NO MESS CHALLENGE 2016 – KITCHEN

How To Declutter Your Kitchen Cabinets

IMG_5968

It is also not the kind of mission I think you could get done in 15 minutes total (at least not for all the cabinets in your whole kitchen), but instead, 15 minutes at a time. Hence, the reason we’ve been working on it for several days already, and will continue into the future as well.

Today’s mission is to declutter kitchen cabinets, but really that is a mission that we’ve been working on for quite a few days.

It is also not the kind of mission I think you could get done in 15 minutes total (at least not for all the cabinets in your whole kitchen), but instead, 15 minutes at a time. Hence, the reason we’ve been working on it for several days already, and will continue into the future as well.

Before I tell you more though, please note that this NO MESS 2016 mission is designed to be done while working on the Kitchen Organization Challenge here on the site.

I’ve designed this day’s mission to be somewhat of a catchall, because although I can say what “typically” people keep in their kitchen cabinets, I cannot say what you keep in your cabinets. So today is a day to catch up or tackle something else we haven’t addressed.

Declutter  Missions Related To Kitchen Cabinets To Break This Task Down Further

So you don’t get overwhelmed though remember that according to the NO MESS  calendar we have already, or will in the future (soon) tackle the following areas which may address some of your cabinet clutter.

We’re also focused in these kitchen cabinet declutter missions on non-food types of items. I understand that some people use their kitchen cabinets as a pantry, but we’ll address food types of cupboards as well as more traditional pantries in the Pantry Organization Challenge later.

Why You Must Break Down Decluttering Kitchen Cabinets Into Smaller Steps

So why have I broken down the task of decluttering kitchen cabinets into much smaller tasks? Simple, if you try to tackle all of your kitchen cabinets at once you’ll get overwhelmed quickly, burn out, and potentially leave a huger mess in your wake than if you’d just left it all the way it was.

For example, a reader, Sonia  asked  in this photo, saying, “Seriously? All of that was crammed into one cabinet? Feeling overwhelmed!”

Now imagine if she’d pulled out all of the stuff from all of the kitchen cabinets at once, only had a couple of hours to work on the task, and then was supposed to cook dinner. Woah, that would have been a huge mess.

That’s why I advocate 15 minutes at a time, and just one cabinet, or even one shelf of one cabinet, at a time.

Below I will tell you the step by step instructions for how to declutter your cabinets in a way that works, yet will not make a huger mess and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Step By Step Instructions For Removing Kitchen Cabinet Clutter

So you’re ready to declutter your cabinets? Great! You can click the links above to get more ideas and instructions for decluttering or organizing the various specific things found in cabinets, but the instructions below will work for organizing any type of kitchen cabinets, generally.

So grab your timer, set it for 15 minutes, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose One Cabinet, Or One Shelf Only

I’m repeating this, because it is such a big deal — do not try to tackle all of your kitchen cabinets or shelves at once. You will regret it.

Instead, choose only one smaller area to work on. Yes, it may seem like you’ll backtrack this way, when you come across yet another pot when you thought you’d already done the pots, and I suppose you will. But that will be minor compared to the total upheaval trying to do it all at the same time will cause.

Step 2: Take Everything Out In That One Little Area

Once you’ve chosen a manageable area to declutter take everything out of that one space, and only the items in that one space.

Step 3: Quickly Clean Up Crumbs & Dust While Cabinet Empty

How often do you actually empty your cabinets? Not very often typically. So use this rare opportunity while it is emptied to do a very quick clean up of dust, crumbs, and other debris in there. 

You can also add shelf liners if you wish, but it is definitely not necessary, and if that is going to slow you down too much don’t do it now.

Step 4: Evaluate The Items You Removed From The Cabinet And Make Each One “Earn” Its Way Back

You don’t have to evaluate each item too long, and ideally you won’t, but when evaluating you are asking yourself questions like, how often do you use this? Is it broken or significantly damaged? Do you like it? Do you have duplicates? Do you have space for this?, etc.

The most important things to keep in your kitchen are items you actually use daily or at least quite frequently. The less often you use something the more of an indication that it needs to “earn” its spot to stay in your kitchen.

Make sure to have a trash bag ready for trash, another box or container for donations or for selling, and yet another container to place items you want to keep but do not belong in your kitchen cabinets. 

Step 5: Replace All Items You’ve Decided To Keep Into The Cabinet

What, you ask? Aren’t I supposed to add fancy organizational products now, and get everything I’ve kept organized?

