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I love having visitors over to my home, not only because I’m a social creature but also because it has the added, built-in benefit of making me do a deep clean before they come. All those little things that I have been putting on the long finger get sorted out and ticked off the list. Keeping a clutter-free home takes discipline and organisation and life is always battling to get in the way. There are lots of little ways to maintain your home on a regular basis without having to do a big panicked clean-up before your guests arrive.
You don’t even need to put things out of sight; I really like my stuff — books, runners, travel keepsakes — but I like them neatly organised using beautifully functional furniture and homewear.
One thing I like to do is bring the Pomodoro Technique to my cleaning and tidying routine. The Pomodoro Technique is something I use in all areas of my life to clear checklists and get work done quickly and efficiently. The basic philosophy is that you set your timer for 25 minutes or so, and don’t stop working on the task at hand until your alarm goes off. Often what seemed like a daunting task that you didn’t want to start, will be close to finished by the time your alarm buzzes.
The same goes for clearing clutter. It’s the least appealing task. Think of that drawer in your house that has everything in it? Screwdrivers, lost buttons, twine, plasters, used batteries — you know the one. This is where the Pomodoro Technique comes into its own. Set your alarm on your phone for just 10 minutes and start to clear. After the alarm goes off, I usually make a decision to keep going because by this time I’ve realised it actually won’t take me much longer to complete the task. If it’s an overwhelming task, I’ll give it 10 minutes a day until it’s done.
Another way to keep on top of your clutter is to create a tidying schedule. That might seem a teeny bit uptight but it’s worth it for the results. When I bought my first home I researched cleaning schedules from professional cleaning companies like mollymaid.com which had lots of advice on what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually to keep your home ticking over.
I love my daily and weekly checklists, which help me stay focused as I work my way through my house. The more you do it, the less time it takes, and the more time you have to kick back and enjoy your clutter-free home.