The Art of Maintaining Your Spring Cleaning

The Art of Maintaining Your Spring Cleaning

spring cleaningLast week we talked about spring cleaning your home. This week we will talk about maintaining your freshly cleaned and organized home. You certainly don’t want to see it all go back to what is was before you started. Which it will do without a maintenance plan.

Staying organized takes work and can be a learned habit. Use the following tips to help keep your home looking like you just finished cleaning.

It’s All About Maintaining!

  1. Keep a small basket in each room for things that do not belong. Get in the habit of checking the basket as you leave the room for items that might belong somewhere else. You can also set a basket at the bottom of stairs to collect items to go upstairs when you retire for the night.
  2. Keep all of your cleaning supplies together, along with rags, paper towels, scrub brushes, and any other items you may need to complete any cleaning task. Use a bucket or cleaning supply caddy to make grabbing the necessary tools a snap when it is time to do your daily chores. I also like to keep cleaning supplies near or in the room where they are used. (ex. bathroom cleaning supplies in bathroom, kitchen cleaning supplies in kitchen.)
  3. Sort through your mail each day when it is brought in. Immediately throw away junk mail, saving only important letters and advertisements that you are planning to use. Place all the mail in a designated area and file the bills away after they are paid.
  4. When choosing containers for storage, look for lidded boxes, bowls, and bags that are clear. When you go looking for an item, it will be easier to find if you can see into the containers without opening each and every one. For items that you are storing away that you don’t want to see make sure that you label what is inside. Also saving you looking time.
  5. Every night after dinner, make sure that all the dishes are cleaned and put away, or at least rinsed and put into the dishwasher, until there is a full load. Don’t let the dishes pile up and say to yourself you will get them in the morning, because you won’t. Then it will become a overwhelming chore. I like to wash as I cook or at least get someone else to do the dishes as I cook.
  6. Wipe counters and tables after each meal. Sweep up any crumbs that you may have knocked on the floor or dropped by accident while eating.
  7. If you set aside a little time at the end of each week to do a more in-depth cleaning you will be surprised at how fast maintaining your spring clean will go.
  8. Check the fridge and pantry for expired food and make a grocery list of what you are out of and need. Wipe the stove, cabinets, table, and counters thoroughly, and clean the floor well.

By following these tips you can be sure that your initial spring clean will not be in vain and you can relax knowing that your home will be clean and inviting all season long.

A 3 Step Plan for Spring Cleaning Your Home

A 3 Step Plan for Spring Cleaning Your Home

The cold days of winter are almost over (except here in Nashville) and the fresh breezes of spring are beginning to blow. As we usher in Spring, many of us take a look at our homes and want to rid ourselves of the stale, winter feeling and start the season off with a clean and organized home. Spring cleaning can be hard work, but it’s rewarding work and a way to start fresh. So get ready and roll up your sleeves, it is time to get your home in order.

All You Need Are These 3 Steps!

There are three basic steps to spring cleaning: Deep Cleaning, Organization, and Maintenance.

Step 1: Deep Cleaning. Deep cleaning consists of wiping down walls, cleaning windows, wiping out cupboards, and cleaning under furniture. This is the messy part of spring cleaning, but it will rid your house of the dirt, grime, and germs that you have collected over the winter.

Step 2: Organization. Organization means cleaning out closets, drawers, and cabinets. Go through clothing and toys to get rid of things that have been outgrown. Free yourself of all of the unused and broken items around the house and create more space to properly store the things that you do use regularly. Having a well organized home can make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Step 3: Maintenance. The first two steps can be completed at the same time, but maintenance will take some extra steps and dedication on your part throughout the year. Keeping up on organization is usually the biggest hurdle for most families, as old habits can be hard to break and getting everyone on board to help keep up the changes can be challenging. To combat this make sure that you have everyone on board and go over the maintenance plan in order to keep your home in its new pristine condition.

While jumping into spring cleaning feet first might seem like the best way to approach the tasks at hand, your best bet would be to take your time and plan things out before beginning. Like they say “plan your work and work your plan.” Complete the following list of tasks before starting your spring cleaning and you will find your project going faster and smoother.

