We started talking about how to prepare yourself for a successful workweek last Sunday. In my life, it’s so easy for things to spiral out of control during the week as you grow steadily more exhausted each day until you can collapse on Friday evening with a glass of wine or a mug of cocoa. And when things start to spiral, my preparations can maintain my dressing and eating habits for a few days, but my apartment starts to show wear almost immediately.
It’s harder than it sounds to maintain a welcoming home. And it’s hard to welcome anyone into your home while the shame and embarrassment you feel that someone can SEE your apartment like THIS echoes through your brain. To stay happy and reduce stress, I know I need to keep my apartment a little straighter than I consistently do, and I need to spend some time on the weekends to make sure it is ready for the onslaught that the work week will bring. The problem with this post is that while I know I need to do better in this area, and I really want to do better in this area, I haven’t really mastered this yet. So, I’ll mention a few things that work for me thus far, but on this issue in particular I really covet your own success stories.
Over the weekend, I know that I need to focus on:
- Actually putting my laundry away. I am TERRIBLE at putting laundry away. I don’t always take the time to put clean laundry in the proper drawers. My biggest problem, however, is multiple wear items. When I come home from work and take off my dry-clean-only pants, they should go into the closet to be worn again. But I just can’t seem to do it. Even now, as I am writing this post and as guests have just departed our apartment, my dresser is covered with half-clean, partially rumpled clothes that should be put away. On the weekends I put it all away so I can start with a clean slate.
- Putting books, mail, movies, laptop chargers, and all of those odds and ends that pile up out of sight. I just use a basket but really, anything that will keep those things from cluttering up counters and sofas will be great. When my flat surfaces are clear, I feel calm. When they are cluttered, I want to hide under the covers and never talk to anyone.
- Vacuuming, sweeping the kitchen, windexing the bathroom mirrors, all that kind of stuff. Dust accumulates even in rooms you don’t use.
The big kicker for me to make my apartment nice is doing a little something every day. I’m lucky that H and I can tag team these tasks, with one of us making dinner and another doing the dishes or taking out the trash. Each day, it is best if either H or I do the following:
- Take 20 minutes each evening to do the dishes and wipe the kitchen counters. It’s amazing how easy everything else is if you do only this.
- Keep the dirty socks out of the living room. We all do it, I think — take our socks off at weird times and just throw them down wherever. I hate the way socks end up everywhere. I try to find them and toss them into the hamper as often as I can.
- Scoop the kitty litter.
- De-clutter the coffee table and entryway table.
So, that’s where I am. Still struggling to keep messiness at bay as my weeks get busier and days fly by. Do you have any tips for maintaining a calm home in the midst of a busy life? If so, please include them in the comments.