Now that you have a good system to remember your tasks at hand, the next big step will be to get rid of clutter. Clutter diminishes a smile, dampens the spirit, and so should not be tolerated.
It is very easy to find any given room in a cluttered mess, but it takes some hard work to de-clutter and organize.
Many people say that one of their favorite things to do when stressed out is to clean! Hard to imagine, right? Well, it is true. Cleaning gives order and purpose to your life, even if only in smaller chunks at a time.
We are not just talking about moving around clutter from one shelf to another. We are talking about de-cluttering every room of your home. Say good-bye to the dust, say good-bye to the junk – say hello to room to breathe and move around! Now, doesn’t that sound delightful?
Start out by drawing up a list of what you absolutely want done. Think about those leaning tower of Pisa papers in the den, then move slowly into the family room. See any piles of old photos just crying out to be placed in a photo album? Write that one down. How about those piles of clothing sitting in the bottom of your daughters closet just waiting for a mother’s touch. Write that one down, too!
By now, if you are clever, you see a list of very workable, one-at-a-time chores that can be assigned throughout a busy day. The idea is to get started and work your way around. By the end of the day, you will have a beautiful, uncluttered home as your reward!
Do not become discouraged if your attempt to enlist your husband and children runs a-muck. Just write them down on your list as those who require an attitude adjustment and then save that chore for next time. One can hope!
If you are altogether frank about it, you really do not want a second pair of meddling hands anyway; some chores are best left to only one pair of hands. That way you can be sure that the chores will be done right the first time.
Best Secrets to Getting and Staying Organized
- Tell yourself (and believe) that some degree of clutter with a child is going to happen no matter what!
- Begin with messes and clutter that you see every day. Work on organizing your kitchen and family room before your hallway closet.
- Assign everything in your house a place. This way when your family searches for something they need, they will know exactly where to find it and where to put it away.
- Use this same principle to organize your silverware, with clearly defined places for every fork and knife, or drawers for ties and socks or, underwear. Think in this same way for every aspect of your home. This will save many hours of searching for things. It will dramatically cut down on the clutter of items left out “for now” or “until I find a place for it.” Develop a new mantra: everything has its place and a place for everything!
- Enlist a new rule: throw out one old thing for every new purchase that enters your home.
- When using stairs, never go up or down them empty-handed. Always grab some items that belong to upstairs rooms and quickly put it away while you are there.
- Make a mental note to observe what things pile up in your house and where they cluster, and then come up with a place nearby that becomes the official home where those things will reside. Introduce baskets, shelves, and folders for this purpose. They work well. Set aside one basket for you and your partner for incoming mail, bills, and receipts and letters.
- Create a number of brightly marked folders for discount coupons, invitations and directions, and other time-sensitive papers that just clutter your counters.
- Keep items that are used frequently in places where you can reach them without stooping or bending, and store them close to the place they will be needed.
- Use drawer dividers for socks, underwear, lingerie, and tiny items, to keep them separated and organized.
- Hang hooks for your keys and purse at the entry to your home, so each time you walk in, you can hang them up.
- Establish one defined place in your house for storing library books, and end a house-wide hunt when it is time to read or return them.
- Get rid of all junk drawers, or allow yourself just one that you clear out once a week or more. When you establish certain items are being used repeatedly, designate a drawer for those.
Things you don’t need any longer:
- Magazines you meant to read but have never taken the time for
- Expired medications
- Clothes you no longer wear
- Sunscreen that’s expired or more than one year old
- Extra paper or plastic grocery bags
- Makeup and samples you have never worn
- Cookbooks you rarely use. Cut out your favorite recipes only
- Organize your coupons and throw out all that have expired
- Stuff your crumpled plastic bags from your grocer inside a cardboard roll like a hand towel roll. Keep under your sink.
Getting rid of your clutter and organizing your home top to bottom will free your mind to remember your daily chores. Be vigilant about cleaning about once a month and you will find it much easier to keep up, week-by-week.