Organizing Your Way Clear, To Clean

Are you planning on making a resolution to see more organizing  in 2018? Before you run out and buy clear plastic containers, it is important to clarify exactly WHY you want to get organized. You may have many reasons to get organized, but the best way to start is to clarify the why.

focus on gain

The reason for this is that getting organized may seem pretty manageable on the surface, but often when we get into the middle of it, we discover that there are some tough decisions, and we lose momentum. When you are clear on exactly why you are decluttering, however, you will discover that these tough decisions become easier. Reason is,  your focus can be more on what you are gaining and less on what you are giving up.

common ground

One good reason to get organized is to make your space easier to clean. I realize that, that is not a likely reason for a new years resolution, but it’s a reason that (usually) everyone can agree on. You  may live with someone who love’s his or her stuff more than you do, but maybe you can find common ground on the cleaning issue.

40% faster

When you declutter your home, you typically makes housecleaning 40% faster. A clean home is healthier, which is good for everybody. So if you are in disagreement on how far to go with the organizing, start by seeing if you can agree on making these following areas easier to clean.

1. carpet

Your carpet can trap dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and more. These can cause allergies and other illnesses. A simple rule of thumb is, nothing should live on the floor except furniture. If there are loose items, like pet toys, keep a dedicated basket, to limit clearing effort.

2. hard floor

A wood or linoleum floor might no be quite the perfect trap for all the unhealthy stuff that the carpet picks up, but it’s bad enough. So the same furniture-only rule applies.

3. kitchen counter

A dirty kitchen counter can hold E. coli and other bacteria. In fact, the kitchen is probably dirtier than you toilet seat.  A cluttered counter discourages cleaning. You can usually find more space in your cabinets for these excess items by reevaluating the priority level of what is currently in them. We are always finding that much of the excess can be donated or, at least, stored more remotely. While a clear counter may not encourage cleaning, it definitely improves the odds.

4. bathroom surfaces

OK, despite the kitchen being dirtier, you should definitely keep your bathroom easy to clean. Again, this mostly comes from keeping the floors and counters clear of clutter.

5. dining table

Much of the unhealthy stuff that gets on the kitchen counter can also get on the dining table. So it is important to keep the dining table clear to clean, but it is also important to keep it clear to clear. Your number one organizing tool is a clear work surface. It allows you to spread out, prioritize, and then process away. Never squander the dining table on storage. The dining table tends to be one of the most centrally located work surfaces. Therefore, it is useful in processing the excess that ends up on floors and counters elsewhere. So start here first.

I often hear people say they are often feel the need to clean before the cleaning lady comes.  I think what they mostly mean is that they feel the need to clear before the cleaning lady comes. Indeed, it is not the cleaning lady’s job to clear. When she is left with no option but to clear (so that she can clean) loose items often end up in places one doesn’t want. So it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have a plan to for where to keep things. Not everyone in your home may agree on a reason to get organized, but keeping your home cleared-to-clean is a good place to start.

Have a healthy winter!