When I tell you that you have a few broken windows in your home, don't think that I'm standing outside with a couple of bricks ready to make my statement a reality.
No - I don't have good aim anyway.
Before I tell you what I'm going on about, you need to know what isThe Broken Windows Theory.
It is based on the simple example that one broken window in a building can turned into multiple broken windows if the one window is not fixed quickly.
In other words...
Visual disorder can lead to more disorder.
James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, published an article about this theory in the Atlantic in 1982. Although their focus was crime based - I find that it is extremely applicable to keeping your house clean.
Now what are the broken windows in your home?
If you're like me and its not your turn to wash the dishes, you feel obligated to wash your dirty glass if all the other dishes are clean. But if there is even one other dirty dish in the sink I don't feel guilt about adding mine to it and walking away.
The broken windows in your home are the dirty dishes piling up in the sink, the clothes piling up the bedroom floor, Mail on all the tables, shoes on the closet floor and especially the clutter gathering in different parts of your home. Can you think of others?
To get rid of these broken windows or reduce their impact the first thing you need to do is identify them. One way to do this is to pay attention to what gets on your nerves.
For instance, the one thing that has always troubled me about house cleaning is that it never ends. Yeah, you may have just washed all the dishes, done the laundry, vacuumed, but five minutes later someone has left a dirty glass in the sink, there are more dirty clothes in the hamper or on bedroom floors. You get the idea (-;
Once you identify your broken windows, work on eliminating them as soon as possible. Then you must be vigilant because they will try to make a comeback. I know this sounds like a lot of extra work. I'm not saying that you should do the laundry everyday, but what you can do is make sure that the dirty clothes don't end up in growing piles on bedroom floors and under beds.
You can make sure that a single piece of wall artwork does not become a gallery of colorful crayon art. You can make sure that the one dirty glass in the sink does not become a full sink of dirty dishes.
So, have you found your broken windows?
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The Broken Windows Theory and how it applies to keeping your house clean.