“Mom, I’m just calling to let you know that I didn’t have to work today!” Mom replied with a squeal of delight, knowing what this meant: time for a clean sweep before our big trip. My mom and I share an (likely unhealthy) obsession about making beds every day and getting the house clean before going away…we’re convinced that it’s good for us.
So, is there something to it? Does the health of our homes affect our mental health?
According to many counselors and therapists, it does! First, cleaning your home is like cleaning your life. All of that nasty is out of the way and you have a safe, clean place to relax. Second, by controlling how your home looks you are controlling what people think of you, so there’s a bonus confidence boost! AND research shows that people who keep their surroundings and belongings reasonably tidy are more successful at life in general. So want to be happier? Less stressed? Healthier? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be successful at life in general! So, how can we manage all of this in our crazy lives? Here just a few tips, just in time to make this your New Year’s resolution!
- Base clean. Go through every room and get rid of all of the extra clutter. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, removing excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home! Just throw it away…your future self will thank you! If you’re the type to dedicate a whole day to cleaning, turn on some music and get cleaning! Use the few days after Christmas to get a good base clean. If you get overwhelmed by a task like this, clean one room a day for a few days—don’t stress about it.
- Keep it clean. Sounds daunting? It’s really not—I promise! The one-room-a-day rule makes this easy. If one room is too much, do half a room. When you’re done with your day, take 15 minutes to zoom through one room. This separates the cleaning into bite-sized chunks that won’t overwhelm you.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Come home wiped out on Wednesday nights? Need to run 3 kids to 5 different places tonight? Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to clean a room every night. It will only discourage you! It’s helpful to stick to a room a night, but it’s certainly not a sin to skip once in a while!
- Enjoy the clean. If you follow these tips, I promise that you will genuinely enjoy your space again! You’ll have time to do the things that can just make you giddy! Put flowers around the house, switch the napkin rings out—whatever it is, you’ll have time for it!
This year, I think I can take on making my home a happier, stress free place for everyone! I hope you will too! I’d love to hear your comments about how you keep up with your own home!
Image by Tiffany Terry on Flickr.