Three days out of the week – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – I work out of my apartment. Despite the amount of time I spend there on a daily basis, I never figured out how to make my house a home. The more focused I was on my professional work; the more I struggled with housekeeping.
I tried to ignore the mess. But on a daily basis, I constantly felt disorganized and unfocused. I finally decided to take control of my space in January 2, 2020. I needed a sustainable system that would allow me to keep my home tidy with my daily work schedule. Here is what I did and how it’s been working thus far.
A Tidy Home is an Investment in Sanity
Even before starting, I had to recognize my self-limiting beliefs that I didn’t have enough time. I worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs, which in itself is almost 80 hours a week. Through some coaching sessions, I recognized my self-limiting beliefs: cleaning only takes 20 minutes a day, or 2 hours a week. I realized that I was the crutch. I wanted a more organized apartment, but was afraid that I couldn’t keep up, so I didn’t even try.
I identified what I wanted my home to look like – a kind of place that did not throw me into panic when someone dropped by unexpectedly. By changing my mindset, the probability of success skyrocketed immediately.
Investing in Organizing Tools
Find a Housekeeper
I worked a full-time job and two part-time ones, so you would think I could afford to pay for weekly housekeeping. However, I was stubborn toward the idea of paying someone to do work I could do myself.
I finally decided to hire a housekeeper to come to my apartment once a week. In between visits, I focused on dishes and the immediate messes. Between my work as a private equity investor and part-time CFOs for two different start-ups, I have more than enough work. I was spending $30 a week to have my house cleaned. However, the time savings alone were more than that, and the improvements in my focus were priceless.
Create a Simple Cleaning To-Do List
My daily list includes daily chores like washing my clothes, loading the dishwasher, and taking out the garbage. On Sundays, I always do laundry, so that on Mondays the housekeeper can fold my clothes. I use an app called Wunderlist to break down my housekeeping into smaller pieces.
If I have housework hanging over my head, I complete a small task every time I take a Pomodoro break. I might finish a 25-minute session, and then use my 5-minute break to get my bed sheets folded. It gives me nice mental breaks throughout the day.
Done is Better than Perfect
One of my self-limiting beliefs was things are pointless if they are not perfect. Think the 80-20 rule; 80% of the comforts of a clean house come from the first 20% of the work. I may not be the greatest housekeeper. But what I do like is a clean and comfortable home.
If you are struggling with keeping things neat, think of a tidy house as an investment in your sanity. It is an investment that pays off immediately.