Cleanliness doesn’t necessarily mean wiping down every surface of your home twice a day, or covering all of your furniture with plastic. Cleanliness isn’t about eliminating messes from ever happening, it’s about creating a certain kind of environment. For a home, the environment should be the pinnacle of comfort for the people living within.

Instead of labeling cleaning as a chore, think of it as a way to ensure that your home remains a place that comforts and delights you. Here are four different approaches to maintaining a clean home and a place that promises maximum comfort.  

1. Cleaning to Declutter

The best way to define decluttering, is by pointing to an example of its polar opposite. Hoarding is when homes become taken over by old clothes, papers, magazines or too many personal items. In many cases, the underlying cause of hoarding is a mental condition that makes the hoarder unable to let go of these items. Letting go of personal things are not only necessary for keeping a clean and organized home, but also a necessary mental exercise.

The art of Kon Mari embodies this philosophy of decluttering and is effective for keeping your home clean and comfortable. Practice Kon Mari twice a year in your home, in your kitchen, your living room, bathroom and bedroom. Let go of items you no longer have use for. Old dishware, clothes, papers, notebooks or knick knacks you have lying around. Decluttering begins with an acceptance of letting go of the past in order to make room for the future.

2. Cleaning to Organize

Decluttering once or twice a year gives you a starting point to bringing organization into your home. By letting go of unnecessary objects in your home, you’ll find that there are many more empty drawers and shelves to keep things in order. Now begins the process of organizing what you mean to keep. Like decluttering, organization should be practiced in every room of your home.

The concept of organization is to keep things in the most sensible location. Organization becomes especially useful in rooms such as the kitchen, where everything from dishes to cutlery should be kept in a place that is easy to access and creates flow. Being better organized, you’ll find it easier to locate items. Everything will have its place, making for a more relaxed, stress-free environment.

3. Cleaning to Brighten

What if simply opening the blinds could make your home seem a little cleaner? Natural sunlight can do wonders for making a home feel bright and comfortable. Our brains react positively toward brighter environments and having a splash of sun in your home can revitalize not only your home, but also your overall attitude. To maximize the effectiveness of natural sunlight, be sure to properly clean every window in your home once a week. This is a simple, yet effective cleaning trick to make your home feel 100 times cleaner and more comfortable.

5. Cleaning to Freshen

Cleanliness not only is seen with our eyes, but also experienced with our noses. That is why it’s important to rid the home of offensive odors and inject some pleasant aromas wherever we can. The best way to avoid unpleasant smells is by keeping trash bins in discrete locations and regularly taking out trash bags once they are full. There are a number of ways to introduce positive aromas into your home, ranging from candles to natural plants. Adding subtle fragrances to different areas of your home will enhance the comfort you feel and provide for an overall more pleasant home experience.

These are just a few approaches to keeping the home clean and tidy. Cleaning doesn’t have to be about constant scrubbing and keeping everything absolutely spotless. Cleanliness is about maximizing comfort, while reducing stress. As long as you keep your home bright, clutter-free, organized, and aromatic—then you have a home, and a mind, that is clean of worry.

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