People always ask me how my house is (almost) always neat. Here is my secret: I never leave a messy room! This is the holy grail of becoming a neat freak. The general rule should be don’t leave a room until it is cleaned up.
Now, my husband would disagree with me big time on this philosophy. He finds my approach super inefficient. His feeling is you should clean up once, at the end of the day. I disagree. With my approach there is no cleaning or straightening to do at the end of an exhausting day when I’d rather be doing anything but cleaning.
Take the kitchen after dinner as an example. After you finish dinner and put the dishes in the sink, you move on to the next activity (kids need to be bathed, bills need to be paid, a load of laundry needs to go in). Once that is done, you’ll want to pour yourself a (second?) glass of wine, and hop on the couch.
BUT, the dirty kitchen will still be hanging over your head! You’ll get grumpy thinking about having to do it now that you are nice and relaxed. Maybe you’ll even decide that you deserve to not clean up anymore today (which is, I’m certain, true!). So you go to sleep, only to wake up to dirty dishes.
How do you put this in action? Enter the neat freak approach. If you spend 10 minutes cleaning up right after you eat, load the dishwasher and start it, wipe the counters (even pack lunch for the next day for good measure . . .but that’s for another post), you can then go and relax and never have to think about the kitchen again.
Same goes for the playroom. My kids are now in the habit of putting their toys away before leaving the playroom, even if it means breaking down the puzzle they worked so hard on. This clears the way for a new fun activity the next time they enter the room.
The neat freak lifestyle may seem daunting at first, but once you get in the habit you won’t even think twice about it. Try it – it may just change your life!
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