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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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