I try to focus on the positive as much as i can but sometimes we’ve got to talk about the negatives in this article we’re going to talk about those bad cleaning habits those bad organizing and perhaps clutter building habits that we have that we need to break especially because we’re spending more time at home these days we got to be more attentive to those bad habits we’ve got to figure out how to break them and move on so that’s what we’re going to do in this article.
If you’re excited to say goodbye to some of your bad habits i when i started my cleaning company i tried to do as much research as i could on all the products tools and techniques that i was going to be using when i was visiting clients home so obviously the stakes are really high because i don’t want to ruin anything and have to be responsible for it but there were times where i made mistakes that actually cost me and i would not want for you to make those mistakes in your own home so a few examples would be using the wrong cleaning product on a natural stone surface for example if you use an ammonia-based glass cleaner or vinegar that can actually etch the surface there was one time i was at a client’s house and someone i was working with put a bottle down on a marble countertop lifted it up and there was literally the print of the base of that bottle on the countertop i nearly fainted so you want to make sure that you’re avoiding things like that.
The same thing goes for people who use like old cut up t-shirts you know to clean a surface and then they complain that they’re getting streaks and marks and it’s like well an old t-shirt is something that you wear it’s not something that you can really clean with and expect great results from same thing goes for floor cleaning products and tools and even sponges like certain sponges are far too abrasive to use on gentle delicate surfaces and to leave scratches behind so you really have to understand the foundation of what we talk about here at Hello Cleaner products tools and techniques before you approach a cleaning job and again it’s not hard we have articles you can look up how to clean just about anything and i’ll teach you how to do it because i always want to use the right tool for the job so that you can save time and get better results.
A lot of us have this habit of using disposables because it’s so easy and inexpensive and i found that we were making great progress up until covid hit and then disposables felt like the way to go because it felt safer but when you’re in your home there are definitely some swaps that you can do that will actually be great for the environment and also save you money so a few examples things that we do in our house ditching the bad habit of using disposable paper napkins we’ve been using cloth napkins for years we don’t have anything fancy or special we got them at like a discount price they were on clearance when we bought them we use them we get tomato sauce on them we launder them we don’t really care about stains it is what it is but it’s been a great savings.
Another thing batteries we don’t buy disposable batteries anymore we have battery chargers kind of sitting around the house we use them for our mic packs and like toys and rather than just pitching a battery when it’s done we’re now on the disposable train, this is actually something that i’ve spent several therapy sessions talking about because it was a hard adjustment for me to make when my husband and i initially moved in together many years ago maybe but i think it’s important to talk about because many people deal with that same struggle where they might say you know i’m only going to do my half of the jobs or my half of the cleaning or my half of the tasks you see this with spouses siblings roommates it’s a struggle because you don’t want to feel like you’re doing too much and if the other person is doing too much they might resent you and there’s just there’s a lot of emotions it’s pretty thick so here’s the thing i remember my therapist very clearly saying to me just take a risk do more and see what happens she’s like just do it just see what happens you know is it gonna kill you you know are you gonna feel terrible like it was just it was just one of those wake-up calls that i had so now my husband and i are really good at balancing out housework.
You know i’m really good at certain things i suck at certain things and the same goes for him so if we’re in a situation i know he’s been busy or he knows i’ve been busy we really just try to see past who’s done what and kind of get done what needs to get done for the greater good of the household that can be a really difficult attitude to take especially if you’re so used to being divisive and like i’m doing this you’re doing that but that mentality i have found really breeds resentment so maybe just try it differently this time and see how it goes.
This is a bad habit i am entirely willing to admit i am guilty of and that is leaving laundry on the floor so at the end of my day i will take my clothes off i’ll put on my loungewear which frankly everything’s kind of loungewear these days but i’ll put the stuff i’m not wearing on the floor beside my bed and i’ll be like i’ll just decide what i’m going to do with that later i think a lot of you guys probably do the same thing that is such a bad habit really what i should be doing is taking that stuff putting it into my laundry hamper or refolding it putting it in a drawer or hanging it back up and putting it in my closet that habit makes my room look messy and it is frustrating and it’s something i’ve been working really hard to break so we can do this together if you’re struggling with that let’s just try not to leave our laundry on the floor.
And that leads me right into another bad laundry habit and the essence of it is if you do a job and it’s only complete have you really done the job and when it comes to doing several loads of laundry if you’ve washed and folded tons of stuff and you have one final load you know what i’m gonna say here and it goes into the dryer and you’re just like i’ll deal with that one later and it sits in the dryer for a week that is a bad habit gotta break that one i know recently on instagram and netflix there have been a lot of storage box shows and photos and accounts and i get it it looks nice but i gotta caution you before you run out and buy those storage boxes please think about what you’re putting in them.
