Have you ever watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood? My all time favorite episode is the clean up episode. My daughter knows she needs to pick up her toys when we start singing the clean up song.
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We all benefit from this. The house is tidier and she’s learning a habit that will help her in the future.
My house is usually presentable for anybody to drop in at a moment’s notice. I keep on top of regular cleaning each week, and we usually only have to pick up toys or put dishes in the dishwasher if somebody is coming over. My first thought is that it’s unfair because I only have one kid, but then I started thinking about my daily habits and how they end up saving me time in the long run.
So what’s my secret to a tidy home? Creating habits from a “do it now” philosophy. These habits are necessary to productivity, allowing me to focus on the big tasks and spend less time on a mess I could have prevented.
Here are some of the habits I have that help to keep home under control:
I make the beds every day.
It’s incredible how a made bed can completely change the ambiance of a room. It’s always one of the first things I do in the morning and it’s something my little one can help me do. Plus, there are studies out there that say a made bed can improve your sleep at night.
I don’t leave dirty dishes overnight.
I distinctly remember my mom announcing in the evenings, “The kitchen is closed!” Now I get it. Who wants to wake up for their morning coffee and find a sink full of dirty dishes? Talk about a bummer way to start the day.
I (and everyone else in my house) put stuff away throughout the day and in the evening.
Everything has a designated place. My daughter knows where her toys go, the place for the library books when we bring them home, and she knows where to put her shoes after she takes them off. These are habits I want her to learn not just to keep my house clean, but she will learn these habits for life.
I leave the house how I want to find it.
This goes with the the first three habits. If I can avoid it, I don’t leave my house with dishes in the sink, toys strewn across the living room, and piles of people’s stuff everywhere.
I try not to own a lot of stuff.
The truth is, the less stuff you have, the less time you spend cleaning up. I purge an area every month or so since I know there are items I’m not using or that I need to make room for replacement items.
Want to own less stuff too but don’t know where to start? Check out my last post on books to motivate you to simplify.