Friday, August 10, 2012

How I Stopped Being a Total Slob in 10 Steps

My coffee table is bananas!
True story: I used to be a total slob. I mean a seriously smoking hot mess! Luckily, loved ones intervened and got me literally cleaned up. A family friend cleaned my apartment. Twice! This first cleaning didn't stick, but the second one did because I did the following:
  1. I started using a hamper. I put the hamper in my bedroom, where I got undressed, which made it really practical for me to use it. I lined the hamper with my laundry bag, which made it supereasy to grab dirty clothes and carry them out to the laundromat. I also used a small hamper which meant I couldn't go weeks without doing wash.
  2. I began to wash dishes immediately after I used them. The longer I wait to do dishes, the more gross and less my responsibility they seem. A full tummy makes the chore feel like an act of gratitude.
  3. I stopped bringing junk mail into the house. Instead, I'd sort my mail over the recycling bin outside.
  4. I put a small trash can in every room of my apartment.
  5. I stored cleaning supplies in the kitchen and in the bathroom.
  6. I began to pick up dust bunnies whenever I saw them instead of just planning to vacuum.
  7. I started inviting people over more often, which gave me extra motivation to clean up.
  8. I got rid of a lot of my belongings and stopped buying as many things, which mean I had less stuff to keep clean and organized.
  9. I got a file cabinet with drawers. This made it totally easy to keep and find important papers. It also defined limits for what papers to keep and which to recycle. If something wasn't important enough to be filed, I decided I didn't need to keep it at all.
  10. I started actually using my planner. I'd jot down details of upcoming events, addresses, and contact info instead of keeping a pile of flyers and business cards. This proved to be more effective in getting stuff done. (Now, I use Google Calendar along with my iPhone notes and contacts.)
All this worked because I decided it was important for me to keep my apartment clean. I realized it made me happy to have a clean, orderly home. Sometimes keeping house is less of a priority to me than other times and I totally respect and love that about myself. My goal is to always be aware of how my choices affect the way I feel and to choose happiness. Sometimes happiness is a glowing floor. Sometimes happiness is drawing all day. And, fortunately, other times happiness is a little of both those things and more.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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  1. I know this post is a year old but I really enjoyed reading it. I started cleaning my condo a few hours ago and was shocked at some of the stuff I found on my dining room table and kitchen counter... Like a box from Amazon I never even opened and some hard candy that I'm pretty sure is from TWO Christmases ago! I live alone and always come up with excuses when someone suggests coming over, kinda sad. I'm going to use some of your ideas and get this under control!

    1. Yay! Kudos on getting started! Keep doing a little bit everyday and incorporate some orderly new habits and your apartment will transform. Don't think about how long it will take, just think about what you're doing to change things right now in the present. I know you can do it!



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