Ask the Experts

Keep It Clean

Simple strategies for keeping your home clean and organized.

Here are seven tools to help you undo the messes around your home:

The 27-Fling Boogie: Take a garbage bag and quickly walk through your home and throw away 27 items. Then close the garbage bag and pitch it. Now take a box and collect 27 items to give away. Every time I do this I feel better and I am getting rid of the clutter in my home in the process.

The Hot Spot Fire Drill: Clutter attracts clutter. Get rid of that pile – whether it be in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom – and find the surface underneath. Stop the Hot Spot from becoming a raging inferno.

The 5-Minute Room Rescue: Clear a path in your worst room. Just five minutes a day for the next 27 days and you will have a place that you can be proud to show anyone!

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Use Post-It notes. Place them on your bathroom mirror and around your home. You don’t need to write the goal on them. A heart, star, or a smiley face will jog your memory.

Use a calendar. Don’t forget that you’re practicing for a whole month, so you have permission to be imperfect. Place a smiley face on your calendar each day you successfully practice your new habit. After a month, 30 smiley faces will be smiling back at you. Even if there are a few missing, it’s okay. There will be more smiles to keep you making progress.

Use a timer. Most habits take only a few minutes to practice. Don’t get caught up in perfectionism and allow procrastination to take over. You can do this. Set your timer and do it.

Remind yourself that you are a bright and shining star. . When you’re having fun, the job will get done. Make a game out of everything you do.

[Shortcuts to a Cleaner, Less Cluttered House]