I am a big fan of not creating problems that I will need to solve later on. I do not love cleaning, but I do enjoy a clean home. The best way I’ve found to keep my house clean is to not make it dirty or messy in the first place! This sounds incredibly intuitive and simple – and it is – but it amazes me how many people still don’t actually do it.
For example, let’s suppose the dishes pile up, the carpets get tracked with dirt, clothes are lying all over the floor, laundry is left half-dry in the dryer, food is spoiling in the fridge, receipts and mail are littered about the counter, etc.
This is quite a mess, but not out of the ordinary for the typical home every. Just think about how frusting it would be to live in this kind of environment. Cleaning once you hit this breaking point would just add another layer of frustration to the mix.
Instead, consider the following changes:
- You don’t put dishes in the sink, but directly in the dishwasher
- You slip off your shoes when you enter your home
- You have a hamper in your bedroom for all your dirty clothes, and another for the clean clothes that are yet to be folded
- You eat what is in your fridge first before dining out, and get in the habit of freezing things you know you won’t eat in a few days
- You have a shoebox for receipts, maybe a few shoeboxes if you have a home business
- You immediately throw all junk mail out before you set the mail down on your counter (and then take steps to stop junk mail for good)
These are just a few examples.
Changing behavior isn’t easy, but the benefits are huge. If you can become aware of your activities that are creating a mess in the first place, you can change them and prevent the mess from forming at all. For most of these changes, there is little to no extra work involved, you just need a better process than the one you are following right now.
Start experiement with different systems for doing your common household tasks (like the dishes or dealing with mail) and see what works for you.