I’ve always wished I was the type of person who vents out stress or anger by cleaning. Imagine getting anxious over the house not being spic and span and so you clean the house to relieve that stress! Alas, I’m not. The more stressed I get, the more I shut down, which means more stuff piles up, which leads to greater stress. It’s a not so fun merry-go-round. I vow, though, that 2016 is the year that I will keep a clean house AND stress less while doing it.
I do transcription work from home, am raising a puppy, and play chauffeur to my son who doesn’t have his driver’s license yet (also there’s the distraction of Netflix). All of those things are more important to me than cleaning, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel guilty and anxious when I am busy with other priorities and the house doesn’t look as nice as I’d like. Here are some tips that I’m going to follow to help me stress less about cleaning this year, and I hope they can help you too.
- The 15 minute rule really does work. You would be surprised by how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes. Do your work, play with your kids, watch TV, whatever, for a certain amount of time. Then clean for 15 minute increments in between that. Have a plan for what you want to do and do it for 15 minutes and then go back to your original activity. Do this all day long if it works, or let those 15 minutes turn into an hour if you get into a groove. The important thing is to use timers so that you don’t get to say just one more commercial or 10 more minutes. Let the timer be your boss.
- Decide what your hot spot is. What area in your house makes you the craziest when it isn’t clean? For me, it’s the kitchen. Nothing will stress me out more than dirty dishes or a dirty counter. Some people need their bathroom to sparkle, some can’t stand to go to bed in a messy bedroom. Whatever yours is, make that area your priority. Clean your hot spot first in the day and then no matter what else you do or don’t have time to do, you’ll feel a little better.
- Put things away. Clutter looks messy, there’s just no way around it. Compare a kitchen counter full of gadgets and one that is empty and the empty one looks 10 times cleaner. Take those few extra minutes whenever you use something to find a spot to stash it, and give in to the few extra minutes of fishing it out when you’re ready to use it again. The more stuff you can put away in between uses, the more together your house will look.
- Do one thing before bed. Even if it’s the end of the night and the last thing you want to do is a chore, do something that will make your morning better. It might be washing dishes or taking out the trash or just throwing away that day’s junk mail. Whatever it is, it will be one thing less you have to do the next day and that makes for a happier morning.
- Don’t stress the mess. Didn’t get around to sweeping the living room because you were talking to Mom on the phone? Remind yourself that you were spending time doing something meaningful with someone you love, and that is so much more important than one skipped chore. Even if your something meaningful was spending all day reading a book you couldn’t put down, so what. Don’t compare you, yourself, your home or what you accomplish to anyone else. Sit back, relax with a glass of wine, and remind yourself that you can always start over with tip #1 tomorrow.
Don’t forget to visit these awesome bloggers who are helping us all improve our lives in 2016! From reducing your carbon footprint to becoming a better parent, they’ve got it all!
Improve Your Photography – from Slap Dash Mom
Start a Budget in 2016 – from Life on Deer Run
Improve Your Relationship With Your Teen – from Five in Ohio
10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – from Driftwood Gardens
6 Easy Ways to Improve Yourself – from Bits of This and Pieces of That
5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight – from Walking on Sunshine Recipes
7 Ways to Eat Better in 2016 – from Wendy Ilium
2016 is My Year to Forgive Myself – from Witch Weigh
Stress Less About Cleaning – from Ooh Shiny
Be a Better Mom – from It’s a Kono Life
Be a Great Mom With a Physical Disability – from Parsimonious Pash
Making Better Time with Twins – from Twins and Testing Things
Fall in Love With YOU – from Crazy Bloggin Mom