In order not to kill half a day every weekend for general cleaning, you need to accustom yourself to maintain order during the week. Everyone knows this, but in practice, few succeed, because it is not so easy to develop good habits. It is equally difficult to get rid of harmful ones: for example, throwing clothes on the back of a chair in the bedroom. To accustom yourself to the first and get rid of the second will help the system of «atomic habits», which was described in the book of the same name by James Clear. These are tiny actions that are easy to get used to and gradually improve the quality of life.

one Make useful action simple

To develop a good habit, you need to remove what makes it unpleasant. For example, you want to vacuum the floors in your apartment twice a week. But in order to get a vacuum cleaner, you have to go to the cold balcony and pull it out of the depths of the closet, catching everything that is dumped nearby. Knowing that every time you have to make an effort to get and put the device in place, you will miss cleaning. Start by reorganizing storage. For example, move the vacuum cleaner to a closet in the hallway and allocate enough space for it.

Another example: you can’t force yourself to do the dishes on time. Analyze what repels you in this process. Unpleasant to touch fatty plates? Buy reusable gloves. Don’t like the way water runs down your arm when you pick up your plate to put it away in the cupboard? Place the dryer on the side of the sink.


2 Make harmful action difficult

The previous trick works both ways. To get rid of a bad habit, make this action problematic. You force the whole apartment with mugs of drunk tea — leave yourself and each family member one cup, and put all the spares in a box and put them in the back of the kitchen set. Throw things on the back of a chair — take the chair out of the room.


3 Set a time and place

In acquiring good habits, specificity is very important. When people decide they need to keep their home clean, they often use vague language. To achieve an effect and start a good habit, you need to concretize it.

Don’t just say to yourself, «I’ll mop the floors twice a week.» Get out your diary and write down twenty minutes of cleaning on Tuesday and Friday right after you get home from work. It is important to tie a habit to a specific action. For example, go fill a bucket with water immediately after changing into home clothes.


four Add attraction

One of the easiest ways to reinforce a new behavior is to make it more enjoyable. To do this, combine tidying up with a pleasant habit that you already have. For example, start watching a TV show only by unfolding the ironing board and starting ironing. Or dust and water the plants while listening to an interesting audiobook.


5 Surround yourself with the right atmosphere

It is not necessary to look for new friends who are obsessed with order. But it’s definitely worth subscribing to aesthetic social media accounts, looking at design blogs, reading a couple of books about different interior philosophies. When there are many beautiful examples and inspiring information around, it will be easier to give up the habit of littering, and you will want to bring comfort at home.


6 Create 2 Minute Habits

In two minutes, you can do much more than you think. For example, lay out your shoes neatly in the hallway. Or wipe down the bathroom mirror. Or take out the trash. If you think of a useful action in terms of taking only 120 seconds, it will be much easier to start it. From such tiny habits, a whole stable system will grow over time, and the order in the house will no longer be the result of rare and strenuous cleaning.