icon Unlock Your Clean House: Weeks 1 thru 4

Unlock Your Clean House: Weeks 1 thru 4

Looking For Some Quick & Easy Fixes For Around Your House?

UNLOCK YOUR CLEAN HOUSE- a 12 week jumpstart on building habits and taking steps to make your home a peaceful haven for your body AND your mind. Month by month we will go top to bottom and inside out to create a lifestyle, and a home, that shines! Watch every Monday in February, March, and April for new posts and join us!

Make. Your. Bed. Every day. That's it!

Making your bed is a small habit that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. As the focal piece of your bedroom, making your bed can create a huge visual impact. It centers you and reminds you that attending to small things can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home. By engaging in this daily discipline, you are starting your day off on the right foot, and you will see a sign of accomplishment every time you enter your bedroom!
So, for week one, we are starting simple. Flexing our habit-building muscles to center ourselves and remind us of the peaceful and simplistic lifestyle we want to inhabit!
Plus, sliding into deliciously smooth sheets in the dead of winter is such a little luxury. Give yourself the favor of that moment of delight at the end of your day...

Nix the Piles

Not only does visual clutter lead to heightened anxiety, but having piles of items in every room that serve as a visual 'to do list' robs your home environment of its sense of rest and peace. Dealing with the piles of stuff that collect in each room can help you feel more in control in every aspect of your life!
The first step in eliminating the piles is to analyze what is getting left out and around. Do these items have theme? For example, is there a teetering stack of unopened mail on your kitchen counter, or a jumble of jackets, gloves and mittens in your front hall? Perhaps your bathroom counter is cluttered with powders and potions, or your dining room table is a collection of random items and unfinished projects.
Attack these piles one by one, and as you clear them away, focus on also creating solutions for these problems. Perhaps there can be a small paper tray on the counter for mail to go. A large basket next to the door is the easy spot to put jackets and cold weather gear. Installing a $15 shelf from Amazon on the wall next to your sink gives you a place for your products. Go ahead and artfully set your dining room table with your nice dishes so things don't get piled up there!
After you have dealt with the specific piles, set up "drop zones" in the rooms that accumulate the most clutter. This could be a junk drawer, a basket, or even *gasp* a pile, designated for things that need to be put away. Then, begin developing the habit of cleaning these drop zones every few days. Giving the clutter a designated place to live is actually a step towards a cleaner home!

Evening Checklist

If you have ever worked in the food industry, you know that every shift comes with Closing Duties.  This is a checklist of items that  ensures that your area is neat and clean and ready for the next person to come and begin their workday.  In our homes, the next person is YOU, and being kind to your future self by attending to your closing duties each night can create a lot of emotional goodwill in the pre-coffee part of your morning.  
A good Evening Checklist contains a punchlist of chores that take just a few minutes, but lead to a much smoother start to the day. 
These could include: 
🌛 Cleaning up the dishes from the day and starting the dishwasher
🌛 Wiping down the kitchen counters, the table, and doing a quick sweep of the floors
🌛 Emptying the trash, compost, and recycling so your bins aren't overflowing the next day
🌛 Packing lunchboxes and putting school assignments in backpacks.  Making sure there is a clean mask ready to go, and that you know where all jackets, hats, and gloves are
🌛 Sweeping the kitchen floor and main entryway
🌛 Folding your laundry, putting in a new load, or putting away the clean clothes 
🌛 Setting up a rotating list of 5-minute cleaning jobs to make sure that the house stays {relatively} clean and tidy    
🌛 Loading the coffee maker, so the next morning's caffeine fix just needs a hit of the button 
Everyone's evening checklist will look different.  You can even assign different checklists to different members of your household so that everyone shares the load!  The important things to keep in mind is that they are relatively simple and easy to remember, a set routine, and something that can be done in 15 minutes or less.  Any longer and you will find yourself kicking the can until tomorrow.  Setting this nightly habit leads to a clean house and an uncluttered mind!

Finish the Job

Have you ever read the children's book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"? If you give a mouse a cookie, then he will ask for a glass of milk to go with it... and on starts the caper, one good deed unfolding into another task and then another and another.
Sometimes, doesn't it feel like life is one chain of interlocking to-do's? You decide to go to the mailbox, but you can't find your other shoe, which leads you to reorganize your closet, and then you find yourself vacuuming the floor... and there goes your entire day. Not to mention, your mail is still in a pile on the counter.
All too often, we never get anything done, because we end up trying to get EVERYTHING done. Which perpetuates the cycle for the next day. Instead, this week, let's focus in on doing ONE THING AT A TIME, and doing that thing until it is FINISHED. Before you start a task or chore, ask yourself what needs to happen in order for it to be finished. Visualize the complete task and then get it done. Bring in the mail. Sort it and recycle the junk. BEFORE you do the next thing. When you do the laundry, remember the task is not finished until the clean clothes are folded and put away. When you go to send an email, try and focus on the task at hand and not the other emails in the overflowing inbox!
Developing the mental discipline to see a task through to its completion gives you a heightened sense of control over your life and schedule. It also gives you a house that is not filled with incomplete projects screaming for attention. Not only will your house be more tidy, your mind will be as well!

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