One of the biggest goals that many people have this time of year is to de-clutter and finally get organized. You could spend a whole day (or in some cases, a whole week or more) purging, cleaning and organizing your home but unless you also resolve to do some daily maintenance, your hard work won’t last long.
I’m all about having simple, yet effective routines in place.
Routines help me accomplish some of the daily household chores I might not get around to if they weren’t already a natural part of my day.
Routines allow me to keep a clean, tidy and clutter free house without having to spend a significant amount of time each day cleaning.
Today I’m sharing with you 5 things I do daily to keep the clutter at bay and to keep my house clean and organized.
5 Things to Do Daily to Keep Clutter at Bay
1. Hang Up Clothing
After a long day as you change into your comfortable PJs, either hang up your clothing or promptly place them in the dirty clothes hamper. Once you take the time to wash and fold your clothing, take an additional 5 minutes and actually put them away.
Don’t use chairs or dresser tops to store clean, folded clothing. Not only will they probably not remain neatly folded and clean for long but it also makes your room look cluttered. It only takes a few extra minutes to put clothing away but it makes such a big impact.
Teach your children to put their own clothing away, too. My kids are still young, not to mention too short, to actually hang up their clothing but I have begun teaching them to place their folded socks in the dresser drawers they can reach. If you want them to put away their own their clothing, you have to teach them as well as be a model for them too.
2. File All Papers
I’ll admit, this is one area that needs some serious work on my part this year. I am terrible about laying mail, school papers and other random bits of paper that I need to deal with in stacks on my desk. Not only does it make my desk look cluttered but I’m also opening myself up to lose valuable pieces of paper, like my son’s sonogram photo that I thought I lost but thankfully I found it a few weeks later when I was FINALLY cleaning my desk off.
You’ve heard it said before, deal with mail as soon as it comes into your home, either by filing and paying bills, tossing the junk and placing magazines in your to-read basket. The same is true for school papers, insurance forms, work related documents and any other paper that comes into your home. Make the effort to file and sort every day.
If you don’t have a small file cabinet, you can always purchase an inexpensive plastic file bin and some hanging folders to begin organizing your documents, or use a home management binder. Most of the paper that comes into your home you can actually recycle once you take note of what it is which ultimately keeps the cluttered paper at bay.
3. Keep the Sink Clean
My motto is that the dishes either get placed in the dishwasher or are hand washed after using so that way the sink always stays clear of piled up dishes. Yes, it happens when the dishes get backed up or someone forgets to run (or unload) the dishwasher in a timely fashion but for the most part when you resolve to keep the kitchen sink as clean as possible, it also flows into other areas of your kitchen as well.
Taking a few minutes to place dirty dishes in the dishwasher help remove the visual clutter and keep the counters clean. If you don’t have a dishwasher, it only takes a few moments to wash, dry and put away the dirty dishes before the sink fills up with an unmanageable amount of dirty dishes.
4. Clear the Bathroom Counters
After you get dressed in the morning, put away your personal toiletries and use the old hand towel to quickly wipe down the counter to remove any excess water, make up or other residue. Keeping your bathroom counters clean is important, especially if you don’t have a lot of counter space to begin with, or if you share a bathroom with several members of your family.
Your bathroom may not be clean but at least it looks clutter free. Plus, it is so much easier to actually clean when the counters are cleared!
If you need to extra organizing space, invest in some inexpensive organizers for your bathroom drawers or to store under the sink. Or use all those free makeup bags that come in free gift sets. There are plenty of inexpensive, creative ways to store and organize all your hygiene and toiletry products so that way your counters can remain clear.
5. Make the Beds
I am a big proponent of making your bed first thing in the morning. Not only does it help your room look nicer but it is much more refreshing to crawl into a clean, well made bed at night.
I’ve heard the argument from many young moms that the reason they don’t make their beds in the morning is that because they will probably crawl back into them during nap time. If that’s the case, you can still straighten up your sheets and pillows in the morning to at least make your bed look made resulting in a bedroom that is more visually appealing.
Bonus: Use Your Calendar
Whether you have a free or inexpensive planning system, or a nicer planner with calendar, if you don’t actually use it to stay organized you probably are going to waste a lot of money and time you spent putting it together.
Use your calendar to record dates off of miscellaneous papers so you can file or recycle those papers. You don’t want a desk filled with random appointment cards or invitations, if you don’t write down the dates you might actually miss out on something important!
Outside of using the calendar to record important dates, schedule in routine home de-cluttering projects. For example, rather than just writing down purge the house in the month of January, break up smaller tasks to write down in your calendar like clean the hallway closets on week and de-clutter the kitchen cabinets another week. If you have smaller de-cluttering tasks written down in your calendar, you are more likely to complete them.
What are some daily de-cluttering and organizing tasks that you like to accomplish on a daily basis to keep your home organized and in order?
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