The answer is, no, not quite yet, but eventually. 

It is true that the first step in every organizational project around your home is to declutter. 

But it is better to fully declutter first, or at least fully declutter a specific type of item, before you begin to organize too much.

For example, if you have pots and pans in 3 different cabinets, and have only tackled one of the cabinets so far, even if it is the main pots and pans cabinet, it is not time to organize them yet.

Instead, wait until you’ve dealt with all the pots and pans in the various cabinets, and then perhaps evaluate them quickly one more time once you’ve gathered them all up into one place, to make sure you still are happy with your decisions when seeing everything all together, before you begin to organize them.

But it is important not to leave things in chaos when you’re in the decluttering process, which is why you need to at the least return everything you didn’t declutter back into the cabinet once you’re done with that one section, before you work on the next section.

As you work on this project in small steps and chunks you will slowly see the project come together and in the mean time, as you need to use your kitchen for regular everyday functions, like cooking and eating, you won’t have made so much of a mess that it makes it more difficult to use the room effectively.

Step 6: Repeat All The Steps Again

I think I’ve already given away the punch line about why you need to repeat the decluttering steps again, based on our discussion of step 5. But basically, when you tackle a big decluttering project like your kitchen cabinets you’ve got to work in layers.

You’ve got to get rid of the majority of the clutter in each individual small areas first. Then you’ll have more room to group like things together and see everything you’ve got left as a whole. This often results in another smaller round or two of decluttering as you winnow it down further and further as you work on the project.

Then, once everything is grouped together and decluttered, it will be time to organize what you’ve got left.

This may sound a bit overwhelming, but trust me, 15 minutes at a time, and doing it in these small chunks, really works, and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and discouraged! 

To get you inspired to tackle your own kitchen cabinet clutter check out some images sent in by participants of the Declutter 365 missions and 52 Week Organized Home Challenge showing their results, and what they achieved in their homes in just 15 minutes at a time.

20 Minutes To Remove All This Clutter From Just Two Cabinets!

Cooking TOOLS and small appliances:

Today I spent 20 minutes to declutter two of my kitchen cabinets, one that contains small kitchen appliances and the other one is full of my baking stuff .

The small appliances and kitchen tools I don’t use will go to charity.

Now Nothing Is In Danger Of Falling Out When I Open The Cabinet!

now I have cabinets  where I can actually reach all my pots & pans, I can close the doors, and nothing is threatening to slide out all over my kitchen floor.”

For example, I had three full boxes of disposable forks, knives, and spoons. Why? I don’t really know the answer. 

I have learned that I have double and triple of some things for no apparent reason. On the other hand, there were things needed that weren’t purchased. 

Conclusion? Getting organized and staying that way will save me money. What we need will be purchased and we won’t waste as much money, time, and space buying and storing stuff we don’t need.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you’re loving the results you’re getting I would encourage you to keep going. 

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order  and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

2016 NO MESS CHALLENGE .

 Here we go !!!{yay}! This week’s challenge is all about organizing living room and family room areas of your home.Typically, this is one of the first rooms both guests and family members see when they walk through your home’s door, so it makes sense to work on it the week.

These rooms (or room, if you only have one, not both) are also typically a challenge since all family members do a lot of “living” in them, with lots of different activities and stuff placed in there.

Are you new here? The Living Room&  Family Room Challenge is part of the 2016 NO MESS  Challenge. 

With those two major issues to consider — the multiple uses the room has, as well as its public nature — let’s get to work this week making the area organized and enjoyable for family to use it, as well as for entertaining guests.

Formal Living Room Versus Family Room

Before jumping into the steps for the challenge I want to point out that you may need to go through the steps twice, once for your living room and once for your family room, if you happen to have both rooms. From now on I will be referring to it as a singular room, since you should only tackle one room at a time.

If you’ve got a formal living room that just sits there most of the time, collecting dust and waiting for formal entertaining though, I would encourage you to make use of this space in a different way and really enjoy it.

My personal opinion (and it’s fine if you don’t believe the same thing) is that formal living rooms are a thing of the past. Instead, every room in your home, especially one as centrally located as a living room, should serve some practical function and people should get enjoyment out of it on a regular basis.

Step 1: Think Of What You And Your Family Members Use The Living & Family Rooms For

The first step in the Organizing Living Room & Family Room Challenge is to seriously think about the function and purpose, or more likely functions and purposes, plural, of this room in your home.

