We have learned from professional organisers and home stagers that a 15-minute investment of time and energy each day can help to vanquish much of the stress you experience daily. Face it. Housekeeping can be brutal. Even if you have the advantage styling and the entire space well organised, you can still be overwhelmed.
It isn’t that the work is so difficult. It’s more about the fact that things have a way of wandering around the house and giving you angst. When you see disorder, you stress over it. When you don’t have a plan to conquer the clutter, you begin to feel like a failure. This has a way of seeping into your soul and diminishing your Quality of Life (QOL.) We’ve learned a few ways to restore your peace in 15 minutes a day. Read on.
• Set your timer for 15 minutes.
• Spray the tub, shower, toilet, and sink with bathroom cleaner.
• Gather your tools: a laundry basket, a garbage bag, and a bin for removing items that don’t belong in the bathroom.
• In and around the shower and bath put bars of soap, shampoo, body wash, and other items into their proper places. If you have small children with bath-toys, put them into a basket and stash that in a drawer or cabinet under the sink.
• Practice your hook-shot while you toss dirty towels, used washcloths, stray underwear, and any other fabric items into your laundry basket just outside the bathroom door.
• Replace towels with clean ones.
• Wipe down fixtures
• Empty waste paper basket.
• Put the dirty washing in the laundry.
• Set your timer. (Your room in this exercise does not include your wardrobe. That “room” should have its own 15-minutes of attention.)
• Working from right to left, stash anything that needs to be disposed of into your trash bag. Begin with the items on dressers or bedside tables and work your way around the room.
• Hang up or fold and stash any clean clothing you may have tossed on a chair or the floor as you were dressing.
• Dirty clothes should go into your laundry basket for transport to the laundry.
• Put those stacks of clean folded clothing into their proper drawer or bin in your wardrobe.
• Put shoes in their proper place – a dedicated space in your wardrobe. Same with any belts scarves, or jewellery.
• Quickly dust horizontal surfaces: bedside tables, dressers, and side tables.
• Walk away.
The Entry Area
We’ve saved the entry of your house until last because it is probably as overwhelmed as your kitchen with stuff that belongs elsewhere. This is where mail gets dropped, shoes are kicked off, and coats miss the hooks meant to hold them.
Attack this area with the same timer and the same philosophy. If it isn’t meant to welcome your family and your guests, it probably doesn’t belong there. Mail should have its own space in your house where you deal with it regularly. If your children drop their books, papers, shoes and coats in the entry, consider creating a mud-room at the rear or side entrance. Add some coat hooks, throw in a few cubbies and label them for each family member. This advantage styling takes little effort and can save time in keeping the entry looking hospitable.
If you’ve been kind enough to read both of these decluttering in 15-minute blogs, you will have seen the light by now. None of this is rocket science. It’s merely a matter of gathering errant items and putting them back where they belong. Tossing out the garbage, and deliberately putting papers, magazines, school work, and other paperwork where they should be will help you develop your organisational skills.
Too often we do these chores without thinking. Taking the time to observe the way in which your home is organised will help. Think about how you use the space. How can you make it more efficient? Don’t be afraid to re-organise or give it the advantage styling to make it all work together better.
Your QOL has value and you should look after it with as much dedication as you do your finances. By creating habits that save stress and make your world a better place, everyone in your circle of relationships will benefit.