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Declutter

Quick House Clean Up #2: Trash

Quick House Clean Up #2: Trash

Forgot to read the introduction? Before reading on, read 5 Quick Clean Ups That Can Save Your Messy House.

Quick house clean up #2:  Throw Away all Trash.  Trash is probably the easiest of the 5 offenders to deal with because all you have to do is bag it and put it in the dumpster! 

Whether your problem is piled up junk mail, unread newspapers, trails of goldfish crackers from your toddler, or empty food wrappers, trash will make your house look like a pig sty in no time if you don’t get it under control.  By the same token, clearing out the trash will make your house look cleaner instantly!     

Here’s How: 

  • Grab a trash bag and just start walking through the house. 
  • Be ruthless and make sure that all trash goes into the bag without a second thought. 
  • If something makes you think for more than 10 seconds about whether or not it counts as trash, set it aside for later when you have time to declutter and organize.  
  • Once full, immediately tie the trash bags up and put them in the dumpster or the trash barrels for garbage day.

Next, read Quick House Clean Up #3: Dirty Laundry and Clothes

Quick House Clean Up #1: Dirty Dishes

Quick House Clean Up #1: Dirty Dishes

Forgot to read the introduction? Before reading on, read 5 Quick Clean Ups That Can Save Your Messy House.

Quick house clean up #1:  Gather all Dirty Dishes.  If you or your family members eat in rooms other than the kitchen / dining room, dirty dishes can accumulate in places they shouldn’t.  Dirty dishes can not only pile up and cause a mess, but the old food in them will start growing mold or bacteria if not washed. 

Just the act of getting the dishes back to the kitchen will have a big visual impact and give your house a cleaner appearance.     

Here’s How:  Depending on the size of your house and degree of the mess, there are 2 ways to go about cleaning up mess from dirty dishes. 

  • Small House:  If your house is small, pick a room to start in and gather all the dirty dishes from that room. Take the dirty dishes to the kitchen and load into the dishwasher or stack them all neatly on 1 kitchen counter to be washed by hand.
  • Large House:  If your house is large, you’ll need to use a rectangular laundry basket.  Go from room to room, putting all dirty dishes into the laundry basket as you go.  After you’ve been through the entire house, take the basket to the kitchen and wash the dishes.

Next, read Quick House Clean Up #2: Trash

Is Your House a Disaster? 5 Quick Clean Ups That Can Save Your Messy House

Messy House Clean Ups

 

5 Quick Clean Ups That Can Save Your Messy House

Is your house such a disaster that you don’t even know where to start?  Cleaning up a messy house can seem like a huge project and you may not even know where to start.  We can teach you how to clean up your house the easy way

While looking around at piles and clutter, you may think that nothing you do is going to make a difference because the mess is too much.  Take heart!  Your dirty house is not beyond saving.

These 5 quick clean up tasks can make a world of difference even in the messiest of houses.  There are 5 main items that get scattered throughout homes and create chaos in your space.  Learn to tackle the 5 big mess-makers and get a jump start on cleaning up your messy house today!

Read Quick House Clean Up #1: Dirty Dishes

Photo by xJasonRogersx.

5 Ways to Organize Kids’ Keepsakes Without Creating Clutter

Melissa Smallwood is a professional organizer, mother of three boys, mommy blogger, and the owner of the informational website, Organized Life by Design.  You can catch up with her on Twitter @multitaskingme.

Organizing with Melissa

When you have a family you accumulate keepsakes. It’s natural to want to hold onto a moment in time that you can’t get back. That first haircut, first pair of shoes, first report card- all these things hold special memories for us as parents.

But, as a professional organizer who has also worked with seniors, I can tell you that adult children do not usually hold the same sentimental attachment to such items that their parents did. And then they end up holding on to the item, despite the fact they view it as trash, because it was important to mom or dad. That, my friends, is clutter.

With school starting back up, I thought it would be a good time to look at how we can avoid letting our memories become clutter.

When I look at my boys artwork, vacation photos and the like, I try to ask myself if this is something worth keeping. Are the kids going to want this item when they are packing up my house after moving me into a nursing home? Or will they shake their heads and wonder why did mom hold onto all this stuff?

5 Ways to Save Keepsakes Without Generating Clutter

Here are a few ideas I have used that I hope will add to the chances of our memories becoming my boys’ keepsakes of the future:

1.  Frame it- My oldest, Jason, made a beautiful poster of his name for an art project in the 1st grade. Even though he is in high school I still look at that poster (and enjoy it) everyday. We framed it in a clear plastic frame (11 x 13) and hung it in Jason’s room. It has truly become a piece of art.

2.  Craft it- When there has been a particularly cute picture of one of my boys I have made it into a craft- sometimes a Christmas tree ornament. You can easily do this by taking a lid to a Mason jar, cutting the picture to fit, gluing it in and tying a ribbon around the outside of the lid. Easy keepsake and every year when you take it out to hang it on the tree you can ooooh and ahhhh at how adorable it is as if it’s the first time you’re seeing it.

3.  Gift it- Moms and Dads aren’t the only ones that enjoy looking at the things your children create. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc, also enjoy so why not give them the chance to own a keepsake? Have your child laminate a favorite picture and cut it into a small puzzle. Use a child’s artwork as wrapping paper next Christmas- think outside the box!

4.  Store it- there are so many storage options these days but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to put away precious memories. Buy an accordion envelope at Office Max to store kid’s artwork or school work in, get a three drawer cardboard dresser and assign each child a drawer. Once it is full it is time to purge what they want to keep.

5.  Purge it- Speaking of purge- everything is NOT a keepsake. Keep the things that make you smile, cry or laugh out loud. Every A+ is not a miracle- but what about the A in the class your kid struggled in all year? Those are the types of items to keep for later.

Read other Organizing with Melissa columns for great organizing advice.  Visit Works for Me Wednesday for more life organizing tips.

Decluttering All the Paper – Week 3

Melissa Smallwood is a professional organizer, mother of three boys, mommy blogger, and the owner of the informational website, Organized Life by Design.  You can catch up with her on Twitter @multitaskingme.

Melissa-Column

Decluttering All the Paper – Paper Pushing

Editor’s Note: If you’ve been following along with this series, you’re ready for the tips to maintain your decluttered paper situation.  If you are just joining us, read the first 2 parts first:

Tips to keep in mind when dealing with paper:

Papers should be filed so that you can access or retrieve them in less than a minute.

Some people are convinced they have a good system for filing but then wonder why there are papers on the coffee table, end tables, etc. It is because you do not have an adequate filing system. An adequate filing system works! Find the system that works for you.

Filing cabinets or portable file baskets/containers should be stored within reach of where you deal with paper. File cabinets in the basement are of no help to you if you don’t go down to the basement often.  The same principle applies with an office or attic.

Two important questions to ask when handling paper- What is this?, Why am I saving it?

Avoid keeping paper for sentimental reasons, keep it only for necessity. This will drastically reduce the amount of paper in your home. How do you know if you are keeping paper for sentimental reasons? Ask yourself the questions above.

Dealing with paper clutter is not only about appearances and organization. It is also about safety. The more paper you have lying around your home or apartment is the more “kindling” a fire has if one were to develop in your home. Consider that as motivation to deal with the accumulation of paper clutter in your home. Happy Organizing!

Visit Works for Me Wednesday for more life organizing tips.