For the past five years, I’ve had a simple Sunday cleaning routine that usually sets the tone for the rest of the week. More recently, it’s changed and become a bit of a week long routine, rather than a do-it-all-in-one-day-routine, to accommodate for other things.
When I stick to it, I almost always feel less overwhelmed and stressed and ten times more productive. It takes me less time to get ready in the morning and helps me maintain momentum throughout the week. Not to mention, when those unexpected things pop up during the week, they knock me off my game less when this one simple thing is crossed off my daily list.
It’s so simple, it almost seems to obvious to share, but here it is: allocate 10-20 minutes everyday for basic tidying up of all of your major spaces.
I think we underestimate how distracting clutter can be, how inefficient it makes us and how much more content we feel when our spaces are organized and clean. So, we try to put it off to the end of the week or do deep cleaning sessions that can take hours or sometimes even whole weekends to complete. Spending 10-20 minutes doing a quick tidying up every day saves more time and energy and keeps that productive flow going throughout the week.
I once read that Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere attempts to keep her home 10 minutes from being guest ready. I’ve tried to adopt the same mindset for my spaces. Here’s a basic checklist of what I do in those 10-20 minutes:
+ Toss the trash
From around my desk, shelves or even those leftovers in the fridge that I know I’m not going to eat. Those small pieces of clutter add up quickly, so address them quickly and you’ll have less to deal with throughout the week.
+ Wipe down major surfaces
I’m pretty sure I singlehandedly keep Lysol in business, because I always have wipes in stock. I usually wipe down my desk, dresser and bookshelves to eliminate dust and germs. Then, the bathroom sink, coffee maker, countertops. ect. Basically the things I work on and use daily.
+ Put away clothes
It’s a bad habit, but when I get home I instantly change into something more comfortable and end up leaving clothes on the floor. So before the end of the day, I take a minute to put dirty clothes in the hamper and clean ones into the closet/drawer.
+ Write your first three of the next day
This takes me about 20 seconds at the end of the day and saves about 15 minutes in the morning. That’s a pretty good trade off, if I do say so myself. For me, this usually means deciding: what I want to wear, how I want to wear my hair and what I’m having for breakfast. Simple decisions that are best made before the first few groggy moments of the morning, it makes all the difference.
Whenever I hit all of this list items, I usually wake up ready to conquer the day. A big payoff for the smallest amount of time spent.