Many activities most likely occur in it, and it’s probably the busiest room in your home after your kitchen. 

Each family is unique, so you need to think through the functions of your room individually, but here are some common functions and purposes of the living or family room to get you thinking about it:

  • Family gathering space, to rest, relax and converse with one another
  • Entertain guests (both adults and kids)
  • Watch television and movies
  • Play video games
  • Listen to music
  • Read books, magazines and newspapers
  • Surf the Internet (especially for young children that need supervision for this activity)
  • Kids to do homework
  • Play board games or other interactive, face to face games
  • Work on craft activities
  • Guest room (think someone crashing on the couch)

When making this list make sure to consult with all of your family members, to see how they use the room or think it should be used. You don’t want to forget anything, and you may also be surprised that your ideas don’t match. You’ve got to come to an agreement about what activities should be done where in your home so conflict doesn’t crop up.

Understand that there is practically only so much room in your family or living room for various functions. Most rooms cannot handle too many functions, and this means you’ve got to prioritize what activities will go on in here, and which will get moved to a different area of the home.

If you think you’ve got too many functions for the room, I encourage you to read all of the steps below before proceeding further, since you will get a better sense for organizing your family room and living room areas, and how many things you can actually fit in there before making a final decision.

Step 2: Declutter The Room, Rearrange Furniture As Needed, And Move Things Out That Don’t Belong

The next step in the  Living Room Challenge is to declutter the room, and then make sure that the only things left in the room are those which serve the functions you’ve decided upon above. 

Often your living and family rooms become a dumping ground for all kinds of stuff that don’t otherwise have a home, since that is the last place people used the items. However, if those items don’t actually belong there they need to be moved out and put elsewhere in the home where they belong (or making a new home for them).

I realize that is often easier said than done, especially if other rooms are also cluttered and disorganized. Hopefully, as you move through each of the challenges, making progress in more and more rooms, this is getting easier and easier for you though!

Your goal should be to keep the flat surfaces in your living room clear, or at least mostly clear, and to try to create a wide open area of floor space where many different activities can take place.

In addition, often you’ll realize that you want to rearrange furniture you’ve got in these rooms, or even move some of it out completely. Before doing any major lifting, however, read on to step 3 to make sure you set up the room for the best functionality, and in my opinion that means setting it up with various activity centers.

Step 3: Set Up Stations Or Centers That Reflect The Room’s Functions

The most important step in the Living Room  Challenge, at least for enjoying the room on an everyday basis, is to set up centers or stations that reflect all the functions and activities which go on in this room.

The last time you thought about centers may have been in kindergarten, but really it works in your home too. Basically, you are making sure that you have all the right things, in a convenient place, for the activities you think should occur in your family or living room.

Here are some examples of various common “centers” you can have in your living or family room and what things should be in them, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Make sure your centers are unique to your family’s needs and desires.

Family Gathering Space To Relax And Talk Together

The most important things you need for this center is a place for everyone to sit, positioned in a way that everyone can look at each other while they talk.

This space can, of course, be used for both family and guests. You may also want to have a plan for how to add or rearrange furniture temporarily for when you have a larger gathering than typical in your home.

This same center may also be part of the center for watching TV, or listening to music, or reading (read about all of these below), so you may need to consider multiple functions at once when deciding how to arrange everything.

Make sure while you’re fixing up this station or center that you go ahead and declutter under the couch and in between couch cushions since this is just a prime place for all kinds of junk and stuff to accumulate.

Place To Read Books, Magazines & Newspapers

For reading, you need a good comfy place to sit (as mentioned above), plus good light and access to reading material.

You may not want all your books, magazines and newspapers to “live” in the living or family room all the time, but you may want to have a table or other storage box where you could place the book you’re currently reading through, or a spot for a few of the latest magazines or newspapers.

Entertainment Center For Watching TV, Movies, Playing Video Games & Listening To Music

ir.gif

I already touched, above, on the need for good seating for this center, but obviously you want to have everything necessary that goes along with these entertainment activities in a central place, close together for convenience.

This may mean having your CDs and DVDs organized (we’ll tackle this task in more detail in a later challenge), and close to your TV and entertainment center.

Further, for those families who play video games having a gaming center (such as the one shown on the right) which holds all necessary games, controllers, cables, etc. is very helpful.

