March is already here?! The winter has flown by, and the home can be looking a little stuffy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the strewn about snow boots, the out of place jackets, and the leftover clutter from the holidays, check out our system for refreshing your organization system and cleaning out those cobwebs. Whether things have just gotten a bit out of hand, or you’re still struggling with creating a routine in a new home, this post will help you get your head around your stuff.
Separate the Task By Room
As a homeowner, you probably have a significant amount of space to keep clean. You’ve surely done well with the most used rooms of the home, like the kitchen and living room, but even these accumulate extra items. Split the home up by room, so each job is a little smaller than the whole. We recommend starting with the most commonly used area and moving into the least. For us, a good order is
Workshop, garage, storage area, or studio
Gather All Misplaced Items: Put Them Away
Inevitably, items creep around the house from place to place. If you have children, it is no surprise to find the TV remote in the bathroom from time to time. Before you begin your deep clean, grab a basket and gather all the items around the house that have migrated from their homes. Separate each of these items into a room-designated pile and then take those things to their right spots. This simple pre-work task will save you countless trips from room to room as you begin your deep clean, allowing you to really buckle down and focus on the space you’re in.
Remove Clutter From Each Room as You Go
Now that everything is at least in the appropriate room, you are ready to get organizing. Begin with the room of your choice and evaluate the items you are working with. Are you actively using that sieve, or are you just always cleaning around it? What about this Troll doll from the 1980’s, do your kids play with it, or are you done? Take the things that don’t serve you well and either donate or get rid of them. The best time to take stock of the things you have in your home is while you are re-organizing and putting them away, because they will be in your hands for a moment.
Some Things We Find We Have Never Missed
Unused pots, pans, kitchen gadgetry.
We know, what if you make Cake Pops for your birthday this year? Unless you seriously are planning on doing that, the Cake Pop pan is out.
We all have favorite clothing pieces, but for the most part, 8 of 10 articles of clothing won’t be missed. Really think about how much you like wearing that wool sweater before you put it away for the season.
Some of us are collectors, and we would be hard pressed to downsize our figurines. This point is not for the collectors among us. We’ve all been gifted small items over the years that we set on the mantle or side table, sometimes dust, and otherwise forget about. Remove these things- the whole house will feel lighter once you do.
If you have a home office, you know how easy it is for paperwork to accumulate. Unless items must be saved, shred them and recycle them. Go through the stack of papers on your desk or shelf, neatly file the ones that matter, and breathe a sigh of relief that none of the others are around.
Kids are another source of endless paper. Keep the work that is really meaningful to you, and don’t feel bad about parting with the pieces that aren’t. Go through your kids work with them and celebrate their successes, then, recycle those pages.
Extra cosmetics and toiletries.
This is another category where you probably have gift items hanging out in a closet somewhere. Or you tried a new lotion and didn’t quite like it enough to work it into your daily regime. These things just take up space.
Our hygiene routines tend to be highly personal, so don’t feel bad that you’re getting rid of that nice cologne your mom bought you last Christmas. You appreciate the gesture, but you don’t want to smell like that. No loss.
Only Invest in Organizing Tools That Work
We’ve all seen the endless reels of “Organization Trend” photos on social media. While the pictures may look nice and neat, don’t rush out and buy that dish stacker just yet. Think about your lifestyle and how you use things. A cube organizer might be the best thing for you since sliced bread, or it could be a black hole of clutter hidden neatly in cloth boxes. Only invest in the organizer tools that accomodate your habits and mannerisms. Otherwise, they will just turn into another piece of clutter.
Create a To-Do List
Once you have gone through each room, put things in their places, gotten rid of superfluous items, collapsed on the couch and breathed a satisfied sigh of glee, don’t stop. There is a crucial task to be done. Commend yourself for all that good effort, take pride in the way your home looks and feels, and then plan how to keep it that way. Create a weekly to-do list that will reinforce your new organization system. Afterall, you are trying to build a new habit- to keep the house neat, clutter free, and clean all the times. While you probably already have a routine around basic cleaning habits, go the extra step and add things like “Declutter surfaces” and “Sort Paperwork” into the weekly task list.
One of our agents puts their list like this:
Monday: Declutter surfaces, Dust, Sweep and Mop
Tuesday: Clean Bathrooms, Clean Windows
Wednesday: Clean Office
Thursday: Laundry Day
Friday: DAY OFF!
Saturday: Eat or toss leftovers, Grocery shop
Sunday: Meal prep, Clean Bedrooms
Daily: Clean up toy rooms, Do dishes, Clean Counters, Put things away as needed.
Get Everyone on Board
Nothing causes a new cleaning plan to fail faster than leaving other people out of the loop. Families settle into a rhythm, so if you are trying to drive a new organizational habit, everyone needs to know what your goals are. Get your spouse, your kids, and anyone who lives with you to help make the new list, figure out who can upkeep what parts, and then make sure everyone is accountable to that task.
Thank You! Happy Cleaning
To sum up, you will have to build your system around the way you want to live, but the basic method of divide-and-conquer can help anyone get to a perfectly ordered living space in just a weekend. Try to declutter and re-organize everything you can without making a single purchase, and only buy the things you really need to make your clean-dream a reality. Get the whole family involved and split the upkeep work amongst yourselves. It takes a few weeks for everyone to get in the rhythm, but after the adjustment period the habit will be well worth the effort.
We hope our ideas for creating a new organization system are helpful to you, and we wish you happy Spring Cleaning! Whether you are simply looking to keep your home in great shape, or you are thinking about marketing your home this Spring, Coastal Point Properties is here for you. Check out our blog next month for some great garden prep ideas, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for all your real estate needs.