What if I told you having a clean and organized home is possible? Without paying BIG bucks or using up your precious weekends?
Although I don’t have a magic wand that will give you these results instantly, I do have a step-by-step process that will get you the relaxing, uncluttered environment you’ve been longing for.
In just FOUR weeks.
Briefly, here’s the 4 Week Process, in order:
- Week One: Clean Drawers and Under Sinks
- Week Two: Food Storage
- Week Three: Closets
- Week Four: Bathrooms and Common Areas
Let’s Get Started!
Before you map out your 4 weeks to a clean and organized home, you’ll need to start with some prep work. Don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through each step. This preparation won’t take long, but I beg you not to skip it.
You wouldn’t be reading this if the methods you’ve tried were working- so hear me out! You’ll also want to read through my entire process before you begin.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.James Baldwin
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever helps you focus. Set aside about 30 minutes with some paper and a pencil (you’ll need to erase, for sure) or your laptop.
Your Home Clean and Organized
Now, make a DETAILED list of what needs to be done, and the order you will do it. For me, this involved about fifty, yes I said FIFTY steps. Here’s why…
If you’re like most people, you’ve gotten stuck in the past because you have underestimated the time and energy it takes to get your home clean and organized. Or- you’ve focused on cleaning TIME versus cleaning TASKS.
We all know what happens next. After getting sidetracked going through old receipts and fiddling with a broken pair of earrings, you’ve wasted an hour of precious time with nothing to show for it.
So write down each task, room by room. Keep tweaking it until you’ve covered every cupboard and baseboard. Remember, once you’ve completed this list, you can use it in the future. Not only will this process save you precious time and keep you on task, but you’ll now have a “Master Plan” for getting your home clean and organized whenever you need it.
Week One: Under Sinks and Drawers
The first stop on your list should be messy drawers and under sinks. Why, you ask? After all, no one usually notices these spaces. They surely don’t seem as exciting as opening a fresh-smelling linen closet or having a Pinterest-worthy refrigerator.
Maybe your “cleaning” in the past has been more like “hiding”. The adult version of shoving everything under the bed before mom inspects your room.
If you really want to get your home clean and organized, it will involve getting rid of clutter. The simplest place to start that process is under sinks and inside drawers. These are contained spaces, after all, with very specific space limitations.
Be ruthless! Your goal here is to have more space than you need. No matter how small these storage areas are, I know you are up to this task.
Try This Idea
My favorite tool for streamlining drawers and under sinks are boxes that stack. No need to spend piles of money on trendy containers. A shoe box or recycled package will do the trick.
I recommend taking everything out of the space first. Next, play with your containers until you feel you’ve reached a balance of function and visual appeal. Finally, return only necessary items to a designated space and label it for easy upkeep.
This accomplishment gives you a little serotonin burst each time you open a drawer or under sink cabinet that will catapult you to the next step in getting your home clean and organized.
Week Two: Food Storage
You may have noticed there’s no week allocated to clean the kitchen. I’ll tell you why.
Even the tiniest kitchens usually serve two purposes: food storage and common area for food preparation. In my experience, once you’ve found a really good system for storing food in this space, keeping the common areas clean and organized becomes much simpler.
Open your refrigerator door if you don’t believe me. Can you discard 5 items immediately? If your home is like most, the answer is: definitely.
- an empty catsup bottle
- that special sauce you bought for a recipe 5 months ago
- an expired salad dressing
- a “family-size” jar of pickles no one likes
- the take out container from last weekend
You get the idea… Once your home’s refrigerator, freezer, cabinets and/or pantry are clean and organized, the other kitchen surfaces are pretty easy to maintain.
The Best Food Storage Hack
If you feel paralyzed by where to begin, I recommend you start with perishables: the refrigerator and freezer. Try to choose a time before you’ve done your grocery shopping, when these spaces are close to empty.
Designate and label areas shelves for: dairy, leftovers, drinks, veggies, etc. Only you know the most common food items for your household.
Week Three: Closets
Now that you’re reaping the benefits of getting your home clean and organized, you’ll really start to pick up steam.
In my experience, closets are the most common “black hole” of the home, where energy and time seems to get sucked into a vortex. For many of us, clothing holds memories and emotions. Some are positive, but many can be negative.
Because our closets hold the clothes that we’ve chosen to face the world, they can be teaming with insecurities and emotional landmines.
Phone a Friend
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of streamlining your clothes and other closet items, call in some help. A trusted friend with an objective eye will tell you what to keep and what needs to go.
Set a timer for each closet and ask your friend to help you keep on task. Have large garbage bags ready for clothing donations and discards. Even better, when the timer dings- drop everything off at a donation center and then treat yourselves to a meal.
Week Four: Bathrooms and Common Areas
Now that you’ve done all the hard work of getting the “hidden” parts of your home clean and organized, the remaining jobs will be so much easier!
Start by cleaning the surfaces and appliances in the bathroom, getting the yuckiest jobs-like cleaning the toilet-finished first.
Since you’ve already streamlined the under sink storage area, you’ll have room to store cleaning items, fresh towels and other items cluttering the counters.
Remaining areas of your home, such as the living room and dining area, are spots that usually have the least need for deep cleaning.
Choose a fresh-smelling floor and furniture polish and get to work! You’ve discovered the joy of getting your home clean and organized, so keep that momentum going in these spaces.
Don’t Forget This
Once you’re finished with your 4 week clean, don’t forget to celebrate! Look around and really enjoy the space and order you’ve created. After all, keeping your home clean and organized is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and those you live with.