Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Have A Few Habits

I do consider myself organized. Perfectly, perfect organized? No. But I do know where to find things. However, I also have excess stuff and piles of papers that get out of control at times. I do credit myself with having certain habits that help keep things from getting to crazy around our home.

I wash the dishes. I have never been one to let dishes pile up in the sink, unless I'm sick. I just can't stand it. If you walked in my home unannounced it is possible to find a few dirty plates or cups next to the sink depending on the time of day.

Today, I made banana bread (should have done it yesterday so my daughter could take it to school today...but that didn't happen). I was stacking my measuring cups and spoons in the sink as I went. Once I had my batter in the oven, everything that could go in the dishwasher went in. I then filled the sink to wash my Kitchen Aid bowl and paddle attachment. I even dried put them on a towel to dry. It would have been better to dry them and put them back, but I stopped there. That is a habit I'd like to change. Finish the entire project of doing dishes and putting them away!

I complete the laundry in one day.  If I start a load of laundry, in most cases, I finish the entire process with that load. I will keep myself aware when the washer is finished and get to moved to the dryer. The dryer has a buzzer on it when it is complete. Soon after, in most cases, I will pull all the laundry out and do my folding and putting away technique.

Now I will tell you right now, this doesn't happen every time. Just last night, I started a load of towels kind of late. I did get them into the dryer, but the folding didn't happen until the next day. Getting laundry done in one day eliminates piles of laundry in my small laundry room, and it makes sure that the clothes don't get wrinkled. I am grateful that one of my teen daughters does her own laundry now (a rite of passage at 16 in our house). The other daughter gets her laundry back folded in her basket. It is up to her to put it away...which she doesn't always do.

I pick up after myself.  I was either taught as a young age or it is within my personality to pick up after myself. I put my toothbrush and toothpaste back in the drawer after I use them. I hang up my towel after showering. I put my dirty laundry in my clothes basket. I hang up my coat when I return home. Some of these basic steps I do help clean a home neater and more organized. If everyone in the household does the same, it is even better. Again, I'm not perfect. There are days where I don't do some of these things, but for the most part yes I do.

In the past year, I have tried to develop some new habits to help with some areas I have been struggling. They aren't quite ingrained yet, but they are working pretty well. I have a day that I wash all the bath towels. I have two days a month that I wash bedding. I plan meals farther ahead and not on the same day I will be grocery shopping. And I now purge receipts more frequently. Oh, and I even clean up drawer crumbs with a vacuum!

All of my new habits have made a difference how I feel about some of these mundane chores. I really don't like to meal plan. I also forget how long it has been since I washed the sheets! That isn't good. So now with my new habits, I have clean sheets more often and more variety in our meals.

I encourage everyone to consider what chores you dread, or could do better at. Maybe this will be a challenge we tackle next month!

When I decided to make a habit of washing the sheets on a regular basis, I first needed to decide how frequently I was willing to wash sheets. Turns out I really didn't like the idea of once a week. Since I didn't even know how long I was going between sheet washing I decided I could handle twice per month. At least to start is what I told myself. The next thing I needed to figure out was how to remember to do them twice per month and at somewhat even intervals. I came up with payday. My husband is paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month. I'm the one that pays bills when that happens. I knew that was something I would remember. I now associate payday with paying bills and washing sheets. I do give myself leeway to do the sheets a little before or a little after if there are things that make it impossible to get done. I might even do the three beds over the course of two days. If you are reading this on the day I post it, I am doing sheets today!

Habits do make a difference in being and feeling organized. Habits give us control and the feeling of control over our environment. I even noticed that my new habits make me happy about some of my tasks rather than dreading and resenting them! How cool is that?

So tell me, what habit(s) do you have that help keep you organized, less cluttered or more in control of your home? Have you developed a new positive habit this last year that keeps you organized?


  1. The laundry habit, although it is tough to get it all done in the one day without a drier. I always have washing. I try to make sure that I finish putting away the last of the dry clothes before I add to it - this doesn't always happen though. I seem to get more done early morning or I sort out some of it in the evening (which means it usually ends up on the couch - bad habit. I put it there because it's next to the airer) Jason's is the only one that gets put away there and then because I've got four storage drawers for him in the livingroom. I need to work on that.
    I'm getting better with dishes. I hate doing them all myself. I done some this morning from last night, and I had to put some plates away first. I should have done it last night but I can only be so quiet when putting dishes away (when they're in bed) When dh does them I try to empty the dish rack as he goes/have it empty when he starts. I guess it's all just about finishing the process.

  2. I should add that we have made it a new habit in the last several months to run the dishwasher every night. We slip once in awhile. Then the goal is to unload in the morning so all the days dishes can be added. I timed myself this morning and it only took five minutes to unload. That's not much time at all1

  3. Wait, wait, you mean putting the towel up after a shower or putting a coat away when you get in counts as cleaning up after yourself?! Then I do that all the time, ha! xD I never thought of it like that, but I guess its true. And would also make more sense as to why I hate it so much when my Mister won't do these things, ha!
    My main cleaning habit is my cleaning schedule, and even that is lax (I skipped the bathroom this week, just because this week has been all sorts of "off" for me as the Mister is home, for vacation), but the bathroom and kitchen get done regularly, and laundry is normally Wednesday or Thursday. Grocery shopping got switched to Thursday, and meal planning is done as often as need be (Thursday or Friday). It works, for the most part, but still need improving!!
    But now you've guilted me into unloading the dishwasher, so I’m off, ha! :)

    1. I bet it only takes you five minutes to do that dishwasher!! In fact you are probably already done when you see my message. High five from me! :)

  4. I have a few habits that help me stay on top of things. Some habits are from childhood, such as making my bed everyday. Probably the number one thing I do right is always putting something away when I am done with it. That is a big one. I sort mail everyday, junk mail to the trash immediately, bills or other important documents to the desk. I run the dishwasher each night and leave the kitchen tidy before I go to bed. So I would say those are my good points.
    One thing I have trouble with is meal planning. I don't know why this is so hard for me. When I am working from a plan the days and weeks go by so much more smoothly. I have been trying for 3 years to get myself in the habit of meal planning. Any ideas on how to make this a bit easier for me? I also need a better schedule for general housework. Things get done, but I need a better schedule for dusting/vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms.

    1. Meal planning is one I'm working on too. I have recently made dinner plans for two weeks at at time, but only shop once a week or every 10 days.

      As for cleaning, I would suggest planning a day for the required tasks you want to accomplish. I wash towels on Fridays, sheets twice a month, bathrooms are usually girls do their's on Sunday. I've assigned showers to my husband, so he has his own schedule. Other tasks are a bit more random, but I seem to get it all in for the most part, or I let a few go from time to time. And that is okay, too!! :)