As busy and overwhelmed moms, we are always looking for ideas on how to maintain order at home! Maintaining order at home can seem impossible and daunting, especially if you have little kids running around.
Would you believe me if I said it doesn’t have to be this way and that it is actually possible to maintain order at home?
In this blog, I’ll share some helpful tips and tricks that you can apply to not only maintain order but to do it in style! A tidy home starts with you!
So let’s get started!
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The first step in attempting this task is to get motivated. Without motivation, you won’t see the task through and will only get negative and wound up where you started. So how do we motivate ourselves? Just a little bit of effort can get us moving in the right direction, which is a tidy home!
Get the Family Involved.
It can be fun to get the children and other family members involved in cleaning if you have a large family. Sometimes cleaning doesn’t have to be a one-(wo) man job! Involving the kids will give them a sense of responsibility, and it will lighten your load significantly! Make a rule that toys must be put away BEFORE bedtime!
Use a Checklist.
Checklists are my life! A to do list is super useful for remembering things! It can also be useful to keep track of your progress and to motivate you to keep going. A checklist will give you a sense of accomplishment, which is exactly what you need to push forward.
Try writing down all the tasks that you want to accomplish (break them down into sections) and then check them once you’ve accomplished the task. Easy peasy!
Turn on Some Music or a Movie.
This is one of my all-time favorite ways to get me into a cleaning mood. I always find myself reaching for my phone and playing one of my favorite upbeat songs. It really puts a sense of fun into cleaning and keeps the mood light.
If you don’t fancy music, you can always try listening to a podcast or putting on a tv show in the background.
Here are a few tips to get your entire house organized:
If You Can’t Use It Now, Don’t Keep It.
Keep the donate boxes close by and get rid of any unnecessary clutter, including furniture, home décor, books you might read one day, clothing, and other belongings you’ve been holding onto in case your circumstances change.
Stock Every Bathroom
Making it simple for yourself to keep your bathrooms clean increases your likelihood of doing so. Start filling each bathroom in your home with a container of Clorox wipes, a bottle of Windex, and an old rag. Or better yet, here’s a genius idea, create a cleaning caddy that you can carry from room to room.
Routinely wipe clean everything (even the floors!) and spray the mirrors every few days. This will ensure that your bathroom never becomes so filthy that it needs an entire cleaning service to get the gunk out.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
For every item, you take into your house, determine where it belongs, and keep it there. When you do this, you won’t be as inclined to dump things on the floor, put them in random closets, or leave them on the kitchen counter.
If You Haven’t Used It in the Past 12 Months, Get Rid of It.
Get rid of the clutter and clear unused items! This applies to just about anything in your house, from linen to items in your kitchen, desk supplies, clothes, toys, and other things. If you haven’t used it in 12 months, the chances are really good that you are not going to use or need it again.
If You Don’t Love It, Chuck It.
Only the things you love should be in your home. Let it go if it isn’t giving you a lot of joy. The things you love will begin to stand out once you let go of the things you don’t care for. If it is still good, donate it to a reputable charity for re-homing.
Only Use Bins When It Makes Sense.
Try placing bins in and around the house where they make sense. If you have a bin nearby, it will make it easier for you to throw paper, wrappings, and other stuff into the bin instead of placing it on the counter or furniture. This will help keep order in your home.
Use a Drying Rack to Hold Blankets.
Use a dry rack or blanket hanger to store your blankets instead of putting them in the closet. This will free up some much-needed closet space where you can store clothes or other items.
Never Stack Anything!
Stacking is a no-no. Not only is it unsightly, but it is also not practical. It can be difficult to find the items you need if those items are at the bottom of the stockpile, and it can be dangerous.
Store Items Where You Use Them
Storing items where you use them is not only very practical, but it can also help with organizing your house. If everything is stored where they are used, there won’t be a need to remove them from their storage space in the first place.
This will save you a lot of time moving from room to room to try and put everything back where they belong when you clean.
Designate a Single Place for Keys.
Always running around the house looking for your keys? Try having a designated place for keys in your house. This will help a lot with finding your keys, and it can also free up some counter space —making it feel less cluttered.
Hanging Shoe Organizers Are Your Friends.
Shoe organizers can really bring a sense of harmony to your closet. It will help you see what shoes are actually in your closet, and it’ll make your closet feel more organized and spacious.
Label Foods by Expiration Date.
Try labeling your food by expiration date. This will help with meal planning and prevent you from wasting food. Knowing when food expires will also help you declutter your pantry and fridge.
Use Drawer Organizers for Small Stuff.
This is a great organization hack that really makes a big difference. Having compartments will get rid of all the clutter and saves you a lot of time running through the drawers and trying to find something that’s lost in all the chaos.
Store Like With Like.
Storing like with like can help make the room or space feel a lot more organized.
Organize With a Friend.
