De-crapify Your Habitat: The Basics

Ever since we moved into our new house, we have been in the process of making this place feel like home. The previous owners did a great job renovating the place, which won my heart since the minute I stepped through the front door. Each room was pleasantly inviting and tastefully decorated.

Since the day we moved in, I have been trying to re-create that same feeling. It is incredible how a seemingly large, empty room looks so spacious when nothing is occupying that space vs. having a house full of crap stuff. So this begs the question: how do we keep our new house organized and my stress levels in check? 

Home Sweet Home

Cleaning has always been a challenge for me and I feel like I have ADHD when it comes to cleaning and organizing, because I have such a hard time focusing on any given task. I never understood people who actually enjoy taking part in cleaning rituals or people who have picture-perfect homes, like the previous house owners. Since moving last month, I have unintentionally manifested secret junk drawers. They appear out of nowhere and the universe seems to think that I need them in my life.

Personally, I do not think that my family will ever learn how to keep a house tidy like Marie Kondo, or learn to love cleaning/organizing despite our best efforts. My fantasy self would suggest otherwise. My fantasy self adheres to a list of rules that will change your life, such as the one I am going to share with you below ↓ Take my list with a grain of salt, since I have yet to figure out how this list has made any lasting impact in my personal life. I’ll go on these cleaning sprees until I burn myself out, only to relapse and become mentally lazy.

Disclaimer: I created this list from a bunch of different sources and kept it on my phone, untouched for years. And like any organizational expert such my fantasy self would tell you, one also needs to focus on removing digital clutter. Therefore, I am releasing it into the universe so that I can finally delete it from my phone, once and for all. Welcome to my little corner of the internet! 👼

Does This List Really Work? 🤷‍♀️

(✿◠‿◠)Why don’t you try it for yourself and let me know if it works! 

1. Make your bed every day.
2. Put toys in a designated spot; use a storage system if that is an option.
3. Garbage belongs in the garbage.
4. Remove the dishwasher after wash cycle is complete. Load the dishwasher as you go and clean the counter top when you are finished cooking. Aim for #sink-zero every night.
5. Keep the bathroom countertop clutter free if possible. Wipe down with antibacterial wipes. Wipe the toilet and scrub the toilet.
6. Do one load of laundry every day. (2-3 times per week for us)
7. Keep kitchen countertop clutter free. Spray antibacterial in the sink.
8. Vacuuming the floor and heavy duty areas (kitchen and dining areas) once every day. Keep the floor clutter free and remove clutter as you go.
9. Shoe organization. Get some cheap storage baskets with a nice lining and/or a shoe rack!
10. Take care of the mail as soon as it enters the house.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

Since moving into our new house, I am still in the process of de-cluttering a lot of rooms. I have seen other bloggers post before and after photos which is a nice idea, but my after photos look just like my before photos. A preschooler does an excellent job of re-crapifying every nook and cranny. As I dig deeper into my strong desire to keep my home clutter-free, I am learning more about myself in the process. It took me years to finally realize that clutter heightens my already high anxiety levels. When I eventually figure out how to de-crapify my habitat once and for all, I will be the first one to write a ground-breaking blog post about it.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

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66 thoughts on “De-crapify Your Habitat: The Basics

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you, Ang! 😇 Yes, Pusheen is awesome! #meow

      I’ve tried so many times to stay organized and these tips seem to be the ones that I keep reading about online, in books, and have encountered on YouTube.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I wish our kitchen island was a bit bigger and had more storage, but otherwise I really like it. Thank you so much! I’m really happy that we got this particular house 🙂

      Like

  1. winteroseca says:

    De-cluttering can be stressful, but also worth it! If you need some help, let me know. I have had to declutter thanks to moving overseas and I know how to be mildly aggressive with getting rid of useless crap

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ceponatia says:

    It doesn’t take a lot of time to keep a home clean if everyone is on the same page. I wash the dishes by hand as I cook and immediately after eating, but I don’t have kids so I have a pot, plate, and fork usually. The rest is a bit difficult because my family is definitely not on the same page regarding cleanliness lol.

    What has worked wonders for my personal spaces is planning the furniture I need before I go shopping for it. Everything just kind of fits in it’s space and matches a color scheme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I don’t think my husband and I will ever be on the same page when it comes organizing and cleaning. I am more of a minimalist and he is more of a maximalist. It’s not so easy having one pot and pan, and a modest amount of plates and forks. It’s easier living solo or having your own stuff vs. sharing with other people.

