to radically change the way you maintain a tidy home, it takes a lot of time for new habits and routines to set in. Be kind to yourself and keep reasonable expectations as you embark on a journey to reinvent your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning duties. And remember that even at our best, life happens and there will always be messes. But with a little structure and organization, you can still take a lot of the stress out of cleaning up and make the most of our home!
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