Additional Centers Unique To Your Family’s Needs & Desires

As you can see, the key to organizing living room  areas is to go back through your list above, from Step 1, of the functions and purposes of each room, and make sure that you have a center for each function on your list set up in the room.

Don’t be alarmed, however, that there is not enough room for a separate center for each activity. Fortunately, many of these activities use the same types of space, and centers can serve more than one function, or overlap in functionality.

The key is to get creative to fit in what you find most important into the space you have available.

Step 4: Make Sure You’ve Got Adequate Family & Living Room Storage Solutions

When making your centers and stations in your living or family room, it is often necessary to get creative with how to arrange and organize things, and figure out how to store the items you need in the room.

That’s why the fourth step in the  Living Room & Family Room Challenge is to consider what storage solutions you’ll use in these rooms. Once you’ve completed the other steps in the Organizing Living Room & Family Room Challenge, and gotten the rooms organized and ready for use, there is still one more thing left to do — create a habit for daily pickup of the room.

As I mentioned before, the living room and/or family room are often the most used rooms in the house, beside the kitchen. Therefore, with all these activities going on in such a public location, you’ve got to take actions to keep it neat and organized on a daily basis.

In fact, depending on how much time you and your family spend at home, you may even want to develop a routine for pick up of this room even more often, such as two or three times a day.

For example, in my home when my children are home in the summer (like now) we pick up the family room before lunch, before dinner and again before bed. None of these pick up breaks, on their own, take too long but they keep things looking good all day long while still allowing the kids to play to their hearts content in there.

Developing a similar routine for your home, that fits your unique needs, can keep this area company ready most of the time while still allowing everyone to enjoy themselves in there at the same time.

Tell Me How The Organizing Living Room & Family Room Challenge Is Going For You

I would love to know how this week’s Organizing Living Room & Family Room Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you’ve organized these areas of your home in the comments below.

I also love before and after pictures of your family and living rooms, and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and blog posts and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. You’ve worked hard to get organized, so now here’s your chance to show off!

Sneak Peek For Next Week’s Challenge

We’re working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don’t get too distracted from the Organizing Living Room & Family Room Challenge this week.

However, I know some of you love to know what’s coming next, so I’ll tell you. Next week we’ll be working on organizing the dining room and also quickly revisiting the kitchen eating area.

10 step plan to Declutter Kitchen

The one room that needs to run efficiently and effectively is the kitchen. This room is usually the nerve center of a home. Not only are all the meals prepared, cooked and served here, but it is also the place where messages are left, homework done, etc.. If your kitchen is not clutter free, you feel weighed down and your efficiency will decline.  this is 10 step plan for decluttering the kitchen.

18965e6ea1c737130e92f56b4d23916a

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. More than just an area for preparing food, the kitchen is the place where you pass along values to your children, demonstrate the joy of conversation, and participate in the ancient ritual of sharing a meal as a family.

Your kitchen and your dining areas are also tightly linked to the inner workings of your body and your mind. When you’re clearing out an overstuffed life, I believe you have to start here. Your kitchen strongly influences your food choices, so this is also the natural place to begin when decluttering your waistline.

 It often provides enough space for you to stash away hundreds of thousands of calories’ worth of food—healthy or otherwise.

As you declutter and reorganize your kitchen, the key question to ask is “Am I using this space to hold foods that help me create the body I want?” Are the supplies in your kitchen helping you stay lean and strong? Or do you pack your pantry and fridge with foods and drinks that fuel your journey into obesity and poor health?

Here Are 10 Steps to Decluttering Your Kitchen:

Task 1: Develop a Vision for What You Want From Your Kitchen

This task simply requires you to sit down and do some thinking, ideally with the other people in your home. Determining your vision simply requires asking “What do I want from this room?” You have a lot of options. Write down your vision and be specific. Examples:

• I want a relaxing place where I can check in with my family.

• I want to be able to focus on what I’m eating in this room, and to be able to express gratitude that I once again have enough to eat today.

• I want a space that welcomes guests, is fun to cook in and easy to clean, and says “I value sharing meals with family and friends.”

• I want to explore new styles of cooking, so I want my kitchen to support a lot of experiments.

Task 2: Separate the “used ” From the “not used ” Items

The stuff you own has power  “Carefully inspect your kitchen and dining areas and list all the unused items—or better still, gather them in one pile”. These things can bring up all kinds of emotions. The idea of throwing them out might be hard, even when you can see they’re bad for you. So you don’t have to get rid of them right now, if you don’t want. You have all week to first get used to the idea. Right now, I just want you to identify these items and set them somewhere unobtrusive.

