I seriously can’t believe I’m even sharing these photos with you. It is so embarrassing. But it’s life. Life can get messy. By tackling a room a day, you can keep the clutter away. Here’s how……
Day 1 – The Kitchen – To me this is the room that can get cluttered the quickest. It is also the room that can drive one the most crazy! Don’t you hate it when you open a cabinet and something falls out on you? Me too! And the pantry…… do you ever go to the grocery store, come home and find no room in the pantry? Then you begin to clean it out and you discover that half of the items that were on the grocery list were already hidden in the back of the pantry?! (Please tell me that I am not alone on that one!) Well, in less than an hour you can clean up your kitchen, your pantry and your fridge.
Pull everything out of the pantry and fridge and put it on the counter. Wipe down the shelves in both spaces. Now, put it all away in categories. Cooking oils and spices, extra spreads (peanut butter, nutella, etc.), pasta, canned soups, canned veggies and fruit, lunch snacks, etc. Organize the pantry by these categories so that things are easy to find. As for the fridge, throw away things that resemble a science experiment. Keep fruit with fruit, veggies with veggies, meat with meat, etc. Stack items you keep an extra of with the oldest one in front. Such as milk, keep the one that will expire first in the front. Check labels for expiration dates and throw away stuff labeled for 2013. (Or before cuz you know they are in there!)
Once everything is returned to the pantry and the fridge, wipe down all of the counters and cabinets. Scrub the stove. Put away the dishes and put out new towels. Your work is done.
Day 2 – The Master Bedroom and Bathroom – This one is my nemesis because it feels like it is never clean. It manufactures clutter. I mean, once I put away clean laundry, BAM!, a new stack appears waiting to be put away. Linens need to be changed constantly. The dog stinks up the room every day (but we still love him!) And since I have not been left alone in the bathroom for the better part of a decade (because I’m a mom) the bathroom is a hot mess of clothes on the floor and items strewn on the counter because showering and getting ready is a “get in, get out” mission that only rivals military strategies.
Start with the linens. Strip the bed and take down the towels. Spray down every porous surface with Febreeze making sure to double douse the dog bed. Remake the bed and hang new towels. That should take about 10 minutes. Now for the clean stacks of laundry. Put it away. NOW! It won’t take long, I promise. Then tackle the bathroom, put away beauty creams and potions that have been left on the counter. And while you are in the drawers and cabinets, throw away things you haven’t used in a while. Wipe down the counters and mirrors and tub and shower. Dust the bedroom furniture.
Day 3 – The Boys Room – All I have to say about this is storage bins. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to keep stuff. The little crap that they win at the school fair or get from a birthday party. You need to toss it all in bins to get it out of sight. It’s been my experience that if you throw anything away, your son will ask for it within minutes of the garbage truck leaving the neighborhood. Just start putting stuff in bins. Make sure you know where you are putting things so you can explain to an irate young man. (what do kids have against a clean room?) Change the bed. Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Dust and vacuum. When your son gets home from school just let him know how hard you worked on cleaning his room and that next time you will throw things away instead of putting them in bins. Works like a charm.
Day 4 – The Girls Room – My daughter is actually pretty good at keeping her room clean. So this one is easy for me. Put away laundry, change the bed, dust and vacuum here. Very easy.
Now, her closet is another story. American Girl could open a store in my daughter’s closet thanks to some hand me down dolls and accessories. She has also never met a stuffed animal that she would like to part with. Storage baskets or bins are the key here. I put all American Girl stuff in one bin and stuffed animals in another. Pick up any clothes that may have fallen off hangers or missed the hamper. Then you can see the floor, at least.
Day 5 – The Living Room – This room seems to get cluttered in the blink of an eye. But it’s all essential clutter, the stuff we use every day. TV remotes, books we are reading, mail to sort, etc. You can’t just throw it away. The key is to keep it contained and attractive looking. And get rid of the stuff you don’t need. (Even though we all love our catalogs and home décor magazines!)
Start with the coffee table. Put remotes on a nice, decorative tray so you can find them when you need them. Stack any books you are reading neatly or put them on a shelf. Magazines and catalogs can go in a basket under the coffee table. Fold up blankets and fluff pillows. Move mail to your desk or office space. Vacuum and dust. DONE.
Day 6 – The Playroom – It’s LEGO mania in here!!!!! And toy kitchen, arts and crafts and dress up. I wish I was a kid again. My children have so much stuff to play with. It is very difficult to keep things organized. I have developed a system to keep LEGOs contained and art supplies organized. And it all started with the built-ins I designed. 2 large cabinets, plenty of shelves and colorful baskets. The LEGO sets each have their own clear shoe box. This keeps pieces together and also fits the instruction manuals. Then the shoe boxes are stacked in one of the cabinets. The art supplies go in the other cabinet. Toy food, Barbies, extraneous LEGOs, etc. have baskets. Knowing that it will all get torn up again soon, just take a deep breath and feel good that you tried!
Day 7 – Even God needed a break! Pat yourself on the back. You did it! You truly decluttered your house in a week!