The New Year often comes with the motivation for a CLEAN START, and since we are on the subject of “CLEAN” (wink), I want to share some of my FAVORITE cleaning and organization tips!!!Several people have asked me “WHERE IS ALL MY STUFF?” inside my house!The truth is I have just as much stuff as the next person. I really do! It may not look like it from pictures, but I have miles of storage, decor, party supplies, craft items, the list goes on and on! But I have found several ways to keep it organized and keep my home feeling fresh and new. So all the stuff that I do have doesn’t feel so overwhelming.Here is my personal list of the Top Ten cleaning tips I do to keep my home running smoothly!
#1 – ALWAYS make the bed, and if it’s a REALLY good day, I make all the beds The very best thing you can do, to lift your spirits in the morning and get you started on the right foot, is to make your bed…for me it gives the sense of accomplishment right out of the gate. And that in turn motivates me to keep cleaning. Give this tip a try…. you might be surprised.
#2 – Schedule a Cleaning Day, I am a BIG believer of setting aside a cleaning days! ONE FULL day, and the SAME day each week, that you dedicate to just cleaning and laundry and bustling around the house. When I say CLEAN I mean the BIG stuff. We all know a small amount of cleaning is needed EVERYDAY. But for me, My days during the week can get SUPER CRAZY. Knowing that Monday is my cleaning day, I will make sure to never schedule anything on that day, if I can at all help it! The house seems to stay more clean throughout the week when I dedicate a cleaning day.
#3 – Taking Care of Small Stains. I LOVE this little trick! You know those little spots that aren’t worth washing the ENTIRE item for? Little stains on accent pillows or the sofa or bedding. Instead of using laundry soap or dish soap, I like to use spot remover with a wet rag. It is white so it doesn’t leave a strange color like blue or green, and it has a lot less suds! It is truly MAGIC on my slip-covered sofa and white bedding.
#4 – ENJOY the Process! The truth is…I HATE cleaning. I dread it!!! I would MUCH rather be doing other things, but I am a HUGE believer that a clean house makes such a difference in the flow and the happiness of the family. So to help enjoy the process a bit more I use the time to not only work on the house, but also work on my brain. I use cleaning as an excuse to listen to books on tape. When I painted over the red paint in my kitchen I listened to The Help. It was the most enjoyable paint job I ever did When I am in more of a light mood, I listen to my favorite music. The beat keeps me going! I just plug in and tune out the world. This helps me get things DONE in a very therapeutic way.
#5 – Everyday Deep cleaning. While doing your everyday cleaning, spend FIVE more minutes and do a once over on your door casings, walls and baseboards. It really doesn’t take very much more time at all, but in the long run to have clean moldings is something that most people don’t see though you can definitely FEEL a difference when things are really clean! I like to make it easy on myself and use Swiffer products. The Dust wand is a life saver.
#6 – THROW STUFF AWAY! Ooooh this is a BIG One! I am the de-junker QUEEN. My poor kids and husband sneak behind my back and look through my sacks of trash and good will donations because they know I like a CLEAN HOUSE. If we don’t need it or use it, I trash it or donate it. I do a clean sweep at least 3-4 times a year. Getting rid of things is a good thing. Your home will feel organized and clean and less cluttered! I have found I have more room for the new things I want, when the old is gone. This might be a hard one for the more sentimentalists out there, but take the advice from our great Oprah . . . “If you haven’t used it in a year. Get rid of it!”
#7 – A Place for Everything… The key to successful organizing takes a bit of brain power. Looking at an open closet and making a permanent home for things is the first step. The keyword here is “permanent.” Make yourself a specific shelf or drawer or cabinet that the same items go into EVERY SINGLE time. You’ll find things will flow better and items will stay organized. When I was building my home, I designed my desk area with a function in mind. Here is what I came up with. The little drawers to some might feel like wasted space, but for our family, it is just perfect for the everyday functionality. The kids know where each item belongs and I have to say after 8 years, these little drawers have stayed organized (for the most part) :)
#8 – Where Is ALL My Stuff… I use baskets like CRAZY! I also use every single piece of furniture in my home that has a door, as well as under beds, closets and storage rooms. But really, I keep things organized by using labels. I label EVERYTHING!!! I mean EVERYTHING. I find that a box or basket or plastic storage container that is labeled has a purpose! Even if my system isn’t 100% perfect, it makes the house feel organized, and isn’t it really all about the feeling of well being anyway??
#9 – Every 6 Months… Cleaning windows and carpets about every 6 months or so REALLY does make a difference. These 2 things will keep your home light and smelling great! Carpet can hide a lot of undetected odors. So cleaning carpet really is important. It can also make you feel like you have a new home . . . at least for a little while anyway
#10 – Fresh Scents…I am a sucker for a Fresh scent. I LOVE candles and Febreze or whatever smells nice and makes the space feel fresh. If you don’t have time to clean, spray a scent of lemon and it will feel as if you spent the entire day cleaning. This tip is my trade secret! (wink) No one would EVER know when they walk in my front door that I have a sink full of dirty dishes or a pile of laundry just hidden around the corner! Ha ha This past Christmas I found this jar of goodness!
Remember this one when you want your house to smell like fresh cut pine. YUMMY!!