Keeping a clean house is a necessity for me. And whereas I wouldn’t say that I enjoy the process of cleaning, I am able to find satisfaction in the results. More than satisfaction, actually.

Cleanliness brings me a certain amount of clarity. I work and think better in a clean environment. Thus, I’ve been able to come to terms with the fact that it takes effort to keep a clean space.

I give myself both daily and weekly chores as well, as several tasks that occur only periodically. Staying on top of the daily and weekly cleaning is relatively straightforward, but I find that it helps to put the less routine tasks on a calendar.

Chores, like cleaning the refrigerator, straightening the pantry, and vacuuming and washing our vehicles, are performed every other month or so. (I clean the exterior of my car less frequently than the interior. It seems like a waste of water, but I believe it will help the resale value.)

My daily tasks include washing the dishes and some basic tidying (e.g., making sure things are put in their place.) I do the laundry, take out the trash/ recycling, sweep and mop, and clean the bathrooms on a weekly basis. I avoid procrastinating by doing these tasks as early on in the weekend as possible or even performing the chore on Thursday night.

I also make an effort to avoid approaching this work with reluctance. These tasks require a small amount of time and offer almost immediate benefits. It may seem mundane, but, for me, living in filth and clutter is entirely unacceptable.

Lastly, in regards to cleaning and tidying, I tend to give my house a thorough once over the day before I leave on a trip. I’ve found that this makes coming home even more of a relief and a pleasure. It makes where I live feel even more like home.

photo: Oliver Hale