Step 1 – De-Clutter Your Home
This will make cleaning easier and your home will appear tidy. Everything in your home should either be something you love or is useful (at the present time).
15-Minutes to a Clutter Free Home
- Spend 5 minutes walking through your home with a garbage bag and fill it with items that can be thrown away, such as, worn out shoes and old newspapers and magazines.
- Spend another 5 minutes filling a second garbage bag with items to be donated such as clothing, toys and knick-knacks.
- Spend the last 5 minutes filling a bag or box (or create a pile) of items to be sold, such as, furniture, collectables, appliances and any other items with value.
Repeat this exercise once per week for the next several weeks until your home is clutter free. To sell your items, you can post an ad free of charge on Craigslist. You could also sell them on Ebay or at an Ebay store, which will sell them for you and take a commission.
Step 2 – Maintain
Going forward, for every item that comes into your home, you must get rid of an item. Have a box or bin set up in your home for items to donate or sell. Each time a new item comes into your home, select an item to get rid of and put it in the box. If you are very strict about this rule, you will not accumulate clutter.
Every time you purchase a new shirt, a pair of shoes, a candle, a magazine, an ipod, a DVD or anything, get rid of something. If you do not follow this rule, you will continue to accumulate more and more stuff. Once a month, donate or sell every item in the box.
Step 3 – Create a Place for Everything
It is virtually impossible to keep your home clean if you have items that do not have a specific place where they are kept. Every single item in your home from paperclips to hair spray to receipts, needs a specific place to reside. At the end of everyday, spend 5 minutes walking through your home and put away all items that were left out. This should only take 5 minutes if there is a specific place for every item and if you do it everyday.
Step 4 – Set Expectations for Yourself and Others in your Household
Set an expectation that each member of your household (including yourself) puts away every item they take out as soon as they are done using it. In addition, set an expectation that every member of your household contributes to keeping your home tidy. Divide up chores such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming & dusting.
Step 5 – Set a Cleaning Routine
Even if you have a professional cleaning service that cleans your home, having a daily “maintenance” routine will keep your home company ready at all times.
The Morning Routine
- 3-Minutes in the Bathroom – Keep a roll of paper towels under the sink. Wipe down the counter and faucets and wipe up hair from the floor.
- 2-Minutes in the Bedroom – Make your bed and put away your pajamas.
- Clean up the dishes after breakfast and wipe down your counter tops and table. If you have toddlers, wipe up the floor.
The Evening Routine
- 5-Minutes walking through your home and putting away all items that were left out and empty the garbage’s, if needed.
- 2-Minutes in the Bedroom – Put away your clothes before going to bed.
In addition to these daily routines, your home needs to be thoroughly cleaned at least twice a month (once every other week). If you do not have a professional housekeeper to do it, then divide up the cleaning among all of the capable members of your household and schedule specific days and times for the chores to get done. Hold yourself and everyone else in your household accountable.
Post by Heidi DeCoux, the publisher of Life Made Simple e-Magazine, a professional organizer in Minneapolis, and creator of the Fast-Filing Method home office filing system. Heidi energizes her readers’ by simplifying their homes and schedules. For more info, free tips, and to receive her FREE Report: The Fast & Easy Way to Get Organized and Stay Organized Forever, visit ClearSimpleLiving.com.