It is a rare person who loves to do housework. For most of us, cleaning house is an arduous and tedious chore, usually compounded by the fact that well, the whole house is going to just get messy again! There are actually a whole lot of benefits to cleaning your house and keeping it that way, if you need the motivation.
For instance, by sweeping dust, allergens, and grime away, you can see a marked improvement in any respiratory issues you may have; an astounding number of people are irritated or downright allergic to dust mites, so evicting those little buggers are a great way to literally clear the air (though coupling your cleaning routine with a little allergy defeating acupressure certainly won’t hurt, as you can learn in this course!).
Also, a clean house can be a great stress buster! Clutter can be a big source of stress for a whole bunch of reasons: clutter is like stimulus overload, it can feel “noisy” and put us on edge. Learn more about dealing with stress with this course.
It also prevents us from getting what we need by making it hard to find the things “that were just here a second ago!”, right? Running late is stressful, running late and having no earthly idea where those stupid car keys went is even worse! So there are a lot of great reasons to clean your house. But then what? A lot of us clean only to wonder how to keep the house clean after we’re done. We might spend days scrubbing and dusting only to find that all of our hard work is undone in just a few hours!
We’ll take a look at some of the strategies that you can employ to get your house clean, and how to keep your house clean when the work is all done!
Help! Where Do I Even Start?
When you are confronted with a messy, cluttered, or grimy house, it can be tough to even know where to begin! You can easily feel overwhelmed, defeated, and yes, even a little embarrassed! Try to banish those negative feelings. They won’t help with your ultimate goal-finding strategies on how to keep your house clean-and while they are completely natural feelings to have, there isn’t any need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. As we stated before, cleaning house doesn’t rank very high on a lot of people’s lists of fun ways to spend a weekend, so you are not the first (and definitely won’t be the last!) person to ever stand in a cluttered living room, scratching your head and wondering how to begin.
The answer to the question “where do I start?” is a simple one: anywhere! Of course, that’s easy to say and more difficult to actually put into practice, so let’s break it down. And we do mean break it down! The fact is, any job, no matter how large or small, is easiest when it is tackled in pieces.
The first thing you will need to do is establish a time frame. Learning how to set realistic goals and achieve them is a great place to start. Learning how to banish that little procrastination gremlin with some proven time management techniques is a great next step! Once you’ve got that under your belt, it’s time to *gulp* get down to business!
A great technique to use is to decide what you need to work on. You might find that you have reasons all your own. Do you want to start in the room that you need to clear out for a particular reason? Or is there a particularly heinous spare bedroom that demands you’re attention immediately? Whatever your reason, don’t focus on your whole house right away. Start with one room. Then break it down even further! Start with one corner of one room, or even one shelf in one corner of one room. Just start somewhere! Break the big task (how to keep your house clean) into a smaller one (how to keep one area clean) you will probably find that once you get going, you will build up steam and it may even be tough for you to take a break!
Oh My Gosh! I Never Realized I Had So Much Stuff!
Once you start to dig in, you’ll probably notice something right away. You’ve got a whole lot of stuff! Not to worry, we all do! So what will you do with this new found knowledge, which may present a challenge for you to overcome?
Well, you will have to make a decision: trash it or stash it. Admittedly, this isn’t always an easy decision to make. After all, many objects and items hold not just monetary value, but sentimental value as well. You’ll need to perform something of a “sniff test” to decide whether you will trash or stash. Don’t worry, we will walk you through it with an easy-peasy checklist.
Here’s how to decide if you need to trash something:
- How long has the item been languishing in your home? If you haven’t used something in 2+ years, that’s a good indication that it’s time to make like Queen Elsa and let it go.
- Do you have more than one of an item? If you have doubles or triples of something, choose the one that’s in the best condition and send the other(s) on its way.
- Is the item broken, unsightly, or outdated (we’re looking at you, guy with the fax machine cable squirreled away in a closet)?
- Will you miss the item if it’s gone? If not, file it away in file 13.
