UFYH and The Life-changing Magic are really helping me keep the house nicer, although I don't follow either of them to the letter. Whoever said something like, "If you can do the task in 5 min. or less, just do it." has helped me a lot. When I put my oatmeal in the microwave in the morning, it takes 3 minutes to cook. I've learned that I can make my bed and empty the dishwasher in those 3 minutes, so I Just Do It. (I don't make my bed the minute my feet touch the floor because I like to mist it with lavender water first.) The Life-changing Magic 's advice about not keeping something if you don't love it has been useful, too. It isn't as airy-fairy as it sounds. When "stuff" is just "stuff" --where my feelings are kind of neutrally-blah...it makes it much easier to just unload it…but if I have some "stuff" that I like, and for whatever reason rings my chimes, resonates in some way, I know that is "stuff" that I will keep, because it makes me happy or whatever.
I have this personal thing I do that I have not read in any book, but it helps a lot and isn't hard. I pick one area or room each day, and say to myself, "What can I do in ten minutes or so in this room that will make it look better and brighter…more homey, more welcoming, whatever. Then I take ten minutes and just fix up that one room or area. In the winter there are seven areas, and in the summer what with the porch and the shed there are nine areas. So in seven to nine days, depending on the season, I have gotten through the entire house and made it better. This does not always mean straight housework. Sometimes I decide the room is clean enough, but it needs a different afghan or quilt brought out, or the pictures on the wall changed around. It just depends, and it gives me room for creativity. Today was the dining room, and I did do a quick dust and vacuum, but I took the plastic bag of apples out of the kitchen, put the apples in a nice basket, and put that on the dining room table. No big deal…just a little nicer. It all adds up after a while.