Minimal Housekeeping

From December 1937's Popular Mechanics , "...

From December 1937’s Popular Mechanics , “New Inventions” column. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Household chores can be a drag.  Keeping up with maintaining a house can be overwhelming if we let it. We made housekeeping easy at our house by doing with less, streamlining our routines, and using efficient tools. Taking the time to plan ahead is worth it.

*Get rid of clutter

If you don’t use it get rid of it. Don’t keep it “just in case”.  Consider whether you really need the quantities that you have of clothes, household items, and personal care items. Most of us can either do without or with much less. Getting rid of one thing each day is a good start. If you can’t bear to throw it away or if it still has good use in it, give it away. Giving becomes addictive so beware.

* Stop procrastinating

Decide to do what you like the least the very first thing in the morning if you can. By tackling the difficult tasks first you beat the tendency to put it off indefinitely. As the day goes on we find excuses to justify our procrastination and it leads us to a never-ending battle with ourselves. We take care of things immediately such as washing a bowl, washing or folding clothes, or taking out the trash.

*Schedule housekeeping

We have set times that we take care of our home on a regular basis. Every morning we wipe down the bathroom after we shower, do a load of laundry,  and tidy the house.  Every evening we take out the trash, run the dishwasher, vacuum the house, and clean the kitchen.  Each Sunday afternoon we each take a chore such as floors, dusting or wiping things down. Whatever needs a little extra attention we take care of now.  The first Saturday of the month we replace water filters. The second Saturday of the month we clean carpets.  The third Saturday of the month we wipe down walls and woodwork. The fourth Saturday of the month we clean the front entry and the balcony as well as the garage if needed. We were so excited that we found an easy solution to housekeeping that we are building a website about it. Stay tuned.

*Take care of things

Take good care of your home. Don’t throw clothes just anywhere. Be considerate of your possessions by keeping them sacred. By sacred I mean act in reverence towards them. Recognize how lucky you are to have them. My husband has always taken great care of his things and I have finally understood that it matters. If you treat everything in your home like you want to be treated, adored even, you will find that it is easy to keep things in order. When everything has it’s place, is taken care of with love so that it doesn’t fall apart, and is functional it makes life easy.

* Keep things simple

Elaborate dinners are not enjoyable if you have to clean up a huge mess every time. Limit the number of meals that are complicated.  Keep things simple in your home by once again limiting the amount of things that you own. This saves you from storing excess, having to take the time to find things, and saves you from time and energy spent keeping all those things in good order.

* Don’t compare yourself to others

Marketing relies on the fact that we compare ourselves to others, that we would want what someone else has, and that we don’t want to be left out or alone. It’s fine to want to be a part of things but you don’t have to own everything that your neighbor owns. You don’t have to buy trendy things that go out of style in less than a year. Instead, buy good quality things that you need for functional reasons. Becoming a minimalist isn’t about deprivation. It’s about keeping life simple and peaceful.

Minimal housekeeping means that you have more time to do the things that you love. It allows you to walk away knowing that your home is clean and peaceful, that you don’t have to worry about all the things that you have to do. Simply put, with a few self-imposed rules you can have peace of mind.

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7 thoughts on “Minimal Housekeeping

  1. I like these tips a lot. One rule I have for myself is that I never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Doing the dishes is part of my bedtime routine and it only takes a few minutes because I have so few dishes and I keep up on them every day.

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. Great tips. I get rid of things a lot. Less stuff does mean less stuff to clean. I need to schedule housecleaning so I don’t get overwhelmed — or procrastinate. It’s easier to relax when there is less clutter, and when it’s clean — not clean freak clean, but I don’t want to sit down to relax and look at a mess.

  3. Now that I have started dusting regularly (1x per week), I’ve become a lot less attached to a lot of my crap. “I have to dust this?! I don’t need it anymore.”

    I needed the “keep dinners simple” reminder, especially with kids. Thank you. I’ll make elaborate meals that only my husband and me like, and then have all these dishes to clean up for a meal that only half of us even enjoyed. Much better to make a simple meal that everyone likes and is quick to clean up. We’ll save the fancy stuff for special occasions, when we can pay someone else to cook and clean up ;-)

  4. I used to be the biggest procrastinator around but I find it satisfying to have things done now. The discipline to stay on task isn’t always easy. I just started a site called that has a calendar that I am developing. Let me know what you think? Good points on meals AB. We forget that kids usually like simple anyway and minimalism doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nice meal out as adults!

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