Cleaning and Organizing your House in ONE Year

If you are like me, after the Holidays you look at your house and want to scream because of the mess (well more than normal). It looks as if someone ransacked your home, threw everything on the floor, took out the clothes from every dresser and threw it in the laundry room (or left a pile on your bed), and brought all of their leftovers to store in your refrigerator. I have three young kids so my mess may be different then your mess, but nonetheless, we can all say over a year (or maybe it has been 10 years) our cabinets get dirty, we keep things we don’t need, and our house just needs a good re-organization.

This year I am starting a new tradition: divide up the house into 12 rooms/parts and each month take a room to clean and organize. I’m going to share some of my organization tips with you to make things as simple as possible. And just think, after the first year, each year should get easier to do, right?!?!

  1. So where do we start?
  • We start by making our list and dividing the house….no brainer, right?
    Here is how I divided my house for the year:
    Closets and Foyers
    Kitchen
    Living Room
    Bathrooms
    Master Bedroom
    Kids Bedrooms
    Office
    Dining Room
    Laundry Room
    Play Room/Basement
    Storage areas
    GarageThis is just a start! As you go through you may find you need to combine or divide things differently!
  • Under each room write down what you want to accomplish.

For instance, in the kitchen I have clean refrigerator, pantry, inside and outside of cabinets,                organize spices, clean baseboards and windows. In the living room I have to organize toys,                  clean baseboards and windows, frame paintings and hang (because we still have no pictures              up after 5 years!).

Other things you may add can include painting a room, getting a new piece of                                         furniture/storage, going through clothes or dishes, or cleaning the carpet. The list can be                     changed as you go and if you can’t get to it this year during the room clean, there is always                 next year.

Remember, this isn’t just about organizing, but cleaning too! So make sure you add to                         clean/dust the baseboards, windows and screens, and cabinets or floors as you feel necessary.

  • Organize in your planner or write it on your calendar what room you are going to do each month and when.

I recommend to start with the closets first! That way you can clean out some space for things             in other rooms that should actually be stored in a coat or linen closet rather than a dresser or             the corner floor.

Next, I do the kitchen because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and when the kitchen is                   cleaned and organized, my house feels more clean and organized.

After this alternate based on the amount of work you have in each room. Try to alternate a                 more time consuming room with a room easier to do the following month. When you do this,             you won’t feel so overwhelmed each month to complete the tasks at hand and you won’t want             to give up as quickly! If there is a month you will be gone a lot, make sure to put an easier                   room in that month.

Lastly, make sure you decide when you are going to do it. My kids won’t allow me to take a                 6-8 hour day to get it all done, so I divide each room up into 3-4 days to accomplish it by the             end of the month. If it works for you, then take one day a month and clean the room so it                    doesn’t seem like you are cleaning all the time (I would prefer to do one day a month….that                means only 12 days of heavy cleaning a year!

2. Once we get our listing done we want to create a budget.

As you go through things, you may find you need new or more storage containers, or something       is broken and needs to be replaced, or you have on your list to paint, get new pictures or plants,         etc. Make sure you budget a certain amount each month so it doesn’t end up costing you a                   fortune to clean!

3. And last, set a goal for keeping things and getting rid of things.

As you begin each month set a goal for yourself to determine whether you want to keep it or not.

  • My rule is: if I have not worn it/used it/noticed it in the last 2 years to discard.
  • Make piles: “donate pile”, “sell pile”, “keep pile”. This will especially help in the kitchen, bedrooms, and toys.
  • Make sure if you are donating, you take it right after so it doesn’t sit in the garage.
  • And set yourself limits on selling items such as, if it doesn’t sell by the time I am posting something next month, I will add it to the new donate pile. The last thing you want is the stuff you are trying to get rid of clog up corners of the house because you aren’t actually getting rid of it!
  • Make an electronic, paint, cords pile to be able to get rid of the old stuff that you can’t donate or sell. Search your area for a drop of for these items so when you are done, you know where to take it all.

So who is going to challenge themselves to organize and clean their house with me this year? Remember, if you can make time it is only 12 days of the deep cleaning in a year!