      Even if I can’t get my family on the same page as me, I wish there was some routine at least. I’m the type who needs to follow lists in order for anything to get done. I often burn myself out doing this and I know there’s gotta be a better way to do things. I just haven’t found that “thing” yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ceponatia says:

        The planner system I use advises creating 4 schedule buckets called morning routine, workday start up, workday shut down, and evening. You put all the activities you want to do every day in one of those and do them every day until they just become habit. You could probably adapt this to your life to set up those lists you need. Vacuuming one room a day and doing the dishes at night are great ideas for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        I used to use a Power List which is a similar concept: Pick 5 critical tasks to do each day. The problem with that was that I would choose things that were one-time ordeals rather than try and develop daily habits.

        I might take your schedule and create a Habit Tracking list as well. My planner had habit tracking but I would often get side-tracked with the critical tasks list. I’m thinking about displaying them side-by-side so I can at least get a clearer picture of what needs to be done. Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • ceponatia says:

        I don’t use the habit tracker as much as I should either. I have gotten into a pretty bad habit with my planner of just using the daily pages and not ever reflecting on my weekly or quarterly goals. Gotta stop that nonsense. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 𝑹𝒐𝑩𝑰𝑵 ☄️ says:

    “It took me years to finally realize that clutter heightens my already high anxiety levels.”

    Same, I knew I liked being clean and tidy and was compared to most people, yet didn’t realise how much the residual things I put off affected me. I always had the problem that I hated to specifically schedule a cleaning ‘session’— that’s just depressing and I’d forget it anyway, and with so many ideas for how to spend my time there was never any particular reason to start with cleaning.

    The thing that changed it all was the point you made— doing it as you go! And it’s about having storage spaces/boxes available and having specific places for each thing— so that it’s EASY to tidy stuff as you go :). There’s no thinking involved. When you run out of storage space, get more or reduce items or both :).

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Your advice is fantastic for naturally messy people like myself. I totally agree that it’s depressing to go on these manic cleaning sprees, and yet in my mind, I believe that it’s the “only” solution. Meanwhile, these cleaning sprees have never really benefited anyone in the long-run. Many organizational experts seem to advise against cleaning sprees too.

        I really like the idea that each item has a home. Everyone in this house struggles with finding homes for things. I often forget where I store stuff and end up with multiples of the same item, thus adding to the clutter.

        Thank you for your insight, Robin! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • 𝑹𝒐𝑩𝑰𝑵 ☄️ says:

        Great! I’m glad it was helpful.

        I also spent a hell of a lot of time looking for things, which only led to even more mess, and was incredibly stressful! This change to having one place for everything changed my life honestly. I can see how all of this is a lot harder to implement when you have a family, though! You’ll disagree on where to put things and then have differing levels of discipline 😆.

        You’re welcome 😄.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Room by room might be a good starting place. I’ll start with my daughter’s room today. Even tackling one part of the room makes a huge difference I find!

        It’s liberating grabbing a garbage bag and filling it with stuff to donate. 🙌 Thank you for your words of wisdom, Robin! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelly DS says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful!!!! I love it!
    I struggle with cleaning too… not because I get distracted but because when my step mom died, I had to cook, clean up, iron, do laundry, make 3 meals a day, raise two kids and still study… keeping in mind that we had housekeepers when she was alive, but didn’t anymore when she died. So I’ve taken a huge disliking to anything domestic that doesn’t involve laying on a couch! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with me, Shelly ❤ It breaks my heart that you had all of these responsibilities while coping with the loss of your mom. You are incredibly strong and a great role model that we can all learn from! ❤

      Like

  5. bosssybabe says:

    Great post! I have so many thoughts lol…

    The showing is so pristine and clean bc they had to stage it so I never compare what my house usually looks like with how it is listed/shown 🙂

    I find what works for me is making best use of the space instead of trying to cram everything into that space.

    I think your list is definitely doable, it’s all about maintenance for me. If you never tidy up after cooking or eating or playing then it piles up and becomes impossible.

    My daughter has bins of toys and when her toys spill over it means it’s time to get rid of some. If something doesn’t really have a home then it probably should be trashed (Hehe this is who I try to be every day but I’m not always this person lol)!

    Happy organizing and decorating! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thanks for your suggestion @Charliefarlie99! Since the move wasn’t too far from our previous location, we got away without using any boxes for the moving process.

      Instead, we filled suitcases, laundry baskets, and large containers and kept refilling them per trip. It took about 9-10 trips total to move everything from our old place to our new place. In the process, this created quite a mess. I spent 3 days sorting items and noticed that we have quite the accumulation of stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. RebelliousStudent says:

    Great list with great suggestions. Tbh some of them I was already (I think) doing, but there’s still different things in it for every one. I should probably also think about helping my sister organise her toys better🤦🏻‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      You’re welcome, Nicolette! I hope that these tips help with your cleaning and organizing. I started pairing cleaning/organizing with exercise so I feel like I’m tackling 2 daunting tasks at once 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Congrats on renting an an apartment with a nice kitchen! 🙂 Sadly, my kitchen doesn’t have enough storage space so I started decluttering the space. It’s currently a work in progress!

