Let’s assume, unlike me, that you have finished uncluttering your house and yard and garage. The next task is to keep it that way. If you are a hoarder, this will have been a monumental task and keeping it clean will also be huge. If you are a normal, busy person with too many activities going on, you may need to call on some outside help. But if you don’t have that kind of friends or family, then here are some tips to go it alone (Note: these tips will not work for hoarders. Get some professional help and get the dead animals out of the freezer).
The Inspired Home has 8 Easy Ways to Keep an Uncluttered Home. They assume, of course, that you got the big job done first. Then live by the rules, like A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place. Nothing Belongs on the Dining Tables. When in Doubt, Throw it Out! You Gotta Keep it Separated. And so on. I’m still trying to get my Christmas and New Years’ decorations back in the cluttered garage so that I can get out the St. Patrick’s Day do-dahs.
These 34 Proven Ways from Slow Your Home come from readers and are very doable. I love the idea of putting away one day’s worth of clutter so the next day starts fresh. And do regular clutter busts. Also, do one hour of organizing on top of regular cleaning. Absolutely, understand the limits of your situation.
In my opinion, we need a regular cleaning schedule day by day to keep the house clean and livable. I love this one from The Spruce because it’s printable and lists a bunch of stuff to do, so you can possibly clean some of them every other week. Plus you get to scale back on Saturday and do nothing on Sunday. I have to figure out if I can plug in time to walk in the morning, write for a couple hours, and take care of the birds. Possibly, if I need to take a weekday for an appointment, I can shift some of those chores to Saturday.
Let’s step back into Writer Mode and look at the desk where we write every day. Is it clean and neat? Is the floor or rug under it enticing? Is there a place for every paper and notebook and pen and are all those things in their place? I have a file in a rack for my retirement funds that I spent down a couple years ago. I no longer need to keep that junk. I have to get that area clean.
I have parrots in my office and a husband. And a dog. The carpet is littered with scraps of cardboard from their enrichment boxes. Pellets they decided not to eat. Crackers they tried to share with the dog. Past my desk we reach a no man’s land of stuff that has been there for 17 years, complete with cobwebs and dust. I am not allowed to touch any of this. Unless he hears a mouse in the boxes, then I get to set traps. I have come to the radical acceptance that I can only keep my own area clean. I have cleaned the parrot cages fairly regularly, but before I can vacuum, I need to sweep up the chunks. And the bag of trash from the last time I cleaned is still out on the patio, waiting to be hauled to the bins in front of the house. I’m tempted to put everything from my desk into that bag and see if I notice anything missing.
Well, little steps add up to great progress. I will keep going forward and feeling good as long as I can. The end of this year should see me with a book submitted to an editor or two, a clean house, an office where I can work comfortably, and achieve my best. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.