Organizing to Get Clean and Organized

Time management and housekeeping: Do they really go together? They can if you set goals and take it one step at a time.

First, you want to identify what you want. What is your “Clean IQ?” Are you a neatnik or more relaxed? This is your decision based on your own priorities.

Now that you know what level of clean you want, you will set some goals to reach that level. Go through your house, room by room, and decide what needs to be done to bring it up to your expectations.

Perhaps your first priority will be to organize the room. Based on that decision, write down everything that must be done to accomplish it. Don’t worry about cleaning it right now. You’ll worry about that aspect of the project later.

And speaking of projects, I would treat each room, or part of a room, as a project. Break each room/project down into doable tasks. Go through all of the rooms and areas of your home at once.

After you’ve gone through all of your rooms and written down everything , write down everything else that you know needs to be done, such as picking up your dry cleaning, having your car serviced or writing a letter to your friend. Write it all down and get it out of your head. This is what I call a brain dump!

You are going to have one heck of a list! But, remember, you are going to take each item as a baby step.

Your next step is to set up a schedule to work on your projects. Be reasonable in setting up the time you have available. You’re not going to get it all done in one day. After all, it didn’t get unorganized in one fell swoop!

All done? Good! Your next step is to look at all of your rooms and decide which is most important to YOU to get clean and organized first. I always like to start with the laundry area because when you start going through your other rooms, you’ll nearly always have some laundry. If your laundry room is already clean and organized, it makes doing all of that other laundry much easier.

Now, get yourself four boxes and label them STAY, MISPLACED, GIVE AWAY and TRASH. Go through your rooms: rrom by room, area by area, item by item and put each item into the appropriate box. Take trash items to the garbage bin immediately. Box up the charity and/or garage sale items and deal with them as soon as you can. Take your misplaced things and put them in a central location. Don’t try to put them away at this point. If you want to be REALLY organized, sort them into boxes by the room they should go in.

Now, clean your room according to “your” level of clean and begin putting everything that belongs in this room where it should go. If it doesn’t have a place, find one that makes sense, probably where you are most likely to use it.

One room is finished! Go on to the next room in line of priority. Wash, rinse and repeat!

You can get clean and organized. It just takes time and persistence…and getting a little cooperation from your family, of course.

Jude Wright
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