I have always dreaded cleaning and organizing. I was not born organized so I have really had to train myself to do it. Often, my problem staying organized is that I think so much about the thing that needs to be done that I begin to dread it. Here are a few tips I used to change my attitude about the things I dreaded:
Time yourself to see how long it takes to do a chore.
- Two days ago I cleaned the fridge. It took me two minutes to clean off one shelf. After a child meltdown, I came back and finished. It took me 10 minutes to clean the entire refrigerator and that included three minutes cleaning up a mess from my two year old “helping” by dumping something on the floor.
- I used to hate to make the bed. Then I timed myself. It takes me exactly 1 minute. Now that I know that, it doesn’t seem difficult at all.
- It took me five minutes to clean out my “plasticware” shelf.
- To clean the bathroom sink and toilet took me just five minutes, including wiping down the floor. Cleaning the tub (removing the contents and cleaning) took another 5 minutes, so it took only ten minutes to clean the entire bathroom!
It really doesn’t take as long as you might think to get cleaned and organized. When you realize it only takes one minute or five minutes or ten minutes to do something, the task doesn’t seem so bad!
Do one thing for five minutes and see how far you can get.
Identify the thing that is bugging you the most and do it first!
Often, we have lots of little things that need to be cleaned, repaired or organized, but we don’t want to deal with them right now. Sometimes it pays to just make the time rather than to keep putting it off.
Our front door is mostly glass and the fingerprints on the front door were driving me crazy! While David was eating, instead of doing the dishes, I ran over and wiped down the door. (It took 3 minutes.) It has been bugging me for days. As soon as I took the three minutes to do it, it was off my mind and I could go on and do the dishes.
I have always dreaded unloading the dishwasher. One day, I timed myself and it takes only three minutes for me to unload the entire thing. Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t seem so bad.
Mike wanted to change the door knob on our front door. It didn’t work correctly and we kept getting locked out. He bought a new door knob, but he was in the middle of another project and didn’t change it right away. One day, after sidestepping it for a while, he decided to stop everything else and change it. It took five minutes. He said if he had known that’s all the time it would take, he never would have waited so long to do it.
Most of the time we spend more time thinking about these things than just taking the time to do it and get it over with! Now walk away from the computer and take care of that thing that is bothering you!
For more easy cleaning tips to make your life easier, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.