Do It Now — the secret to a clean home

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2011

How many times haven’t you wished your house was cleaner, your laundry was folded, the dishwasher was emptied, your table was cleared, your closet was declutered, and your fridge was stocked?

Probably several times a week, right?

It seems that over the course of the day, week, and month there are so many quick tasks you could do to clean up your home but for some reason, they always get put off until later…tomorrow…not now.

And after a few of those quick tasks start piling up, they become an overwhelming load of responsibilities that you don’t want to deal with…ever.

Can you relate?

If so, you’re probably a procrastinator! But don’t worry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

The secret to a clean, organized home:

If you want your house to be clean, less cluttered, more livable, and a place you actually enjoy spending time; stop procrastinating and do whatever needs to be done right now.

Let me explain.

Do It NOW…

If you think about it, most of those quick, simple tasks you put off until later can be accomplished in a matter of minutes {or even seconds} if you just do them now. However, by putting them off until later, they turn into a huge ordeal that takes the better part of a day to accomplish.

Here are a few things you can do RIGHT NOW to “clean up” your home and life.

  • Vow to stop procrastinating — 1 second
  • Put something away after you get it out — 20 seconds
  • Tell your children to clean up their room, toys, school work, etc.  — 30 seconds
  • Recycle yesterday’s newspapers — 30 seconds
  • Get the mail — 1 minute
  • Toss any junk mail — 1 minute
  • Delete or file 10 emails — 1 minute
  • Make your bed — 2 minutes
  • Wipe down the counters and the table — 2 minutes
  • Start a load of laundry — 2 minutes
  • Write down any upcoming dates and appointments — 3 minutes
  • Erase old voice messages — 3 minutes
  • File a handful of papers — 4 minutes
  • Fold a load of laundry —  5 minutes
  • Clean out the dishwasher — 5 minutes
  • Put clean laundry away —  8 minutes
  • Clear off your desk — 8 minutes
  • Throw out expired food in the fridge — 10 minutes
  • Clean out one drawer in your kitchen or bathroom — 10 minutes

I could keep going, but I think you get the picture!

I know this is a really simple concept, but if you take a minute or two to do these things NOW, they won’t morph into huge projects later. Your house will be cleaner, your life will be less stressed, and you won’t have a huge list of tasks waiting for your attention.

You know I’m right!

Oh, and if you’re looking for more of my “secret tips”, you might want to check out these two articles:

1. The secret to saving money

2. The secret to getting more done

What do you put off until later? What do you do right away?



Filed under: LifeCleaning

Leave a comment


  1. B.Ann


    Love your ideas. I use these methods sometimes but working long hour and having arthritis causes me some challenges.
    Thank you.


  2. Cindy C


    So timely! I’m doing something different for 2011 – – a different resolution each month. Here’s the update from my facebook page today:

    My Feb resolution is “Do it Now – – Perfect it Later” – – perfect as a verb – – meaning to refine, improve. So I redid how I stored my pantry-type food & I am loving how the kitchen is looking so cute! The ‘do it now’ portion was getting the food into the new containers for storage with sticky notes on things. The ‘perfect it later’ was adding cute labels I made on my computer. I’ll have to take pics soon! So cute! : )

    So for those of us that are both procrastinators & perfectionists – – adding the ‘perfect it later’ is a must add!


    Andrea Reply:

    You are SO right Cindy! I love your “monthly resolutions” — what a great way to start small and not get too overwhelmed.

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Paw Print Pet Tags


    For 2011 I made it a rule to always leave a room somewhat improved from the time I entered, whether it’s dust a shelf, pick up clutter or empty trash can. These small efforts have added up plus I’m now paying attention to what needs to be done…instead of trying to ignore it.


    Andrea Reply:

    “Always leave the room improved” — I like that! Thanks for sharing!


  4. chloe



    Don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but your post is VERY similar to a “Simple Mom” post first published back in 2008.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the heads-up Chloe! I follow Simple Mom on twitter, but was not aware of that article.

    I suppose since both our blogs cover similar topics {simple living, cleaning, organizing, home management, etc} we are bound to discuss some of the same ideas. Great minds must think alike — or maybe it’s just organized minds!!


    chloe Reply:

    I *hoped* that was the case – thanks for responding.


  5. Sonja Franck


    Love it! I’ll just be happier when I’m no longer pregnant and I can MOVE FASTER! It’s driving me crazy!! Thanks for the motivation.


    Andrea Reply:

    Ah yes, I’m sure being pregnant is slowing you down just a bit — but even a minute here or 2 minutes there might be just what you need to declutter and clean up a few small areas in your home!

    Progress, not perfection 🙂


  6. Lona


    You nailed me. I just realized that I was doing this again last night. Trying to do better today, and it’s going well. Thanks for the confirmation…

    Off to find 10 emails to delete.


    Andrea Reply:

    We all fall victim to procrastination at some point or another…I think i’ts just human nature!

    Oh, and good luck with those emails!