Back to it
How are you doing? Easing back into life again OK? Here’s a little something to help—7 easy daily tasks to keep your home tidy and cozy. You’ll go through your day happier and wake up to a peaceful and cozy home if you do these (almost) every day.
A calm (and tidy) start to the year
Personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to reality again. I made a pot of Comforting Lentil Soup, along with a pot of oatmeal, to make sure I didn’t have to think about breakfasts and lunches this week. And then, the universe smiled down on me, because yesterday’s Zooms miraculously all got cancelled. I got through my inbox and settled into planning the next phase of a project in peace. That never happens.
I also had a tidy house to ensure a little calm and tranquility in my WFH day. Getting there took very little effort, because I have some good habits in place.
I hate cleaning, so someone else does the heavy lifting
Can I tell you a secret? I hate cleaning. Decorating? Love it. But scrubbing stuff and mopping, and all that stuff? Blech. This isn’t a big secret to anyone who knew me in my early years, in fact, I can hear a couple of them laughing.
I hate the major cleaning enough that I hire someone to do it for me. Once a month for the last decade (excepting the worst of the pandemic, when I did it myself), the most lovely person comes in and cleans my apartment. I met her when she used to clean for an old neighbor, as I used to let her into the building when my neighbor was away. It’s her own successful business, and she’s worth every penny.
A secret to keeping everything tidy and cozy: do these 7 easy daily tasks
I might not like to clean, but I do like to live in a tidy home. And, a once-a-month deep clean isn’t going to keep things in order. To do that, I make sure that I do 7 easy daily tasks that keep my home tidy and cozy. They make a big difference, and they’ll work for you, too.
Truth in advertising
Do I do these tasks every single day, without fail? Nope. I do not. When things get very busy, I let things slide. That always seems to be when people want to come over—isn’t that the way? However, the satisfaction I get from putting things to rights motivates me most days. And, because this is a habit, it’s not too hard to get back to it.
I also don’t live, nor do I want to live, in a spotless house. You should not eat off my floors, and you’ll find Ollie’s toys in various spots around the apartment. I live here (as does Ollie), and I want to be comfortable doing it. If you want that, you’ll need to do more than what I’m suggesting. But, if you’re just looking to have things mostly under control and not get overwhelmed by cleaning chores, these daily tasks will do the trick.
7 easy daily tasks to keep your home tidy and cozy
1. Make your bed
A total no-brainer, but it still needs to be said—make your bed. You don’t need have hospital corners, but putting in the effort gets your day off to a good start. A tip, though: don’t do this immediately upon waking. It’s cleaner to wait until after things have aired out a bit. In these work-from-home days, I make my bed after getting dressed for work Zooms.
2. Deal with the post/packages
Open mail, recycle what you don’t need, and put away what you do. If you get magazines, a magazine basket will be a big help. You can also keep the remote(s) in there.
I’ve learned my lesson about keeping boxes. The trash/recycling schedule for my building is a bit strange—the recycling bins are out for half the week—so I might need to hold onto the broken-down boxes for an extra day or two, but they are reasonably dealt with most of the time.
4. Put work away
If there’s one thing I hear from colleagues and friends in these strange times, it’s that switching from work from home to home is hard. They find it hard to stop working. It’s easier if you just put it all away, just like when we all still went into offices on the regular.
My laptop, work phone, and other accoutrements get packed up into the same backpack I used to schlep into the office, and my other “office” equipment gets stashed. I wrote a whole post about putting work away last year, because I think that it’s a critical component of healthy work-life balance.
5. Do the dishes
Another no brainer, but, unless it’s midnight and your dinner guests just left, do the dishes before you go to bed. I tend to do dishes twice a day—before making dinner and after dinner—but even if I didn’t make dinner, I do them at the end of the day. I grumble to myself when I drag myself into the kitchen to do them (I don’t like cleaning, remember?), but I always feel better when they’re done.
6. Tend to the sink, stove, and counters
When the dishes are done, and you’ve heaved a sigh of relief, just do a couple more things. Clean out the sink and your dish basin, using dish washing liquid. Then quickly wipe off the counters and the stove.
7. A quick bit of love for anything that needs it
Finally, look around your home and give a little love to anything that needs it. Does the trash need to go out? The bathroom need a little affection? Are your floors getting a little dusty? Do the plants need watering?
Take care of those things quickly. If you do this right, there shouldn’t be more than one of those tasks in a given day.
You’re done! It’s time to relax in your tidy and cozy home.
I’ve never actually timed how long these tasks take, but, aside from the dishes, none take more than five minutes, and the difference is huge. Nothing gets out of control, and you didn’t even break a sweat.
What are your secrets for keeping a tidy and cozy home? Let me know in the comments!