mr. rogers is right, take off your ‘outdoor shoes’ and put on your ‘comfort shoes.’ ritual is important for saying “i am home.”
if you can continually keep things neat and tidy, do so. straightening up a few items is easier to tackle than facing an entire mess. it’s not really about staying on top of things. it’s about a general state of living that doesn’t want to exist in a pig sty. but don’t go overboard! clinical tidiness can lead to early onset of gossip-monger-itis.
keep some space for stretching and exercise. something that calls to you for “me” time.
don’t be a slave to your thermostat and the resultant bill. figure out what setting is making a unit turn on the most, and then set it lower/higher so that are not constantly running air or heat.
remember that a house is just a box you’re in — go outside of it once in awhile.
if you own an indoor pet, make sure you rule the roost. have a home that is comfortable for you and your pet, not just the pet. this also goes true for children.
don’t make things easy for a robber if they enter your home. don’t keep best jewelry in the jewelry box. don’t leave purses or wallets out. expensive smaller items can be hidden. expensive larger items can be tied-down.
keep stored items to a minimum. if you are not using it, why is it there? some inherited items are precious and need to be stored. other than that, if you aren’t using it, find someone who can.
air the house out good at least once a month — best time for this is when bleaching bathrooms or using high-powered cleaners.
put vacuuming and laundry on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. the consistency will pay off.
try to keep a clock out of the bedroom. this part is difficult if you have to always wake to an alarm and are tied branch and root to time and being on time. but your sleep will thank you for it.
find a fast and easy way to make beds. i just shake out the bedding and let it fall straightened across the mattress. saves time, and are less likely to get obsessed making something perfect that will only get back where it started the next day. bed-making becomes too much like Prometheus and his rock up a hill.
keep a kitchen as clean as you possibly can. not only does that promote health, but if the entire house is a mess and yet the kitchen is clean — you still kind of pass muster.
always keep an easy-chair or favorite spot to sit. it is not “king in his castle”–but something like that. we give our electronic devices “docks” –you need one, too.
have lots of plants in your home. you can never have too many plants.
turn your refrigerator down. the electricity used to keep food “extra cold” is not worth it. just isn’t.
to observe how much water you use when taking a shower, plug the tub and observe how much it fills. if the tub gets close to over-flowing, you are using too much water to shower. save time by hanging towels on hooks, rather than folding them on bars where they take longer to dry.
with new low-watt technology, it makes more sense to have continual low-level lighting than to turn bright lights on and off as you enter or leave a room. this also works to not alert would-be robbers if anyone is home or not. the exception is bedrooms, so hang heavier drapes to keep light from escaping.