It’s half way through February and I’m working hard on accomplishing all of my 2014 goals. The first of those goals has been to organize our home. The reality for us is that things have been less than organized and with a toddler once you’re behind it seems like you can never catch up. This month I have been determined to change all that.
I have been working away and while I need to do a quick bedroom pick up that room is 95% completed. I also organized the hall closets, pantry and most of the bathroom. Yesterday was my big organizing day with the main living/dining area. I spent most of the day with Edith’s help cleaning and organizing so that everything has a place and we are not living in chaos of toys, books and other random items.
So on our to do list still:
- Kitchen. This seems to be one of those never ending projects when you are a stay at home parent and the fact we eat 90% of our meals at home. I have organized the cupboards for the most part and the pantry but we still need to figure out a new and more efficient dishes plan.
- Bathroom. This is one of those places that starts out clean and then the laundry builds up and up and up. Right now I have two loads to put away and about 4 loads to clean. This room was actually cleaned and organized and then we didn’t keep up the maintenance and also ended up with a cloth diaper disaster (more to come on Naturally Family) and a necessary cushion cover cleaning which through off our normal laundry. I also still need to organize the cupboards in there and clean them out because I am sure I have a stash of makeup from 2000 hidden away.
- Office. This is still our biggest project yet. The office room is downstairs and our main living area is upstairs so it has become the spot where unwanted/used items go to die. We are working on getting the area cleaned up and organized but honestly I think we have to get upstairs done first and the focus down there. I did do a bunch of organizing down there this past weekend but it wouldn’t seem that way- blargh how do we have so much stuff???
- Storage. We have a storage area that we really need to go through and organize as well. We have boxes of items out there that really should be gone through but since it is semi organized right now it’s the last priority.
- Car. We need to figure out some organizational plan for the car because it’s either a mess or clean as can be and that can change overnight.
Tips so far:
- Don’t try to do it all at once. I have always been someone who wants to do everything all at once. If I want our house organized I try to do it all in one day and then I end up two hours in and I’ve worn myself out. So now I try to do things in chunks so that I don’t overwhelm myself and more gets done.
- Work on one room at a time. This is one of the best tips I have and what has really been working for me. I focus on one room at a time starting with the area that we spend the most time. Once that area is clean I am able to do quick 5 minute clean ups throughout the day and move on to focus on the next thing.
- Collection boxes. When cleaning/organizing rooms have a few different boxes: one to hold items for donation and a few for different rooms in the house because if your house is anything like ours items from other rooms tend to find themselves where they don’t belong. You should also have a bag for trash, one for recycle and possibly one for items to shred (we get a lot of junk mail). Once you are done in one room move the boxes to their destination rooms and toss the trash.
- Five minute clean ups. I have started doing 5-minute cleanups throughout the day. We do a morning one, a before lunch, a before nap, a before dinner and then a before bedtime pick up. This helps to keep things clean and takes little to no time to do.
- Put it away when you are done. Seriously I am terrible at this and if you ask my mom I always have been. It’s a habit I have been trying to break for years and now that I have a toddler and #2 on the way I am getting much more serious about this. Throughout the day I work with Edith to make sure she puts one toy away before starting to play with another. Since a big part of this process is leading by example it is forcing me to be more accountable for myself as well so I am also practicing what I preach and this has helped to keep things clean and organized.
While this goal is still in progress and honestly I don’t think it ever really is done I am happy with how much we (Neil plays a major part in this too) have done up to right now. We both would like to see this place organized by the end of March and if we stay on track it will be!
Please share your own cleaning and organizing tips in the comments below! I would love to hear what works for you!