Bad habits, we all have them. Some are annoying, and some keep us from living our best life. The good news is you can change your life by changing your habits, and it might be easier than you think.
The bad habit of a messy home
First, let’s talk about our homes. I used to think my house was messy because it was too small. I moved twice to bigger houses, and guess what? The mess grew to meet the new space. It was maddening until I realized that the mess didn’t have a life of its own, although it felt like that some days. I purchased at least 95% of the items that came into my home. Who was responsible for that bad habit? Ugh! It was me! I looked at decluttering sights and got overwhelmed. All these articles about decluttering my house in a weekend made me want to cry. It felt impossible. I felt lazy and useless. I needed a plan that worked for me, and I wasn’t finding it until I came across two simple ideas.
Replacing the bad habit with a good one
The first was deciding that for everything I brought into my house, two things had to leave. For every piece of clothing, furniture, decorating item, two things had to go either by donation or the trash. That included items that other people gave to me. If someone offered me a bag of clothes, I either refused it or asked if I could look through it there. As I looked through the bag, I put back everything I didn’t want and asked the person who offered me the clothes if they wanted to keep the rest. If they did, great. If they didn’t, I offered to deliver it to a charity shop on the way home. It’s amazing how quickly your priorities get straightened out when you can do that.
Finding a second good habit
The second idea was creating a home I love to live in. When you walk in your home, do you smile because you love where you live? I didn’t. I hated the mess and some of the items in my home. Although I didn’t want to live in a showplace, but I did want a home to invite people into without being ashamed. I stopped the bad habit of bringing clutter into the house. Now I had to figure out how to deal with the clutter that was already there. That’s when The Magic of Fifteen Minutes took over. I write about this subject often because it’s powerful, it works, and it changed my life. My home was the first place I ever used it, and I felt more empowered than I ever had in my life after learning it from my mentor Marla Cilley aka FlyLady in her Flying Lessons.
Putting it into practice
I secretly tried the fifteen-minute method at first. I didn’t tell my family and did the work when my, then, small children were napping, in school or watching TV. In less than a week, my part of the bedroom was clutter free. I cleared the closet, every surface and drawer. I kept a maximum of ten clothing items; ten t-shirts, ten dress outfits, ten pair of athletic socks, ten pair of regular socks. It was frightening and liberating. I was afraid to let go of some things because I was afraid I wouldn’t have a backup if I needed it. I hadn’t needed a backup in the ten years I had the outfits, but the fear was still there. By letting go, I could find everything. Everything had a space, and my bedroom looked amazing with no more piles of clean or dirty clothes. I slept better and woke up happier. I stopped procrastinating when it came to putting laundry away because I had somewhere to put it rather than stuffing it in a drawer. Best of all, I liked everything I kept. How’s that for awesome?
Taking it to the next level
Next, I moved to the kitchen. I found out my kitchen table is what I call The Sweet Spot of my home. To find your Sweet Spot, click here. I used the fifteen-minute principle to clear massive paper piles and address some important issues in our home, like paying bills on time and making a dent in our credit card debt. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. I cleared the kitchen table and eventually all the debt. That change made it possible to send our children to college without student loan debt. Anyone else want to do that? It’s possible, all from turning bad habits into good ones.
Easier than I thought
The biggest revelation during this process was how easy it was to replace my bad habits with good ones. Please keep reading because I want you to learn what I did. You are not lazy if you have clutter. My mother is extremely task oriented. She is naturally organized. I am extremely people oriented. I am naturally social. Because my mother was naturally organized, she thought I should be too. She didn’t know how to teach me something that came naturally to her. We both thought we failed somehow. We didn’t. I require instruction to do what she does naturally. I also work better with other people, particularly on tasks I would rather not do. That’s why, when my children started helping the progress soared.
Creating habits that support your personality
Maturity and understanding my own personality helped me take the process further and create a life I love. When my children began helping at ages 8,5 and 2, our home looked better than ever. With my husband’s help, our finances were better than ever. Now I’m tackling bad habits in my health and fitness. If you’re on my email list, you know what happened to me in San Francisco. I won’t lie. It temporarily broke me. I cried more than once, but I also use those situations to inspire me, and this one did, big time. If you want to join me or just follow the journey, sign up for my email list below and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll share more of the journey there and would love to have your company along the way. Maybe we can inspire each other to have the healthiest year of our lives.
How can I help you replace your bad habits with good ones?
So what bad habits do you want to change? Do you need or want help? Send an email to email@example.com, and we can work on it together. Want to learn more about your personality and how to be the more successful? Send an email, and we can set up a time to talk. In the meantime, check out the book Positive Personality Profiles. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day.