Home Organization- 7 Baby Steps to Get You Started

Your home should be a place of rest and rejuvenation. If you’re buried in clutter, I’m sure you and your family are not excited to come home every day.

Here are a few baby steps to get you started on the road to organization:

  1. Start by keeping a trash can in each room (office, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms). You will be able to discard trash right away and not set it down on a counter or worse, the floor!
  2. Until you are able to get to some serious organizing, don’t bring any new items into the house.  You may be surprised to learn that you already have the items you were planning to purchase… they were just buried or put away somewhere. Wait until you organize the items you currently own before purchasing any new items. Remember, the more things you have, the more things you have to take care of. Less is more!
  3. Place a trash can and shredder where ever you collect the mail. You can immediately shred or trash the mail you don’t intend to read. Place the mail you intend to keep in a basket or tray to be sorted later.
  4. Do a quick pick up each day. Each night before bed, do a quick run through of the house and put things where they belong. Have the kids help as well if their things are laying around. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy the rest of the evening. In our house we live by the expression “Everything Has a Place”. Keeping this saying in mind will help you maintain order in your home. Everything that enters your home must have a home of its own…if you use something, put it back when you are finished with it (kids included!). It may seem like more work to stay on top of things, but in the long run it will save you a lot of time and stress.  If you don’t tend to the objects in your life, they can easily turn into clutter.
  5. Place hampers in everyone’s closet or bathroom. This will eliminate the need to throw dirty clothes and towels on the floor and will make laundry day much easier.
  6. Put a hook near the entry door. Hang your keys on the hook when you enter the house and then you’ll know where they are when it’s time to leave.
  7. Ask for help! You are not the only person in your house capable of tidying up. Keeping the house in order should be everyone’s responsibility. Teach everyone how to pick up after themselves and the load will feel just a little bit lighter.

If you commit to following these few simple tips, I am sure you will start to feel the stress of clutter begin to melt away. You and your family will begin to feel calmer and possibly more connected. Hopefully this feeling will inspire you to tackle the entire house…a little at a time…room by room. :)

Related Posts:

Home Office Organization

Organize Your Magazines

Organizing Kid Stuff

 

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Weekly Cleaning Tips for Your Home

 

Since most of us are in “spring-cleaning mode”, I’ve decided to share my weekly cleaning schedule so that maybe you will become inspired to create your own weekly schedule.

Take note that I am a stay-at-home mother, so I am able to clean during the day while my kiddos are in school. If you are a working parent, you may have to revise it a bit to fit your schedule.

I only perform a few chores each day instead of doing everything all at once. This system works well for my family and in my opinion, it keeps our house cleaner, longer.

Monday:

  • Laundry
  • Clean the master bathroom
  • Wipe upstairs window sills
  • Vacuum and clean the wood floors

Tuesday:

  • Clean the other bathrooms
  • Vacuum the laundry room
  • Vacuum the stairs
  • Sweep the porch and steps

Wednesday:

  • Wipe the baseboards on the stairs
  • Clean the Kitchen (stainless steel appliances, microwave, disposal, and floor) *I don’t add the sink and counters to this list because they are already on my daily cleaning routine.
  • Dust upstairs

Thursday:

  • Vacuum carpets
  • Dust downstairs and basement
  • Wipe first floor window sills

Friday:

  • If we are expecting guests over the weekend, I’ll do some touch ups as needed. Otherwise, no cleaning is scheduled for Friday, Saturday or Sunday!

By cleaning a little bit each day, I am able to keep my house relatively clean. Remember, though, that I also do the daily tidying up in addition to this routine.

Having this type of schedule allows me time during the day to do other things like volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make-a-Wish, help at my daughter’s school, help friends organize and decorate their homes, work on my blog, manage the finances, shop for groceries and household items, meet friends for lunch and take care of my own personal needs.

What about you? Do you follow a daily or weekly cleaning schedule? Is your schedule similar to mine or totally different? I’d like to know! :)

Related Posts:

10 Cleaning Shortcuts

How Often Do You Clean These Items?

Clean Your Shower Doors Until They Sparkle!

 

Spring Cleaning-Twice a Year

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With springtime upon us, now is a good time to post my spring (and fall) cleaning routine.

If you keep up with your cleaning routine throughout the year, your spring cleaning list shouldn’t be too long.

Be sure to check out my other posts where I go over my daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules.

Here are the areas in my home I clean twice a year unless they need to be cleaned sooner:

  • Clean the window treatments. Drapes can be taken down and dry cleaned, machine washed or vacuumed with the upholstery attachment. Check the cleaning tag to make sure you don’t damage them. Sheers can usually be washed in the machine and valances can be vacuumed.
  • Shampoo the carpets.
  • Vacuum the sofa and chairs. Don’t forget to vacuum under the cushions.
  • Clean the blinds. I like to put my hands in a sock, spray with cleaner and go to town. You will definitely need more than one sock!
  • Clean the oven.
  • Clean the windows. A great trick is to clean the inside with a squeegee going vertically and clean the outside going horizontally. This will help you see any streaks. Also, choose a cloudy day to clean the windows to avoid spots from the sun.
  • Change the batteries in the smoke and /or carbon monoxide detector.

So there you have it! By cleaning your home twice a year, you will be able to keep it somewhat clean throughout the year.

