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Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by Diane Hoffmaster
Are you a busy mom? Trying to figure out where to start cleaning and organizing your home? Be realistic with your goals. If your kids are home all summer, they can help. Find home organization hacks that save time and money.
If you are working on a budget, find inexpensive ways to clean and organize. Learn to multitask. Even with kids underfoot and limited energy, you CAN learn how to clean and organize your house without paying for a cleaning service!
Make a Daily Cleaning Chore List
If you leave all your cleaning for the weekend, you will be overwhelmed. Not to mention, you won't have time or energy to do fun things with your family if you spent all day cleaning your home. Make a daily checklist of household chores and set aside 30 minutes a day to get them done.
Things you should clean every day:
- Dishes. Keep your kitchen sink clean and clutter-free. If you have a dishwasher, put dirty dishes in it instead of in the sink. Let your family know that you are not the dish fairy. You aren't the only one capable of wielding a sponge.
- Kitchen counters. Sticky spots and piles of crumbs do not belong on your counters. Wipe them down daily. In fact, wipe them down several times a day. This helps prevent ants in the kitchen which everyone hates.
- Hand Towels. Help cut down on the spread of germs in your house by swapping out hand towels every day.
- Bathroom sinks. Do a quick swish and swipe as I call it. Rinse away toothpaste spit and wipe germs off handles.
- Floors: No, this isn't that hard. Invest in a robotic vacuum. Set it to clean your floors while you wipe down the counters and wash the dishes. Multitasking is the lazy mom's secret to cleaning the house!
Are you looking for some easy home organization tips to get a handle on the chaos in your home?
For the last couple of years, my house has slowly become inundated with clutter and my primary goal for the next month is to focus on tackling clutter.
Let me just say flat out that I am NOT Martha Stewart.
There are no labels on my cabinets or color-coordinated storage boxes for each of my children. You will not find a magazine showcase when you browse through my house.
For me, home organization means getting rid of stuff we don't need and hiding all the things we DO need so I don't have to look at it all. Keeping your home clutter-free is supposed to save your sanity. I could use some of that right now!
If I could afford one of those California Closet setups I would get one in a heartbeat but that just isn't in the budget! Nor do I have time to take a label maker to my linen closet or sort my spices alphabetically. Here are a few tips for tackling clutter around the house:
Make a List
It is easy to just look at the whole house and say "I am going to organize everything in this house" but that doesn't give you specific goals to work towards. Make a very detailed list of things you want to accomplish.
You can put something big like 'clean the garage' or something small like 'empty out the junk drawer'. Just write it down so you have something to check off as you go. Seeing what you have accomplished is a huge incentive to keep on working.
Be realistic about your time frame
If you only have an hour or two, don't start cleaning out the garage. Major home organization chores are best left to a very wide open Saturday when maybe your kids or husband/wife are around to help you out.
If you add all sorts of chores to your to-do list from the beginning, you will have options to choose from if you only have an hour. One hour is enough time to organize the Tupperware drawer or maybe sort through your kids' video games and DVDs.
Don't cram too much into a small amount of time or you will end up leaving things half done which does not give you any satisfaction at the end of the day.
Use the pile system
I make piles in different rooms/locations in my house for different things that need to leave my home. I have piles for Goodwill, the consignment store, my sister-in-law, the neighbor, and even our local preschool program.
Piles of kids' books can go to the library, domestic violence shelters, or used bookstores. Recycle or re-home everything you can but don't be afraid to throw things away. As much as I hate filling up landfills, some things just have to go out to the curb. Try Freecycle if you want to find a new home for your stuff. One man's trash is another man's treasure!
Invest in storage containers
Storage, storage, and more storage is one of the most important easy home organization tips I can give you. Stock up on after-Christmas sales at Target to find good storage bins to organize your stuff.
Keeping your kid's stuffed animals in a toy box that closes helps reduce the cluttered feel of a room. I do the same for matchbox cars that my teenager just can't part with, plastic toys, LEGO, and all the other junk kids accumulate over the years.
Put a lid on it and stick it in the closet so you don't see it all. Using clear bins lets you see what is inside each container. It also means I don't have to get out the label maker to find the Valentine's Day decorations.
Okay, I don't even OWN a label maker but if I did I would not waste time labeling something when I could just buy a clear bin and actually SEE what is in it.
Find creative solutions to common household problems
I try hard to keep the house running smoothly but sometimes I hit a snag and have to ask myself 'How do I fix this problem?'. Take, for example, the pile of saran wrap, foil, parchment paper, and plastic baggies that were littering the floor of my pantry.
The scattered mess annoyed me to no end but I just didn't know how to fix it. A trip to Target yielded an over the door shoe organizer. Instead of shoes, I stuck all of my assorted rolls of wrap and boxes of bags in it.
Neat, organized and hanging on the back of my dining room door where no one will see it. On that same trip to Target, I picked up new towels for my kids...blue for the boy and yellow for the girl.
WHY? Because they are at the age where they think their sibling has cooties and if there is even the slightest chance that the other child has so much as BREATHED on their towel they won't use it.
I was washing way too many towels every week because of their cootie paranoia. Now, they will use a towel more than once knowing that their towel is safe from sibling germs. For the cost of a few more towels, I save myself hours of laundry washing every month! If your laundry room is stressing you out, check out my laundry room organization ideas.
Don't just limit yourself to spring cleaning every year. From kitchen organizing to teaching your kids how to do laundry, stay on top of things every single day. Have any other cleaning and home organization tips to share for us NON Martha Stewart busy moms?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.
It is like you knew exactly what i was doing. Yesterday I have been cleaning and organizing the house, that my husband was just overwhelmed with mess I made. Yes, I really should have read your post yesterday. Make a list and definitely time frame. I started on one room, did not finish that, went into another room and noticed that I did not have enough containers and you can imagine what happened. It ended up being a long, long, long day. But everything is done, next time I will plan and make a list before I organize anything again. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Happy New Year!