Do you remember back a couple of years ago when we were all harnessing that Marie Kondo energy and tidying up was at the forefront of all of our minds? We’re sort of circling back to that today, but with a focus on self-care.

For a lot of us, when we were young, things such as cleaning up our bedrooms or unloading the dishwashers was either a chore, a punishment, or an obligation – aka, they likely weren’t things we actually wanted to do. This makes sense – most 10-year-olds would probably prefer to play soccer outside over tidying their room. But the message that might have gotten lost in translation over time is that having a clean space is actually a huge act of self-care.

Also read: 10 Things You Can Do For Yourself Today

Let’s talk about why you may care to keep a clean space anyways. Regardless if you are living in your dream home or are counting down the days until you can move, you can create an environment that is positive and uplifts you. Think about how you feel when you walk into your bedroom and find clothes all over the floor. Deep down, it’s like your telling yourself that your things don’t matter and it’s okay if they’re walked over – which just isn’t nice.

To focus on keeping your home tidy as an act of self-love, you need to shift your mindset to focus on what you deserve. You deserve love and respect, so you need to treat yourself with love and respect – this trickles down to your belongings, too.

If you’re not too sure where to begin, we’ll go over a couple of tips to help you get started – but first, let’s make something clear. When we’re talking about tidying up, we aren’t referring to a spotless show home. Homes are meant to be lived in, so they’re going to look like people actually live there. Your carpets don’t need to be spotless, your sink will probably have some dishes in it, and there will also seem to be that table that just collects things. The goal is to find ways to keep your home tidy in a way that works for your own needs and lifestyle. A tidy home for a family of 4 will likely mean something different than a tidy home for a single person and that’s totally okay. Start by setting your own baseline and then we’ll work from there.

4 Ways To Keep A Tidy Home For Your Self-Care

Find a home for everything

It’s just so much easier to stay on top of things when everything has a place. And by everything, we truly mean everything – or, everything realistic, at least. For example, you know those clothes that aren’t dirty so you’re not ready to wash them, but they also aren’t clean so you don’t want to put them back? We’re talking about the sweater you threw on when you were cold or a pair of jeans that were only on for a few minutes. Grab a basket from the dollar store that is strictly dedicated to getting these clothes off the floor somewhat organized. Having a home for something doesn’t mean having it perfectly displayed, it’s more about helping yourself stay on top of things to know what’s clean and what isn’t. Plus, it just feels so much better to have your clothes where they’re meant to than scattered all around.

Donate or sell the things that are no longer serving you

Clothes are meant to fit you, not the other way around. Read that again. And again. Really let it sink in. We just lived through an extremely difficult year, complete with a global pandemic, isolation, and a financial crisis, which your body carried you through. Be kind and gentle with it if it’s added some extra cushion. It’s loved you, it’s protected you, and it’s cared for you through it all. Give your body the same sort of love by being kind to it if it changes shapes.

Holding onto clothes that no longer fit or serve your current season of life not only takes up space in your closet but it takes up space in your mind too. Think about how it feels to flip through a closet full of clothes that lift you up versus clothes that once fit and no longer do. Donate or sell clothes that no longer serve you. Or, if you’re really not ready to part with them, at the very least, remove them from your closet and tuck them into storage.

Also read: 6 Healthy Habits

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Make it enjoyable

Tidying up does not (/should not) feel like a punishment or chore the way it may have when you were young, so make it enjoyable. After all, it’s supposed to be an act of self-care, right? Put on something to entertain you (some music, a podcast, a movie, whatever you like) and change into something that’s comfy and makes you feel good. While doing the dishes may never be fun, per se, try to make it as enjoyable as possible by pairing it with something you do enjoy.

Break it up

It can feel overwhelming to look at a large space that needs to be decluttered, so break it up a bit. If possible, try to do simple things as you go. If you find yourself running up and down the stairs all day, try leaving a basket at the bottom where you can leave all the things that need to go up – next time you’re heading that way, just bring the basket with you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much needs to get done at the end of the night, try setting a 20-minute timer and only do as much as you can fit in that time. If you’re feeling up to it after, set another 20 minutes. Finally, allocate a specific day when you have more time for any larger tasks. Whatever it looks like to you, focus on breaking up your time into a way that makes it feel more manageable and comfortable.

4 Ways To Keep A Tidy Home For Your Self-Care