I’m watching the Olympics, so I don’t have a lot of time to do housework. Here are some habits I’ve trained myself to use over the years. Because I do these most of the time, my space is neat and uncluttered. Try it for yourself.
- Put stuff away after use. Most things need to be behind closed doors or in drawers. Have a designated place for everything.
- Put everything away after a shopping trip. And if your space is really cluttered, throw away two or three items you no longer need while you’re putting things away.
- Handle paper as little as possible—take care of it (answer it, call someone about it, mark it on your calendar, etc.), file or toss it. Open mail next to a wastebasket. Don’t even open something you know is junk, just toss it.
- Deal with dirty clothes properly—put in hamper or basket, wash when you have a load. Put away as soon as dry.
- Don’t leave the kitchen with dishes in the sink or unwiped countertops, food left out, or any other kind of mess. Immediately after finishing a meal, deal with the cleanup.
- Don’t leave any room without picking up everything that needs picking up.
Once all of this becomes habitual, your space will look fantastic, ready for company, and you will have saved yourself a lot of time. Win-win!