Saturday, January 11, 2014

5 Ways to {Start Fresh}

I am deep-down a neat freak.  I LOVE organizing and re-organizing my environment.  I like cleaning.  I am a natural homebody and homemaker, it's just how God made me.  Although I do these activities consistently throughout the year, I especially love the feeling of cleaning, purging, and re-organizing at the beginning of a new year!  I know lots of people 'resolve' to de-clutter their garage, or attic, or entire house, but many have a problem getting started or knowing what to do.  Here are 5 helpful tips to get you cleaning out the old to make room for the new.

1. Clean When Ruthless
When you’re not in a mood of ruthlessness, you tend to be sentimental – am I right?  You hold on to a lot of the papers and scraps of things that were going  to turn into something good, but you never got around to it. Your mentality is, “Well you never know when I might actually have a need for it.”  Right?  Yes, I am right, because I am that way too.  Stop and think, when was the last time this little scrap of whatever came across your mind?  Had someone gotten rid of it before you found it again, you may never remember it existing. This is why you need to be ruthless.  Tell yourself, “Really, [name], you are never going to use this.  Get rid of it.” And if all else fails, get a ruthless-minded person to come help you – they will be strong for you ;)

2. Does It Pass the Test?
There are three questions you need to ask yourself when going through items like clothing.  You’re holding on to clothes you don’t wear or don’t like.  It’s time to go through this three-question program to recovery.  If these clothes hanging around do not pass the test, it's time to get rid of 'em!

3. Purge Those Papers
There is a download you can get on your computer and all other electronic devices.  With this downloadable program, you can scan in papers and receipts you want to or need to save, you can save clips from the internet, you can sync all of your devices to store everything you have electronically.  This magical downloadable program is called Evernote and it saves lives.  Using Evernote, you will not need those messy filing cabinets anymore, no more bills and other miscellaneous papers you “need” to save lying around.  Completely green, and completely clean!

4.  Rome Was Not Built In One Day
I know it's easy to get started on cleaning and organizing your house.  I'm prone to not stop until everything is done.  While for some, that's what works, that doesn't work for everyone.  Choose one room today, let's say the living room.  Focus on the living.  Move the furniture around, sweep, dust, mop, etc.  Just get the living room done.  Tomorrow, focus on the kitchen.  Keep choosing one space to clean every day.  This way you attack one space at a time, and you don't get stressed because you can't finish the whole thing at once.  The best way to keep these newly-cleaned spaces clean for the rest of the time is looking at number 5:

5. Chore Charts FTW (For the Win)
Sit down a make a list of all the regular rotating chores that need to be done (i.e. laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.).  Next, make a list of non-rotating chores (i.e. cleaning the garage, scrubbing down the bathroom, etc.).  Now, use this printout of calendars and fill-in the every day chores.  Start with January: what chores should you do every Monday afternoon and every Friday morning?  How many days a week should you do laundry?  How many times a month do you need to scrub the bathroom? Come up with a consistent routine of chores – rotating and non-rotating – and print it off.  If you need help deciding, catch up with the January Cure to get your house-cleaning jump-started.  Keep this chart somewhere you know you will look every day, like the refrigerator, or the bathroom mirror.  Now that ‘someone’ is telling you what needs to get done every day, you have no reason not to stay tidy and clean!  This way, also, you are not overwhelmed by ALL that has to get done – you just have to worry about today :)

For more tips on organizing and getting rid of the clutter, trying checking out these suggestions!

Happy cleaning, peeps!

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