Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions
(Home Cleaning Edition)
It’s exciting and maybe a little too quick, but it’s true – 2020 will be here soon.
(Or it’s here already, depending on when you read this.)
Is keeping your house clean a part of your 2020 goals?
Maintaining a clean home is an inspiring resolution that ties in nicely with the “New Year, New You” line of thinking popular on January 1st.
But like most resolutions, the truth is we rarely stick to them.
We usually start with a few weeks of good effort, sometimes a miraculous couple of months, but then we usually revert back to our old self.
Why we are so bad at staying the course? Is there anything we can do?
Absolutely there is!
To help you stick to your New Year’s resolution of keeping a clean home, here are 5 do’s and don’ts that will turn your temporary resolution into a permanent habit.
1. Unrealistic Resolutions vs Good Habits
❌ Don’t make unrealistic resolutions
“Shoot for the stars” they say.
Many people feel like, in order to be successful, you need to make these grand, seemingly-impossible goals to help push yourself to achieve things you never thought you could before.
Most of the time these grandiose dreams are non-specific and, even worse, not in your control.
A general example of this is when people make a goal or resolution to “change the world” or “find the perfect partner”.
You can work all you want to make yourself a more attractive person. You can get a high paying job, work out every day, become a home chef, etc. You can do all those things to make yourself perfect, but you can’t control whether or not the “partner of your dreams” will fall in love with you. You just can’t.
The same theory applies to house cleaning – there is no perfection!
One unrealistic resolution is keeping your house perfectly spotless ALL the time.
Of course, you can try to do some cleaning every day to stay organized and remove dust. But will you have the time and stamina to do chores everyday? Even after a long day at work or running errands?
Don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to housecleaning. You can avoid that feeling of failure (and many fights with your significant other!) but loosening up your standards, even just a little.
✔️ Do focus on creating good habits instead
So, what’s a realistic resolution when it comes to housecleaning?
Try making a simple goal of forming good housecleaning habits.
Most of us have a habit of cleaning the kitchen AFTER we’re done cooking. This creates a huge pile of dishes that makes it tempting to leave and do later.
Instead of leaving a mess in the kitchen, you can clean while you cook. Not only does it help you save time cleaning after cooking, it also makes the kitchen stay organized and tidy while you cook.
Another good habit you can create is to declutter the closet.
Many homeowners view decluttering as a seasonal activity rather than a weekly ritual. However, closets and shelves accumulate dirt and dust just like every other space in the home.
Make it a habit to declutter the house once a week. Whether it’s digging through the clothes or going through a stack of toys, decluttering ensures that only those items that you really need, stay inside the house.
2. No Stress vs Quick Cleaning Tips
❌ Don’t get yourself stressed about having a clean house
The dishes are piling up, the laundry basket is overflowing, and you can’t remember what your carpet is supposed to look like when it’s clean. Not to mention the pain of stepping on a million Legos or Shopkins!
Sound familiar? Yeah, we know that life.
But while we stress about getting our house clean it may also help if we change our perspective on the matter.
For example: a messy house means…you have a home to live in. Dirty dishes means…you have food to eat. A pile of laundry means…you have plenty of clothes to wear.
House cleaning is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. But instead of making ourselves suffer from the stress of a messy home, we should learn how to accept it and turn it into part of your daily routine that you enjoy doing.
✔️ Do prepare some quick cleaning tips
Life gets busy. We often find ourselves over overworked, over-scheduled, and over-stressed. It’s only natural that some things get forgotten about, or just pushed down the list of priorities.So how can we find the balance between our busy life and a clean home?”
One answer is: Learn some quick cleaning tips.
You can learn different cleaning tips depending on your priorities, but it all serves one purpose: having a clean home in the least amount of time.
❓ Say you don’t have time to search for different kinds of cleaners to wipe or scrub different parts of your home.
? Find an All-purpose cleaner that you can clean everything ( or almost everything). Try a few before you can find the best one you like.
❓ Want to make your bathroom and/or toilet smell better?