It’s up to you to decide what’s used  and not used  in your household. 

For each piece of malignant clutter, ask yourself:

• How did this get here?

• What power does this item have over me?

• Is this item helping me create the vision I have for the space?

• Is this item serving any purpose or helping me in some positive way?

• What feelings linked to this object have kept me from throwing it out?

• How would I feel if this item disappeared on its own right now?

• Could this item that’s a source of pain or disappointment to me become a wonderful addition to someone else’s life?

Task 3: Clean Out Your Fridge and Freezer

When it comes to your health, your refrigerator/freezer area is one of the most important kitchen zones. For this and every zone in your home, I want you to first ask yourself: What do I want from this area? 

Decide which needs you want your refrigerator/freezer to meet. Please be sure that your fridge and freezer (and other food storage areas) hold the kinds of foods that will carry you to success. Ask yourself how much space you want to allow for each type of item. Spend a few moments sketching out a mental map of your refrigerator. Determine how  much space you’ll devote to fruits and vegetables, milk and other dairy, condiments, and other contents.

Once you settle on these criteria, get to work. Ask yourself whether each item helps your refrigerator perform the function you want from it. If it doesn’t, toss it. If you realize you have way too much bottled water or salad dressings, get rid of them. 

more on cleaning the Fridge & Freezer HERE.

 

Task 4: Clean Out Your Pantry

Give your pantry the same treatment that you gave the fridge/freezer. Before you decide what will go into the pantry, decide what you want this zone to provide for you. Are you trying to get more whole grains into your diet? Make sure your pantry keeps plenty of those available.

Decide how much space should be available for each type of item (such as canned goods, cereal, pasta, boxes of teabags, and so on). The pantry often attracts all sorts of nonfood items, such as pet supplies and grocery bags. If possible, keep nonfood items to a minimum in your pantry, so this zone’s primary function remains keeping you nourished.

Clean out your entire pantry, wipe up any dust and crumbs, and haul out stuff that’s old or expired. If any type of item exceeds the space you’re giving it, figure out how to use it quickly, give it away, or throw it out.

Task 5: Clear Off All counter top Surfaces

These cluttered surfaces become a highly visible contributor to household messiness. That creates two problems:

• When these areas are cluttered, your home is cluttered. • When items pile up on these spaces, you can’t use them for their intended purpose.

For these reasons and more, a fundamental rule in home organization is that you have to keep flat surfaces clear and uncluttered. This will immediately create a more open and welcoming space.

Your first step in decluttering your kitchen’s horizontal surfaces is to ask yourself “How do I want these horizontal surfaces to make my life easier?” (Rather than “What do I want to put here?”) In any space, especially the kitchen, it’s important to remember that flat surfaces are not for storage—they’re for preparing and serving.

Task 6: Address the Preparation Area

Kitchens function most smoothly when its zones are clearly defined. The preparation area is the space where you assemble the ingredients for a meal. This zone should allow you to pull meals together in the most efficient way possible.

The only items in this space should be the things that help you prepare your meals. This includes:

• Pots and pans

• Knives

• Kitchen utensils like ladles and stirring spoons

• Colanders

• Herbs and spices.

Step back and consider the space in your kitchen that’s devoted to meal preparation. Look at the places where you keep your pots, pans, cutting boards, utensils, and storage containers. Are these items conveniently located?

How much space will you allow these items to take up? Which items do you regularly use, and which are just consuming precious space? Grab a box and systematically go through all the drawers and cupboards that hold food preparation items.

Get rid of the worn-out, unused, damaged, or just plain ugly stuff that no longer has a place in your home. If you find items that are not used for food preparation, decide where they belong or whether you should simply toss them. Pots and pans unused for more than 12 months can probably go. If you have duplicates of any items, some of them can go. Any plastic storage container without a lid must definitely go!

Task 7: Conquer the Countertop Command Zone

This is the area where you put food on plates just before you serve your meals. This area should be clear, clutter free, and functional, with handy access to platters, serving utensils, and flatware. Any other items that don’t serve this purpose should go elsewhere.

