By Leo Babauta
I’m not obsessive about neatness, but I’ve learned ways of keeping my house neat and clean in a simple, stress-free way.
I call it the “Clean-as-You-Go Principle.”
That’s pretty self-explanatory, but of course I can’t resist going into the details. And also, I’ve found this principle to be great for other areas of my life: finances, email, work tasks, etc.
The basic idea is that, instead of waiting for the house to get really dirty and then having to spend a lot of time cleaning it, you just clean a little bit at a time.
Here are some of the ways I apply it (most of the time, not perfectly of course):
You get the idea. None of these takes more than a minute or three, but by doing it as I go, it takes very little effort and I never have a really messy house.
Of course, a deeper cleaning is still required sometimes, but not as often, and it’s not as hard. Overall, this is an easy system that works really well for me. (Note: My kids don’t always follow it, but I either pick up after them or ask them to clean their messes whenever I see them.)
Applying the Principle to Other Areas of Life
OK, so a clean house — big deal, Leo! Give me something important to try out.
Alright, I like your attitude!
So let’s apply this to other areas of our lives: