When friends pay you an expected visit do you find yourself having to scurry around picking things or taking precautions to make sure no one sits on the chair loaded with clothing or a broken leg? May be you are used to repeating the familiar, " Excuse the mess, but I was just about to clean up." How many dozen times have you said that? It may be this has happened so often that you do not even feel embarrassed any more and expect people to take you the way they find you.
Of course, it may happen now and then that someone will visit you just at "the wrong time", that is when your house is in a mess. But, if it becomes a habit, you may find that even your close friends just do not drop in any more, because even if you feel at ease, they may not. Indeed keeping a home tidy means work, but if good habits are formed in putting things in their place at the proper time, the home will maintain a neat appearance with no extra effort and there may be in fact less housework to be taken care of. It is a matter of doing things now, instead of leaving them for later. Here are some ideas to help you keep your house clean:
Avoiding the morning mess
In many homes the "untidy" part of the day is early morning. Why is this? Well, there are the children's toys from the night before, yesterday's newspaper is still on the floor, the dirty clothes are strung over the backs of chairs, and perhaps the sink is full of supper and breakfast dishes. It really looks as if the mother or house help has her work cut out.
Suppose she doesn't get through today and some of this is carried over to the next day? Why before you know it, you have more shoes under your bed than in the closet and find yourself washing dishes before meals instead of after, so that you can eat. Obviously this kind of turmoil can only lead to waste of time and frayed nerves caused by looking for things and scolding about who put them where.
What is the remedy then? Children should be taught that time allowed for playing includes returning toys to their place. You are through with newspaper? Put it on the rack right now, instead of throwing it on the floor and picking it later. When you remove dirty clothes, take a few steps to the dirty clothes basket before they leave your hand. Instead of having a rest "before we wash the dishes" make it a rule that the rest comes after and you will find it more refreshing.
Now it is just as simple as that. Making your home tidy does not have to be an eight-hours-a-day project. Most of it need not be work at all, if good habits are formed.
Have a fixed place where items stay
When a new item comes into the home it is good to decide where it is going to be kept. If is something the whole family will be using, it would be a good thing to let everyone know whether it is to be kept in the kitchen, the closet, the garage or some other place. This does not mean that family life has to be a regimented affair. Probably, each one can have a limited space where he or she keeps his own "things." But, it contributes to peace and good housekeeping if movable items in regular use have a fixed place to stay and there is an understanding that each one in the family will return them there after use.
Buy only what you need and can maintain
It is rather peculiar how a person will often buy something and then when it is common place through it's presence or use, the initial pride and care are lost and with them the value of the thing possessed. Even when this is not the case, some of the items need time and money in order to maintained in good working condition.
This is something that should be thought out when one is contemplating to buy new things. It may be wiser to do without an item than lose the enjoyment of it and find "white elephant" items littering your home. If you are not careful by the end of a few months or a year because of the handsome sum of items you now own, you could virtual run out of storage space. This will only add to your woes of trying to make your home more presentable.
What if you are already in this messy situation? Then find a way of disposing what you do not really need. Hold a garage sale or give them off if you have to. This means that you will be left with an inventory of items you can maintain and manage well.
Advantages of clean house and items
Just think of how ones surroundings affect his disposition. Everyone needs a certain amount of self-confidence. A normal person does find it quite embarrassing when caught with things in a run down turmoil around him. So, happy as he may be to see a friend, his discomposure spoils the pleasure.
The same is true when one has to go out to meet people who might have reason to expect more of him. Sometimes it happens by accident, but more often than not it can be avoided. Have you ever entered a well-cared-for home of another and then wished you could walk backwards because you were wearing shoes that need new heels or trousers with frayed cuffs? Why be distracted this way? Definitely, your disposition is affected by who you are as a person and your environment. So your clean home and items can help your poise immensely when you have to deal with other persons and you will be at home with yourself 247!
Also looking at things from any economic viewpoint, there is wisdom in keeping your home and items clean. In most instances, to prevent wear is cheaper than to fix and to fix is cheaper than to replace. A little cleanness on the floor daily, is cheaper than repairing the floor from wear and tear caused by scraping to remove excess dirt. It might also take less effort to clean well-maintained clothes than those gathering dust on the floor.
As we have seen, is it not true that, the way we care for our house and items is a cast of our mental make-up? It is evidence of the type of person we are. It subtly exposes the extent of our appreciation, the depth of our gratitude towards others and our respect for persons, places and things. The way we care for our house can tell others whether we are industrious or lazy, concerned or indifferent. Our care or lack of care reflects itself in our every habit. So, ensure you do not neglect your house ever again.