by Joyce Reyes-Aguila
Outside our homes, we understandably try to put our best foot forward. But inside, where we are most comfortable and free from scrutiny, we can be as real as we want to be. That can be both bad and good. The tidiest people at work might actually be staying in a pile of mess in desperate need of a cleanup. That officemate very mindful about keeping the office pantry clean might not lift a finger to help with house chores.
When our actions affect only us or people who excuse how we are at home, bad habits can prove hard to change. We procrastinate or refuse to work on being better despite knowing the consequences of our actions. If you make a list of three home habits or practices you can work on, what will be on your list? How do these actions affect you and those you live with? Raising your awareness about what keeps your home from becoming healthier or happier can help instigate action towards change.
Start with small tasks (or habits), Harvard Business Review writer Sabina Nawaz suggests in her article Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist. She writes: “Taking on large tasks, or too many tasks at once, overwhelms us. You’re more likely to follow through if the task is small. Once successful, you can then try a new activity or increase the original task’s complexity.” Nawaz recommends the use of a tracking list. With a “yes” or “no,” we can easily identify our progress. Here are some habits we can act on today:
Staying in your room most of the time.
Being with your family all your life does not excuse you from spending time with them. On weekends or when you get home from work, allot time to be in the common areas like the kitchen or the living room (without your phone in hand). Invite people for a game of monopoly or prepare merienda on weekends. Connecting with your loved ones creates a stronger bond at home.
Loving food deliveries too much.
Not everything that is convenient does us good, and fast food is a good example. A simple call for food is certainly more appealing than cooking and washing the dishes for a home meal. But doing this on a daily basis can have ill effects on your health. Try to account for how much you spend on food delivery in a month. Compare it to food delivery services that offer healthier options (some can even supply you for a week). This may prove to be a win-win as you get healthy sustenance on the cheap.
Tossing things around.
You get home, toss your blazer on the couch, and leave your shoes by the door. By the end of the week, you can barely see your couch and are unable to locate matching sneakers. Start putting things back where they belong; it lessens the arranging you have to do on weekends. And it also rewards you with a clean space to go home to every day. Never mind if someone can always put things back in order for you. Just think that you burn a few more calories from ensuring you have an organized home.
Keeping spoiled and expired food items inside your fridge.
Be conscientious of how long food has been inside your refrigerator. No matter how good it looks, when consumed way beyond its expiry date, you risk poisoning the person who will eat it. Bacteria and parasites can be breeding in your fridge, so admit what you will no longer consume and decisively dispose of it. Observe how much food is wasted so you can adjust the amount you cook as well. To inspire you, know that when your fridge is too full, it affects the circulation of cold air, spoiling food faster. Buy only what you need and in the container sizes that are ideal for how you will use a product as well.
Forgetting to unplug or turn off appliances and lights.
Gadget chargers seem harmless to leave plugged in even when not in use. But aside from adding to your electricity bill, you may be risking your safety, too. Make it a habit to unplug appliances when not in use, and switch off the lights when you leave the room. It also prolongs their useful life for when you do need them.
Refusing to segregate your trash.
Why don’t you, when you do it at the mall and at work? Even allocating a paper bag to dispose of plastic bottles, newspapers and magazines, and bottles is a big, friendly step for the environment! It is easy to dismiss how you can lessen your garbage if you do not feel its effects directly. Maybe think of how you can be stranded on the road during rainy season because of flooding. And how much garbage plays a role in clogging sewers and waterways.
Not cleaning frequently used appliances frequently.
The microwave oven, electric fan, the screen of your television, and your coffee maker – these things work hard for you every day. They deserved to be maintained well. Regularly clean these appliances to avoid the buildup of bacteria and dust. Show them some loving, and they will love you back with a long life of service.