It can make all the difference to have some company while organizing or cleaning. Not only will the task feel more bearable when you have someone to help you or to talk to, but it also helps to have someone to keep you accountable. This can be really handy when you struggle to let go of things that are actually just cluttering your house.
Now that we’ve covered house organization hacks let’s move on to some cleaning hacks that you can use to get order in your home.
Get Rid of Trash Immediately.
Throw out papers, broken toys, Tupperware with missing lids, and torn clothes. These are the easiest to get rid of.
Clean in Small Bits.
Try setting a timer for 20-30 minutes and try to clean as much as you can in this time interval. This will make cleaning feel less overwhelming and will amaze you when you see just how much can be done in just 30 minutes. And then take a break and relax. If you rest, you’ll have more energy to tackle the next project. This is something you could tackle in the morning before the kids get up! If you’re not a morning person, maybe the nighttime would work? It doesn’t matter when it gets don, just that it gets done!
Put a Lazy Susan in the Fridge.
This is an amazing cleaning hack that I wish I had known way earlier in life. A lazy Susan in the fridge will help organize and declutter the fridge, and it’ll be easier to reach for items you are looking for (especially if you are short).
Get Rid of Old Cookbooks.
Old cookbooks can take up a lot of space! Get rid of the ones that you’ve never used or that you haven’t used in a few years. You can always buy new ones when you need them. Luckily it’s very easy to find almost any kind of recipe on the internet!
Don’t Keep It “Just in Case.”
Don’t keep all the ‘just in case’ items. The odds are that these items will never get used, and if that day does come when you need them, you can save up some money to buy the items that you need. Besides, if you get these items out of the house, it will free up space for the things that you will use.
Start With the Easy Stuff First.
This can be a great way to build your confidence. You can start by picking up all the trash and throwing it away, making your bed, or doing a load of laundry after you’ve picked up all your dirty clothes and put them in a laundry basket. Doing tasks like these will boost your confidence and build your motivation to tackle nasty or more difficult tasks.
Do a Load a Day.
Doing one load of laundry a day while you are cooking or while you are watching TV can ensure that you stay ahead of laundry. Loading, unloading, and folding laundry for fifteen minutes here and there on a weekday is a lot better than spending a single day slaving over the dryer sorting through whites, colors, delicates, sheets, and towels. Make sure everyone has their own laundry basket or hamper so dirty clothes make it into the laundry basket and not the floor!
Clean the Kitchen Every Night.
Making cleaning the kitchen a daily habit and maintaining a tidy kitchen can make the whole house feel clean. Spend a few minutes each night after supper scrubbing any grease stains off the cooktop, loading dirty dishes or unloading the dishwasher, and wiping down the countertops.
Line Your Trash Cans.
Few things are more unsettling than entering a room and noticing a trash can filled with filthy tissues. Line the cans with plastic shopping bags to keep them empty so you can quickly tie them up and throw the bag away when it fills up. Put five or six extra plastic bags in the bottom of the can so that you can replace the liner when you throw out the old one. Doing this simple task helps too keep your house clean and tidy!
Tackle One Room at a Time.
As part of your cleaning process, focus on cleaning just one room at a time. This makes the tasks feel manageable, and it makes it easier to track your progress and keep yourself motivated. If you clean here and there, it might feel like you don’t make any progress, and you might just give up.
Finish projects one by one within the room; for example, in the bedroom, clean the trash, make the bed, declutter the bedside table, and vacuum the floors. Decide where you want to start to reduce stress and ease the cleaning process.
Many times organizing your home is not the problem; keeping your house clean and organized is where the real problem lies.
- Sort through your junk mail—while standing over the trash, this is a great way to keep your house clean of junk!.
- Declutter immediately. Go through your day’s clutter and decide if you want to keep or trash!
- Don’t let anything new come inside without first letting go of something. If your house is already full of clutter and the space is maxed out, this can be a nice way to maintain order.
- Take off your shoes. This will prevent dirt and dander from entering your house, all while keeping your house clean. Have a shoe rack by the entrance to keep your shoes neat and organized.
- Label everything. Labeling everything just ensures that everything is stored in the correct place, which helps with maintaining order in your home.
- Don’t save anything for later. This is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. Try breaking this bad habit by training yourself to clean as you go. This will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run..
- Don’t buy things you don’t need. This might seem obvious, but we all do it. If you buy things you don’t need, it will just lead to an over-cluttered household, which you’ll have to declutter eventually.
- Strip your items of their packaging. Stripping your store-bought items of their packaging saves a lot of space! And if you store them in matching clear containers, you’ll find that your house feels a lot less cluttered.
- Clean your fridge before restocking it. This can clear up a lot of storage space and will save you time in decluttering later on.
- Clean up immediately after cooking. Cleaning the kitchen immediately after cooking will help maintain a clean kitchen, and it will also save time on cleaning days. Also, pack the dishes in the dishwasher after you eat. This will save you the time of doing it all at once.
If you liked this article, read some of our other blogs for more cleaning tips to get your home into tip top shape!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.