The bad habit here is to just buy tons of storage boxes and fill them up with nice things and kind of like color coordinate them that sounds like a great idea but it’s not really sustainable for a couple of reasons first of all you’re over buying storage solutions second of all you’re not going to be able to find the things that you need and third you’re probably not going to maintain the habit all because you probably have too much stuff that you’re trying to store and organize so the rule here is to eliminate as much stuff as possible before you go ahead and buy the storage boxes color code and organize that way you’re only actually organizing storing the things that you need and love and you’re getting rid of everything else so resist the urge declutter first and then go nuts.
Super gross super quick the bad habit here is leaving a wet sponge in the sink your sponge needs to be rinsed and dried in order for it not to harbor bad odors and bacteria so what you got to do when you’re finished using your sponge is give it a good rinse stand it or lean it up against your backsplash and then let it drip dry back into your sink now you can get a fancy sponge dish or a sponge dryer whatever you want just don’t leave it in the sink that is gross.
Especially with the amount of time we’re spending working from home now i think it is more important than ever to have a defined workspace because it is so easy for your work life to spill into your home life if say you’re working on your dining room table well now you’ve commandeered that table in that room for your work and it can no longer be enjoyed by your family if you’re going to be working at the dining room it’s no longer a dining room it’s an office so you’ve got to change the functionality of that space out you’ve got to organize it and keep it decluttered and clear so that it’s easy for you and anyone else who’s going to be working in there to be productive and functional whether you have a really small space in your home like a corner of your bedroom or a little nook in your hallway or a full office like me it’s really important to have a defined space for you to do your work to keep work life and home life separate.
The message here the bad habit is to not rush your cleaning job a key example is like when you watch a tv commercial and it’s like spray and wipe clean that actually doesn’t happen in real life you have to spray the product on leave it for a minute or two so it can dwell whether that’s killing germs or breaking down dirt on a surface then you wipe it clean so don’t fall for what you see in commercials they’re paying for seconds so they got to get their message out in seconds but in reality when you’re cleaning you actually have to let the product sit and do its work so break that cleaning habit of trying to rush a cleaning job because you’re only going to have to redouble your efforts and you don’t want to do that when it comes to cleaning.
I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the cleaning world so i’m in some of these different cleaning and housekeeping facebook groups just because i like to hear what people are saying so sometimes someone will throw a question out there and they’ll say like how do i clean this very basic thing and it’ll get like comments and the comments will range from the bizarre to the ridiculous and people will talk about using really harsh products or really specialty products and i will sit there and i’ll just be like hello you could very easily use baking soda and dish soap and a gentle sponge to get the exact same or better results you know if you were to use this really harsh product so you know i understand the need for specialized products and i do talk about them but i really believe that you can peel things back to the basics and get so many cleaning jobs done in your home using very basic products.
When you talk to super productive people you know people that are the inbox zero types they’ll always tell you that they deal with the thing now they don’t put it off for later and the same thing happens when we have clutter or stuff we kind of leave it in a space and we say i’ll deal with that later because later never comes because that thing is kind of unenjoyable and we as humans are always seeking pleasure so we don’t want to deal with that unenjoyable annoying task so if you have something that’s kind of annoying to deal with i would just say to hone in deal with it get it off your to-do list it’ll probably cost you three to five minutes of annoyance discomfort pain whatever all emotional not physical but then once it’s off your docket it’s done you don’t have to think about it again so the bad habit is to just put something and leave it for later, later never comes and the antidote to that would be just kissing the frog doing it right now and getting it off your plate.
Not having a good getting home routine just makes the front entryway of your house look like a freaking disaster and i was already struggling with this like my whole life but then add in having a toddler who’s kind of like me in that way who also just rips her stuff off and then runs in to see her dad or the cat or toys or whatever oh my gosh our front entry weight can get messy so quickly so we’ve really had to rein it in recently and if you have a messy front entryway i would just recommend a getting home routine this is something that i have been really good at for parts of my life and then really not good at for other parts i think you need a few supporting features here first i think you need somewhere that you can put things down temporarily so that you know you can kind of just rest them hang up your coat take off your shoes also i think having an efficient coat hanging system is important as well as an area for your shoes a shoe mat and then kind of having rules like we can’t have pairs of shoes out here you can only have one pair of shoes everything else has to kind of go into a closet or longer term shoe storage.
I’m a really big advocate for being good to yourself and you know minding your mental health and i think a really bad habit that people get into is being too hard on themselves especially now especially with what we’ve gone through especially with what we might get back into you know our houses can’t be perfect right now we can’t be the be-all and end-all of perfection and cleaning we are just doing what we can at this point so the next time you find yourself beating yourself off about how clean or not clean or organized or not organized your space is just let it go be good to yourself so now that you know those bad cleaning habits and the fixes for them i’d love to know in the comments down below what is your bad cleaning habit what do you want to talk about what do you want to get off your chest.