I thought I was genetically lazy and jumbled. I almost gave up on myself; dismissing the idea of ever maintaining a cozy home after several attempts at being a super cleaning goddess. Visiting my friends didn’t help too. Their homes were always a sweet haven to relax; everything in its place, the furniture shining and the toilet bowl as white as snow. Were they hereditarily strengthened to love cleaning? How did they find the time to do such thorough scrubbing and dusting? I neither had the energy nor the time for all that and I concluded that I would rather spend my time doing the things I love.
COZY HOME SECRETS
But over the years, I have learnt a few tricks to keeping my home super cozy almost all the time. I found out that there are no genetically wired cleaning goddesses anywhere. There are just secrets to maintaining a super cozy home and these are the secrets of those whose homes always appear clean.
TIDY VERSUS CLEAN
One big secret I learnt is the difference between tidy and clean. The impact of this knowledge was massive. Know that merely sweeping and scrubbing your floors and surfaces, vacuum cleaning the furniture and carpets and having a sparkle-clean bathroom will not guarantee you a super cozy home. If the house is clean but there are clothes flung all over the couches and unmade beds, piles of books and papers everywhere, shoes littered around and toys all over the floors, the house, though clean, will present a contrasting appearance because it is clearly untidy. It is better to have a home that is tidy but a little unclean than a home that is clean but cluttered.
INCORPORATE TIDINESS INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
It took me long to realize that people whose homes always appear clean have daily routines to keep each corner in the home looking tidy. They don’t have to wait till the house looks like a heap of mess and then launch themselves into deep-cleaning mode, spending hours cleaning up the garbage. Incorporating tidiness into your daily routine is a very important step towards achieving your goal. This might mean making beds and folding blankets, rearranging throw pillows, folding the laundry and hanging up clothes, putting back books in the bookshelf, sorting out and filing papers, having kids return toys to the toy box to mention a few
CLEAN AS YOU GO
In the moment – that lazy tempting moment – it might feel like no big deal to leave those dishes, dirts or pile for the next day. However, too many ‘till-laters’ leaves you with a pile of chores that seem too overwhelming to tackle. So, do not procrastinate. Apart from making tidiness a daily habit, it is also important that you incorporate cleaning as you go into your daily routine. Wash pots, pans and other kitchen utensils as you cook breakfast or dinner and do the few dishes left right after dinner, wipe the bathroom counters as you get ready for the day, sweep food crumbs off the floor after having breakfast or dinner, wipe the dining table immediately after a meal and tackle a load of laundry every day. By forming this habit, you won’t have to spend much time thoroughly doing these tasks during deep-cleaning sessions.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
I am that girl who loves to search pinterest for inspiration on almost everything; cleaning not excluded. However, I soon found out that while it is great to seek such inspiration, pinterest or whoever it may be does not know your schedule better than you. What one person does every morning may not fit into your schedule. So, you absolutely do not need to force a strategy that doesn’t seem to work for you. Be you. There’s no shame in creating your own unique routine.
KEEP CLEANING SUPPLIES HANDY
Every corner of your home that needs to be cleaned regularly should have cleaning supplies within reach. Don’t make the exercise harder than it already seems by hauling your cleaning supplies all over the house, especially in places where they are not needed. Every bathroom sink and counter top should have cleaning agents within reach. This will make your daily cleaning routine more realizable.
HAVE A SIMPLE HOME
People whose homes are always looking neat and organized do not have loads of things and so, their homes are hardly ever cluttered. More stuff in the home means more things to clean. Rather than spending huge amounts of money gathering things and having to spend tons of time organizing them, just to have it all go back to disorder in a few days, having less things in the home will save you all the stress. This will not only save your time and energy but will also boost your wellness and productivity.
HAVE A JUNK BOX
Despite having what it takes to organize things and maintain a cozy home, there usually comes a time when there will be clutters here and there and no one is perfect. So, when that colleague at work stops by unannounced, those few items that are lying around can be quickly thrown into a junk box and forgotten about for the moment. Having a junk box saves you the embarrassment of welcoming a last minute guest into an untidy house.
INVITE A SPECIAL FRIEND
This really works. When all else fails and you do not seem motivated to do any tidying or cleaning, inviting a friend is sure a springboard to have your house sparkling just the way you’ve always wanted. No one wants to host a friend in an untidy home. So, do yourself a favour by making a decision that will be a catalyst for getting you into action.
So this is it, we do not have to envy that friend whose home is a mini paradise; we can be her. With these super tips, we will sure get over the times when we feel so uncomfortable in our own homes. Just a little effort on our part is all we need. We need not be hard on ourselves. When our stuff are lying everywhere and our kitchens are covered in crumbs and the bathrooms haven’t been scrubbed in weeks, let’s take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we’re doing just fine.
This article was first published in Sisters Magazine