Some simple housekeeping habits, like decluttering your home, can make a huge impact on both your mental and physical health.
We are all guilty of letting housework pile up until it gets too overwhelming. Dedicating a few minutes every day for the upkeep of your home is not that big of a deal when your work and social lives are going steady.
However, once things begin to get hectic, many of us respond by procrastinating and let things slide. We even tell ourselves we’ll deal with them later. Most of the times, the little tasks we ignore turn into big challenges that appear almost impossible to complete.
If your house isn’t clean, it can make your entire décor look drab. The best way to avoid extra work and the frustration that comes with it is by regaining control and cleaning your home.
Bad Housekeeping Habits You Need To Quit
Take a look at the list below and ask yourself if you’re guilty of any of these bad housekeeping practices and how you can effectively get rid of them. To help you out, here are a few tips on how to clean your house and keep it organized.
1. Don’t let the laundry pile up
Every bedroom has a chair that is hidden under piles of clean, freshly laundered clothes. If you have any such piece of furniture, get rid of it immediately or move it to another location. You need to fold your clothes and put them in your closet as soon as possible. A growing pile of clothes in the corner will only make your room look messy and unkempt.
Moreover, this bad housekeeping habit will make it difficult for you to sort through your things on a daily basis.
It will probably take you less than 10 minutes to fold the clothes or place them on hangers. If you make this a habit, your closet will remain organized. You also won’t be tempted to just pick clothes off the chair and stuff them anywhere if a guest suddenly shows up.
2. Don’t leave the bed unmade
It doesn’t matter how early you need to get up for work or school. There’s literally no excuse for leaving your bed unmade before leaving the house. While it’s understandable that you might forget folding blankets if you’re running late in the morning, make sure this doesn’t become a permanent habit. Wake up a couple of minutes early so you can fix your pillows and sheets before leaving your room.
Just remember, if you make your bed in the morning, you won’t be welcomed by an unsightly mess when you return home after a long day. You can even watch a few tutorials for the proper way to put sheets on a bed.
It is also extremely important to wash your pillow covers, bed sheets, blankets and even pillows on a regular basis. While the first two items need to be washed every 10 to 12 days, the rest of the items don’t need to be washed so often.
3. Don’t use dirty cleaning tools
You can’t clean your home (or anything else for that matter) with a dirty rag. If your duster has turned grey and is full of dust, you should not be using it at all. It is important to use a clean cloth. Otherwise, you would just be pushing the bacteria around instead of trapping the dust particles.
One of the main things people mostly overlook while cleaning is the state of their cleaning tools – particularly their washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Undoubtedly two of the most useful machines in the house, we rarely pay attention to the maintenance of these things.
If your clothes smell a little weird even after being washed, it’s time to give your washing machine a thorough wash. The simplest way to get rid of this bad housekeeping habit is to regularly wash th machine with hot water and vinegar. The solution would clean up the buildup from detergent and other dirt particles.
As for the vacuum cleaners, don’t forget to regularly change and empty the vacuum bag. You should also take out a few minutes to clean the machine’s filter so it could work properly. You can only keep your house clean and tidy if you pay adequate attention to your cleaning tools.
4. Don’t toss things into a junk drawer
This is perhaps one of the worst housekeeping habits that we’re all a little guilty of.
Stop hoarding random things that you think you might need someday. Like most households, if yours also has a junk drawer stuffed with screws, buttons, old take out receipts and other clutter, get rid of it as soon as possible. Sort out the contents of that drawer and throw away all the things that you haven’t used in the past four months and don’t think you’ll be using in the next two months either.
As for all the loose buttons, nails and other tiny but useful items, you can easily store them in separate jars and add labels. You can even invest in a drawer organizer or make one yourself in order to keep things in their correct place and avoid clutter from accumulating again.
It is recommended that you declutter your home and clean your junk drawer on a monthly basis.
5. Don’t pile dirty dishes in the sink
If you live alone, make it a habit to wash your plates and glasses as soon as you are done with your meal. If there are other people living in the house as well, ask them to do the same. Some cooking utensils need to be soaked for a longer time. However, apart from those pans and pots, your kitchen sink should be empty at all times.
