Being tidy is something that doesn’t come naturally to me and a lot of these things I am still working on every day, but I am definitely a lot better than I used to be. This list pulls together all of the little things that I am trying to change and incorporate into my daily routine to become a tidier person.
Introduce the 5 Minute Sweep into your morning routine
This is something I started doing after I saw Emma from Emma’s Rectangle do in her weekly vlogs (which I love!). It is as basic as it sounds but essentially when you go and boil the kettle for you morning coffee or whilst your breakfast is heating up, spend 5 minutes cleaning your space. Whether that is sticking on a load of washing or emptying the dishwasher, just getting a couple of small tasks out of the way before your day begins helps to set you up for the day. I like to do this whenever I make myself a coffee or tea during the day. I challenge myself to tidy the table or vacuum the downstairs of our house before the kettle has boiled and means I have less to tidy in the evenings.
Put things back straight away
One of the things I am so bad at is taking something, using it, and then leaving it there rather than putting it away. This just mounts up and suddenly nothing is in the correct place and it takes an hour of running around the house ferrying items back and forth to get things looking tidy again. I’m really working on this and it’s so easy to see the difference it makes.
Have an organised system
If you know that you won’t put things back straight away, maybe start with a stairs basket or another holder for the items that you know need to go back in their place. Then, at the end of every day, spend 10 minutes or so going and putting everything back. Also, I find that if my space is organised it is much easier to put things back where they belong because they have been assigned a place. When a space is unorganised it is really difficult to keep things tidy as nothing has an assigned space or area that it lives in. As well as this, if I have organised a room or area in the house I can see how much better it looks and feels when it is tidy and it really helps motivate me to keep it looking nice.
Don’t think ‘I will do it later’
The simple answer to this one is that you won’t. If you keep putting off doing something, when it eventually gets done it will be so much worse than if you had just got up and done it in the first place. For example, when it comes to washing your clothes if you put them in the wash and then keep putting off taking them out of the machine, they will need to be rewashed and you start the whole process again, delaying the job even more. This is another big one for me as I get small bursts of motivation for household tasks so I am trying to be better at seeing a task through from start to finish.
Set yourself a timer/challenge
Similar to the kettle idea, one thing I find really helpful is to set myself a timer or a challenge to get something done. Sometimes I like to choose a YouTube video that I want to watch and look at the tasks that need doing around the house and challenge myself to get as many of them done as I can before the video ends. It’s a great way to catch up on house work and your favourite videos or tv shows at the same time!
Make a checklist
If you are like me and love a list and the satisfaction of ticking things off said list, then this might be a great one. I sit down on a Sunday night and work out which jobs need to be done over the week and write them all down. Then, when I know I have half an hour or so to tidy up a bit I look at my list and try to tick off as many things as I can. I just find that the satisfaction of ticking off items really motivating but I know that this definitely isn’t one for everyone! One thing that I have also found that helps is having my schedule organised. My iCalendar contains all of my events and appointments as well as my to-do list. This means I can block in time in my day for cleaning and organising my space around the other things I need to get done. I did a whole post on my organisation system using iCalendar so check that out if you want to see more!
Clean as you go
This is a big one for me when I am cooking. If I am not careful, things can get very messy and it ends up taking twice as long to clean up afterwards. I like to start the cooking process with an empty dishwasher and clean surfaces. From there any dirty dish or utensil I have used goes straight into the dishwasher and isn’t clogging up the workspace. This applies to ingredients as well. If I get something out of the cupboard, I try to put it away as soon as I am done with it otherwise I end up with endless ingredients all over the counter to put away later.