If you can train your dog to sit and stay, you can train yourself to keep your apartment looking neat and tidy. It sounds silly, but basically the same principles apply: reinforcement and reward. While it requires a little bit more self discipline to train yourself, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Developing these habits takes time, but can be rewarding in the long run, especially when you want to have an attractive living space for entertaining friends.
The key to training yourself is repetition and positive reinforcement. Getting into a good habit can be as difficult as getting out of a bad one, but if you make a point of doing something every day (maybe with reminders on your phone or post-its) it won’t be long before you’ll get in the groove. Once you’ve accomplished your task, reward yourself with a treat of some kind- what is it that you can indulge in a little to help motivate you? Maybe it’s a piece of your favorite candy or an episode of a show that’s a little bit of a guilty pleasure. Once you’ve got the routine down, you’ll be amazed at what you can train yourself to remember on a daily basis.
So the routine idea is laid out, but it’s good to plan several habits to focus on. Here are some of the things I like to do every day in my living space:
Wash all the dirty dishes I truly dislike waking up and seeing a sink full of dirty dishes. Not only is it unattractive looking, but it can be unattractive smelling too. Yuck. Keeping up with the dishes may not seem like fun at first, but once you get into the habit of doing the dishes right after dinner, it will be worth not looking at them the next day.
Putting clothes away I’m a stereotypical female when it comes to choosing an outfit. I pull out a thousands things before I can decide on what I want to wear, and sometimes I change halfway through the day depending on what I have planned. So I like to take 10 minutes at night before bed to put away all the clothes in their proper places before I go to sleep so I don’t have to deal with it the next day.
Recycling Luckily, I don’t have to sort my recycling, but I still like to gather up all the things lying around that I know can be recycled and rinse them out. Then I can put them in my recycling bins so I can easily grab them on my way out the door to take to the recycling center.