Do one small thing today to love being home

We all have that list in the back of our minds that nags at us constantly. As women, and moms, we are never done or caught up completely. That’s just the reality of life. So instead of constantly feeling behind or frazzled about all that we have to do, and all that we have going on, make it a priority to do just one thing today that you’ve been needing or wanting to get done.

Take ten minutes of your time and make your bed, fold the pile of clothes that’s been sitting there staring at you, dust the top of your dresser, and stand back and smile and what a big difference such a small, quick task can make. I think we often assume it is the bigger, more obvious tasks and chores that make the biggest difference. But I’ve found, for me anyway, that it is the smaller, simpler things that really add up and make the biggest impact. And then not only do these smaller tasks get done, but they help us to gain momentum and keep going.

Take the kitchen for example. My kitchen is big, with lots of counter space. Sounds wonderful, right? But in reality, it’s just more places to put stuff. Horizontal surfaces are great at collecting random items. So last year, as I was desperately trying to find a way to keep my home tidier on a more consistent basis, I decided to try just tackling one thing at a time. It sounds so obvious, and truthfully this is probably not a new concept to most people. But I was struggling with the idea of keeping everything picked up at the same time, and it felt impossible. Rather than having the goal to make the kitchen spotless at the end of everyday, I decided to just make sure the sink was empty and cleaned when I went to bed. Pretty soon, this became a habit and I was able to accomplish it without even thinking twice.

The flip side to this is that now, since having the sink cleared is a habit and not a task that I think about completing, I typically end up doing one more small task to help get the kitchen in order before bed. Not always, but usually. The best part is that when I come into the kitchen the following morning to get a cup of hot coffee, I reap the benefits of the previous night and it makes me enjoy being there, rather than having that to-do list start buzzing around in my head. Something as simple as clearing out the sink has made such a difference in my attitude toward my kitchen.

I’ve been working on implementing this strategy in other parts of my home as well. I always make my bed in the mornings, which was something I was never very consistent about in the past. I always felt like keeping my own bedroom clean and tidy was such a big task and that I never had the time to get it all done at once. Plus, nobody except my husband and I ever go in there, so why bother? Wrong. Since I’ve implemented the habit of making the bed, it’s given me the momentum to keep other things tidy as well. I no longer have a pile of clothes sitting on the chair, or an unfolded blanket on the floor staring at me asking to be folded. You get the idea. Now, when I walk into my room in the middle of the day, it is so peaceful and clean, which usually inspires and encourages me to continue on with other parts of the house. Instead of ignoring the stack of books sitting on the living room floor, thinking that one little stack won’t make a difference, I take the 60 seconds to tidy them up. Sometimes I am able to do another task or two, other times I don’t. But either way, I feel satisfaction knowing that I’ve at least completed something that gets me closer to my goal of having a tidy home and actually enjoying being home, rather than feeling stressed by my mental to-do list.

I encourage you to try this. Do one small thing that you’ve been thinking about for a week, or a month. Spend just a few minutes on a space that you’ve been neglecting, and see what a positive impact it has on your attitude towards your home. Our homes should be a haven from the chaos beyond our control. They shouldn’t be just one more thing to add stress and discontentment to our lives.

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  1. Lauren Beliew

    Oh my goodness- this is a great post. I never used to make my bed up until about 2 years ago I started making it a consistent habit and I found it helped get my morning going right! I love the idea of doing something small that I have been putting off- since the “todo” and tidy list is always going to be there. Thanks for helpful idea.

    1. Sarah

      You know what they say, “ the state of your bed is the state of your head”… it’s very true. I love how good habits like these can spiral into other parts of our days.

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