How many times have you woken up, entered your kitchen, and been greeted by a greasy pile of pots and plates? There’s crumbs still on the counters, and a weird gone-off smell is coming from somewhere. Ignoring the mess for later, you make yourself a coffee and walk into the living room, only to trip over your son’s lego ice-cream truck, and you don’t even know where to start looking for the TV remote.
Throw cushions are crushed and strewn over the sofa, and the coffee table is covered in random papers, a colouring your child did, and a phone charger. Oh, and there’s something pink and sticky in the middle.
As you sip your coffee, you don’t know where to start, so you browse Instagram instead.
Feeling relaxed? I thought not.
Now imagine waking up and walking into your airy, clean kitchen. You know where everything is, the counters are clean and ready to use, and there’s no funky mystery smells. Nothing needs washing up or putting away.
You walk into your living room with your drink, the living room sofa beckons you with its fluffed-up cushions, and there’s not a toy in sight. The coffee table is clear, apart from the remote control. Everything is neat and as your eyes scan the room, everything you notice makes you feel happy and comfortable. Nothing silently nags you to put it away, to read it, or to clean it.
Starting your day in a chaotic environment is going to demotivate you for the rest of the day, as well as cause background stress which affect everything from your job, to your relationships, and your overall mental health.
But you deserve a home that greets you like a refreshing summer breeze, or a cosy winter hug. Your home should be like a personal haven which supports relaxation, productivity, and fun in equal measure. Home should be part of the cure to your stress, not the cause.
Also, since many people are now working from home, it’s more important than ever to wake up to a calming environment and a space that inspires.
If you want to quit dreading your chaotic mornings, one of the most helpful things you can do is a home reset. Not just at the end of every week, or for the whole day on a Sunday, but at the end of every evening.
If that sounds overwhelming, you may have to consider decluttering some stuff first, because when there’s too much clutter, things will get messy again fast.
The great thing is, is that when you own less stuff in the first place, an evening reset will take minutes, not half your precious evening.
Before you go to bed every night, here’s 7 things to do to wake up to a calm, supportive home:
1. Put on some headphones, go around the rooms with a basket and pick up any stray objects that aren’t where they belong. You may consider decluttering the objects instead if they’re regularly causing you stress (the less you have to manage the better!).
2. Put everything back in it’s rightful place. It’s extremely important that everything has a dedicated spot; paperwork in an organised box file, chargers in a spare cable basket, remote controls in a holder, for example. Plus, when you’re not trying to decide where to fit things, the whole process is so much faster and simpler.
3. Put away any clean laundry so that you can find your clothes in the morning, as well as have one less thing to do. It also prepares you for the next wash-load and frees up the basket.
4. If you have young children, don’t leave toys on show if you can help it. Keep them stored in attractive containers or baskets that are pleasing to the eye. Older children are usually okay with keeping their stuff in their own rooms.
5. Straighten up decorative surfaces (if they always seem to cause you stress, you probably have too many).
6. Give surfaces a quick wipe down with a cloth or antibacterial wipe so you can get straight on with breakfast-prep, making kids lunches, or writing your reminders (nothings worse than writing on paper in the kitchen, only to get jam, butter, or grease on the back – or is that just me?). More importantly, it’s also hygienic; you don’t want to know the nasty stuff that’s throwing a party all over your counters and sink.
7. Wash up any pots and pans and put them away, including appliances. Alternatively, you can bung stuff in the dishwasher, although you will end up having to put it all away the next morning before you can reload it. I personally prefer mine to be empty.
Inhale deeply. Exhale. Do a victory dance. Now you can look forward to a fresher, more peaceful start to tomorrow.
About the Author: Emma Jayne is a minimalist mother of 2 from the UK who loves decluttering! She can also be found hiding with a good book. Read more at greencloverminimalism.com