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Can’t Keep up? 13 Habits that will Keep Your House Clean (Even if You have Kids)

Can’t Keep up? 13 Habits that will Keep Your House Clean (Even if You have Kids)

Your toddler is a tipsy tornado. A pile of debris follows your son’s curious path.

You love that he is curious and explores the world, yet you cringe with every item he pulls out. Still another item for you to clean up.

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By developing the following habits, the house can stay cleaner and you’ll save yourself some work.

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  1. Pull the comforter to the pillows. Since the bed occupies a lot of space, it will make your room look so much cleaner—even if you don’t completely make your bed.
  2. Start the day with a load of laundry. When you get out of bed, put a load of clothes in the wash. Once breakfast is over, put the clothes into the dryer. Do a load of clothes every day.
  3. Dry your sink. Just after you dry your hands, take a few seconds to dry your bathroom sink. It will remove spots and keep it looking nice.
  4. Unload the dishwasher before breakfast. That way, when you dirty a dish, you can put it directly into the dishwasher. No dirty dishes pile up in the sink or on the counter. Turn on the dishwasher just before bed.
  5. Leave your shoes at the door. Shoes track in dirt, mud, grass, feces, debris, gum, leaves, and much more. If you take off your shoes by the entrance, you won’t need to clean the floors as often.
  6. Tidy the living areas just before dinner.  Give your kids practice helping out in the house and, afterward, reward them with a meal.
  7. After dinner, go straight to the bath. Having a regular routine prepares the body for sleep. A warm bath relaxes the muscles. After the bath, begin winding down and prepare for sleep. If you have kids, you can save time by having one parent wash the kids while the other parent washes the dishes.
  8. Prepare for the next day. Once the kids are asleep, lay out everyone’s clothes for tomorrow, prepare lunches, and do the prep work for breakfast and dinner. Pre-set the coffeemaker. Check your schedule for tomorrow. Set any items you need by the front door (or pack the car).
  9. Get rid of junk mail.  If you don’t want to receive “prescreened” offers of credit or unsolicited commercial mail, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you contact the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) FREE Mail Preference Service (MPS). This will reduce up to 80% of junk mail that comes to your door.
  10. Buy fewer items with packaging.  When you buy something in a package, you unpack it, sort it, recycle it or trash it, and then take it out to the garbage or recycling bin. The less packaging you buy, the fewer times you need to put it in the trash or recycle it.
  11. Go to a farmers market, use a grocery delivery service, or sign up for a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) allows you to get a box of produce (often organic) from a local farm for a low price. Where I live, it costs about $25 for a massive box of fruits and vegetables. Some areas will deliver a box of organic produce to your door for a small fee (in my area, the fee is $1.50).  Many of these CSAs will also deliver locally made bread, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, pies, etc. There is so much food in these boxes, it is a real challenge to eat it all! And just think, no kids at a checkout line asking for candy!
  12. Have a weekly home blessing hour. Instead of “doing chores”, we “bless our home.” We set aside one hour every week to handle things like mopping. The change in mindset can help motivate you to clean when you’re not in the mood. If that’s not enough, FlyLady’s podcast will guide you through it step-by-step.
  13. Purge…ruthlessly. Every day, ask yourself, “What am I willing to let go of today?” Put one item (or more) into a box to give away. Have your kids do the same. Put a smiley face on the box, and tell them that every item that they put in there will make someone else happy.
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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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