If you’re at a point where your house is so messy it “eats” things up, it’s time to revamp your cleaning strategy. An online community shares their tried and tested tips for staying motivated and maintaining discipline when tidying the house.
1. Unsustaintained Motivation
Many find that motivation is fleeting and comes in random bursts. Hence, it is unreliable if you want to keep the house clean and orderly. One member aptly comments, “Habits are key; relying on motivation is a losing strategy.” Another suggests, “You have to build habits, commit to being consistent, and then it’ll just be a part of your lifestyle to maintain the cleanliness.” A member comments, “You don’t need motivation; you need discipline, in whatever way suits you better.”
2. Churning Versus Purging
Many agree that you need a large-scale purge before you can get organized meaningfully. One user took ten months to declutter their house. “36 kitchen black garbage bags later,” their home is much easier to maintain, and daily decluttering keeps things going. Churning is when we attempt to sort the clutter rather than reduce it. A user believes that one should declutter, even at the risk of getting rid of “something valuable,” as it isn’t worth slowing down.
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3. An Organizer’s Dream
One member shares their ultimate organization strategy. “You don’t have to do the entire room in one day,” they say. Once the excess is out, you’ll have space to organize what you like and use. They manage items by category. “For example, all of the camping equipment is in a designated storage space.” That way, they don’t have to remember where an individual item is.
4. The Rule of Five
A member swears by the rule of five: five places, five items, five days. Each weekday, you pick one small spot (junk drawer, toy box, under the kitchen sink, etc.) and spend no more than 15 minutes choosing five things to toss or donate. At the end of the week, drop your donations. Next week, pick five new spots.
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5. Timing Matters
Depending on your work hours, staying on top of cleaning can be challenging. However, doing things daily should be easy for those working part-time or staying-at-home parents and partners. A commenter shares how their stay-at-home mom had a system, and she prioritized cleaning early in the day. “Just do it in the morning or whenever you are free, at the earliest time in the day. Don’t let it sit there,” advises one.
6. Systematic Strategy
Taking a systematic approach to cleaning can produce good results. A commenter says, “You have to find a sustainable system for you. But you can find it and do it and succeed!” The process is slow, and it will take a while to get results. However, as a member mentions, it won’t burn you out and shouldn’t be too stressful. With consistency, you’ll make fantastic progress.
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7. One and One Make Eleven
However, getting started is the worst part for many. Some members recommend seeking help from friends or family willing to assist with a spring cleaning day. There’s no better time to bring your organizer guru buddy to give you that extra push. Many suggest getting kids to pick up their clothes and toys until it becomes a habit. “It’s not a negotiation; it’s a family expectation. Use reasonable bribery as needed,” advises one.
8. Cinderella Saturday
Speaking of getting kids on board, many parents share fun ideas to reframe cleaning as a family activity. One person shares doing “Cinderella Saturday,” where the whole family works to clean the house in the morning and do something fun in the afternoon/evening. Another member recalls how their mom made cleaning fun by telling stories like, “Let’s pretend we are loyal servants of the princess, and the place has to be perfect for the wicked queen!” Other commenters mention putting up music and getting done with cleaning in about “three songs.”
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9. Bite-Sized Cleaning
If you’ve let the work pile up, you’ll likely struggle even to start the task. A member shares how they recently let their laundry pile up pretty bad and burned out as they tried doing as much as possible, as quickly as possible. It was a cycle, and they’d return to the beginning again, behind on laundry. They decided to take a break and do just one load a day. While it has taken a few weeks, the piles are going away. Breaking down the task relieved them because doing one load is easy, but doing five is not.
10. Stopwatch Showdown
One person swears by timing themselves and aims to do 30 minutes of daily cleaning. “At the end of it, I want to do more, I do; if not, I already fulfilled my objective,” they add. That’s not to say you can’t spend a few hours deep diving on a weekend, but a few minutes each day will add up. Another member thinks that taking photos of before and after can help with motivation.
This article was produced and syndicated by Happy Organized Life.