The beginning of a marriage is an opportunity to implement habits that can last a lifetime - for better or for worse. These habits have the potential to hinder your relationship - like the habit of waiting too long to apologize or of failing to call when you're going to be late. On the other hand, starting good habits early on can make your marriage a lot easier in the long run. Take household management for example. Getting into these six simple household habits early in your marriage can make it a lot easier to keep a clean, orderly house in the long run, without a lot of stress or extra effort.
Cleaning up after meals
There are few worse feelings than waking up in the morning to last night's dirty dishes. Worse yet is the feeling of realizing you're going to have to take care of dishes for two - again. Instead, set aside time after every meal to work together with your husband to clean up the mess. Fill the dishwasher, clean the pots and pans, and wipe down the counters. The work will go more quickly with two pairs of hands, you'll get to spend quality time together, and you will take equal responsibility for the mess. Plus, you'll have a clean kitchen when you wake up in the morning!
Sorting the mailI don't know about in your house, but in mine, half the mess is made up of piles of mail. Implement a system for sorting mail early on in your marriage. Know how to identify junk mail and immediately shred or recycle it. Have a basket for mail that needs to be read, another for mail that needs to be sent, and a filing system for important mail that needs to be kept. You'll be surprised how much more organized you feel, and you'll no longer forget to take care of the important mail that gets lost in the clutter.
Keeping your clothes off the floor
My husband has a terrible habit of leaving clothes on the floor and strewn across the bed. Lots of times, they're clothes that he's not ready to have washed, but there's no way for me to tell. I implemented a rule that anything I found on the floor, I'd throw in the dirty laundry hamper, whether he was ready for it to be washed or not. Whether you use that kind of tough love or a different system, make sure you and your husband take a few moments to hang up your clothes or toss them in the hamper when you change, rather than letting them accumulate around the room.
Picking up before bed
My husband and I often get engrossed in Netflix after work, pass out on the couch, and go to bed without getting anything done. The same mess we came home from work to is still waiting for us when we get up the next morning, and if one of us doesn't break the streak of laziness, it will be there when we go to bed at night. It only takes a few moments to buzz around the house picking up any messes you made during the day before you go to bed. Work together to get the job done faster. Since you'll be in the habit of cleaning before bed, you could also use this time to periodically take care of deeper-cleaning chores, such as running the vacuum or wiping down the bathroom.
Weeding out what you don't need
When couples get married, they tend to start accumulating stuff. When you go to move to your next apartment or house, you will find yourself wading through closets of shoes and drawers full of junk, finding things you haven't worn or used in years. Make it a habit to go through your possessions at least once or twice a year and get rid of anything you don't need. Hold a garage sale or haul a load to your local Good Will. Adopting a "minimalist" attitude, as my husband and I like to call it, helps us leave a less cluttered lifestyle, keep tabs on what we own and where it is, and feel good for sharing what we have with others.
We all need to do our part to help keep the environment clean. A great way to start is by establishing a household recycling system. But if you're not used to remembering to recycle, it can be a hard habit to get into. Set up your recycling system early in the marriage so you don't have to teach an old dog new tricks later in life. Plus, as you see your recycling bin filling faster than your garbage can, you'll realize how much reusable material you are keeping out of the landfill and how much of a difference you can make together.
Sit down with your husband and figure out which of these small household habits you can implement now that will set you on the path toward keeping a tidy house - together.
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