I am not a fan of cleaning, and if you are here, you may not be either. Today I will walk you through my daily rules that will keep your home clean so you can make a shortcut to a neater space. Keeping a clean home may be one of the reasons we all want to get better at how to declutter so if that is your goal, too, you are in the best place.
When I was younger I hated rules. Said probably every single person at one time or another. And the fact that you are here is not lost on me. But sometimes the rules that we hated as kids we tend to appreciate as we grew older.
I think, because of what those rules promised. They promised order. And order is one of those words you can really wrap your arms around because order means a neat home. Order means a debt-free budget. Order means a schedule that is easy to follow. Order means deadlines are always met.
Order means a clean home.
Now, before you think I am getting all Stepford Wives on you, let’s think about this idea for a minute. When I say order I am not talking about a Donna Reed family room with plastic-covered furniture and not a single thing out of place. Anywhere. Ever.
That is, not only, unrealistic it is if I am being completely honest, awful. Because in that case, order is trumping living and when you have a family, living is the most important thing.
Okay, so let’s back up. What is a healthy dose of order?
Just enough to keep your home from getting out of control. And a healthy dose of order might just be what the clutter doctor ordered. And for the sake of this simple and dare I say life-changing list, let’s use rules to help us get a bit more order in simple ways that will transform our homes.
Now THAT is something I can get excited about!
Daily Rules that Will Keep Your Home Clean
These are rules I have used for years because not only are they easy to implement they work amazingly well. Start with one and add in more as you get used to each one. Oh, and watch your home transform before your eyes!
Rule #1 Always Keep Your Bedroom Clean
This one rule right was an absolute game-changer for me. There is nothing better than heading off to bed after a long stressful day and being greeted by a neat and tidy bedroom with a lovely made bed. I can almost hear the stress of the day leaving my body as I enter that room. Always neat. Always tidy.
This is my number one rule, and even if you ignore the rest, I hope you don’t ignore this one.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you need to have a room that is clutter-free, and mess-free, so it is stress-free. Close your eyes in a neat and tidy room, and I guarantee you will sleep more soundly. Try to fall asleep in a messy and cluttered room and it’s like trying to fall asleep next to an airport. The noise of the chaos all around you keeps your mind moving and turning all night long. This is usually enough to make sleep time poor and interrupted.
The same is true for when you wake up.
Wake up in a neat and tidy room and you are taking the first step to getting out on the right side of the bed. If the first thing you see in the morning is piles of junk, strewn clothes, and opened messy drawers, your mind does a shift. One from waking up peacefully to waking up irritated as you are reminded of the state of your room.
The best part of keeping your room clean is this is YOUR room. That means any mess in there is all yours. And that, for me at least, makes it so much easier to deal with. When I constantly clean up after the family, I tend to get frustrated—but cleaning up after me? That I just do. Without even thinking.
Rule Reminder: Keep a neat and tidy bedroom and you will end and begin your days on the very best foot.
Rule #2. Give Things a Home so You Can Put Them Away
If you ask me what is clutter I will most definitely say, “Anything that doesn’t have a home.” It really is that simple. No matter what state your home is in. No matter what your rooms look like.
If you have a home for your things, you can put them away, and once you put the things away, your room begins to transform.
This rule really does hold true for just about everything. Let’s look at this more deeply so see what I mean.
Now that you know what clutter is, the next part is making it all easier to keep it put away off of the counters and off of the floor.
For that little task, I have a simple and timeless tip I learned from my grandmother. Never leave a room empty-handed. Such a simple tip that, for me at least, has been life-changing.
How it works.
Every time you leave a room, no matter what the reason, be sure you have something in your hands to put away.
- If you are leaving the family room to get a glass of water, be sure to take a few dishes from the coffee table with you.
- Heading to the bedroom to grab a sweatshirt? Why not take those new magazines you got in the mail today and put them on your nightstand?
- Did you just wake up and are heading into the kitchen for a cup of coffee? Gather up any used tissues or water bottles and take them with you.
The more you do this – the more this helpful tip becomes second nature. And the best part is you can easily teach this tip to your family. When you see someone heading out of the room, simply remind them to take something with them.
- Kids can take a handful of toys to their bedroom.
- Teens can take their dirty socks to the laundry room.
- Hubby can take that bag of chips to the kitchen.
Teamwork is what is going to really make this tip shine, so just give a gentle reminder to your family, and before you know it, your room will begin to transform.
Rule Reminder: Never leave a room empty-handed.
