These days, most people are balancing a hectic work schedule and a busy family or social life. Straightening up often seems like the furthest thing on our minds when we come home late after a stressful day, or when planning our precious short weekends with our children or friends. Of course, that’s where we come in. As a professional house cleaning referral service, we alleviate the time and energy burden that is required to keep a home sparkling clean. But there is one thing you can still do easily that will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed in between cleaning services, and that’s living clutter-free.
The day your home and your life become clutter-free is the day you will experience incredible joy and relaxation. Nothing stresses us more than the sight of piles of stuff thrown every which way, reminding us of a never-ending to-do list and the big mess that is our life. Decluttering your home will inevitably bring you great relief, and managing your life will suddenly appear much easier.
The bad news is that you need to follow certain steps to avoid getting to that situation where you cannot find anything in your home, where there is no more space to walk or to sit, no clothes to wear, and no dishes to eat from. The good news is that following these steps is pretty simple. You’ll see that you can easily live an orderly life for those periods between the times your cleaner comes to work their magic.
1. Start small, one surface at a time.
If your home is already a giant mess, and you simply have far too many things or far too little time, don’t panic. Concentrate on just a couple of key areas in your home, and attack those. Clear as much as possible off the surface and store it away. Throw away anything you don’t need. Think about all the little things that drive you crazy.
Your entry foyer table might be bursting over with too many sets of keys, sunglasses, spare change, old receipts, and random things from that time 4 days ago when you ‘cleaned out’ your purse. Don’t be ashamed, we all do it! Perhaps your sink is overflowing because you keep telling yourself that you will empty the dishwasher in the morning. Been there, done that!
Clutter is very manageable when you focus on one area at a time, depending on your priorities. Cleaning up just the smallest surface will make you feel as though your life is more orderly all of a sudden.
2. Be strict about tiny habits.
Big messes never happen at once. They happen little by little. And just as easily, you can avoid them little by little. If you are strict about tiny habits, the mess will never even be created in the first place, and your life will be clutter-free and stress-free! Consider these examples:
- Always put your clothes directly into the hamper
- Do your laundry whenever you have an hour to spare
- Put your plate directly into the dishwasher
- Store away things immediately after you used them (vacuum, blow dryer, drill, yoga mat…)
- File your mail away after reading it
- Give the kitchen counters a quick wipe-over after you cook
All these actions take a minute to complete or even less. It’s a very small time investment, yet will go a very long way toward avoiding a big mess. It also means your professional cleaner can focus on the real cleaning every time you hire them, like dusting and polishing your furniture and floors, cleaning your oven and your bathroom… All of these, by the way, take much longer to complete!
3. Storage, storage, storage.
When you declutter, your things need to go somewhere, and you can choose between removing them permanently or removing them temporarily. Maybe you want to go the minimalist route and reduced the amount of stuff that you own. We all have things we haven’t used in years but don’t want to throw away, or haven’t gotten around to it. Decluttering entails getting rid of things you have no use for, and that is taking up valuable space in your home, and your life.
But living a very minimalist life is not for everyone, and sometimes you simply cannot sell, give or throw everything away. That’s where storage comes in. Think drawers, cabinets, and shelves. Put all your knick-knacks inside a drawer rather than on your coffee table. File mail and documents away on a shelf rather than piling them up on the dining table, and pushing it aside when you eat, etc. When it comes to clutter, out of sight is out of mind.
And another thing: give everything its own place. That way, even if you cannot see all your stuff, you know where to find it!
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.