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Household Behavior Modification
By Monica Resinger
Ever hear of behavior modification? Usually it's associated with weight loss
meaning you make changes to your eating behavior to produce weight loss. If
applied, it usually produces pleasing results with just a little effort. I'd
like to introduce another behavior modification idea and that is household
With this idea, you make changes in certain behaviors that you do at home to
make improvements in areas that are bothering you. The question is, where do
To figure out where to start, you need to notice what's really bothering you
about your home. It could be your cluttered desk, too much clutter everywhere,
not being able to see clearly through the windows, or embarrassment when
people come to visit among many other things. When you notice that you are
irritated about something in your home, write it down in a notebook so you can
back at it later and come up with `household behavior modifications' to help
solve the problem.
Once you are in the mood for coming up with some solutions to your household
problems, bring out your notebook and a pen. For each household problem that
you listed, come up with a few solutions and write them down on a new page.
This can include behavior modifications and other notes such as purchasing
that will help solve the problem. It's best to focus on one problem at a time.
I have done this many times in my own home and I'll give you some examples of
what I did to solve the problems. I'm in no way finished, but at least things
are always getting better.
Here are some of my examples:
~ Note in notebook: Irritated by all the paper everywhere (junk mail,
newspaper, etc.). Behavior modifications: Sort through mail right after it is
retrieved, throwing away what needs to be thrown away, putting bills in bill
coupons in coupon binder. Put daily newspaper in recycling bin to be picked up
weekly by garbage service. Reminder: Make call to get recycling service for
~ Note in notebook: Embarrassed when visitors come over and the house is a
mess. Behavior modifications: Since the living room is the first room visitors
see, I'll be sure to tidy it first when cleaning house. Enforce the rule that
everyone picks up after themselves. Get in the habit to check the living room
constantly to see if it needs tidying and if it does, tidy it.
~ Note in notebook: The front porch is ugly. Behavior modifications:
Straighten, organize and sweep front porch on a weekly basis. Note: Find some
decorations for it at a thrift store or yard sale. Cover the ugly plywood floor
with outdoor rug.
To come up with solutions, you have to get to the root of the problem. Ask
yourself where is the problem coming from? My ugly front porch problem was
coming from too much clutter, no decorations and lack of organization. My paper
everywhere problem was coming from saying `I'll get to it later' and not having
place for what I did keep. Once you get to the root of the problem, it will
be easier to see what needs to be changed.
Writing these down has the benefits of being able to look back later and see
if your behavior modifications have worked. If they haven't, then you can
think up new behavior modifications or reinforce the old ones, whatever needs
I suggest that you add your modifications to your chore schedule. This will
help ensure that you stick to it. If you don't have a chore schedule, check out
the one here:
Remember, small changes add up to be big improvements!
If you’d like more organizing inspiration, check out the ‘The Guidebook for
Getting and Stying Organized’ e-book here:
and 'Storage Solutions' e-book here:
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