Just Do It, Being More Intentional with the Little Things

I’m one of those people who can walk by a piece of string on the floor and tell myself,  “I’ll get it when I vacuum”. I can walk past the pile of laundry and say, “I don’t have enough time right now. I’ll get it later.”

But recently I’ve noticed this creeping into my children’s attitude.

Living Intentionally

They will put off things until they really need to get them done or they just don’t see things that need to be done. I’m sure I’m partly at fault for this attitude.

This recently it hit me, why don’t I just be more intentional with the little things to help show my kids how to not procrastinate?

It’s really not easy for me to make this change. And maybe you do that too.

But I know in the long run, it will really help keep my house in order and give my kids a good example to follow.

A clean living room

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Habits to Keep Your House Clean in Minutes a Day

These tasks can help keep the busiest parts of your house clean, making your whole house look cleaner. And if you have a guest stop by unexpectedly, they’ll wonder how you do it and think, “Wow, she really has it all together” even if you don’t.

Cleaning tasks for kitchens

Quick Kitchen Tasks

Keep your Sink Clear of Dishes

It’s easy to place a dish in the sink and walk away. Saying to yourself I’ll get to it later. Then the whole sink is full of dishes before you know it. And well then the job is so big, you really don’t want to do it.

Make a choice to put those dishes into the dishwasher right away. When your sink is clean, the whole kitchen looks cleaner.

Wipe the Counters

When meal time is done, take a quick moment after loading the dishwasher to wipe the counters. It only takes a moment.

Get the spatter off the stove and hood. Wipe any crumbs on the counters. Wipe up any water splatter behind or around the sink.

These few tasks can keep your kitchen looking clean and fresh all week.

Sweep the Floor or Do a Quick Vacuum

I tend to neglect my kitchen floor. We have two dogs that are constantly licking up anything that hits the floor. Even the flour that fall off the cutting board when I’m making homemade bread or pizza dough.

And it’s easy to just not look down to inspect until it’s time to clean. But those crumbs can get tracked all through the house. Doing a quick sweep or vacuum a couple times a week can help to keep the whole house cleaner.

And this is a task that can be assigned to the kids to do too.

Cleaning tasks for bathrooms

In the Bathroom

Clear the Clutter on the Counters

It’s easy to place an item you know you’ll be using off and on, on the counter. But not only does it look unsightly. It can also make a mental block to cleaning the counter.

If you see all the things you have to move, just to clean the counter. It will get cleaned less often.

Only leave items on the counter that you use everyday. Yes, everyday. Everything else needs it’s own place in a drawer or cabinet.

By doing this the counters will be quick an easy to clean.

Wipe the Bathroom Counter Once Day

If your family is anything like mine. You will have water splatter, toothpaste, fluoride rinse and soap splatter on the counter, sink, and faucet constantly.

Doing a quick wipe down each day after everyone has finished in the bathroom can make a world of difference in how it looks. And how much effort it will take to do a deep cleaning every week.

Taking the time to wipe down the counter with a cloth once a day.

I like to use this kitchen cleaning cloth set in the bathroom. It has a little scrubber square build into the corner. Perfect for removing dried on toothpaste.

Give the Toilet a Swirl

After the counter, go over the use the toilet brush in the toilet, to give it a quick scrub. Then wipe down the handle, back of the toilet, the rim, and the floor around the toilet.

This quick wipe down can really keep your toilet clean and help with odors too. Especially if you have little boys using the bathroom, if you know what I mean.

Clean the Mirror

Wiping down the mirror only takes a few minutes. But once it’s done and all that splattered toothpaste is gone. The whole bathroom looks so much brighter and cleaner. Do this simple task once a day. To keep your bathroom looking fresh.

Need to Make a Cleaning Plan? Use the cleaning pages in The Chaos to Calm Life Planner. The planner has a lot of cleaning pages to plan cleaning tasks you want to do in each area of your house, daily, weekly, and monthly. See it here.

Cleaning task for every area of the house

In the Living Room and Family Room

Tackle the Clutter

The living room and family room can be the most used rooms in the house. Toys get left out.

School books or magazines can be left laying around.

It can look like a total disaster so quickly. But it doesn’t have too.

First everything that lives in that room should have a place.

If there are toys, make sure to have shelves or cubbies or baskets to put them in.

Magazines should have holders on shelves to place them into. And books should have baskets or shelves to be stored in.

Or at least a foot stool with a storage area should be in the room to conceal the necessary clutter.

