- Clean Regularly: This sounds like the obvious solution to having a mess, but it’s not always easy to do when you have a busy life. However, if you keep a schedule and clean a different room of the house every few days, and do a ‘clean sweep’ before you go to bed each night, you can keep your surroundings clean with minimal effort. A great website that can help is Flylady.org.
- Stay Organized: As you accumulate new things, be sure you’re also regularly donating and tossing things you no longer use. Also, be sure everything you own has a ‘home’, so you can put things away quickly and find things easily.
- Hire a Helper: You may also want to have someone clean your house once a week or twice a month, which will help you feel like you’re not alone in your efforts, and make it easier to keep things clean the rest of the time.
Having peaceful surroundings can give you a sense of peace that comes from having a haven from the outside world. Here are some additional tips for creating and maintaining a Low-Stress Zone in your home:
- Create Peaceful Zones: If you haven't already, you may want to continue organizing and decorating your space as time goes on. Perhaps you can create a place for journaling or meditation, perhaps a home spa area in your bathroom, or a space for yoga practice in your living room. Think of what areas you would have in an ideal vacation spot, and see if you can re-create them in your home.
- Use Your Machine: Do you find dinner, conversations, and leisure time interrupted by the phone? If you want some peace in the evenings, don’t be afraid to let phone calls go to the answering machine or voice mail. It might feel strange at first to just let calls go unanswered when you’re home, but you may be surprised by how much stress you can avoid when you’re not jumping up to get the phone all the time when you’re trying to rest. Be good about getting back to people, and they shouldn’t mind.
- Avoid Telemarketers and Junk Mail: If you haven’t already, get yourself on the Do Not Call list. This can greatly reduce or eliminate the amount of annoying calls you receive from telemarketers. And if you find yourself buried under an avalanche of junk mail, writing to these people would be a really good idea. You can really cut down on the amount of mail you have to sort through and shred, which will also reduce more stress than you may realize.
- Automatic Bill Payment: Another thing you can do to cut down on mail and save yourself time is to sign up for automatic bill payment. Many of your bills can be deducted from your checking account each month, or at least paid online, which will cut down on time spent writing checks mailing letters, and money spent on postage.
- Don’t Stress Over a Little Mess: If you have small children or another situation that makes keeping a clean house especially difficult, give yourself permission to have a little clutter. While it’s great to have minimal clutter, sometimes stressing about an inevitable amount of mess can cause more stress. So, work toward order, but don’t obsess.