Again, we welcome the phenomenal Monica Ricci as a guest author on Unclutterer. She’s the organizing adviser for Office Depot and Beazer Homes, and you may have seen her on HGTV’s Mission Organization. She’s a professional organizer hailing from Atlanta.
Creating an organized life means, among other things, taking control of your space. When did you last clean your toilets? How about your sinks? Mirrors? Floors? Whether you own or rent, live in a studio apartment or a large home, cleaning is a regular necessity. I’m willing to bet that with few exceptions you probably don’t look forward to cleaning? Yet, like it or not, housecleaning — like organizing — remains a lifelong maintenance task. In the spirit of enjoying your life as much as possible, how do you reconcile the fact that you have to do something you dislike over and over again for all of the foreseeable future? (Man, that sounds grim) The way I see it, you have only a few options…
- You can hire someone else to do it for you. This is a viable option for some people, but others either can’t justify the expense, or just plain can’t stomach the thought of paying someone to do something they can do for themselves.
- You can do it yourself and grumble and whine and dread every minute of it.
- You can do it yourself and enjoy it.
The first option is relatively easy. Ask for referrals from friends to find someone to clean for you who is reliable and trustworthy. The second option is the one a lot of people choose. They do clean their own homes, but only when it’s so bad they can’t stand it or when they’re expecting company. They dread thinking about it and dread doing it even more. Then when they do clean, they spend every minute wishing they were finished.
I’m all about option number three, and I want you to be too! So how do you take a task you hate and turn it around so you not only don’t dread it, but you actually begin to enjoy it? The secret is all in your mindset.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, living an organized life has a lot to do with taking control of your space. This means making sure the areas where you live and work are in a “positive state of readiness,” so they can support your life both mentally and physically. Cleanliness is part of that positive state of readiness, and here’s the secret to enjoying cleaning:
Look past the task and connect with the benefit it offers to your life.
Although housekeeping (and organizing) may seem like drudgery on the surface, if you can mentally and emotionally connect with the deeper benefit, the task becomes easier and feels more worthwhile in exchange for a larger future benefit. So, keeping your house clean and orderly is just like going to the gym, going to college, or anything with a long term benefit. You do what you must now in order to feel a certain way and have a specific result later.
Think of housekeeping as another expression of love for yourself and your family, rather than a necessary evil, and you’ll dread it less and enjoy it more.