Carefully examine this zone. Does it currently help you do this task, or is it cluttered with kitchen- and non-kitchen-related items? Whatever objects are currently getting in the way of an efficient serving space need to go. Decorative items that clutter the space—no matter how pretty—need to find a new home.

Check your platters and serving dishes. Do you have a reasonable number, or are many of them long unused? Remove all your utensils and kitchen gizmos from their drawers. Decide which items you really need and use, and get rid of the ones you don’t.

Task 8: Clean Up Your Dishes

In most kitchens, dishes and glassware tend to fill up the cupboards that are available to them, whether or not the owners use them regularly. For this task, bring out all dishes, cups, and glassware from your cupboards. Get rid of any items that are chipped or damaged, as well as those you simply don’t use.

Take this opportunity to toss out all of those free and souvenir plastic cups that seemed useful when you brought them home but now just take up space. If you have unmatched items, decide if you want to keep the irregular pieces or simply discard the partial set.

Now decide how much space you’re willing to provide for your dishes. Put the items you’re going to keep back into these spaces, making sure to keep like items together. Discard any items that don’t fit into the spaces you’ve allocated.

Task 9: Assemble Your Cleaning Products

It’s crucial to keep the right cleaning products close at hand so you can quickly and easily clear a mess, remove a spill, or just wipe the countertops clean at the end of an evening. In most kitchens, the cleaning products stay under the sink. People often find that venturing into this dark, spooky place is one of their least-liked kitchen tasks, but I promise that this step can be one of the most rewarding.

First, remove everything from under the sink and place it on your kitchen counter. Discard any old, unused, empty, or just plain odd products and items. I guarantee you’ll find multiples of some cleaning products (like partially filled bottles of the same spray cleaner)—if you do, merge them into single containers. (Never merge different cleaning products together. It can create toxic fumes.)

Be sure to dispose of old cleaners responsibly. While the under-sink area is empty, thoroughly clean it. Finally, reload the space with only those items that you need and use regularly. Consider using plastic storage bins to keep similar items together. This will help keep the space tidy and enable you to quickly and easily find what you’re seeking—which you’ll be grateful for the next time you’re fumbling around for the right bottle in this dark, spidery area. Be sure not to overload the space.

Task 10: Take Out Your Malignant Items

Now is the time to turn your attention back to your malignant kitchen items: the stuff that makes you feel guilty, or sad, or like you’ve failed as a cook or as a provider for your family.

As bad as this stuff is, I know it’s often difficult to “break up” with it. It’s just like addressing a relationship that’s bad for you or that has run its course. Even when you know you need to do it, making that break can be incredibly painful.

I have dealt with all kinds of unused items  over the years. I know how crippling some items can be, how they can crush your spirit and, without warning, bring up memories of times or events that send you into sadness, anger, and despair.

IMG_5803

 this is how my Kitchen Looks Like after decluttering

 It’s time to give this clutter to the world outside your home.

Gather up the pile and:

• Distribute items to friends or family.

• Sell things on Craigslist or on consignment.

• Donate it to Goodwill.

• Set things out on your curb with a sign that reads “FREE.”

• Recycle whatever you can.

• Accept that some items are worthless and throw them in the trash.

hope this Post helps you , as much it has helped me 🙂

 

HOW TO WAKE UP TO A CLEAN HOME

Who likes having a clean home? *Raises hand* I think it’s safe to say that we all enjoy having a clean space. Because I work from home, keeping my home clean is a necessity. If I neglect our home, I can’t run away from it or go off to work and forget about it. It’s in my face all day long. Over the years, I’ve found that certain nighttime habits help me cut back my daytime cleaning. None of these things take up an extraordinary amount of time and the benefits they yield are well worth it.

HOW TO WAKE UP TO A CLEAN HOME

fall-decor-in-living-room-with-ikea-hack-plank-coffee-table-and-striped-drapes-www.goldenboysandme.comLIV1

1. PICK UP THE MAIN LIVING AREAS.

Every night before I call it quits, I do a quick pick up of the main living areas. This typically takes me 5-10 minutes max since most of it is small items the kids left out. I just gather all the items and get each child to put away their own stuff. I also fluff up the pillows and adjust the cushions. This small habit enables me to wake up to a clean living room space every day.

2. TOSS OUT JUNK MAIL.

Mail is my nemesis. I swear it multiplies by the second. In order to keep the paper clutter to a minimum, I go through the mail each day. I do this everyday when I’m picking up the kitchen space at night. I quickly sort through our daily mail pile and pitch the junk. This simple step keeps our mail piles small and our paper clutter to a minimum.

