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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Maintaining Organization


{Maintaining Organization!}
 That is the whole key.
Week after week my hubs and I watch the shows Hoarders and Clean House, professionals come in organize the house from top to bottom and then leave it up to the homeowners to keep it that way. What they fail to do however (or at least we dont see it happening) is leave them with the proper instruction and tips to keep it clean and organized. With some help of books, internet and my own practices I have come up with some quick tips to help you maintain your newly organized home minute by minute, day by day, week by week and year by year.

Under a Minute Habits ~
These should be tasks that you can do in under a minute to keep things in order and save time in the long run. Even though they take a little more than a few seconds, the impact is big!

* Put things back where they belong when you are done with them! Ask the rest of your family to do the same. Keeping with daily routines helps this temendously!
* Toss junk mail in the recycling bin or shred pile as soon as it makes it into your house. Or like me, keep your recycle bin in the garage and as you are passing it with your mail, chunk it in their.
* Hang up coats, jackets, bag and put shoes away as soon as they are taken off. Createing some kind of storage system for where ever you enter will help with this!
* Put your keys, and wallet in the same place each time you come home! We enter through the garage and keep the mail/key box by the door, this way as soon as we walk in we can put them up.

Daily Habits ~ 
The focus here should be small, simple tasks with one key: staying organized!

* Set up a time where you walk through the house to pick up and put away anything that has migrated from the place it belongs. Having kids, you know that there will always be something of their's where it is not supposed to be. Shoes, socks, power rangers, hats, just random stuff. Every morning my son has hamper duty, he brings me down their hamper and after I get them off to school I sort laundry then I spend a few minutes picking stuff up, all of their stuff I put in the hamper and leave it at the bottom of the stairs. When they get home they empty it and put the hamper back.

* Wash dishes or load them as you are cooking and after each meal. Even if you have mail or junk on your counters if your sink is clean and the dishes are put away your kitchen looks and feels cleaner.

* When you get undressed at the end of the day, put your dirty clothes in the hamper, hang or fold clean items and put them away also. Have the kids do the same! Even if you have to place hampers where you usually undress to remind yourself, you will cut down on laundry in the long run.

* Get bags and papers, even lunches, ready the night before to avoid rushing in the morning. I make sure the boys bags are packed back up the night before so that they don't forget their school work or books.

* Go through your mail and kids school work, throw away the unnecessary right away and put away what you are keeping. If you keep school work, put it in its "home" immediatly.

Weekly Habits ~
A bit more involved than daily habits, but they make the daily maintenance easier.

* Clean out your fridge and pantry. Get rid of expired items, wipe down the surfaces. Use this time to make your grocery list and plan your meals. Going to the store with a list and  planned meals will cut down on unncessary purchases and save money.

* Set aside time once a week to process bills that have come in. This way you know what you have and when it's due. I pay bills every Friday morning, then I go to the grocery store. By doing this I am aware of what I have to spend of groceries, and also what to expect financially for the week to come. If you live check to check like the majority of America, doing this will be a life saver for you. Don't bounce checks just because you didn't know you needed to spend $200 on food and another $75 on gas plus pay your electricity and mortgage.

* Update your family calendar! I do this daily as things come up, but that may be a bit OCD for some. Make sure that you set time aside weekly to know what your commitments are.

Monthly & Seasonal Habits ~
Things you only need to do a few times a year! Aim to do these organizing activities at the same time you take care of other seasonal tasks, such as spring cleaning.

* Do an intensive clutter-clearing session a few times a year. Do this before gift-giving holidays. I have so many friends and family that pick stuff up throughout the year intending to give it as a gift but then forget they have it. By doing this you will find all those supposed to be gifts to give and will also be making room for the new that is about to come in. When my kids were younger, I would clean out their toys before their birthday because they always received a haul of new toys. This way there was always room for the new and some other kid was enjoying the old!

* Rotate you clothes with each season. As you do this weed out the clothes you no longer want, that dont fit or that are damaged. When I am pulling out my clothes again, if I am not excited to see each piece and ready to wear it I get rid of it. Chances are if I didnt miss it when it was in a box I wont miss it when it's been donated.

* This one is for all the holiday junkies out there...when you are putting away your holiday decor take the time to organize it properly for safe keeping and easy planning next year. Nothing worse than having the perfect Christmas mantel in mind, but then you can't find half the stuff you need to make it, or worse, it's broken!

* Replace any burnt out lightbulbs or dirty air filters.

* Do a spring cleaning and a fall cleaning!  Take a week or a weekend to knock out the stuff you never touch, pull your appliances away from the walls and clean behind and under them, clean your ceiling fans and blinds, hire a carpet cleaning compamy to clean your carpets. Wash your ALL the linens in your house! Fix up the yard, replace flowers or wood chips, spray down the exterior of your house and wash your windows. Begin each season with a squeaky clean house and you will feel so much better! 

There you go gals! I know this series was very quick, believe me I could ramble on for a month about how to organize every crevis of your home, but with the recent trend of home organization posts I didn't feel like that was necessary. I wanted to talk about the "problem areas" that I have seen my friends and family struggle with and that are a problem in my home too. You can apply all of these techniques to all areas of your home with some tweeks, use your imagination, make a list and get going! You don't have to buy a bunch of new stuff to use to get organized, pull out what you already have, reused and repurpose and most of all HAVE FUN!

If you missed a series post check them out here!
Organizing Your Home: Intro
Organizing Your Home: Clearing the Clutter
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 1 Kitchens & Bathrooms}
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems (Part 2 The Closets}
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 3 Papers}

Has this series inspired anyone to Organize their Home? If so, please share I would love to know what you have done or are working on!!

Jen

I linked up to:


 

Organize and Decorate Everything

14 comments:

Marisa said...

Hi Jen! I found your blog through Stories from A to Z. Love how you organized this list. Finding that I do a lot of these same things and found new ones to add to my routine!

The Amusing Redhead said...

Great list, thanks!

ccoffey said...

Hey Jen,

Just found your blog today and I LOVE it! Thanks for all the tips. I'm an organizational nut as well but only with things I want or have to have organized like craft room is always neat and organized while my kitchen is a disaster area but that is going to have to be a summer project (not just because of organizational reasons but because of things that need to be fixed and I'm not home enough now to see to it).

ANYWAY, just wanted to let you know how awesome I think your blog and that I'm a new follower as of today.

Come visit me (if you want) at http://miscellaneousme.wordpress.com

Thanks and have a wonderful rest of the day!

Cara

Leanne said...

Thanks for sharing all these great tips. We all need reminders to do these things. Thanks for linking to the party. I hope to see again next time.

Healthy Branscoms said...

Love it! I love your blog and became a follower! We did a massive clean in our house this spring and it feels so good! I couldn't imagine not cleaning out several times a year and getting rid of stuff. Our house would be overflowing! :) Erin

www.healthybranscoms.com

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