We’re one month into the new year…a new decade! While some are busy and focused on New Year’s Resolutions, some of you might be waffling with questions like, ‘Do I really need to change?’ This month, we’re going to share some clean-living tips that we consider to be ‘low hanging fruit’ in the Change Department. Simple and pain-free tweaks to your life that will result in more free-time, more organization, more peace and simplicity. These ideas are not revolutionary- they are simple ideas that you most likely already know about or understand…we’re here to encourage you to step up and make them happen.

Clear. The. Clutter

Folks…all the stuff just has to go. Before you can develop clean living, you need to make an attempt to streamline your stuff. We’re not calling for purging all of your belongings, instead, a call to more carefully examine the items in your life and understanding their purpose and benefit. While the Marie Kondo phase seems to be settling down, her methods are not meant to be a passing fad. You can read more about how she declutters and organizes homes while remaining sensitive to the owner’s emotional and spiritual well-being here

Have you decluttered yet? If yes, read on! If no, you need to pause and finish step one!

Kitchen: Do not go to bed with a dirty kitchen! Saying good morning to used dishes piled up in the sink is not the best way to start your day. Pour an extra glass of wine, turn on some music, and spend the extra 15 minutes in your kitchen before you close it down for the night. When you arise for your morning coffee, you will be delighted to have a clean kitchen. Wipe down your counters every day to avoid elusive sticky spots and crumbs, both things that invite bug friends to make your counters their feast. 

Recap: Go to bed with a CLEAN kitchen every night. Don’t leave dishes in the sink (no, that pan you left soaking does not need to soak overnight!) and always wipe down the counter.

Clothes: Prevent laundry basket living by better planning your laundry rituals. Putting away your laundry is just as important as remembering to move the load from the washer to the dryer. If you lack the go-get-em quality re:putting your laundry away, try dumping it out of the basket onto your sleeping area; it will force you to put it away before your head hits the pillow at night! Hang jackets, dress clothes, jewelry, scarves, purses. Draping them over a chair is a poor solution; take the extra few steps to the closet to put them back where they go.

Recap: Putting your clothes away is not an ‘extra’ step in the laundry process, it’s a necessary step. Put non-washables back where they go, not draped over a piece of furniture to use ‘later.’

Living Spaces: Remember that very first step: decluttering? Since you’ve already completed that, you can move onto creating simple cleaning habits that are sustainable and maintainable. Schedule vacuuming and other cleaning… write it down, put it in the phone calendar, set aside weekly time to make it happen. Ideally, you should vacuum at least once a week, and if you have pets or children, more like 2-3 times a week. Wiping down other flat surfaces is a weekly task that should accompany your vacuuming. Consider purchasing a 2nd or 3rd vacuum to have for easy access on each level of your house. Consider scheduling a professional cleaning service to do quarterly ‘seasonal’ cleans of your house. Don’t make it harder on yourself; cleaning can be painful, but there are machines and services that are designed to help!

Recap: You have to make time to clean, or it won’t happen. Something better will always come up. Be diligent and seek help when needed! Once you bring your living environment up to your new standards, you will begin to see your home differently. Hopefully, in a good way! Your needs might change, or you might finally be ready to make your dream kitchen, bathroom, or basement happen. www.distinctconstruction.com is a great example of ways to ‘seek help’ and partner with experts to organize, simplify, and beautify your living.

You can do it!