2. TAKE CARE OF THE DISHES.

kitchens-for-small-spaces

For some reason dirty dishes gives me mild anxiety. I can’t focus or function with a sink full of dishes sitting nearby. Each night my goal is to wash all dishes, so I can start fresh the next day. This enables me to wake up to a clean slate and not have to worry about dishes first thing in the morning. This simple step will make your mornings easier and help you get started on breakfast without any distractions.

3. CLEAN THE KITCHEN COUNTERS AND DO A QUICK SWEEP.

images

Before going to bed, I like to put things away that were left out and wipe down the kitchen counters. I start by getting rid of trash and spraying everything down with a surface cleaner. Since I keep my kitchen counters clutter free, this step is pretty simple. I also do a quick sweep to get the floors cleaned up. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so I try to stay on top of it as much as possible. By doing this daily, you won’t have to worry about doing a cleaning overhaul.

4. WIPE DOWN THE BATHROOM SURFACES.

At night while you’re in the bathroom brushing your teeth, spray down the sink, counter and toilet. I like to keep cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, so I don’t have to go searching for anything that I need. This simple step will save you a ton of time in the future and you’ll wake up to a clean bathroom space. Win-win.

5. PUT CLOTHES AWAY.

10533298_10153188266448066_7304779276445996153_o

Scattered clothes will make even the cleanest space look messy. So instead of tossing clothes over a piece of furniture or on the floor at night, place it where it belongs right away. You won’t have to worry about dealing with it the next day and won’t have to second guess if something is clean or not.

6. DON’T EAT IN THE BEDROOM.

This was a terrible habit of mine for many years. I would get in bed and crave a snack or a bowl of cereal, so I would bring in the bedroom with me. The following day I would have to deal with my dirty dishes or trash. It may not seem like a big deal, but even small habits like these can add stress to our mornings. Instead, treat yourself to a late night snack in the kitchen and keep the bedroom food free.

7. KEEP IT CLUTTER FREE.

18965e6ea1c737130e92f56b4d23916aindian-master-bedroom-design-inspirationI truly believe that a home that is clutter free will be much easier to keep clean. You don’t have to worry about working around things that are in the way or piles that continue to grow. If you find that keeping up with a simple cleaning routine is too exhausting, start by de-cluttering your space. A clutter free space will be much easier to maintain and even gives the illusion that a space is clean when it’s not.

Remember that at the end of the day, you have to decide what’s important to you and your family. Perhaps you’re in a season where dirty dishes are the least of your worries. Or maybe you find that starting a load of laundry is where you should put forth your efforts. There’s no right or wrong way of doing things, and only you know what works best in your home.

Do you have a nighttime cleaning routine that helps you wake up to a cleaner space? I would love to hear your tips.

WHEN YOUR ROUTINE JUST DOESN’T WORK {CREATING ONE THAT DOES} !!

 

Last year , I shared my journey to finding and creating a ROUTINE that worked well for me in this season of life. 

july!

Today I want to expand on that a little more and share with you some tips and tools that have helped me get back into a more structured routine.

When thinking through your schedule and creating a plan there are 4 things that I had to think about and work through to get to the routine that I currently use now.

1). Re-Evaluate Your Current Plan

I had purchased long time ago a  cleaning checklist , just wasn’t working for me. I wanted it to because I paid for it, and I stuck with it way to long. 

The simple truth is it was causing me more harm than good. It was making me feel overwhelmed and like a failure. I’m sure if you talked with the author of that particular cleaning checklist, that’s probably the last thing she would want me to feel too!

There were things I really liked about the current system, so I made a note to continue to incorporate those into my new routine. The things that just didn’t work for me, like assigning chores to specific days of the week, I threw out.

To be able to stick with a routine, it has to work for YOU !

2). Examine Your Priorities

I’ve shared before about my mission statement  “Routines” and why I think it’s so important to have one. Developing a mission statement really helps to determine what your priorities are: the people, the things, the relationships that are most important to you. You want to remember those priorities when setting up a daily routine.

 If it was up to me the house would learn to clean itself! But as much as I wish for that, it isn’t going to happen. Someone has to clean it, and currently that someone is me.

3). Make a Plan

we can

There are hundreds of free, printable cleaning checklists available on-line. Just Google them!! There are also many that you can purchase as well. I have found so many that are great, but I never found one that met all of my needs. So I decided to create my own.

