Creating supportive and empowering homes helps us to care for ourselves. In the absence of a magic wand, this is where discipline comes in. For any dream that has been brought into the light of day, once that initial wave of inspiration has subsided, we need to employ perspiration. Rather than seeing maintaining your home in a tidy, organised state as a chore, I encourage you to consider it as a mindful practice. It can be a way to nurture and heal ourselves and what we have discovered or planted in our lives. Just as a cluttered home is a manifestation of choices that have been postponed or avoided, a well-maintained space echoes a commitment to our highest values and to ourselves. It can become a place that continues to remind you of what matters most to you and where you have chosen to focus your energy and attention.
Ten simple habits for a calm, ordered home
As with maintaining a garden, maintaining your space is just as important as decluttering it and creating order will support your wellbeing. You don’t have to make huge changes to make a difference, start with some simple, easy actions that can make a real difference. Here are my top 10 tips:
- Take 30 seconds to smooth out your duvet and plump your pillows each morning.
- Never go to bed without doing the washing up or loading the dishwasher. Starting your day with the previous day’s mess still lying around is a bit like living in debt, always paying off yesterday’s spending and not having enough for today.
- If things are getting on top of you, choose a specific room to keep tidy; for example, the kitchen, the space where you prepare food that nourishes your body.
- Go to bed in a tidy room. You’ll sleep much better without piles of undone things lying around your bedroom to prey on your mind.
- Put clothes back in their place, or in the laundry, when you take them off.
- Never let your washing pile grow higher than the top of the laundry basket.
- Give the bath or shower a quick rinse straight after using it. A grubby bath represents neglect and you won’t want to do it later.
- Put shoes away. Bending over to pick them up beats tripping over them, any day.
- Keep paperwork in a neat pile and set a weekly date with yourself – even if it’s just half an hour – to go through it and do the filing when it hits the top of the in-tray. As with laundry, don’t let it back up, but don’t be a slave to it either!
- If you have a workspace at home, take a minute or so to tidy your desk at the end of the day. It makes starting work that much easier and more motivating.
I also suggest you chose some of these and/or build some habits of your own, this is covered in the next topic. Later in this lesson is an exercise to write a ‘House Charter’ where you define your standards and expectations when comes to maintaining your home.