Are you constantly at war with the clutter in your home? Are your messes so messy that they seem to multiply on their own? If you struggle to stay organized, don’t fret. You are one of many who suffer from chronic disorganization. And if you have roommates, a spouse, kids, pets, or any combination of the above, you are not the only mess maker in the house. But there is a cure. It is possible to get organized and stay organized. If you can devote one week to this plan, you can tidy up your home and keep it that way. Gear up for a life-changing experience that everyone can get on board with.
Day 1: Zoom In
Choose one area to start with that is the most important to you. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the enormity of your whole house. Think about what disorganized space bothers you the most on a daily basis. Whether it’s your closet, your office desk, or your kitchen pantry, organizing this one area will be so incredibly helpful that your efforts will be well worth it. When you see how much easier your life is after fixing just one spot, you will find the motivation to tackle the next area. Simply repeat this step until you feel that you are done for the day. Make a prioritized list of the areas to organize next.
If this step is a particular challenge to you, and if you feel like you don’t know where to start, consider asking a neat-freak friend for help. Not only do super organized people know a lot about organization, but they actually enjoy it.
Day 2: Clear Out Clutter
Hoarding is a common habit of disorganized people. When you hear the word “hoarding” you probably picture some crazy person who collects hundreds of plastic cups and every newspaper since 1985. More commonly, hoarding is the act of accumulating items for future use. It can also mean refusing to let go of possessions that hold little or no value. It’s hard for some people to part with their possessions, but there comes a point when it is necessary to do so for the sake of organization.
To determine the usefulness of an item, ask yourself these questions:
Have I used this item in the past year?
Does it hold significant sentimental value?
If you answered “no” to these questions, it’s time to get rid of it. When it comes to the items you want to keep, the next question to ask yourself is:
Do I need the physical item or would a picture of it suffice?
In many cases a photo of an item is just as useful as the item itself. This can apply to sentimental possessions or everyday items. Kids bring home a ton of artwork and crafts from school, and while you may be tempted to keep every single item the little loves of your life have made, you can save a lot of space by displaying it on the fridge for a while, then taking a picture of it and tossing it out. Have a bunch of clever sayings on plaques and wall hangers but not enough wall space to display them all? Take a picture to capture the words and then move them out.
The purging process also applies to clothing. If you or whoever it belongs to hasn’t worn it in a year, get rid of it, even if it still fits. Keep a few formals or suits that you may need in the future, but otherwise clear it out. Take pictures of clothing you want to remember as well, for yourself and the rest of the family. Kids grow out of clothes so quickly, it’s impractical to hang onto it all. Keep a few special outfits from important events and let the rest go.
Day 3: Get Organizational Supplies
Getting organized may require the purchase of some basic supplies. Organizational products range from inexpensive items like plastic or cloth bins to pricier items like chests of drawers and shelving units. Which storage supplies you choose depends on the look you want for the rooms in your home. Cubby shelves work well to slide bins into and are much less expensive than chests of drawers. Plastic tubs with lids are ideal for putting items in storage that are not used daily.
Labels are another helpful tool. Properly labeling storage bins goes a long way toward achieving and maintaining an organized space. Labels should be short and concise. If you struggle to fit the words onto the label, you’re combining too many different items in one bin that don’t belong together. Keep it simple. Refer to the labels to easily find items you need and be sure to return the item to the correct bin after use. Which brings us to Day 4.
Day 4: Implement an Organizational Rule System
Once you have your things organized into bins, drawers, shelves, or tubs, it is necessary to return items to the proper place after use. Assign every item you own to a “home” where it will “live” and always store that item in the designated place. This is one of the most difficult steps, but the effort you make here is what makes the difference between staying organized and having to repeat this week-long process in another month. Being organized is a learned behavior for some people, and it does require a little extra effort on a daily basis. Keep a chart, sign an oath, or have a friend hold you accountable (remember that neat-freak friend you called on Day 1?). Get everyone in the house involved and hold each other accountable for keeping things organized.
Day 5: Save Trees by Going Digital
Keeping up with the paper chase could be a full-time job in and of itself. Mail comes in daily, most of which is junk mail, and has to be sorted and read through to determine what is important and what isn’t. Documents like bank statements, insurance policies, receipts, bills, and more have to keep on file in case they are needed someday. Quit stuffing your filing cabinets full of paper and go digital. Start by going paperless with your bank statements and even your bills. Set email reminders or your own smartphone calendar to remind you when bills are due each month. The documents you currently have on paper can be scanned into your computer and saved as a digital file, then shredded and recycled. Be sure to back up your files in more than one location, like an external hard drive or an online database. Besides being an organizational advantage, this is also a wise security measure, as paper would not survive in a house fire.
Day 6: Hire a Cleaning Service
Once you have organized the clutter, the next step to household tidiness is to thoroughly clean your home. If you dread the very idea of cleaning your home, or if you simply want a professional deep clean, consider hiring a cleaning service. A house cleaning service’s job is not to organize your home, but to mop and vacuum floors, clean bathrooms, dust, and other processes that remove dirt and germs. A cleaning service will bring your home to a higher level of clean than you could likely do on your own, tackling areas you may never think of. Make sure you hire a service that uses safe cleaning products and no harsh chemicals.
Once your home is clean, you can either attempt to maintain it on your own, or hire a cleaning service to come on a schedule such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The frequency may depend on the number of people in your home and the amount of dirt that typically accumulates in a certain period of time. Hiring a house cleaner may also help you hold yourself accountable to keeping your home organized, as it is necessary to get clutter out of the way before the cleaning service comes.
Day 7: Rest and Reward Yourself
You’ve done what you once thought was impossible. Your home is now neat and tidy. You deserve a day of rest. But don’t forget to reward yourself. Hold a yard sale and make a little money off those items you decided to get rid of. Take clothes and other valuable items to consignment shops. Donate whatever’s leftover. Use the money you make to treat yourself. You’ve accomplished something great and you should be proud. Bask in the cleanliness of your home.
The Maids 22 Step Healthy Touch Deep Cleaning System Gives Your Home a Safer Clean
Do you want a germ-free, dirt-free, allergen-free home without the harsh chemicals? The Maids use only safe cleaning products as part of their famous 22 Step Healthy Touch Deep Cleaning System. Mild, environmentally-friendly cleaners still get the job done without endangering people or pets with fumes. HEPA filtered vacuums remove the finest particles from the air, leaving your home allergen-free.
Now that you’re fully organized, get a deep cleaning by The Maids and see your home shine this week like it didn’t last week. Call (336)292-7805 to schedule an appointment.