Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why I Love a Clean Home

I found this picture on Pinterest.  It is not my room, but I was VERY inspired. 
A <3 B MOST!!

I absolutely love having a clean and tidy home.  I find that if my room is messy, my mind is messy.  The state of my living space reflects my state of my mind.  I remember in high school I was such a slob, and would just throw my clothes onto the floor each day, and only clean my room when my mom threatened to ground me if I didn't take care of it.  Then I grew up a bit.  When I was 19 I moved into my own space.  I think that is when everything clicked for me.  I just wanted my living space to be spotless.  Now, don't get me wrong.  In times of stress, you can SEE what I am going through just by looking at how disorganized my house is.  But I really try not to let that happen.  I love to have my closet meticulously organized.  I love vacuum lines on the carpet.  I love freshly dusted surfaces!  I love a sparkling clean bathroom.  My absolute favorite is crawling into bed with freshly laundered linens (after a hot shower, of course).  These are very important to my well-being.  Sometimes when I begin to notice I am feeling stressed and snappy about little things, I look at my living space.  Without a doubt, it is not as organized and clean as I like it.  I take at least 15 minutes to tidy up.  This gives me an instant lift, and I feel a lot less stressed.  I never thought I would say that when I was younger.  I think I am just like my mom! Haha, and I used to think she was so cruel for encouraging me to clean... or should I say forcing.... Oh well.  Mothers know best.  I am so grateful to have a mom who taught me how to fold laundry properly and make things look tidy and to throw out things I don't use. 

Just a few tips on having a tidy home, from Yours Truly....

1) Honestly, once your living space is clean, the best way to make sure it doesn't end up looking messy is to clean up a little bit every day.  If this is not possible, it is IMPERATIVE to have a few hours to clean one set day a week NO MATTER WHAT (I do Saturdays).

2) When I need to clean up in a hurry, I "Neat Before I Clean."  I read about this concept in a book about organization.  This is possibly the best advice I have been given when it comes to cleaning.  Quick example of this.... To "neat" a bathroom, pick up all stray items and throw them into a large drawer.  Take a dry hand towel and wipe down counter surfaces and any other surfaces that look like they collected heavy dust and hair.  Close the shower curtain so no one can see all the random bottles in your shower.  Straighten all the towels on the racks. Flush all toilets and shut the lids.  If you see anything on the floor, quickly sweep it up or pick it up.  To "clean" a bathroom is much more.  This involves scrubbing and detail work.  It is emptying the drawers and organizing everything and putting each item into its given place.  Every single towel will be replaced with a freshly laundered towel.  Everything is sterile by the time you are done.  See the difference?

3) I try not to let a day go by without making my bed.  I also put new pillowcases on our pillows every morning.  It only takes about 2 minutes of my morning, and this really pulls the room together, even if it is not perfectly clean yet.   If I am in a rush to get to work the first thing I like to do when I get home is make the bed, so I don't have to see crumpled bedding.

4) Change the air in your room for at least 10 minutes a day.  Crack the window open, and let it air out a bit.  Also, invest in a good air freshener.  My current favorite is Febreze Thai Dragonfruit.  OH MY GOSH!  It seriously smells like yummy Pantene Pro-V shampoo or something similar.  My husband loves it too.  It is not overpowering at all.

5) When it comes to cleaning products... THROW AWAY anything you have not used for more than a month.... unless it is wooden floor polish, of course.  You will find that you only use about 6 favorite products.  Going forward, do not spend your money on any cleaner except for that which you use all the time.  No matter how good of a deal it may seem like at the store at the time.  I use "Scrub Free" for the water stains on our glass shower door, "Comet" to scrub the shower floor, "Windex" for all glass and mirrors, "Clorox" or "Lysol" toilet cleaner with bleach for the toilets, and "Clorox" wipes for all disinfecting of counters and shower tiles and the toilet.  I used to be into Eco-friendly natural brands, but at the moment I don't care since all these get the job done sufficiently.  

6) About once a week, I dust all our electronics and bedside tables, etc.  This, as well as vacuuming, really makes cleaning feel complete.

7) Don't be a pack rat!  If you have stuff you do not need or have not used for a long time, please believe me, it is just a waste of space.  If you get rid of it you will unclutter your mind.  I promise.  Donate those knick-knacks that are just taking up space in your home, or throw them away.  Same goes for clothes.  If you have not worn it for 3 months, you probably never are going to.  I do an annual clothing giveaway with my sisters, as a fun tradition.  It makes all of us happy. :-)

Alright guys.... I am sure I have a plethora of cleaning advice, but this is all the important stuff.  TAKE MY ADVICE!  You won't regret it.  Also, Brandon REALLY appreciates any and all cleaning efforts. 

By the way, I had a FABULOUS day of binge eating with Brandon.  We made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes together, Brandon made some of his famous beer bread, and then we toasted and buttered up some Kneaders rye bread that we had stashed in the freezer.  It was DELIGHTFUL.  And I don't regret it... yet.  Hahaha.  Also, maybe you didn't notice, but on my sidebar, I have added a list of the countries my readers are from.  I hope I didn't miss anyone!  Another random thing, I finished all the Christmas shopping for my side of the family.  YAY!  I hope they all like their gifts.  Also... RANDOMLY.  Gosh... I am in a random mood... but... I am LOVING snail mail lately.  I just received a letter from my sister, Sarah.  I just ADORE getting letters in the mail.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Okay, seriously, you have probably heard enough of my rambling today.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

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