I haven't always been organized + tidy. As a child and a teenager, I'm confident I didn't always put my things away without first being asked by my parents. As I moved into a series of apartments and then my first home, I know I would have preferred some notice before you came to visit.
Today that perspective is different. While our home isn't always picture perfect, it requires much less effort to reset the space on any given day. The biggest difference for me from past to present is one major thing - my mindfulness around embracing my role as the tidy leader in our family.
What I've done isn't difficult, but it does require a focused effort and a shift in how you think. It requires you to be aware of many aspects of your life's clutter including physical, time and yes, mind.
first, you need to prioritize
This might go without saying, but the first step to having a tidy home is to prioritize it. Prioritizing it sounds like "A tidy home is important to me and I'm going to show that in the way I live each and every day" rather than "I wish I had a tidy home". When you truly prioritize having a tidy home, you begin to take the steps to lead yourself and your family to bringing that vision to life. The prioritization and vision starts initially in your mind's eye and requires you to be present in the everyday moments to actualize it.
apply mindfulness techniques to your daily life
For me, mind clutter is an area I need to consistently be aware of to keep decluttered. It's easy for me to get lost and caught up in my thoughts and, in turn, spin and lose focus on what I was working on. I hear this same thing from many of my friends and clients.
One tool that I've been using to keep mind clutter at an arm's length is a reflection practice. I've written about it in two blog posts, which are how I slowed down to declutter my mind and the daily ritual that changed my life. For me, my reflection practice helps me pause and take the dedicated time to ponder how things are going in particular areas rather than just continuing to juggle the swirl of the everyday without giving those thoughts time to breathe.
The other tool I use consistently is the Neat Little Planner, where I consistently plan out my days and weeks. Writing to-dos, meals, asks and general notes out on paper allows me to return back to my planner as a guide should my mind become overwhelmed as we all do from time to time.
use routines to help build your mindfulness muscle
We all have thoughts that can readily take over and I find routines can help provide some architecture to help structure and build successful habits. Routines assist in increasing your mindfulness muscle because repetition and focus organically with time make you more present. For example, if you carve out time on your calendar to work out each day, you are then mindful and all-in when that time comes. You are ready for your work out (well, most days).
One routine I do consistently that helps my family and I keep our home tidy is the weekly reset. It's one of the most powerful tools I/we have that allows us to focus each week to bring our home back to a state of calm. If you're someone who loves a checklist, please download our free weekly reset checklist.
rally your team and/or get support help if needed
Many wives and moms take on the sole role of keeping the home tidy. Over time winging it alone, individuals might feel resentment toward their spouse and family. If that sounds like you, I'm here to share that there is another way.
Rally your own team to help and support. Start having conversations and holding your family accountable to help you keep your/their home clean + tidy.
If you live alone or if your home requires more support than your family can tackle collectively, then it might be time to bring in some professionals. You might consider hiring a professional crew to help you get your home cleaned consistently. You might also consider calling in a professional organizer like Neat Little Nest to help you create organizational systems that you can maintain in your quest to stay tidy. Bringing in cleaning support, decluttering and organizing support does not mean you've failed as a wife or mother. It means that you have prioritized your time so you can focus on other things.
The state of our homes impacts our minds and mental health. When your brain sees clutter, it absolutely hinders motivation and productivity. When everything is tidy, has a "home" or a system to corral it, your environment is a soothing respite. Using mindfulness, routines and planning are important elements to incorporate into your house decluttering + cleaning toolbox.
Cleaning + decluttering, for me, are mindfulness practices. They are not chores that I dread, nor ways to strive for a perfect living environment, but ways to practice living in the present moment.
Photo credit: Jes Lahay Photography
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