How to Use Habit Stacking To Transform Your Cleaning Routine
There are a billion cleaning hacks out there, but no matter what cleaning hacks you find, there is only one ultimate cleaning hack that changed my life as a 20 plus years mom of 3.
Way before I even discovered the well-known terminology of what I was doing, I started small cleaning tasks right after what I was doing in my day before leaving to work as a working mom. Years later, I continued this same behavior after becoming a stay-at-home mom.
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I was busy with a teen, toddler, and baby, running on lack of sleep; regardless of how much sleep I got or how many hours a day I worked in the corporate world, certain things remained the same.
These specific tasks are done every day without pause, and thinking served as the foundation for solving all the cleaning issues and mom guilt.
So what ultimate cleaning hack am I referring to? It’s habit stacking.
How to Use Habit Stacking in Your Cleaning Routine
If you have no idea what I am referring to when it comes to habit stacking, let me explain precisely what it is.
Habit Stacking is the magical formula that James Clear talks all about. He deep dives into the psychology of taking a task you want to implement and stacking it to a habit you already have established. And adding it either before or after it.
I had no idea the book Atomic Habits was all about this until my fellow productivity blogger friend hosted a book club years later. The whole time I had been doing habit stacking in my cleaning routine because it made sense in the way my brain thinks.
Everyone’s brain works differently because of the fantastic benefits it has for busy moms.
After reading the book, I was blown away with understanding how psychology truly works, and I am living proof of it.
It’s all about taking small habits and building upon them. I am going to explain everything in full detail below.
So how does this all fit inside a cleaning routine?
How do you develop a cleaning habit?
So if you hate cleaning, this process will help you hate it much less, and if you are overwhelmed by cleaning, this process will help you see progress.
The top two areas of the home that everyone tells me they struggle with the most are dishes and laundry. I get it. These are the top two things we use every day, and the more people in the household, the more piles get added. And it seems like you never see the end.
And even though I live by my routines, I will be the first to admit that dishes bother me the most. So much more than laundry. 😒
So to begin this process, we first need to decide which habit we want to add to our daily lives and how that fits into what we are currently doing with success and without thinking.
A habit stack is a set of habits designed to work together to help you achieve your goal. Knowing what practices you need to create the right stack is essential.
Creating Daily Cleaning Habits That Transform Your Home
Below are the five first cleaning habits I recommend you start with. But the key is; don’t start them all simultaneously, and the order in which you do it is up to you. But many people find success with small wins, so I put the list in the order I suggest is the best way to start.
- Make your bed everyday
- Clean the kitchen each night
- Do one load of laundry everyday
- Cleaning one area each day
- Reset your home after using items
If you start adding these habits in little by little, I will guarantee you will feel a ton better about the state of your home each day. And feel more in control of it.
Now here is the breakdown of the process of creating your cleaning habit stack.
Creating your cleaning habit stack
- Choose your habit
- Write down your current routine
- Pick a time inside your routine you want to add the new habit into
- Practice the habit each day
- Adjust the habit if the time of day isn’t working like you thought but do not stop doing this new habit until it becomes routine
It’s that simple!
Habit Stacking examples
- After I brush my teeth I will tidy the bathroom counter
- Before I make my coffee I will load the washing machine
- Before I go to bed I will run the dishwasher
- After each meal I will load the dishwasher
- After lunch I will do a 15 min pick up of the whole house
- On each commercial break I will pick up the house
- While talking on the phone I can wipe down surfaces
- I will unload the dishwasher while I’m waiting on my coffee
- I will sort through todays mail during a commercial break
These are just a few examples of ways you can start using the habit stacking method. Get as creative as you would like. Find what works for you.
But here is something I want to warn you of. If you fall behind one day, don’t throw your hands in the air because of frustration. I want you to remember this acronym P.O.P (progress over perfection).
This goal is to work on this new habit until it becomes a solid routine that you get done each day. And what will happen is two things. You will become faster at the routine, and cleaning will become faster and easier.
Also, we don’t strive for perfection around here, so I want you to center yourself on that.
So what habit stack are you going to start with? Tag me over on Instagram and let me know.