Building A Tidy Home Environment Through Discipline
From having a clean desk to keeping the kitchen countertop free of food and utensils, some people seem to have no problem keeping their home spick and span, while for others, clutter always seems to get the better of them. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that most people create rules or classification systems to deal with items moving in and out of their living space.
When disruptions to these systems occur, some people either modify the rules or simply tolerate transgressions, and the result can be a willingness to live in an untidy home.
Sticking to rules is vital, but it’s just one of many practical tips to follow if you wish to stay on top of clutter.
Establish a routine
Establishing a routine is an essential step in building a tidy home environment. It means setting aside regular time for cleaning and organizing your living space.
By creating a schedule that suits your lifestyle and sticking to it, you can ensure that tasks are consistently completed.
Routines provide structure and help you stay on track with your cleaning and organizing goals.
Whether it’s dedicating a specific day of the week for deep cleaning or allocating a few minutes each day for tidying up, having a routine helps you maintain order and prevent clutter from accumulating.
It’s important to find a routine that works for you and fits into your daily life, ensuring that you can devote the necessary time and energy to keeping your home tidy.
Implement the “one in, one out” rule
The “one in, one out” rule is a helpful strategy to maintain a tidy home environment. With this rule, for every new item that enters your home, you remove an equivalent item. By implementing this practice, clutter is prevented from accumulating over time.
When an item comes in, such as a new piece of clothing or a household gadget, you consciously decide on an item to remove. This passive approach ensures that the number of possessions remains balanced, preventing your space from becoming overwhelmed with unnecessary items.
Embracing the “one in, one out” rule encourages mindful consumption and helps you make thoughtful choices about what you bring into your living space, leading to a more organized and clutter-free home.
Letting Go Of Possessions With A Psychological Hold On You
Scientists have found that one reason we hold on to possessions we do not need is that they have a psychological hold on us. To put it simply, many of us identify the idea of ‘home’ with the things in it, and while this is fine to some extent, when things pile up to unhealthy levels, getting rid of some items is key. A 2017 Ohio State University study found that there is one way to feel a little less despondent about this process.
They noted that people become more willing to give away unneeded goods that had sentimental value when they took photos of these items first. This way, they continued to preserve memories without hanging on to possessions.
Is Lack Of Storage Space The Problem?
As mentioned above, a primary consideration when cleaning up a home, is getting rid of things that you don’t need. However, sometimes, you do occasionally use specific equipment (think bikes, vacuum or steam cleaners and water pressure cleaners) that may not fit in typical areas like the garage. Additionally, you may have items such as baby chairs or exercise equipment that you don’t need now, but may very well wish to rely on in the future. If so, you will need to add storage place both inside your home and out.
If you have the budget for it, a renovation may work well to use empty spaces for built-in closets and storage furniture. Look for empty spaces that can be used, such as large hallways, and space under the stairs.
Outside, storage sheds can be used for sports equipment and machinery in a neat, orderly fashion that won’t pose an injury risk to your family as it might if left piled up in your garage.
Focus on one area at a time
Focusing on one area at a time is a helpful approach to effectively clean and organize your home. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by trying to tackle the entire house all at once, this strategy allows you to concentrate your efforts on one specific area or room.
By breaking down the task into smaller, manageable parts, you can maintain focus and make noticeable progress. Start with a room or space that needs attention the most, such as a cluttered closet or a messy kitchen counter.
Clear out the area, sort through the items, and determine what should be kept, donated, or discarded. Once you’ve completed one area, move on to the next.
This method prevents you from spreading yourself too thin and allows you to give each space the attention it deserves.
By focusing on one area at a time, you’ll find it easier to stay organized and motivated throughout the cleaning process, ultimately achieving a tidier home environment.
Classifying And Sub-Classifying Items To Store
Keeping things tidy is easy if everything has its appointed space. If you’re trying to keep your kitchen consistently neat, food should be stored according to sub-types. For instance, one shelf could have all your spices and seasonings; another all the baking ingredients; yet another all the canned goods, and so on.
This way, you will always know where ingredients are when you need them. Similar classification and sub-classification should occur in spaces such as desks and computer areas.
Is your desk full of clutter that is not immediately needed? Think books, jewellery, bags, food, etc… All these items should immediately be placed in the appropriate drawer.
Getting The Whole Family Involved
Research shows that many women in America are still doing the lion’s share of the housework. However, this can be solved by listing down all the tasks and creating a fair division among all family members. Let kids have say regarding the tasks they choose; after all, we all tend to perform best at chores we most enjoy or are skilled at. Feeling you are supported in terms of home duties will increase your motivation to stick to your classification system, even if you can always clean up ‘tomorrow’.
Stay motivated and reward yourself
Staying motivated and rewarding yourself is a crucial aspect of maintaining a tidy home environment. Cleaning and organizing can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but finding ways to stay motivated can make it more enjoyable. One effective strategy is to set small goals for yourself and celebrate your achievements along the way.
For example, after completing a challenging cleaning task or organizing a specific area, treat yourself to something you enjoy—a favorite snack, a relaxing break, or even some leisure time. Rewards provide a sense of accomplishment and help you stay focused on your goals.
Additionally, finding inspiration and motivation from sources such as home organization blogs, videos, or before-and-after pictures can keep your enthusiasm high.
Remember, maintaining a tidy home is an ongoing process, and rewarding yourself along the way can make it a more positive and fulfilling experience.
Tidiness can be more difficult than it seems, both because we can fail to determine a precise place for each item type, but also because we can feel deeply connected to our possessions. The KonMari de-cluttering method recommends throwing away anything that does not bring you real joy. To soften the blow, take photos of your treasured possessions, give them away to someone you love, and be mindful of any new items you bring into your home.