Chaos 2 Organized

Rise Above Your Chaos and Soar to Freedom

How to Maintain an Organized Home

DSCN0957There are three aspects I always tackle when working with a client:

  1. Minimizing: The very first step is always sorting LIKE items together and then going through that pile of like items and cutting down on the clutter that my client may have accumulated over the years. I urge him/her to eliminate the unused, broken, ugly, and the unnecessary from each pile.
  2. Maximizing: Now it is up to me to aid the client by finding ways to maximize their space and to give them design ideas that will enhance their space in their home and make it more functional.
  3. Maintaining: Finally I have to equip each client with the tools to keep up their space long after I leave them. This is not always an easy task, but here are some great tips to help make the job that much easier.
    • I label all containers used in the pantry , children’s room, kitchen, office etc. I also label the place on the shelf where the containers are stored. So everything has a place to call home and all it takes is 5 minutes a day to place things exactly where they belong, instead of just placing it in a miscellaneous pile on your counter top.
    • Before going to bed in the evening make it routine to correctly place cushions, pick up shoes in the living area, and place that evening coffee mug in the dishwasher. Ensure that your counter tops are wiped down and clutter free and the sink is empty and ready for the morning rush. Walking into a clean kitchen and living room in the morning will result in you starting off your day with an “aaahhh feeling”.
    • Create a “Family Control Center” in your home as this will create a stress free way to manage routines and schedules. Pick a specific wall that is central to the home. This is usually the place that gathers the items as a go – between your home and your car. On this wall, be sure to have:
      • Key holder – so you never lose your keys.
      • Black or white board – to leave messages or reminders.
      • Chore charts for children.
      • Pin board for important notices with regards to school activities etc.
      • Small baskets for things that may need to go to the car in the morning. You must however,  make sure that it does not become a basket for every miscellaneous item that you don’t know what to do with.
    • Each room in the home requires a trash bin with a removable trash bag to prevent trash from landing under the bed or behind the sofa.
    • Continue with your Paperwork system 5 minutes daily for sorting and 10 minutes weekly for filing. (Please refer to my blog on How to Organize Your Paperwork, for some useful tips.)
    • Take 3 minutes in the morning to make your bed and hang up your clothes before going to work.
    • Instead of buying items just because they are “cute” or you “like it”. First consider two things:
      • Where will you place this item in your home?
      • What will you get rid of in its place, to prevent you gathering up more clutter. (One in, one out.)
    • Go through your children’s closets and toys at least twice a year, before their birthday and before Christmas. Work with your child on deciding which items they no longer have use for and have outgrown. I have always trained my children to give to the less fortunate before they acquire new things, for the following reasons:
      • It creates a giving spirit in your child.
      • You also make room for the new toys. (A home for everything.)
      • You are teaching your child how important the idea of one-in and one-out is. This will give them the tools as adults to prevent clutter in their homes.
    • If you do not enjoy cleaning your home thoroughly once a week, then divide your home into sections and clean a different section thoroughly each day. Do not shy away from giving your child added responsibility in assisting you with this task. My girls have vacuumed since they were both six and dusted from the age of 3 years old. Of course they are not going to do as good a job as you would, but it will give you the opportunity to teach them how to do it properly while training them to be efficient in their own homes one day.
    • It is also important to wash your dishes or place them in the dishwasher after every meal. If you don’t do that, then you are left with 2 meals worth of dishes and then 3. It is easy to see how dirty dishes can stack up in the sink and soon become an overwhelming task to deal with.
    • Always plan your meals in advance so that you have the necessary ingredients for that meal. If you prefer to shop only once weekly, then plan your meals a week ahead so that you can shop accordingly.
    • Have a scheduled homework routine and bedtime routine for your children. It will result in your children having better grades, greater independence and less stress on your end.
    • You can keep up an organized home by taking a little time every day to follow these simple tips. It is far easier spending 20-40 minutes tidying up a day than spending 20-40 hours having to undo the harm done by neglecting that space in the first place.


1 Comment

  1. Great article, Cheryl! I always find your advice so helpful. I’m a ‘section’ cleaner – it gives me a great sense of achievement when I get my chosen section cleaned each day!


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