Organization and cleaning is much easier when we learn to form good habits. Bad habits are easy, right? So how do we reverse or stop bad habits and form new good habits? Experts say that any habit usually takes about 21 days in order for it to become a true habit – without consciously having to make an effort to keep up the habit.
First, we have to recognize an area in our daily lives where there are problems, or room for improvement. Then, we have to decide what should be done to improve the situation. Knowing my life is a prime example of chaos and disorganization, I am willing to make the effort to make small changes toward big improvements in household cleaning and organization efforts. Below is a list of a few ways I can think of to form new good habits – most of which I have already been practicing:
- When you get out of bed in the mornings, make the bed right then. If you have a partner you sleep with, make it a rule that the last one out of bed has to make it. This is easy enough for anyone to do, and you will already have one chore completed before your day barely begins.
- Make it a habit to never go to bed with dishes in the sink. If you know this is the rule in your house, then you will learn to get in the kitchen earlier, rather than later, to get it cleaned up. Personally, I like to get it all done as soon as we finish eating dinner. This way I can then relax for the evening. My husband and I have made it a habit to do this chore together, no matter who cooks.
- Before beginning cooking any meal, unload clean dishes from the dishwasher. This way, as you cook, you can load dirty dishes into the dishwasher, making clean up much easier later.
- After every meal, make a habit of wiping and disinfecting the counters, stove, and microwave (if necessary). By cleaning them after each meal, the kitchen is always ready for the next meal and cleanup becomes a breeze on chore days.
- Each time you fold laundry, follow through with this chore by putting them away right then, rather than later. If you let them pile up, then it becomes more of a chore. If you put each load away immediately, then it just becomes a habit and means less work to do later. Any clothes that require hanging should go on hangers as you are folding, so then it is just a simple matter of taking them to the proper rooms. It is also a good idea to have a rod in your laundry room to hang things that might wrinkle, as you pull them out of the dryer.
- This one is mostly for the ladies. After getting dressed and putting on makeup, styling your hair, etc., make it a habit to put everything away and wipe down your bathroom counter, sink, and mirror. This really takes about 5 minutes and will keep your bathroom looking much cleaner and more organized.
- Before going to the grocery store, make a habit of throwing out any old leftovers left in the refrigerator. If you have time, you can also do a quick wipe down of any spills on the shelves. This makes it easier to stock your refrigerator when you return from the grocery store. Also, it keeps your refrigerator much cleaner in between thorough cleanings; and prevents odors from getting into your food.
- When you arrive home from an outing, make a habit of gathering any trash from the car. If your hands are full, return to your car after you free your hands and take care of this chore. It only takes a few minutes and prevents trash from piling up in your vehicle.
- When changing clothes, make it a habit to take any dirty laundry to the laundry room right away. Make sure your family knows what is expected of them, as well. This makes laundry day easier if all the laundry is already there, and you don’t have to go around the house looking for dirty clothes on the floor.
- Before going to bed each night, allow 5-15 minutes to tidy up. Look around and pick up anything out-of-place, such as shoes, toys, coats; etc. Straighten up decorative pillows on the couch. Put the video games and movies back where they belong. Stack any unopened mail in a place where you can take care of it later. Do any last-minute dishes and wiping of any dirty surfaces. By doing this it won’t become so overwhelming each time and your day will be off to a great start, when you don’t have to wake up and face the clutter that was left the night before. It is also a good idea to get your kids in the habit of tidying up before they go to bed, as well.
These are just some of the routines I would like to become good habits. What I consider useful habits may not necessarily be the same ones you would like to adopt. So tell me, which organization and cleaning habits would you like to incorporate into your life? Which habits are you already practicing?Google+