? Pour a small amount of disinfecting cleaner onto the bottom of your toilet brush holder. It not only keeps the brush clean and smelling nice, but if you want to give your toilet bowl a quick swish, then you already have the brush loaded up with cleaner.
3. Mood Factor vs Scheduling
❌ Don’t let your mood affect your house cleaning
Sometimes do things based on our mood.
For example, say you plan to clean the house for the upcoming weekend because you know it needs to get done. So you feel determined and motivated to complete this mission in anticipation of the actual day.
The next day, you have a tough day at work. This, of course, makes you feel down and, as a result, you lose all interest in cleaning your house as planned.
We understand that life gets in the way and that plans doesn’t go as they should from time to time, but developing a habit of carrying on and sticking to what we planned will serve you well when it comes to house cleaning as well as in life.
✔️ Do put it on your calendar and stick to it
Block out a recurring hour or two each week on your calendar so that you have some structured and scheduled time to get your chores done.
Just like you would at work.
For example, Monday evenings can be set aside for cleaning windows or wiping kitchen appliances, Tuesdays for laundry, and so on.
Once your cleaning routine is set up on your calendar, set yourself reminders and try to stick to this routine as much as possible. If by any chance you skip the task of a particular day, reschedule the task to a different day.
By treating it like a task you would do at work, you’re more likely to take the task seriously and stick to what you planned to do.
4. Handwritten Notes vs Using an App
❌ Don’t write it on a piece of paper
Do you get into one of those zones and plan out a list of tasks to do and things to buy? But you wrote on a piece of paper and now that paper is gone?
Or you still have your list but then when the time comes to get to work, you’re still binge watching The Good Place on Netflix and now it’s 9pm? Where’s those reminders when you need them?
Sure there are some advantages that note-taking on paper brings (i.e: fast, easier to write, easier on the eyes, etc.), but paper is so easy to lose (when’s the last time you lost your phone?) and there are no buzzing alerts or push notifications to remind that you need to do something.
✔️ Do get a digital technology help
People, we are in the 21st century.
There are thousands of apps that you can use on your phone for scheduling, reminding, or measuring and keeping track of all your New Year’s resolutions, including the ones for house cleaning.
There is no one app or piece of technology that works for everyone. We all have different needs and preferences but as long as it’s convenient and user-friendly for you, then just go with it.
But if you want to know more about which apps we prefer to stay organized and to stick to your New Year’s goals, check out this Scrubbi blog for more details 🙂
5. Loneliness vs Support
❌ Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It can feel daunting when you’re living alone. Loneliness is a real challenge.
It’s easy to let things slide when you’re not feeling yourself, especially things that don’t seem important in the grand scheme of things…like house cleaning.
But having a clean home can actually help. It helps us to: keep focused on things, reduce anxiety, and keeps us confident that we are capable adults.
Sure, a clean home is a small thing, just like making your bed, for example, is a small thing, but those habits go a long way in setting us up mentally to succeed.
In other words, it’s not a cure, but it is an aid to what will help.
If you need help with a clean home, don’t be afraid to ask for some help. It doesn’t have to be a cleaning service, even a willing friend or neighbour is more than enough.
But the last thing you want to do, is try to go it alone when you probably shouldn’t.
✔️ Do ask for help from others or a cleaning company if needed
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We all need it sometimes.
Do you have a spouse, a live-in partner, or children? They should be helping with the house chores too.
Talk to your children about picking up after themselves, your husband about putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or your wife about putting away clean dishes in the dishwasher.
When everyone at home is accountable, it will be easier for you to achieve your New Year’s goal of having a clean house. And they’ll benefit from it too.
If you live alone, as mentioned, ask a good friend or friendly neighbour and offer to cook or buy them dinner. You’ll strengthen your bond and, perhaps with the neighbour, make a new friend.
But if you and your family don’t have time for cleaning your house? Or you live alone and are too shy?
Well, you can always hire a house cleaning service. We’ve helped many in this situation.
It’s weird, sometimes when you know someone is coming, that’s motivation to keep your home clean. Even if that person is a cleaner that you hired. 🙂