Some of us are naturally untidy. We just can’t seem to help ourselves. We place our coffee mugs down on the corner table and forget to take them back to the kitchen. We come in the door, chuck our hat and coat on the nearest chair, and they never quite make it to the cupboard. There are millions of us living with houses that never look their best, with clothes, washing up and hoovering always needing doing.
By changing your mindset and basic rules of behaviour, you can tidy your house without having to do anything. For example, take the hat and coat problem. All you have to do is designate a place where they go – the understairs cupboard and the coat peg – and do not put them down unless it is in the right place. This way, you do not get a proliferation of outdoors weather gear building up by the door.
Another trick i’ve learned from PortableACNerd‘s website, is to treat a tidy house as a reward. When things start getting out of control, put away a few things – just 5 or 6. You’ll feel better for it, and the room will look nicer. A little while later, put away a few more things. You’ll gradually reinforce the idea in yourself that tidying brings about a positive response. The most important thing when starting off is only to tidy when you feel like it – make it a chore, and it won’t work.
A further idea, and one that has really helped me, is to tack a little bit extra onto every bit of work I do around the house. Take washing up, for instance. Once you are finished with the dishes and have wiped down the tops, try to do a little 5 minute job that you don’t do every week. Clean out a cupboard, give the windows a quick once over, clean out the fridge – any quick job that needs doing. This way you will raise the overall cleanliness and tidiness of the house without having to make the effort and set some time aside.
Lastly, for all the tea and coffee fiends out there, spoons and dirty cups can stack up quickly. Get into the habit of washing, drying and putting away every spoon you use and you will soon end up with a never-ending supply of clean, dry spoons. And with cups? Clean your mug or cup every time you use it. Just giving it a quick rinse out can leave stains around the top and bottom but a 1 minute scrub is all that is needed to keep it squeaky clean.
And, after all that tidying, you might be in need of a good massage. Alex, who wrote this article, works for The Sanctuary, a London spa that has a wide range of skin treatments and also offers beauty products such as body butter (ideal for hydrating hands stripped by cleaning products).