      Like

  7. Pooja G says:

    I’m not the best at cleaning so these tips are definitely appreciated. I feel like my biggest issue is not putting stuff back where I found it and I’m working on that. I bought some shelves and things to put all my stuff on and that’s helped a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Putting stuff back is not my strong point either! Idk why it’s so hard but it is! Shelves and storage can be helpful, especially when each item has a specific home and you’re able to easily find things again.

      I struggle with lists as I tend to get overwhelmed that there’s so much to do, that I never get around to starting/finishing anything. And if I do, I end up burning myself out because I go on these manic cleaning marathons. Organizers don’t advise doing this and yet I still do it 🙇‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pooja G says:

        I don’t know what it is about putting stuff back but I always promise myself I’ll put it later but I never end up doing it lol!

        Yeah cleaning marathons can be very difficult but I kind of do that too and then rest for like a month while the house gets messy again lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Most relatable comment ever! 😂 Yes. I do this too!! Somehow, when we moved, half of my stuff ended up in the basement and the other half ended up in my bedroom. I really need to figure out where I’m going to store important papers etc. because I don’t have a storage system that works yet. Everything is all over the place. I told myself that I was going to sell a bunch of things and haven’t even posted anything yet because I don’t know where anything is or have any kind of solid plan. 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pooja G says:

        Lol we are literally in the same boat!! I’ve been meaning to sell clothes I no longer wear but I really haven’t done much to start selling them 🙃 I should probably do that at some point 😅

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        I had zero luck selling clothes but mine weren’t designer or anything. Idk why but I can’t seem to sell clothes. Electronics I’ve been able to sell though. Some of the bigger items I’ve sold were a MacBook, a pen tablet, and an iPod touch!

        Like

  8. Cameo Hollingsworth says:

    Decluttering stresses me just as bad ad the clutter itself! I totally relate to feeling as if I have ADHD when it comes to cleaning. 🤦‍♀️ I feel like I need to focus on each item and get it in it’s place vs just focus on the one task and worry about where each item should live later. It drives me batty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I’m with you there, Cameo! Clutter stresses me out so much. When organizing, I get so bored and often get distracted so it feels like hardly anything gets done 🤦‍♀️

      One thing I find that helps is picking every thing off of the floor first, throwing all of the stray items into a laundry basket until I move onto the next room. It saves me from having to take multiple trips!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Karalee says:

    I love the kitchen of your new home!
    I do some of these, but others are impossible since I don’t have a dishwasher, my bathroom only has a sink with a shelf above it & I can’t do laundry every day or 2-3 times a week since the laundry room is shared & other neighbors needs to do laundry. I also feel like every time I clean up, it goes back to having toys everywhere. My daughter will help me clean up every now & then so there’s that at least

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anika says:

    I really love how relaxing your home looks already, what a nice space to live in! And some great tips in this post too, this is the perfect motivation for me to clear up the clutter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mamalife5213 says:

    Girl I feel you on so much of this ♥️ your new home pictures are very beautiful and I hope you can get things settled. We’ve been in our home for 6 years and I feel it gets smaller and smaller. I’d love a tiny home someday so I think of cleaning and go on sprees then burn myself out as you’ve stated happens with you from time to time. It’s not easy for sure, but at least we know our routines 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Helen says:

    Your new home looks really lovely! i am in love with your kitchen island. I always wanted one of those! lol
    and as for the list you posted, I think many of those items do work. For example taking care of the mail as soon as you get it or throwing garbage away. But as for toys or keeping the counter clutter free … that is a bit of a harder task. And I wish I could say that I vacuumed everyday but hard to find the time to vacuum that often lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you, Helen! It’s a nice home that was newly renovated when we bought it! 🙂 I wish the kitchen was a bit bigger and had more storage space.

      As for vacuuming, it was getting annoying using a big vacuum on the main floor so my husband bought a smaller, portable vacuum too. Keeping clutter off the kitchen counters and dining room table is hard. I’m still trying to find homes for all of our stuff 😓

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Julie says:

    Cleaning has been a challenge for me because naturally I just want to clean EVERYTHING. But a tip I constantly come back to is set aside 20-25 minutes a day to clean the house and yard. I leave one day (usually a weekend) to do one hour of cleaning. I feel it’s the most sustainable for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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