Before I learnt how to declutter my home, I also struggled to keep it clean. It took me a while to work out that decluttering and cleaning were connected.
Washing the floors was a HUGE chore!
Before I could wash the floors I had to find the floors. I needed to move all of the children’s toys, relocate piles of things waiting for my attention and find a new place for all of this stuff while I swept, vacuumed and mopped.
I was creating more work than necessary.
The problem was that by the time I had done all of this relocating and tidying, I had very little energy left to do the actual cleaning.
I would be able to manage a quick vacuum of all of the rooms but my stamina just didn’t extend to actually mopping them.
I would decide that I was going to do that part tomorrow. Of course, when tomorrow actually came, half of the stuff had managed to migrate back to its original location and I was faced with the task of moving it all over again before I could even think about starting the job.
As a result, in the early years, my floors were washed far less than they should have been. OK, the world didn’t stop turning and no-one died, but it was certainly something that weighed on my mind continually.
I used to ask myself…
- Will anyone notice that the floors need washing?
- If I do a quick spot clean before guests come over, will it be enough?
- Am I a good mother if I can’t even keep the floors clean.
It was a similar problem in the bathroom.
There always seemed to be more towels on the floor than on the hanger.
The countertops had an array of toys, hair accessories and goodness knows what else on them.
Do you know, it’s really difficult to wipe a countertop when it is covered in stuff? Of course you do, and so did I, but that didn’t always mean I would follow through and actually have less stuff on there.
How I managed the decluttering and cleaning.
Once I learnt how to manage the clutter, the rest just seemed so easy. I wondered why it took me so long to do.
- I designated a location for the children’s toys and they were put back there after the playing was done.
- I cleared surfaces of unnecessary objects.
- I created processes to manage the laundry so that I didn’t have piles waiting to be washed, mountains waiting to be ironed and basket loads waiting to be put away.
- I managed the paperwork regularly and consistently so there were no more piles waiting to be sorted.
- I created routines for my mornings and evenings.
- I developed a system to tidy up after myself (and others) so that the house was never more than 15 minutes away from being presentable for company.
- I did everything I could to prevent new clutter piles being created while I sorted out the old ones.
Once I had all of these decluttering tasks under control, it was so much easier to complete the regular, everyday cleaning and tidying that previously had seemed impossible to accomplish.
- I cleared the kitchen sink at least once per day.
- I made the beds every single morning.
- I vacuumed the main floors consistently.
- I wiped down the bathroom sink, cabinet and floors each day.
- I tackled the laundry as soon as the basket was full and finished it the same day (No piles waiting to be folded and put away)
- I washed the floors regularly.
- I dusted the surfaces consistently.
Streamlining my decluttering and cleaning routines and processes had a fantastic ripple effect into other areas of the home.
So, if you are struggling to keep all of the everyday processes of running a household under control, consider your decluttering and cleaning first. Get these sorted with a system of consistent action and you will find yourself with less stress and more time to do the things that interest you.
Check out the Clutter-Free Life Community for step-by-step instructions on how you can make this a reality in your home too.