  • Start by evaluating each room and its organizational needs. Grab a notebook and jot down everything that needs to be addressed in each room before starting. For instance, if there is a messy stack of magazines on the coffee table, make a note to buy a magazine rack. You can even make a spreadsheet or list if you like to do things on your computer. That way you can keep everything at hand.
  • Take stock of what cleaning supplies you already have on hand and what you will need to get to complete all your jobs. Add to the list any organizational tools that you need for each of your rooms. Having your supplies ready before you start will save you from running to the store, dirty from cleaning, to replace something that you have run out of, which might also cause you to lose motivation and focus. Before you buy any organizing bins take stock of what you might already have and can reuse.
  • Have a few motivators on hand. Find some type of reward for yourself for completing the larger tasks, such as a favorite snack for breaks. Turn on some upbeat music to keep you going and make the job go by faster. Take frequent breaks in order to refocus and re-energize.
  • Give each room a quick once over before starting your deep cleaning. If the dishes are washed, toys are picked up, and laundry is done, you will have the necessary space to get into the bigger jobs.
  • Return to your notebook and formulate your plan of attack. List each room and all of the tasks that need to be completed in detail. As you finish a job, check it off and see just how much progress you have made throughout the day. This will not only give you a sense of accomplishment but will also keep you motivated to move forward and keep going.

I hope that you will take these tips and action steps to get started on your Spring cleaning project. The sooner you get started the sooner you will be finished and can enjoy the rest of Spring in a nice clean, organized home.

A Easy Way To Pack Away Clothes For The Season

A Easy Way To Pack Away Clothes For The Season

It’s that time of year again; switching out my clothes.

I do this routine about twice a year. It seems that it’s hard to tell when a season ends and when it begins, but nevertheless I do manage about twice a year. It used to be a long drawn out, much avoided task that I would do. But in recent years I have come up with a quicker system that now makes switching out my clothes and shoes really fast and easy.

You like fast and easy, right?

Good, so do I. So without further ado below is my current plan for switching out my clothes. Take a few of the tips and craft your own or do them all for maximum effect.

My Quick and Easy Clothes Switching Plan:

  • I use the same container and just switch them out.
    • By doing this I saved tons of time, money and energy by not having to buy new containers every season or having more than the 3 containers I use now. It also keeps me from buying too many clothes because it all has to fit back in. I refuse to get more containers. (And by the way, it doesn’t matter what container you use just make sure that it is big enough to fit all the clothes you would like to put in and will fit the space you plan to store it. And I store my hanging clothes in these containers too. No need for a rolling rack.)
  • I leave a couple of outfits from the season I am packing away for those rare weather days.
    • This keeps me from having to go digging through my packed away clothes. Which was a pain in the butt! I keep these storage containers up in my attic so having to trudge up to the attic when we have a warmer day or a cooler day is not appealing to me at all. So just keep a couple of outfits from each season out and you are good to go.
  • I also use this time to weed out clothes I don’t wear anymore, can’t fit, or didn’t even touch that season.
    • How many times do you come to cleaning out your clothes and you realize that you didn’t even where that shirt, or outfit that season. It happens to me more often than not. I may purge clothes that I kept passing over and finally agree that I just don’t like it anymore and it’s okay to get rid of.  This is also a great time to evaluate your shoes and get rid of those that don’t fit or have seen better days or you never wore for whatever reason.
  • Aim to donate or sell at least 2 outfits while switching out.
    • I always have at least 2 or 3 outfits and a couple pair of shoes that I end up donating when I switch out my clothes. If my shoes are still really nice and I didn’t give them much wear I will use a app called Vinted or Poshmark to sell them online. (Review of those apps coming soon.)

Since starting this new system to switch out my clothes it now takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to do the switch out and evaluation. (May take you longer if you have tons and tons of clothes which is a subject for another day.) That is easy peasy and goes by really fast. I usually do my switch out on a Saturday morning when I am doing my other household chores.

So there you have it my quick and easy clothes switch out plan for the season. I hope that you can take some of these tips and implement them in your own home and make a task that is usually a pain go much quicker.