Many of us lead busy, hectic lives, whether we’re staying at your home base or traveling between hotel rooms or corporate housing. With all that insanity going on around you, it’s easy to let little things go — but there are easy ways to keep your house tidy.
That’s right, there’s no excuse for turning every dirty dinner plate into a petri dish. You worked hard to find that perfect home, and you can keep your space decently clean no matter how busy you are.
All it takes is a plan.
Get Into a Routine
You don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth to spend thinking about when you’re going to wash dishes, do laundry, or straighten up. But these are important tasks. A clean, comfortable living environment can help you keep your sanity — even when your schedule gets crazy.
This is where a routine comes in, and why I think it’s the easiest way to keep your house tidy.
I suggest the “right away” routine: cleaning up every mess immediately after it’s made. This will keep your space near tip-top shape with less time spent. Here are the major points of the plan:
- When you get up in the morning, straighten the bed. You don’t need hospital corners; just smooth everything out. You’ll be glad you did when you come home bleary-eyed from yet another cross-country work trip.
- When you finish dinner, rinse the dishes straight away, and put them in the dishwasher. Those three minutes will be much better than the 30 minutes you’d spend on them if you let them pile up.
- When you’re done lounging (scarce as those opportunities may be), pick up after yourself right away.
- Do laundry at a time that you can stick to every week, such as first thing Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon during football.
- Make a habit of always putting your clothes away according to the same system, such as white shirts on the left, black shirts on the right, colored shirts in between. You won’t have to search in the morning for the outfit you want because you’ll know exactly where it is.
This plan will help keep your home a relaxing place to return to instead of a hotbed of chores and stress.
Keep It Up on the Road
You don’t have to give up your routines and sense of home just because you’re traveling, especially if you’re in furnished or corporate housing. Assuming the place is spotless when you first move in, it should be a breeze to keep it that way.
You should still straighten the bed in the morning and put the dishes away. And because you’re acting like it’s home, move the furniture around. Just because the room came that way doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Put up pictures of your friends and family. The homier your living space feels, the more motivated you’ll feel to keep it ship-shape.
Then, when you do get home, you’ll arrive to that same sense of tidy and clean, and you’ll still have those effortless habits to help you maintain your new, spotless life.