Do a Daily Quick Clean

And twice a day, do a quick clean up. This is great way to teach kids to clean up after themselves.

Set a timer and have everyone race around the room putting items away as fast as they can. See why everything needs it’s own place?

In our house we do this right before lunch and right before bed. Everyone can play or do whatever they want to but there are times when cleaning must be done.

It keeps these high traffic room looking great.

Entryway

This area takes the most effort. It’s easy for everyone to come home and throw a backpack here, shoes there coats on the floor or bench. Mail or papers gets left on the end table to fall down or get lost. And never be seen again.

This area can quickly look like a bomb went off.

And your entryway is the first area everyone see as they enter your house.

This is an area that really need baskets, racks and storage container to look clean.

In our home we have a coat closet right inside the door. I was constantly fighting to keep the shoes picked up. We would end up with a pile of shoes cascading out every time we opened that door.

So no one wanted to open it. And if we needed a pair of shoes, it might take 10 minute s to find a pair. It was a frustration when coming home or leaving.

To solve this problem we purchase a few plastic shoe boxes. Each person keeps their shoes in their boxes.

We also have a piano in the entry area. But it becomes a catch all of all the paper and items that need to go somewhere else. Looking clutter and awful.

Now I don’t let things pile up. I take them where they should go.

But if you need to you could place a basket for mail and other paper you need to keep in your entry. This way all mail and important papers will have their own place.

You can also have a coat rack or a cubby system to keep all those things that just get thrown on the floor in neat order.

All of these tasks above only take a few minutes to do but really do make a huge difference in how your house looks.

And when your house is clean you can sit and really enjoy it.

If clutter is a problem in your home, this podcast episode can help.

Cleaning tasks in the bathroom

The Little Things I Will Be Changing

  • If the laundry needs folding, I’ll take the few minutes it takes  to just get it done. Instead of letting it sit until I need to run another load through the dryer.
  • If I see clutter where it shouldn’t be, I will put the items in their proper place. Instead of walking past those items three or four times before I put it away.
  • If the soap is almost empty in the dispenser, I will take the time to refill it right away.
  • I will get my housework out-of-the-way early in the day so I don’t want to put it off. That way I can enjoy a nice clean house all day long. 🙂
  • If there is lint or string on the floor I will pick it up as I’m going past. Instead of letting it lay on the floor for the vacuum. Because really it only takes a second it get it done.

Update on How Being Intentional is Working…

Since I’ve been working on the items above my house is so much cleaner. Less needs to be done on cleaning day and that makes me happy.

But the most important change is my kids are automatically cleaning up without being asked!

Yes, they do have to be asked to do some tasks now and then. They are still kids.

But my kids no longer ignore the overflowing basket of dirty close. They see it and take it to the washer and start a load. Yes!

I feel like this is a little victory in our home. And it can be in yours too.

Are there little things you intentionally put off so you can “do them later”? Please share in the comments below, the tasks you like to be more intentional with.

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13 thoughts on “Just Do It, Being More Intentional with the Little Things”

  1. I read this post earlier today, and you have no idea how many times it crossed my mind as I walked around the house today. 🙂 I ended up doing a lot of cleaning today and tried to get things done sooner rather than later. Thanks for the inspiration, Shelly!

  2. We are temporarily in a little space for a few months and I’ve adopted this same mantra. It really makes a difference taking care of the little things right away! Glad to find you on the SITS thread 🙂

  3. This is definitely me! I think my worst procrastination is with the refrigerator…if leftovers don’t get eaten, I just let them get pushed back father and father to the back of the shelf. 🙁 Of course, then it’s a big mess and a waste of food too.

    Thanks for the encouragement not to procrastinate!

  4. This is completely me. I always leave things till the last minute. Or I would see something, like a sock or piece of paper on the floor and tell myself “I will get it next time I pass by”…..every time I pass by. Next thing I know it has been a week and that sock is still there. 🙁

    I think I am going to work on this as well, because like you said it really only takes a few seconds most of the time.

    1. Christina, that’s great you’re going to work on it. I know you can do it. I have noticed since I have been using the just do it attitude my house is so much more picked up.

  5. I so need to do this myself! All to often I find myself sitting on the couch looking at a bunch of little things that need to be put away, thinking the house is clean other than putting away a, b, c, and d. But then I just keep sitting there and thinking how I will do it later! It is crazy! I really need to just take care of it when I see it!

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