- If the item is clothing is it unsightly, ill-fitting, or not yours? Sometimes we end up holding on to parachute pants or shirts we wore in high school just hoping the trend will come around again. It won’t. Buh-bye.
- Can someone else get better use of the item? Not everything has to be trashed. You can donate items if you think someone else can benefit more from the stuff you’ve been holding on to, if not for any other reason than because you think it would be a shame to toss it. Simply start a “donate” pile, and be sure to follow through!
And whether you should stash it instead:
- Does the item have significant sentimental value?
- Does the item have significant monetary value?
- Is it an item that can be easily stored and accessed? Keeping something is of no use if you can’t get to it, after all. Of course, you may find that you don’t yet have enough storage space for items. You can get bargain hunting savvy by hitting up yard sales and learning how to cruise flea markets to pick up the best deals on furniture or storage items that you can ultimately use while you work on strategies regarding how to keep your house clean.
While you are working through what to stash and what to trash make sure that you are also paying attention to your virtual possessions and data as well. As your computer fills up with downloaded files and documents, it will start to chug, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of that by organizing your computer files and keeping your technology from getting tangled up!
What Can I Do To Maintain What I Clean?
Obviously, a key part of knowing how to keep your house clean involves the practice of maintenance. How many times have you let clutter build until you simply can not look at it anymore, and then spent hours cleaning? If you are like most people, the answer to that question is probably “often”. Now, consider this: cleaning up after you reach clutter critical mass probably takes hours, but cleaning an uncluttered area takes only minutes. Think about it. Suppose that you want to clean your bathroom vanity. First, you must clear the surface of the sink, which can take a sizable amount of time. Then you will need to do the actual cleaning-another chunk out of your day. Then you have to put everything back!
Now, by contrast, if you keep the surface of your bathroom vanity clear, all that is left is to wipe down the sinks and go on your merry way. From start to finish, the entire process will take you five minutes, tops. Which of those two scenarios sounds the most appealing? We’re willing to bet that it’s the latter, right?
Well, that’s what maintenance entails. Maintenance is the process of keeping the surface clean, but on a broader scale; extended to your entire home. As long as you can do that, then the answer to how to keep your house clean will be as easy as making it a part of your daily routine.
The fact is, keeping a clean house is a habit. Like any habit, it will take time for you to develop. Imagine it as you would establishing an exercise routine. At first, it is tough to keep up with your ambitions. The first few workouts will be a total drag. But as you stick with it, you will soon find that you can’t imagine your life before you had the habit. Your day might even feel incomplete without the addition to your routine. Half of the battle is making yourself keep up with the new routine.
Remember: maintain, maintain, maintain.
Anything Else I Can Do While I Learn How To Keep My House Clean?
There are a number of things that you can do to get in the habit of maintaining your space.
- Make a checklist of little daily chores that you need to do for each room, print them out, and post them where you can easily see them
- Enlist other family members. You don’t have to go it alone! If you need help than say so, and divvy up the chores so that everyone in your household is pitching in!
- Reward yourself. Giving yourself something to strive for will make the unpleasant fly by. Promise yourself you won’t have that glass of wine or watch the newest episode of your favorite show, and the make sure that you follow through!
Whew! That about covers it: how to keep the house clean so that you can finally put your feet up and relax! Follow these strategies and you will soon begin to feel the stress melt away. Having a clean, uncluttered house will ultimately benefit you in many, many ways. Whether you are just hoping to spiff up as you fluff the nest to get your home ready for a newborn, or are looking to make a permanent change in your life, you will soon see that your creativity can flourish in a streamlined, tidy space, and maybe you will be able to finally pound out that novel you have been meaning to write! No matter how you hope to use your new space, remember that by taking it one step at a time and making a concerted effort to maintain your spiffy digs will ultimately benefit you and the state of your mental health! Good luck!
Now that your house is clean, why not take the time to clean out your digital life as well? Learn how with this computer cleaning course.