A sink filled with dirty dishes can become a health hazard. Not only would it serve as a hotbed for bacteria but also attract insects and bugs. There is a good chance your kitchen will also start to stink if you leave your dishes rotting for too long. It’s easier to wash a couple of plates and spoons after every meal instead of washing over a dozen of them at your personal convenience.
Once you are done with the dishes, don’t forget to clean the kitchen sink with baking soda or some other cleaner at hand.
6. Don’t hoard paper clutter
Decluttering is one of the biggest secrets to keeping your home clean. Most of us have a habit of storing all take out menus, delivery receipts, junk mail, catalogues, old newspapers and magazines. So, unless you want to get overwhelmed by stacks of papers in your home, you need to start getting rid of them.
Start by sorting through the mail and tearing up unwanted or spam mail. Repeat the same process for other stacks as well. File away important documents and bills in separate folders and label them accordingly. Outdated menus and catalogues along with old newspapers and magazines should also be removed from the house.
Another way to cleaning your house and cutting down on stacks of paper is by going digital. If you pay your bills online and opt to read the newspaper on your phone or laptop, you’ll significantly reduce paper clutter in your home.
7. Clean while you cook
If you like to cook, you must also learn how to clean a kitchen. Make sure all the dirty pans and pots don’t pile up while you are cooking. Moreover, remember to properly wash the cutting board, knives, spoons, bowls and everything else once you are done using them.
Meal prep can be quite hectic. However, if you don’t clean as you go, you’ll be left with a big mess that you’ll have to deal with later anyway.
The same goes for stains. If you’ve spilt something while cooking, clean it immediately with a damp piece of cloth before it dries up and becomes difficult to remove. In addition to that, always keep a multi-purpose cleaner in your kitchen. It will help you deal with stubborn stains, particularly the ones that form on your stovetop, making your kitchen appear filthy and unhygienic.
8. Don’t delay minor cleaning and repair tasks
From small plumbing leaks to chipped paint, if you notice something that needs fixing, get on with it as soon as possible.
More often than not, overlooking seemingly minor home maintenance chores can add up to big bills. You’ll then be forced to spend much more on repairs than you would have spent had you paid attention to the problem earlier.
Decluttering is no exception to this rule. If you don’t focus and change your bad housekeeping habits, the junk would continue to accumulate until it becomes hard to manage and effectively ruins the décor of your house.
Make sure to always store things in their correct place. Also, stop yourself from hoarding things that you won’t be using in the foreseeable future. This is one of the most ingenious ways to make your home appear more organized.
9. Keep track of what’s in your fridge
Putting leftovers in the fridge with the intention of eating them later is one thing, but completely forgetting what’s in your refrigerator and having to throw out spoiled food is another.
If your fridge has days old soup, expired condiments, rotten vegetables and mouldy bread, it is high time you begin to pay attention and learn how to organize your fridge – if not for home maintenance then for the sake of your personal health.
You can start by turning off the refrigerator and taking everything out of it. Next, remove the shelves and vegetable basket. You need to carefully wash them before taking a damp sponge and wiping off the insides of the fridge. Now, once you have tackled all the stains and spots, sort through the contents of your refrigerator. You need to throw away the food that has gone bad and move all the edibles into Tupperware with lids. Make sure the fridge is completely dry from the inside before placing all the shelves and turning it on. For an organized fridge, repeat this process every two to three weeks depending on how dirty it gets.
10. Don’t get distracted while cleaning
Last but not least, don’t get distracted once you begin cleaning. If you want to clean your home like a professional, you can’t afford to lose track of your tasks. Starting a job and not completing it is yet another poor housekeeping habit you need to drop.
Taking short, periodic breaks is fine. However, if you have a tendency to get sidetracked and completely forget what you were doing, set a timer. Before you start, ask yourself how much time it would take to clean this part of the home and set an alarm accordingly. Once it goes off, wrap up your business and move to another portion of your home.
Remember, you don’t need to deep clean your home in one go, you just need to take care of some small chores every day so they don’t turn into one giant mess. In fact, you can turn decluttering your home into a weekend project.