Imagine coming home to a messy home with clothes and belongings thrown all over the place and covering all surfaces...the curtains and blinds closed, creating a dark atmosphere...bad smells because of trash that needs to be taken out...how do you feel? Maybe a little depressed and overwhelmed? Now imagine coming home to a home that feels clean and organized...everything is in it's place and surfaces are clutter free...the sunlight is shining in, making it feel bright and open...the air smells fresh...how do you feel? Happy to be home and ready to relax and enjoy some down time?
I know that many people have busy lives and don't feel that they have time to keep a tidy home, but I think that it is so important to make time. I truly believe that making that time will positively effect everything else; your work, your rest, your relationships, etc. Although, it's not easy, it can be done with a few simple steps. Keep this up every single day and before you know it, you will have created a habit you won't want to break.
1. Create a routine. The easiest way to keep a tidy house is to create a routine that works for you and then stick with it. For me, I like to wake up and take my morning walk with my sister. Then, when I come home, I get started. This routine has become a habit and I feel out of sorts when I don't get it all done (like when something comes up unexpectedly). No, I don't always want to tidy up and get these chores done, but I don't let myself do anything else until they are done. This forces me to deal with it and not procrastinate. So, when do you think would work best for you? When you first wake up? During a lunch break? As soon as you get home from work? Whenever it is, just stick with it! Better yet, make it a family routine. Get your children involved. This will mean less work for you and it will help them learn the responsibility of caring for a home.
2. Put things away. Everything that you own should have a place and that place should make sense. For instance, your bills and papers should have files or folders where they are stored. Your shoes and coats need a place or should go back in your closet each day. I suggest keeping your purse and keys by the door where you will always know where to find them. Don't let things pile up. An organized mess doesn't count as keeping things tidy.
4. Wash and put away dishes. I don't love cooking and my kitchen feels gross during the middle of this renovation, so this is even more important for me right now. Although I can't control the floors being gross and the insulation coming out of the studs and the lack of counter-space, I can control the dishes. Having the kitchen sink empty and clean reduces so much stress in the kitchen.
6. Play music. There's something so relaxing about coming into a clean, tidy, brightly lit room with soothing music playing softly in the background. This alone can create a more inviting environment. Ironman loves to play classical music, but we also have some favorite stations that we play through Pandora (it's free!). Turn off the TV and turn on the music. It will feel strange at first...and maybe a little empty. But, it can be so peaceful and creates a more open environment for conversation.
7. Diffuse essential oils. There's nothing worse than a house that smells like trash or unbathed pets. One of my favorite oils to diffuse is Young Living Purification Blend because it removes odors from the air naturally. I don't want to simply mask odors and I also don't want to use sprays and cleaners that leave behind harmful toxins. The great thing about diffusing essential oils is that you can also choose what to diffuse according to the environment you want to create. For instance, do you need more pep in your step? Diffuse Young Living Motivation Blend. Want to wind down before bedtime? Diffuse Young Living Stress Away Blend. There are thousands of options.
If you are already overwhelmed, I know that this sounds impossible right now. But, I promise you'll feel better if you start doing these things each day. If you want a home that feels comfortable, calm and secure, these daily tasks will definitely get you headed in the right direction.
Do you have a tip or trick that helps you keep a tidy home? If so, please share!