5 bad habits that keep your home a cluttered mess.

Good habits can put a clutter – free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy, but its worth it.

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Want to know the difference between those with cluttered, messy homes, and those with mostly clutter free homes?

HABITS!

Good habits can put a clutter-free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

Imagine returning home after a busy day. You walk in the door tired, but your glad to be home. Look around. Your house looks pretty good- not perfect, but tidy enough that you feel you can relax for a few minutes before starting dinner.

Isn’t that what you want? Its what we all want. Keep reading to learn which bad habits have been keeping you stuck. Replace bad habits with good ones to create the decluttered home you really want.

I’ll walk you through every one of the habit changes, one easy step at a time.

Sick of all the clutter in your life? Learn the 5 bad habits that keep your home cluttered.

1 You’re so overwhelmed with it all that you’ve given up trying.

Solution: Don’t give up yet! Its not hopeless. Keep reading!

2 You don’t put things away through out the day.

You (and your family)

  • Leave papers scattered through out your home.
  • leave dishes though out the house, on the coffee table, side tables, dressers and bedside tables.
  • Leave clothes (both dirty and clean) strewn about the home, on the floor, on the couch, over the backs of chairs.
  • Leave other items all over the house rather than putting them away when finished using them.

Don’t feel bad. These a very common sources of clutter. And good habits can help you do away with this type of daily surface clutter.

Solution: Make putting things away an automatic habit you practice as you go about your day.

  • When you leave a room, take dirty dishes with you and load them in the dishwasher immediately. If there are no dirty dishes, take other -out-of-place items and put them away. (clothes, papers, ect.)
  • After you fold laundry, put it away. It really doesn’t take long. Enlist some help from family members to make this even quicker.
  • When you take off clothing, hang it/fold it or put it in the hamper. Teach your children to do the same. It will take time for this to become a habit, but its possible. Put hampers in every room where dirty clothes get left.
  • Put important papers that need attention in an inbox/basket.
Don’t for get to check Dollar tree for organizing solutions.

3 You don’t put things away upon returning home.

Keys, jacket, bags, phone, mail, ect. Are all deposited in the most convenient spot.

Solution: Practice a threshold routine.

You’ve probably heard of morning routines, evening routines, and daily routines. Those are all good things.

But you also need a “return home routine” That rolls off the tongue slowly, so I like the term “threshold routine”

When you cross over your threshold with stuff in your hands, put it where it belongs.

  • Hang jackets
  • put keys on hooks, or in a basket/bowl
  • Put your phone, purse, and other bags in designated places.
  • Empty shopping bags, put everything away, and store/recycle the bags.
  • Open/recycle/shred papers, putting important ones that need attention in an inbox/basket.
  • Open packages, put things away and recycle the boxes.

This goes A LONG way toward helping you maintain a decluttered home.

It may sound like a time-consuming process but, really, its not. Try it and see. If you time yourself, you’ll see just how quick it is to do these things.

4 You don’t have a “place for everything” That’s working for you.

  • Your previous organizing efforts are a bit troublesome to use, there for no one is using the system you set uo including you.
  • You haven’t de cluttered closets, drawers, and shelves of things you don’t need or use. This makes it difficult to put things away (see #2 & #3 above) which keeps your home messy. This creates a vicious cycle, but it can be broken!

A place for everything, and everything in its place:

That’s my motto, and sort of my mantra that I keep repeating to myself, to make sure I stay on track. And its the most important organizing principal for maintaining a clutter free home. Making the ‘place’ easy and convenient to use help ensure things get put where they belong rather then left out on the most convenient surface.

Solution: Set up easy to use on hand storage solutions, like open baskets, trays, hooks. Frequently remind your family menbers to use them until this becomes a habit.

5 You don’t follow a daily routine

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” Benjamin Franklin

We all need a basic routine to follow each day.

Will you accomplish everything you plan to each day? Not likely. But that’s no excuse to give up completely. And let the days get away from you day after day and week after week.

