It is said that a clutter free home and work environment translates to a clutter and free mind. If you are looking to help decrease stress levels and improve your living conditions and mind conditions, try adopting these 15 habits that can drastically bring in levity, light and even comfort into your daily life. Think clean, neat, and tidy and so the Universe will fruition that back to you.
- Make your bed each day, do a quick sweep any dead skin or hair off the bed before making it, pull the comforter to the pillows, and don’t use your bed for storage of anything (like clothes). This will help keep the bed clean and bed bugs away. Since the bed occupies a lot of space, it will make your room look so much cleaner—even if you don’t completely make your bed. A made bed is a better barrier to pets and kids that may find themselves in your bed throughout the day.
- Start the day with a load of laundry. When you get out of bed, put a load of clothes in the wash. If you have a family, know that the laundry will always be there, trying to win. Don’t let the laundry win and get out of control. Once breakfast is over, put the clothes into the dryer. Do a load of clothes every day before the sun is at it’s hottest.
- Wash and Dry your sink…..and wipe down surfaces after use. Before you dry your hands, take a few seconds to wash and dry your kitchen and bathroom sink and surfaces. It will keep food particles and other gunk away, remove spots and keep it clean and looking nice.
- Unload the dishwasher before breakfast. That way, when you dirty a dish, you can put it directly into the dishwasher. No dirty dishes pile up in the sink or on the counter. Turn on the dishwasher just before bed. Try to have the habit of not leaving dirty dishes overnight in the sink. Food particles can really get stuck on those darn dishes the longer they sit……and then the bugs start creeping out. Dishes are either washed and put in the dishwasher, or unloaded and put away.
- Leave your shoes at the door (Like an Asian Household). Shoes track in dirt, mud, grass, feces, debris, gum, leaves, and much more. If you take off your shoes by the entrance, you won’t need to clean the floors as often.
Tidy the living areas just before dinner. I like to say that if it takes 20 seconds to a minute or less, then do it now. This goes for replacing new toilet paper roll, taking out the trash, organizing the car before the next day’s outing……Give your kids practice helping out in the house and, afterward, reward them with a meal or face to face time.
- After dinner, go straight to the bath. Having a regular routine prepares the body for sleep. A warm bath relaxes the muscles. After the bath, begin winding down and prepare for sleep. If you have kids, you can save time by having one parent wash the kids while the other parent washes the dishes.
- Prepare for the next day. Once the kids are asleep, lay out everyone’s clothes for tomorrow, prepare lunches, and do the prep work for breakfast and dinner. Pre-set the coffeemaker. Check your schedule for tomorrow. Set any items you need by the front door (or pack the car). This is a great tip and will help to decrease stress the next morning when everyone is rushing to try to get out the door.
- Get rid of junk mail and keep paper in the house organized. If you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit or unsolicited commercial mail, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you contact the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) FREE Mail Preference Service (MPS). This will reduce up to 80% of junk mail that comes to your door. Organize kids take home projects and to-do lists and newspapers, mail and other papers accordingly. Do not feel like you need to save everything. The best is when you can take a picture of it on your smartphone and categorize it by date. There are great apps out there that can help you make it into virtual books and files to review later.
- Buy fewer items with packaging. When you buy something in a package, you unpack it, sort it, recycle it or trash it, and then take it out to the garbage or recycling bin. The less packaging you buy, the fewer times you need to put it in the trash or recycle it.
- Go to a farmers market, use a grocery delivery service, or sign up for a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) allows you to get a box of produce (often organic) from a local farm for a low price. Where I live, it costs about $25 for a massive box of fruits and vegetables. Some areas will deliver a box of organic produce to your door for a small fee (in my area, the fee is $1.50). Many of these CSAs will also deliver locally made bread, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, pies, etc. There is so much food in these boxes, it is a real challenge to eat it all! And just think, no kids at a checkout line asking for candy!
- Have a weekly home blessing hour. Instead of “doing chores”, some people give thanks and bless their home. This is where they set aside one hour every week to handle things like mopping or dusting or organizing. The change in mindset can help motivate you to clean when you’re not in the mood.
- Vacuum, dust and clean kids toys, door knobs, light switches, keypads and handles regularly. I vacuum after each meal because my kids seem to have a hard time putting the food into their mouths. I bought a small hand held vacuum cleaner in which they each take turns to clean the floor (and think is fun). Most importantly, clean out the vacuum after each couple of uses and take out your garbage each night before bed. Wipe down several times a week the most touched places in the home.
- Purge…ruthlessly. Every day, ask yourself, “What am I willing to let go of today?” Put one item (or more) into a box to give away. Have your kids do the same. Put a smiley face on the box, and tell them that every item that they put in there will make someone else happy.
- Diffuse Essential Oils in the house. Many high quality power oils will absolve airborne foreign pathogens and make living areas smelling nice and hypoallergenicity clean. Use this instead of lighting candles or plugging in scented aromas. They are toxic to the body. Source: Lifehack.org, adebtFREEstressfreelife.com, cleanmama.net