The new year is practically upon us! For many, that means it’s time to make some changes to our lives, to do better, and to put forth our intentions as new year’s resolutions!
If you have a difficult time keeping your home clean and organized, we suggest you make that your resolution. Having an organized home can have a positive impact on many aspects of your life. It’s easier to relax and concentrate when your place is neat. You’ll feel much more comfortable inviting guests over.
Resolution made? Good! Now, let’s help you keep it.
You can’t have an organized home until you have a clean home. A rush of willpower often comes with making a resolution. While you still have that drive, completely clean your home. Depending on how cluttered it is, this may take a day, or it may take a week.
Take it in stages. First, pick up any garbage that may be laying around. Perhaps you have packaging and such left from Christmas, and that can go. Next, clean each room in turn. Sort items and put them where they belong. Then, vacuum, sweep, and wash dirty or stained surfaces.
Finally, declutter. Do you have things you no longer want or need? You can sell, recycle, donate, or throw out those items, depending on their quality. Of course, you may also have things you need, such as seasonal decorations or clothes, furniture you will need later, and collectibles. Self storage is a great place to keep those safe.
Keeping Up with Organization
Once you’ve put things where they belong and decluttered, it’s just a matter of keeping your place in order.
Do you keep a list of things to get done during the day? If not, we recommend it. A to-do list makes it difficult to forget the important things, and it’s satisfying to cross out or check off items as you get them done. Start such a list, and include “straighten up” on it every day.
Of course, the specific straightening up you do will depend on what needs to get done.
Make the Bed
Make your bed before anything else when you get up. This will help get into the back of your mind that you will can get things done during the day, and that it won’t be tough.
Have a laundry basket in a convenient location for everyone in the family. This could be the bathroom or the laundry room, if you have one. Once the basket gets full, do the laundry. This could be a daily or bi-weekly chore. After it’s washed and dried, you can fold it while watching television, then put the clothing away. This is much easier than letting the laundry pile up for longer than a few days.
When it comes time to straighten up, put things away that aren’t in their place. Sweep the floors, and, vacuum.
Keeping Up with the Bathroom and Kitchen
Have a plunger and toilet brush next to the toilet, and whenever the inside looks soiled, use that brush to clean it. Once a week or so, use the appropriate cleaners to clean the toilet, tub, shower, sink, and other surfaces more thoroughly.
In the kitchen, do your dishes after you eat, right away. This reduces bad smells naturally, and you’ll feel like your meal is complete, and that you can do other things in comfort. Also, clean the sink and surfaces about once a week.
Keep your bathroom cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, and your kitchen cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink.
Clean and Organize Together
If you have a partner, or a family, clean together when you can. This is especially helpful if you have kids. Help them straighten up their rooms, and they’ll learn how to do so themselves. Have them help in the kitchen and living room as well. So long as you straighten up every day, this shouldn’t ever take very long.
Straighten Up As You Go
You may be surprised, in fact, how neat and organized your place is when you go to straighten up every day. Once you get in the habit, you’ll find yourself keeping your place in order as you go. You’ll see some dust bunnies by the wall and quickly sweep them up. You’ll do a few dishes as you’re cooking. You’ll walk by your bedroom, notice one of your kid’s toys on your bed, and take it to their room.
Yes, at first, you may have to make it a point to clean as you go, but in time, you’ll hardly notice you’re doing it.
Have a Standard
Ideally, keeping your home clean and organized won’t take a whole lot of your time, and you’ll still be able to do everything you enjoy. However, it is possible to go overboard. Know when your place is clean enough, and you can let things be. Do you have three books sitting on your desk? Well, if you’re using them as reference or reading them, it’s fine to keep them there. Did you hang your coat on the back of a kitchen chair instead of in the closet? Sure, when you straighten up, you can put it away, but for the most part it’s fine to leave it there.
We hope this helps you get your place neat, organized, and warm. Oh, and Happy New Year!