Living A Simplified Life!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lets Get Organized

My house is only 1250 sq ft and although it sounds pretty spacious the rooms are not well designed. So consequently, I buy furniture that does dual purpose. I try to get things that can store other things inside. Even after living here for many years, I am still a work in progress when it comes to getting organized. I can so easily gather clutter because I always think I will come across a way that I can recycle something or use something in a new way.

One of the hardest things to do about getting organized, is the getting started! I don't know about you, but I often feel overwhelmed by the thought of tackling it all. Then I take a deep breath and remember that it didn't get this way in a day and I am not going to get it undone in a day! So take one room at a time. This will be your project room, where you will start doing all the deep cleaning first. Now I know you are saying " but I have children to pick up after and regular household chores to do every day as well." Well, here is the great part, you are going to start to learn how to do things in 15 minute segments of time. We are going to start with the easiest room in the house, the bathroom and the linen closet.

So lets get started by planning to begin this project room this coming Saturday. You are actually going to get your week started on Friday night by making sure you get all the dishes washed and the kitchen picked up, ready to face Saturday morning. After you breakfast out of the way and either the dishes washed or into the dishwasher and the kids busy playing or on a project, you are ready to hit the bathroom.

If you are the usual family, all your toothbrushes are sitting out on the vanity countertop in some type of open container. PITCH THEM ALL! If the container can sit inside your medicine cabinet, fine keep it, after you have washed it very well with soap and water and bleach. This is a breeding ground for bacteria! Did you know that the spray that comes out of your toilet, even though you may not be aware of it, goes all over the surfaces in your bathroom. Therefore it is one reason you need to really clean well in there and keep toothbrushes off the counters, use liquid soap in a container on the vanity top and bar soap (if you use it) in the tub behind a closed shower curtain.

I like to use a squirt bottle filled 1/2 and 1/2 with water and vinegar or water and bleach to clean my counter tops, faucets, the outside of the toilet, and all of the tub and tiles.

Look inside of your medicine cabinet. Are there medications and sharp razors and possibly scissors or clippers that need to be corralled? Find closed containers that you can put the medicines in one and the other sharp objects into the other. Put them up high on the top shelf where little hands can't get them. Wipe down the inside of the medicine cabinet.

Has it been 15 minutes yet? You can always get an egg timer or an alarm clock and set it if you are worried about going over the time limit. Because that is all the time we are going to spend on this if you have reached your time limit.

Now I want you to use the same principle with the other chores that you need to do today. Only 15 minutes to pick up each room, make a bed, throw clothes into the washer or dryer and then 15 minutes to fold them. If you aren't done with it, that's fine, go on to the next chore that needs to be done.

By now you should be ready to fix lunch, take time to sit down and relax and enjoy. After lunch, get the children to either take a nap (if they are still young enough) or get an older sibling that is old enough to supervise, or Dad, to play with them or take them out in the yard to play for a bit.

Now you are going to go back to the bathroom and tackle the linen closet. You are going to put towels and wash cloths down on a shelf where it is easy for little ones to get them out by them self. The linens for older siblings or adults can be higher.
Now take sheets , and take the fitted bottom sheet that has been folded already and place it inside the final fold of the flat top sheet. That way when you go to change a bed, you have both sheets there together and they will come out as one unit. If you have matching pillow cases that go with that set, fold them inside also. You will want to label your shelves with the sizes of the sheets so that they can go into the correct stack. If you have special bedding for each bedroom, you might want to label with the name of the child that those sheets belong to. Not only will it be helpful if someone else is putting laundry away, but it also makes the child feel special too!
I would suggest putting blankets in plastic bags for summer storeage and putting them up on the top shelf of their bedroom closets.

Now get out the windex and clean the window glass and the mirrors. Get out the mop bucket and clean the floor. You are done! Chances are you were able to get it all done in 30 minutes total by doing it in 15 minute sections of time! If you didn't, that's okay too, just set aside another 15 minutes after dinner, or after you got the children into bed and finish up. But my guess is that it is done and you have one room totally clean and organized, ready to greet you the next morning. Now that the hard work is done, your daily cleaning of this room will be minimal. A quick swish here and a swipe there and you are good to go!

Next, we are going to tackle the children's bedrooms...... one at a time..... and they are going to help you! If they are two or older, they are able to do some things and it is going to surprise you.

Now go rest!

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