Updated: Aug 18, 2020
You spend the majority of your time at home. What surrounds you every day impacts your personality, your potential and belief in yourself, and your happiness. When you have a messy house, it’s likely your life will be messy too. You’ll show up to work 10 minutes late because you couldn't find your shoes or your coffee mug was dirty, you’ll feel embarrassed for people to come over to visit you, and your life will align with your home.
It’s important for me to have a home that’s easy. I don’t want to have to put a lot of work into it, but I do want to feel great when I come home. Luckily, keeping your home and life a bit more clutter-free isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds, and it has so many benefits.
Cutting down on your number of possessions (and overall space) makes it so that you have less to clean and organize, and it’s easier to know and remember what goes where. This can help you be much less stressed, it can save you money (from less shopping for unnecessary material possessions), and can provide more financial and overall freedom. When you declutter and live a more minimalist life, your energy, time, and money can be saved for what you really desire and value.
If you want a more awesome life, you’ll need to have a home that aligns with the kind of person you want to be. No, that doesn’t mean go buy a mansion you can’t afford. That means do what you can to make the space you have now more wonderful and conducive to your best self.
Use color and light to make your home feel lovely and match the mood you want your house to give you, consider painting your walls or getting some new furniture or wall hangings, throw open the windows and let the air and sunshine in, get some more plants to bring energy and freshness to each room.
All of these rockstar moves will help you keep your own energy and joy levels high, and they will announce to the world that you are ready for awesomeness, and you’re willing to put in some effort to get there.
I don’t like to clean. It’s one of my least favorite things. I will never have a ‘perfectly clean’ home; there’s other ways I’d much rather spend my time. Someday I might pay someone else to clean it, but for now I just make sure it doesn’t get too dirty and keep up with my day-to-day chores so that my home stays feeling fresh with minimal work.
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My Top 10 Tips for Cleaning: Keep an Easy and Delighting Home
Make sure you have good storage in place. Don’t go overboard on stuff, keep it minimal, but make sure you have a way to organize the things you do have. Get the right size dresser, put a cabinet in the game room if it needs one, make sure it’s not too hard to put things away where they go and they all have a place to be stored.
Hang more clothes. If you have the closet space for it, hang your tee shirts, pants, shorts, tank tops, and whatever other clothing you might normally fold. Hanging clothes is much quicker, and it’s easier to see what all you have available hanging in the closet rather than shoved into drawers.
Invest in disinfectant wipes and a lightweight stick vacuum. You don’t need to break out spray and a sponge for a small spill, and you don’t have to bring out the big guns vacuum for a bit of stray kitty litter. Have some disinfectant wipes and a lightweight stick vacuum stored close to where they are most likely to be needed for quick fixes.
Use a no-wipe shower cleaner. These are great. You just spray them on your shower walls every time you shower or bathe, and they stay so much more clean without you having to scrub at the grime yourself.
Use a timer. You don’t have to commit to a ton of cleaning and chores, just set a timer for 10 minutes and promise yourself to clean for at least that longer (or a bit longer if you choose).
Use your available time. When you’re getting up to grab something from the fridge, take the plate back to the dishwasher. On a commercial break or while your food is heating up, clean a few things up. Fit cleaning into these small breaks and you’re less likely to have to do a bunch of cleaning at once.
Line your fridge with press & seal and your oven with foil (if you can). Fridges and ovens are some of the least fun things to clean. They take a ton of work and oven cleaning can stink up the house. Keep yourself from having to clean them very often by using press & seal and foil to catch crumbs, spills, etc.
Make it fun. If you really don’t like cleaning, put on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine, make a game out of it, do whatever you need to do so that cleaning is a bit more of a positive experience and be grateful for the beautiful clean house you can work to have.
Be cool with imperfection. You are going to live a brilliant, adventure-filled, joyful life, and your house is not your biggest priority. Keep it clean and decluttered, and use little chunks of time and daily cleaning habits to keep it feeling great. Don’t put it off and waste stress on it, and don’t think it has to be perfect and super clean all the time. Go be your awesome self.
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Take the time up front to declutter your house, or declutter it over the course of a week, a month, or a year. You know what works best for you. If you’re a ‘spurts of energy’ gal, get at it! If you’re a ‘chunk it down’ kinda guy, do one room or 15 minutes at a time. Either way, put in some effort to get rid of things that you don’t need up-front. Once you’re living a more minimalist life, and holding onto what brings you the most joy, cleaning up will be a breeze.
My Top 10 Tips for Decluttering: Keep a Minimalist Home
Don’t store what you don’t need. Don’t keep things around because you might need them someday. That space is YOURS - don’t give it to the halloween costumes or old textbooks you’ll never use again. Yes, you might have to buy a new corkboard if you need one again, but there’s also a cost for storing it unused for years. You’ll have to store it, organize it, deal with it when you open that cabinet, find it later (only to be disappointed that it’s 10 years old) - is it really worth that time and effort?
Give yourself permission to buy it again. You’re gaining something by letting things go that you don’t need. Especially if you can replace it for less than $30, don’t let it be a stressor in your life.
Be picky about what you keep. Only hold onto your favorite things - what is truly beautiful, necessary, or useful. This will help you narrow down your possessions to your absolute favorite things. I love Marie Kondo’s idea of asking yourself which of your items truly sparks joy. Don’t get rid of the pink dress that makes you super happy even though you only wear it a couple of times a year, but do get rid of the white blouse that you think would be great for work but you never actually pull it out to wear.
Be willing to get rid of gifts. You’ve already experienced the awesome giving and receiving aspect of the gift; you’ve exchanged kindness and love, and that rocks. If the gift goes in the category of ‘not necessary or one of my favorite things,’ it’s cool to let it go, guilt-free.
Keep a bag in your closet for clothes to donate. When you pull out a shirt you haven’t worn in a few months, try it on, and realize that you don’t really like it, put it in the donation bag. Putting it back on the hangar means you’ll have to deal with it again. That’s a waste of your precious time. Be confident that your gut reaction of ‘nope’ is correct, and throw it in the bag.
Use the 3/3 rule. If you think you will likely wear a piece of clothing someday, decide if you have worn it in the past 3 months or will wear it in the next 3 months. If not, donate. You can do this same thing with kitchen tools, office supplies, and more. If you’ve used it in 3 months or will use it in the next three months, keep. If not, trash or donate.
Take it one room or area at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by your whole big house at once. Break it down into easy-to-focus on smaller bits or a set amount of time. As you continue over the course of weeks or months, you will become more and more motivated by each new area that’s cleaned out and remains clutter-free.
Focus on what you gain by letting go. You gain space, time, and energy, and you get to focus on what you are really passionate about. You deserve to have an energizing clutter-free life, and the moves you begin taking now help you get there.
Don’t keep it just because you feel like you should, only because you love it. Having something for a long time or something being valuable does not mean that you have to keep it. Still judge these items on the criteria of useful, beautiful, joyful, etc. and keep what you want and need to.
Don't burden others with your trash. If you’re getting rid of something that you know someone else would truly love, give it to them in a meaningful way. Otherwise, don’t try to alleviate guilt of getting rid of things by passing them off on others. Care enough about them to know they also deserve to only have things they truly love.
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Take one day this month and commit to using that time to work on your house. Use my tips for decluttering, and get some tools to help you clean. Once you’ve knocked out the basics, you should be able to maintain your house with just a few hours each week. That way, you can keep your focus on the more important aspects of your life and being your most awesome self!
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Do you have any tips for keeping your space clean quickly and easily?