Organizing and cleaning… not the same thing!

How annoying is it when you are in a hurry and nothing is where it belongs? Your keys are in the fridge, you have to search through a pile of clean clothes to find something to where, because, why on earth would you put your clothes away? Your left shoe has vanished completely, you step on an army man, you can’t open the bathroom door because there is a wet towel on the floor, There is a trail of cheerios leading to each room in the house, and you’re late!

My days are not like this, generally. Although, I suffered through years of them before discovering the beauty and sanity of organization. If you knew me 5 years ago, you would not recognize me. At least not by my personality. I did have clean clothes, but my clothes stayed in piles or in a laundry basket. I  almost never did dishes. Not until there was nothing left to eat off of. I had no concept of keeping up a house… I did not even own cleaning supplies. I ate once a day, and it was always fast food, and I never knew where anything was.

Today, laundry is always cleaned, folded and put away in the same day. I even separate whites! My closet is color coded. My shoes stay in the closet with the exception of sneaky flip flops, and they are usually neatly in order. Same with my fiance’s shoes. His are actually more organized than mine. I have drawers for under garments, and a huge drawer for socks. I love socks. I have a basket for my scarves, and stacking baskets for my purses(I have a lot of purses). Since we are limited on storage space in our apartment, we have to store things in the closet, so we have stacked plastic bins against the back wall, and I have boxes along the top shelf for Jame’s hats, and one for electronics (plugs, chargers, cell phones…). My kids closet is equally as organized. I love having two layers of hangers. I also added hanging organizers for theirs pants, and folding boxes on shelves for socks and undies. Shoes are in folding boxes, as well. It makes life easier when everything has a home. Especially with kids. Everyone knows where something belongs, so when you need it, it’s there, and it helps hold you, and them accountable.

I have already talked about organizing the kitchen, but I wanted to quickly touch on dishes. JUST WASH THEM. If you see a dish, pick up the sponge! Keeping your kitchen clean is so easy when you keep up on dishes. It’s so daunting to walk in and see a pile. I get overwhelmed, and I freeze. So we just keep the dishes clean. From there, you can sanitize counters and the stove, and you’re done! The fridge and pantry should have places for like foods. Tupperware is awesome for this, plus if you prepare food ahead of time, grabbing snacks and making meals is quicker.

It’s so much easier when everything has a home, not only can I always find the remote because it lives in a basket next to the TV. Kids will still ask questions, of course, but it’s so much easier when they want their shoes and I say go check your basket. Or put your backpacks away (a hook near the door). Even our bathroom is easy. Toothpaste, floss, mouthwash is in a drawer. Toothbrushes are in the holder on the sink. James has a drawer. I have folding boxes for my beauty supplies. All of the rubber bands for pony tails are on rings in a tupperware box in a drawer. Combs and brushes are in a basket. There is a bucket for bath toys. IT’s so simple, and so easy to keep up.

One thing I have learned is that so many people lump organizing and cleaning together. That’s why it takes so long, and you keep procrastinating. If you organize once, and keep it up, cleaning is easier, you are not spending time finding homes for everything, ideally everything is where it belongs, or you can quickly pick things up and put them where they go, and then dust, sanitize, vacuum and mop.

When I am in a bad mood, I clean, reorganize and downsize. James always knows I have had a rough day if there is a bag of trash and a bag for goodwill waiting by the door. I feel so good when my house is clean! I can finally relax when everything is where it belongs. Granted, I don’t often relax. I know I am making this sound simple, and, yes, the idea is… it’s when you throw kids into the mix that everything takes longer. At least with my system, it’s easier.

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