One of my favorite authors on WordPress and writer for Fine Frugality Living Life to the Fullest ~ Simply has been kind enough to create a wonderful read. More on the topic of organization with simple creative ways to motivate, maintain, and yes enjoy, cleaning!
Hi everyone! I’ve been asked by the wonderful folks here at The Shanty Town to do a guest post that will help cover a current topic, cleaning and organizing our homes. I absolutely loved the post “Women ~ The Quest for the Perfect Excuse”, and agree whole heartedly with the author’s point of view. Bottom line, it all boils down to the fact that we are humans and we drag our feet when it comes time to do something that isn’t “fun”. With that said, I’ll share some of the things that motivate me to stay organized and keep a semi-clean abode.
I don’t know about you, but one of the worst questions anyone in my household can ask me is “Do you know where my… is”. I find a huge bit of comfort in knowing what I have, where it is and how much of it is there. I value my time too much to be idly searching for misplaced boots, memory cards or electric bills. So even though it is next to impossible (I’m still giving it the old college try though!) to organize the other members of my household, as long as I can remain organized, I remain relatively sane.
An overall general rule I have is to schedule the larger organizational or cleaning tasks. I like to do that when no one else is home. That way, there is no one coming up to me asking “Do you know where my…is” as I work. So send your spouse and kids somewhere and clean out that closet. Or garage. Or laundry room. Play some dance music loudly to keep you moving. Get rid of anything you no longer use. (I always have a box tucked away under a desk in the office where I put items that will be donated to the local thrift store) You are going to LOVE your new clean space when you’re done. Keep telling yourself that!
I also have a weekly schedule for the routine cleaning processes. For instance: Monday = bedrooms. Tuesday = Living Room, etc. Let’s face it, it’s not time consuming or back-breaking-difficult to dust, run the vacuum and wipe down the window sills.
The smaller stuff…well, that should be taken care of as it happens. Don’t procrastinate doing the dishes. Do them immediately after the meal. You’re standing up anyway to walk away from the dinner table. It will only take you 5 more minutes. Teach the children to do the same. As soon as they’re done playing video games, the game system should get tucked away back into it’s home before they head for the next activity.
One of the main reasons that I love organization is that I believe organization IS frugal. Take for instance…well, my husband. Despite the fact that he is the most wonderful husband ever, he does not have the best brain when it comes to planning, methodology or composition. He is more like “Wet towel. Must put down. First available surface”. So yes, I have found wet towels on the bed, hanging over the door and even on the kitchen table. (Don’t ask) So, the time spent seeking out the wet towel of the day and then returning said towel to its rightful spot may only be three minutes, but if you do that ten times a day…well, that’s a half hour of your time completely wasted. (Unless you count the calories you burned walking from room to room looking for the lost objects)
Organization not only saves time, but saves money as well. Trust me. How many times have you bought something, knowing that you already have another one “somewhere”, but you just can’t find it? Or you go to the grocery store and you buy a jar of cumin for a recipe. You get the cumin home and put it away, only to find three more jars of cumin. Now come on. There is NO way you are going to use four jars of cumin. Ever. Money wasted. Keep a sheet of paper taped to the inside of cupboards and a pen on one of the shelves. When you are getting low on something, write it down. Before grocery shopping, check the cupboard doors and add the items to your list.
My last trick to staying organized is keeping a small notebook in your purse. Whenever I think of something that is needed or a project that I’d like to complete, I write it into my notebook. When I’m out shopping, I can take out the notebook and look through the pages, telling me exactly what I need. All of the important measurements for the house are in there such as window sizes, hallway lengths, etc because you never know when you’re going to run across those perfect curtains. This way, you won’t bring them home to find they only cover 3/4 of the window.
Anyone can be organized. And once you are, you’ll wonder how you ever got along in your prior chaos. Imagine it. Grabbing your keys, purse, coffee cup, umbrella and jacket all in one swift motion in the mornings without one second of “Where is my….”. It relaxes me just thinking about it.
I urge you to stop by the Fine Frugality page which was recently featured on Passionate & Creative Homemaking for more on frugal living.