You wake up in the morning, having overslept a little. No time to make the bed, you rush to get ready, out the door and to work on time. After a long day, maybe a frustrating commute, you get home from work. You drop your coat on a surface, and leave your shoes where you took them off, and immediately head off to change or shower. This happens a few days in a row — all of a sudden it’s been a few weeks since your coat has seen a hanger, your front door opens up to a warzone of shoes, and the smell of dirty bedsheets may or may not have begun filling your room. This is all exaggeration, but the point is, we are what we do.
The concept of habit is not a new one to you, I’m sure. But do you know how your brain builds habits? Habits, according to science and the psychology community, consist of several events that go off in your brain. These events in combination are known as a ‘habit loop’, which is a ‘pre-programmed’ three-step loop that allows our brain to ingrain certain tasks or behaviours.
The first step is the cue, wherein your brain goes on autopilot and decides which ‘habit’ it needs to activate. Next is the routine; which can be a physical, mental or emotional routine. The deal-sealer is the reward, which aids the brain in figuring out whether this particular combination of cue-routine-reward is useful for the future. Over time, as with muscle memory, this three-piece sequence becomes increasingly more automatic. This sequence occurs regardless of whether the routine is ‘healthy’ for you, and only focuses on the feeling released by the ‘reward’ step, which in the case above is a nice hot shower or a fresh change of clothes after a tiring day at work.
Now, with that understanding of habits in mind, unlocking cleaner, more organized habits should be possible, right? Right! It’s definitely possible to build habits that focus on being clean and organized. The cue (getting home from work) and the reward (refreshing yourself after a long day), won’t change. Getting rid of a bad or messy habit requires you to switch the routine for a healthier/cleaner/more organized one that accomplishes the same result. Changing the routine (dropping your stuff on the ground to get to your shower quicker) could involve something like putting a shelf and coat stand within a few feet of your door so that the space to put your things away is readily available, and this translates directly to all types of cleanliness and organization.
Having the space to keep everything you own organized and easily locatable, and the extra time required to make sure it all stays that way are the two biggest culprits that result in the type of messy habits discussed above. For something like this, even 15 extra minutes in the morning could give you the time to build a habit of making your bed before heading out the door, which means when you come home at night you’re perhaps less frustrated (having started your day off right) and have the energy and presence of mind to put your coat and shoes away, before going about your evening. Small steps can lead to powerful change!
Of course, another option, and one that many busy professionals turn to these days in lieu of shortage of time, is to outsource cleaning and organization services to reputable cleaning companies like Paige’s Clean Team. Even if you have stellar habits, modern life is such that the services of home cleaning and organizational services companies can be a life saver in terms of enhancing your living environments by keeping things tidy, clean and organized.
Any questions? Does your living space require professional cleaning services? Don’t hesitate to contact Maidstr, Toronto’s and Guelph’s trusted on-demand home cleaning service, at email@example.com.