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Do you want to know the honest truth? I don’t really like to clean.
And unless you are like my sister, the only person I have ever met who seems to have been born with an unnatural love of vacuuming, chances are that you don’t really like to clean either. Honestly there are about a million other things I would rather do than clean my house, and not one of them involve a toilet brush or a mop.
But here’s the thing: I love living in a clean house.
While cleaning has not always come naturally to me, I have found that my love of living in a home that is neat and tidy far outweighs my distaste for scrubbing toilets and vacuuming the floors. In fact, I once wrote a whole post about all the reasons I keep my house clean, which included everything from the fact that it just looks better to the reality that I can find the things I need, it saves money, and that I simply get more done when my house is clean. That post has generated a lot of response over the past couple of years, including many requests for a step-by-step guide to keeping your house clean.
A few years ago I wrote my Beginner’s Guide to Coupons as helpful, baby-steps reference to learning how to save big on groceries by coupons. I then followed that with a Beginner’s Guide to Savings, which is a step-by-step guide to learning how to budget and save. This year, I thought it might be fun to add some new Beginner’s Guides to the mix, starting with this, the Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning.
If you already keep a neat and tidy house, most of what I include in this very basic how-to guide will probably be review for you. In that case, I would love to have you add your own tips and advice to the comment section at the end of each post! On the other hand, if cleaning is a struggle for you, then this guide might feel a little overwhelming at times. Try to take it slow and give yourself grace. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a lifetime of untidy habits won’t be broken overnight.
But I promise you can do it!
So this week let’s just start with the basics—the why and the when of cleaning. Next week we can worry about the what, and then, for the rest of the series we will focus on the how and the where. Sound good? Alrighty then, let’s get started!
First, the why. What is the point of neat and tidy house? Why do we even bother, when it is all just going to get messed up anyway? Why do we bother making our bed when we are just going to sleep in it again 12 hours later? Is it really worth stressing over?
Honestly, that answer truly depends on you.
My reasons for keeping a clean and tidy house will not be the same as yours, nor should they be, just because I am calmer, happier, and more productive when my house is clean doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be. That said, if you truly want to be successful in your quest for a clean house, you must first figure out why it even matters to you.
Because let’s face the facts. If a messy house really, truly didn’t bother you at all, you probably wouldn’t have taken the time to click an article called “The Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning.” Right?
Or, maybe a messy house doesn’t necessarily bother you but it does bother your spouse, in which case, making peace in your marriage and finding a way to compromise is what matters most to you. Maybe you are just sick of never being able to find things, or you are tired of being too embarrassed of the mess to invite people over.
Whatever your reason for wanting a clean house, name it. Take the time to write it down on a piece of paper that you tape to the refrigerator or bathroom mirror, or get a big chalkboard for your living room and write it on there. Remembering YOUR “why” every single day will help motivate you to create new habits.
Once have convinced yourself why this matters to you, it is also time to start working on creating a cleaning schedule that works for you. I promise it is much easier than it sounds! In fact you can do in just three easy steps using these free printable templates.
Part One Assignment
And that’s all there is to do this week! Remember, this is the Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning, which means we will be taking this process one baby step at a time.
Just to review, here is your first assignment:
- Read Why I Make My Bed: 10 Reasons I Keep My House Clean, then spend some time thinking about the reasons having a clean house matters to YOU. Write down your most important reason for wanting a clean house (you can use this printable worksheet), then post it somewhere in your house where you will see it every day.
- Create your own cleaning schedule using the instructions found here. If you have no idea what kind of cleaning schedule will work for you, just guess for now. You can always change it later.
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Why does a clean house matter to you? What is your biggest cleaning challenge?
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