My personal daily docket, as I like to call it, helps me to stay organized and focused throughout the day. I’m a pen and paper gal, so I like to cross off things on my list.

In creating my daily docket I thought about my daily routine that I shared HERE& HERE  … I included a checklist that I could cross off as I completed them. I also created room for a to-do LIST , specific daily chores (like dusting, clean bathrooms, etc.), and a separate to-do list for work related items (for me that includes working on this blog).

One of the best pieces of advice came from my dear friend Vicki , She explains that once you created your to-do lists, identify 3 most important tasks that need to get done that day. They can be from either to-do lists. I have included a special section at the top of my daily docket for those 3 specific tasks. If they get done, then everything else seems more manageable.

I also included places to remind me to take care of myself both spiritually and physically. I included spots for night time  reading and self time  reminders.  I have a long book list and I make reading a priority in my day, so I jot down the title of the book and a reading goal, like read 20 pages.

Lastly at the bottom I have included a spot to write out any exercise plans I have for the day and a place to record my water intake. Once I started recording how much water I drank through the day, I realized that I wasn’t drinking as much water as I though I was!

I have made my daily docket available for you to print for free if you need a place to start. 

4). Allow Room for Margin

99%

Lastly, it’s important to leave room for margin because life happens. Some days I am super productive and my family  are very cooperative. Other days, not so much. Most days we are just at home, so I can get most of my chores done. But there are other days when we have errands to run, or we go to the park or another special outing.

So be realistic. That’s why I only included room for small tasks on my daily to-do list. I’m trying to teach myself that just because these are small lines, that doesn’t mean that I have to fill them all up!

What does your morning routine look like?

HELLO 2016 !!! and a Challenge !

happy-new-year-2016-photos

Happy New Year  to all my friends here !!! Last year I didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions but this year I’m going in with a plan. I’ve created this plan  and a housekeeping  challenge for 2016 . Come  on, join me!

I’d love to invite you to participate in the 2016 NO MESS Challenge this January – it’s the perfect way to channel that desire to clean and organize everything. I’ve coordinated the challenge with my cleaning routine to make it super easy to implement and of course it’s complete with room for catching up each week. Want to join me?

The cleaning theme for 2016 is NOMESS .  Every month I have a BLANK  cleaning calendar– add that to the challenge for January and you’ll be well on your way to a clean house, a new routine, and habits that will follow you all year long.

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  • Print off your BLANK calendar for the month – prepare yourself and get ready to get your home clean, tidy, and organized.
  • We’ll start off with 3 days to get rid of clutter – I’ll have a post on 4TH JAN  with some quick tips to get rid of clutter in a hurry.
  • Then, each Monday in January I’ll give you a focus space for the week – you can see them on the calendar.  On that same post on Monday, I’ll give you a handful of tips and posts to refer to during the week.  Work at your own pace, do what you can and worry about progress, not completion at this point.  Each daily task corresponds with my cleaning routine so you’ll be working smarter, not harder :)
  • Follow along even on whatsapp, where we discuss everything related to home keeping  and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also want to create a new private Facebook group too  (just ask to join and I’ll add you) – it’s great for support and to meet others that are following along with my cleaning routine.

Working in small weekly bites makes a big job easy, while printable checklists help organize and track cleaning chores. By Spring, you’ll be ready to open the doors to warmer weather.

Deep-cleaning the entire house is a big job! The 2016 No Mess  Challenge begins on Monday , January 4, with a Preview Week to get organized, check tools and supplies, and to put the holidays to bed. Beginning January 11, weekly cleaning assignments begin, designed to bring order to the house, room by room.

By breaking down cleaning and decluttering into weekly assignments, the Plan brings about whole-house change in small, easy-to-achieve steps.

Work it on your own, or gather with online friends to “work the plan” together. Along the way, you’ll create order, clean house and cut the clutter for an organized home.

Ready? Get the plan!

 

Click here for the blank Printable

 

Edited My Version of the JANUARY  Printable 

To keep you on-track, I’ll remind you of each week’s assignment on the Web, and via my Facebook  feeds.

Finally, it’s more fun to follow the New Year Cleaning Challenge with a team, so check in for the challenge . With links to weekly assignments, daily messages and printables, it’s Challenge Central as we work together toward a clean and organized home.

Ready? Set? Let’s clean house for the new year!