Organized House Cleaning

House cleaning sometimes feels like endless drudgery. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. With a bit of forethought and organization, one’s home can be kept cleaner with seemingly less effort. What’s the secret? Here are a few tips:

– Pick up as you go: The mess won’t pile up if you put items back into their proper spots after using them. After folding the clean laundry, don’t just leave folded piles on the back of the sofa. Have every member of the family grab their clean clothes and put them away. After paying the bills at the kitchen table, mail the envelopes and file the payment stubs. After playing a board game, put the pieces back into the box and place the whole box in the cupboard. Try to never leave anything in a place where it doesn’t belong once you’re finished using it. – Only touch the mail once: When the mail arrives, sort it into appropriate categories. Have a basket for bills and one for “needs a response.” If it’s junk mail, immediately shred and recycle or dispose of it. Don’t let it pile up on the counter or the accumulation will begin to feel overwhelming. – Keep counters, tabletops and desks cleared off: Don’t let piles of miscellaneous items stack up on these surfaces. Messy surfaces generate an appearance of chaos. – Train everyone in your household to make their bed as soon as they get up in the morning: Even the youngest child or most rebellious teenager can pull a comforter up over the bed sheets. When the bed is made, the whole room looks neater. – Once a week, set the timer for an hour and have everyone in the family clean till the buzzer rings. Feather dusting, wiping countertops, sweeping the floor and sterilizing the bathroom can all be done in a short amount of time if everyone in the household pitches in.

When the hour is up, treat everyone to ice cream. – Twice a month, tackle one big job. Some examples of big jobs include polishing the woodwork, waxing the floors or dusting the mini-blinds. All of these items don’t need to be done every week. Just do one biggie every other week along with the quickie weekly cleanings and the house will be spic and span. – Every six months, clean out closets and drawers of clothing that no longer fits or hasn’t been worn for a while. Fill up boxes and black plastic bags to drop off at the local thrift store or Goodwill. There will never be an overstuffed feeling in clothing storage areas if they’re weeded out and maintained on a regular basis. – Rotate the food in the refrigerator every time you go grocery shopping. Don’t let items grow mold on the back of the shelves because new food gets shoved in front. A regular rotation will avoid wastefulness. – When a new item is purchased, such as a sweater, toy or socks, toss out one old one. If a sweater, toy or clothing item is in good shape, donate it to someone who can use it.

With a bit of organization and a house cleaning system, a person’s home should remain eternally tidy.

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