I am a huge advocate for a clean house. I know, mothers with messy homes make more memories? Or some crap like that – but trust me, my kids are a constant tornado and we are constantly making equal parts memories and messes. I just cannot handle living in a constant state of mess. It leaves me feeling scattered brained. I have developed a few cleaning skills if you will over the past few years that help keep my house functional and clean.
It’s a process. And a constant one at that. Each day, each week, we gain more and more crap in the house. From paperwork, toys, to the clothes the rugrats so quickly grow out of. It always amazes me when I go through things how rapidly they accumulate. Two weeks post Christmas, I am sure a ton of you know the feeling. We are still opening up presents out of their boxes and discovering new things on the daily. What. was. santa. thinking??
In nearly every room I have a piece of furniture that has many drawers. Oh, how I love a good hiding place. If I have an item (paperwork, clothing, toy) that I am not 100% sure on what to do with, I set it aside, and approach it on my next clean sweep.
And while these steps are not always a part of my weekly regimen, I swear by doing it at least once a month.
ONE simple tool : a trash bag
TWO simple ways to part with an item : garbage or donate
Best time to do this? The night before garbage pick up. It feels so good to clean sweep the house like a freak – and it will amaze you how much junk your house collects even after each clean out.
I start with the upstairs, working my way down. Depending on the time I have to get it done (usually not long at all) I oh so quickly access the room. I try to remember clothes in the boys drawers that no longer fit and put them into the donate bag – and any broken toys or wrappers get put straight into the trash. When it comes time to hit up the bathrooms I keep an out for almost-empty beauty products or lotion bottles. Closets that have my stock pile, I try my best to get the products out of the wrappers, just one more thing to get out of the way.
With the downstairs, it always take a bit longer. All of my lovely drawers are constantly stuffed with bills and paperwork, magazines and it never fails to find one piece of rotting food somewhere. Please tell me I’m not the only one with kids who dispose their food where they please??
By the time I work my way into the kitchen I make sure to do a pantry and fridge check — of course, trying my best to not be wasteful, but if things are at the brink of being empty, they go. It’s best for me to throw it away then have a garbage can piling up with the boxes 10 hours after the truck has picked the rest up.
If you don’t need it, won’t use it – FIND A NEW HOME FOR IT.
It can be overwhelming donating a ton of stuff too, you’ll second guess the odds of using that item again. But, one thing that has never failed me is the “when have I used this last?” idea. And if I know for a fact I will not need an item for many months or more to come, it goes. I figure someone else could use it more and I’ll get another when the time comes.
So sure, you’re wondering why get rid of it and spend money twice? I totally get it you guys. This is just OUR way of doing things. I love knowing that some of our well loved items are going to people and places that need them just as much. And well, I believe in giving, whenever possible.
So if you’re looking for a new way of doing things for 2016, or just a way to simplify your clutter in the new year, this is it. Grab those two trash bags before your garbage night and go to town. It never fails to drop my jaw when I walk down the stairs with multiple bags. AND it makes me way more aware of what I am bringing into our home to. I have learned to cut back on buying so many items and going paperless with so many accounts. It just feels good!
Join me will you? Let’s get organized one step at a time!