Rule #3. Do a room Reset every single day
This might just be my very favorite tip. EVER.
What is a room reset? A room reset is when you take a room back to start, aka neat and clutter-free, before you end (or begin) the day. This is when you do a full swoop of all the things.
To make this easier, I like to use a laundry basket. This way, I can gather up all the things in one pass and then walk my home to put all those things away.
This tip is now a part of my nightly routine. Just a few minutes in each of the main rooms our family uses, and I am able to wake up to neat and tidy every single day.
Rule Reminder: Take a few minutes to reset each room to neat before heading off to bed.
Rule #4. Have a Weekly Planning Day
For me, the start of the week is always Monday. That means Sunday is planning day. My day to do my weekly planning for both my home, my family, and my job.
Having a day set aside to map out a weekly plan really does help me to keep my schedules clutter-free and much easier to use.
It has now become a day I actually look forward to. Like a recap of the week before I have a chance to look over my list and see what I was able to get to. This helps me to make a more actionable list for the week ahead. One I can run with instead of hiding from like I used to do.
And apparently, I am not alone in this.
One of the biggest complaints I hear is the overwhelming to-do lists so many people have. There is just so much to do all the time and finding a way to set up a daily and weekly schedule might just be easier said than done.
According to the American Psychological Association, Almost half of all women (49 percent) say their stress has increased over the past five years. A frightening statistic but one I do think we can change. By finding a better way to create a list that makes sense and is more realistic for the time you have to spend on it, you will turn the corner in a sense giving you a bit of space to catch your breath.
Gone is the stigma of the busier you are, the better you are. And I, for one, am glad. Working smarter is the key to being happier and even more productive. And working smarter all comes down to creating a to-do list that is easy to follow.
More often than not, the issue is not with the things you need to do but instead the fact that you are not taking the time to organize and declutter your list.
Declutter your list? Is that even a thing?
If you looked at all those random scraps of paper you have scattered around your home and hiding in your purse, you might see that some of them (maybe even most of them) are small things. Second-long tasks, some of which you may have already done. And maybe even some you may no longer need or want to do.
Remove those things, and you are decluttering your to-do list and giving yourself a much more realistic list of things you need to do.
The easiest way to create a to-do list you can work with is by having a weekly planning session. A time when you grab all those random scraps of papers, half-made lists, paper clutter, mail, magazines, school papers, and anything else you can find scattered around your home and tackle it all at once. All on the same day, at the same time, every single week.
At first, this session may be a long one, but as time goes on and you widdle down all the scraps and paper, you will find it something you can do in just an hour rather than an entire afternoon. And by having this set time every week, you will be able to make a realistic list and one you are much better able to fit into your days.
Once your list is done, you can just follow along every day and let your mind relax as you start checking things off of your list. Maybe even more than you have ever done before.
Rule Reminder: Have a weekly planning session to create a to-do list you can follow along to without stressing out.
Rule #5. Have a Weekly Menu Planned
This rule, above all others, tends to get the most eye rolls, but for the life of me, I can never understand why.
Dinnertime chaos is a real thing, and I know many of my friends and family HATE to come up with dinner on the fly. Let’s face it if your day has already been a hectic one, coming up with a fast meal in minutes is going to be pretty much impossible.
When I started meal planning years ago, I was able to know ahead of time what was for dinner and, in some cases, even prep things in the morning. That one step was a game-changer when it came to keeping my kitchen neater.
When you are rushed, you tend to be a bit messy. Simply because you do not have time to put things away. The same is true when you are guessing, like…what should I make for dinner? When your mind is working to solve that problem, it is not there to help you solve the others, like, where do I put all this stuff in my arms? Oh yes, on the kitchen table for now. And sure, your intentions are reasonable, you completely plan to come back to those things later on and put them away. But more often than not, they just get pushed off to the side to make room for more things and more stuff after that until your kitchen looks more like a battlefield and not a space where your family gathers to eat.
Give yourself the gift of a weekly meal plan, and you will instead be able to put the things in your arms away because you know exactly what is on the menu. Relax, knowing dinner for tonight is already made because you put it in the crockpot that morning. Now you can be sure you are putting things where they belong and, in turn, keep your kitchen neater. Tidier.
Rule Reminder: Set up and use a weekly menu to keep your head calm and clear and your kitchen too!
If you want a neater home, one that is inviting and one you love to be in, then setting up just a few rules might be all that is standing between you and that goal.
Simple rules that you can incorporate into your day, making them a habit and not a chore. 5 Daily Rules that Will Keep Your Home Clean (er).