Solution: Create a simple daily routine on paper and start using it. Put it some place in easy sight, like the fridge door. And hold yourself accountable.

To create a simple daily routine, get a sheet of paper. Across the top of the page write Monday – Sunday. Down the left side of the page write each important task you need accomplished each day. Those tasks should include things like:

  • unload the dish washer before breakfast]was/dry/fold/put away one load of laundry
  • decide on/prep dinner
  • one urgent task

If your just getting started with a daily routine, keep it very simple. If you add too many tasks to it, you may quickly become discouraged and give up.

Start with micro habits so small that you have no excuse not to do them.

The four tasks listed above are the bare minimum chores required to successfully run a household. You need to be able to load dirty dishes to keep your kitchen reasonably clean through out the day. You and your family need dinner. You and your family need clean clothes, and most days have at least one really urgent task that needs to be completed. Complete these four things each day and you will feel like a success.

Once you fall into habit with these basic tasks for a few weeks or a month try adding one more task to your daily routine.

You can do this!

Your home will be cleaner, and you’ll be happier.

10 rules for a happy hostess

Some peoples definition of a “long weekend” might be several days longer then your own.

Here are a few tips and advice for how to make your house guests feel at home.

Hosting house guests involves a little more effort then just pulling out the fold out couch. As we are now finally into summer, we can expect a guest a little more often. Here is what a blogger from ETIQUETTEDAILY.com does to keep her guests happy. And I have found, that if you follow her rule, you can expect guests back for years to come.

1 Set a specific start and end date for the visit.

Some peoples definition of a “long weekend” might be several days longer then your own. Whether your husband has a big work project coming up or your planning an out of town trip, let your guests know when you’ll be ready for them and when you’ll need for them to leave. “A good host can become a bad host very quickly when guests over stay their welcome.”

2 . Be a prepared host.

Call to confirm the dates of their trip a week before. Inquire about any food allergies or restricted diets.

3 Ensure everyone is comfortable.

An empty pantry is fine, if thats what your family is used to, but don’t let your visiters go hungry. Make a point to offer them snacks, and drinks or encourage them to help themselves. On a similar note, don’t commit to activities without consulting with your guests. If someone isn’t used to walking around all day long, a visit to a major museum may not be enjoyable.

4. Don’t make friends feel like intruders.

If you have a spare bedroom, leave out thoughtful extras, like slippers, and bottles of water. Empty the trash, clear your personal belongings from the dresser. If your guest are staying in a home office or den. Don’t just stack the blankets on the couch. Set up the room like a bed room and avoid using the space while they are there. – Unless your in especially tight quarters.

5. Make your home visiter friendly.

Ensure you have plenty of clean towels on hand. If your TV has 5 remotes (plus on for the sound system) explain how to get everything up and running, or write out instructions. Take extra precautions for pint sized guests. Putting away knick knacks and breakables is easier then playing bad cop – or losing something priceless.

6. Show your guests the essentials.

If your ok with guests grabbing snacks or hopping on the computer, point them in the right direction. Also let them know where they care find more toilet paper and extra linens. To that end, if you’d rather they stay away from certain things, tuck them away before your guests arrive.

7. Help everyone get around.

Leave copies of local maps plus numbers for car service. if they like to ride around town, take them early in their visit to a bike rental shop so they can have transport. Also give them an extra set of house keys, or show them where you stow the spare.

Keeping up with the laundry. Its easier then you think!

I USED TO HATE DOING LAUNDRY.

Hated it so much that I would avoid it for as long as I could. When I did do laundry, it would be the bare minimum. After the clothes were washed and dried, (hopefully in the same day) they rarely made it into the drawers or closets. It would sit in piles or in baskets in each room.

I took it personally too. I thought to myself, “why can’t I get it together and just get it done.” What was holding me back?

But over the last few years. since committing myself to being a more organized person I have finally broken thru the obstacle and figured out that keeping up with the laundry isn’t really that big of a deal. In reality, its a really simple and surprisingly easy task. If your doing it right.

HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT HELPED ME GET MY LAUNDRY ACT TOGETHER

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1 Sort your clothes…or don’t

If you sort your laundry, get multiple hampers so you can sort as you go. I suggest four, one for cold water, warm water whites, warm water colors, and towels. This way, when you do laundry you just grab a basket and go.

But before I changed my game on laundry, it was my short cut to just wash it all in cold water. No sorting necessary. FYI – the laundry police have not showed up yet!

All laundry is safe in cold water. Its the warm water that makes things shrink or causes colors to run. Plus cold water is more energy efficient. Hello savings!!!

Yes, warm water is better on stains or really dirty clothes, but if your looking for a corner to cut, this one most likely wont cause you any trouble.

So, sort your clothes as you go… or don’t sort them at all. Either way, you’ve eased some of the pain of doing laundry. High five!

2 WASH AND DRY IN 2 MINUTES FLAT

The amount of time spent on this part of the process is incredibly small. It takes like 60 seconds, maybe, to turn on your washer and let it fill while you pour in detergent (and fabric softener) and add the clothes. It seriously is so easy.

Once you are done with that, then comes the hard part, for me…remembering to move it to the dryer. Figure out a way to remind yourself… leave the light on as a reminder, set a timer on your phone, or figure out when in your schedule you will come back and take less then 60 seconds to move clothes from the washer to the dryer. Just don’t forget!

So far, we have done 2 minutes of laundry. Why do we avoid this exactly?

3 FOLD< HANG< AND PUT AWAY FASTER!

Now this is the part I would dread about laundry. I would procrastinate this step for so long that my clothing situation was a night mare. Here is how I made it easier.

De wrinkle your clothes before you start.

Forget ironing. If your clothes have been sitting for a while after drying and gained a bunch of wrinkles, then toss them back into the dryer to get the wrinkles out. 5 minutes in there (on any setting that involves heat) goes a long way!

Take your clothes straight from the dryer to your closet.

Because I hate this part of laundry, when ever I do it I try to make it fun. By doing it while I watched tv. I love to multi task, si if I can watch a favorite show or you tube video I know it will be more enjoyable.

But… It took me a while to realize that this made the process take longer. It only takes 5 minutes to fold one load … not a whole episode! Also, if you do it in the living room, or even the laundry room, its a whole extra step to collect all the piles and carry them to the correct rooms. So cut out the middle man and fold or hang the laundry right by the closet or dresser it belongs in.

Stop sorting socks!

It takes so much time to match them up and secure them together. I’m usually about variety, but I’m happy to sacrifice unique socks to make life easier all my socks are the same, and they get stacked not bundled. I use a lingerie bag in the washer to keep all the socks together.

4 LESS CLOTHES = LESS LAUNDRY

If you’ve got a bad habit of waiting until you’re out of clothes to ware before doing laundry… then maybe its time to get rid of some clothes so you run out faster. I’m kidding – kind of lol!

If you have to many then you will end up with too much laundry to do. If you only have what you need, then your house wont be busting at the seams with piles of clean and dirty clothes.

Its just logical. If you can manage to go 3 weeks with out doing laundry, then don’t be surprised when you have 3 weeks of laundry to do at one time. If you limit the amount of clothes that you own, you also limit how far behind you get.

5. MORE LAUNDRY = LESS LAUNDRY

Say what?!?!

Forget “laundry day” Please don’t make your self spend hours doing laundry every other Saturday. Its the worst! Do some laundry every day.

Doing laundry more often will allow it to take less of a toll on your life. Find your rhythm, figure out how much needs to be done on a daily basis to stay on top of it.

I would rather spend 10 minutes a day keeping up with laundry then skip it all together and end up needing to spend hours on it. Laundry is a never ending chore. But it doesn’t have to be miserable. keep it simple, and keep it moving.

Spread the word!

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