Related Articles:

Is Your Home “Clean Enough”?-10 Daily Tips

Check Out My (Really Quick!) Weekly Cleaning Routine

Let’s Keep It Going! Monthly Cleaning List

Favorite Blogs of the Week

As promised, here are my favorite blogs of the week:

Home For Now

Home For Now

Michelle over at Home for Now is a DIY genius when it comes to turning her house into a home. Be sure to follow along as she shares her ideas for creating a beautiful, purposeful and functional home. Love it!

Your Classy Gals

Sophie over at Your Classy Gals listed lots of interesting TV shows to watch and catch up on.  I was familiar with a few of them but others were new titles. Can’t wait to get started!

Rainbow Art Party

Rainbow Art Party

Chel over at This Beautifully Imperfect Life posted great ideas for a rainbow-themed party. This post was right up my alley as my youngest daughter is obsessed with anything rainbow! Check out Chel’s post and get ready to be inspired!

When Debt Moves In

That Finance Chic’s post discusses ways to get yourself out of debt and provides tools to keep it that way. I’ve gotten many pearls of wisdom from her site. Check it out for yourself!

I’m a Little OCD

And last, but certainly not least is the post by Carolyn over at The PackRat’s Blog. I absolutely loved her take on the difference between being OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) as well as the many levels to the disorders. Before reading this post, I considered myself “a little OCD”, but now I realize what it really means and that I’m not “a little OCD”, I just love to organize!

These are just a few of the posts I found enlightening this week. If you’re able, check some of them out and let the author’s know what you think. I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

Have a great week! :)

Money-Making Opportunities

I have been experimenting with different money-making opportunities over the last few months and wanted to share the outcomes with you all. There are a few that I have been working for a few years and those will be noted. So, if you’re looking for a way to easily earn some extra money, read on!

  • One of my favorite ways to earn money is by shopping through ShopAtHome.com. This site pays you a rebate (or cash back) based on the amount of money you spend. If you are a shopper that prefers to shop online, this site alone can make you a pretty penny. I have currently been a member of ShopAtHome.com for almost 3 years. All you have to do is go to the website and search the name of the company you want to shop at. ShopAtHome will show you all of the online coupons and discounts that are available at the time and tell you what the rebate percentage will be. After clicking on “Visit Site” or “Get Deal” you will be redirected to the store’s website for you to make your purchase. After making your purchase, you will receive an email stating what your cash back amount will be. I am expecting a check in the amount of $93.55 due to pay out on October 31. You can earn money each month as long as you accrue $20 or more in cash back rewards. There’s also an app if you’d prefer to use your smartphone.
  • My second favorite way to earn money is by using the ShopKick app. I’ve been a ShopKick user for about 2 years and can’t get enough of it.  After downloading the app to your phone, you earn kicks when you enter certain stores (in my area those stores are Target, Walmart, Old Navy, JCPenney, American Eagle, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Carter’s). You can also earn kicks when you scan specific items while in those stores. So if you’re going to those stores anyway, you can earn kicks while you are there. To get the “walk in” kicks you just have to remember to open the app prior to entering the store. Once inside, you can scan away! There is also an option to link your debit/credit cards to your account and whenever you purchase items in those stores you get extra kicks. The points add up very quickly and then you’re able to redeem the kicks for gift cards. The gift cards are usually added right to your phone for immediate use. I typically earn about $40/month. My husband has the app on his phone also, so it’s more like $80/month.  It sure feels good to go into Target, purchase $40 worth of items and pay absolutely nothing for it!
  • Another way I earn money is by using the Field Agent app. This app is amazing and will transfer cash directly to your PayPal account. Basically, you check the app to find “jobs” to accept. Once you accept and complete the job, the money is added to your Field Agent account until you request a payout. I find the jobs to be very interesting and easy and they usually pay anywhere from $3-$10. What I have had to do in the past was take a picture (or two) of what they needed and answer a few questions. The jobs take me about 5 minutes to complete. I have only been using this app for about 4 months and have made about $30 each month.
  • I recently joined the CVS Advisory Panel and it’s been great so far. You answer a survey and get rewarded with Extra Care Bucks to use on anything in the store. So far I’ve received $10, $5 and $2 in Extra Care Bucks for answering their surveys.
  • I’ve been using an app called Ibotta for about a year now and it works great when I remember to use it. This company will pay you cash for purchasing specific items. For some stores you will have to take a picture of your receipt and send it to them to verify the purchase while other stores allow you to use your store loyalty card to receive the rebate. First you have to go into the app and select the items you would like to purchase. Then you answer a question, watch a short video, share on Facebook or learn something about the product. Once you do one or more of those things, you’ve unlocked the rebate. Now you just have to purchase the item and submit the receipt to Ibotta for credit. I’ve earned quite a bit of money using this app, however, you can also cash out for a gift card.
  • Using Swagbucks requires an additional post to explain all the benefits, but I’ll try to summarize them here. Swagbucks is a company that will pay you with “bucks” when you complete certain actions. Those actions include: printing and using manufacturer’s coupons, searching the web through their search engine, answering surveys and polls, watching videos, playing games and by purchasing or signing up for products. You can redeem your bucks for gift cards. I’d say I probably earn enough for a $20 Amazon gift card each month.
  • The next two ways I earn money is by completing surveys with e-Rewards Opinion Panel and iSay.com.  You complete surveys and receive points or “dollars” that you can redeem for gift cards. I’ve tried other survey sites in the past, but have stuck with these because it doesn’t take long to earn those gift cards.
  • And finally, the last way I earn some extra cash is to sell the clothes my daughter has outgrown on Ebay. I usually sell in the spring and fall because I tend to get higher amounts during those times and the items sell quickly. I usually make anywhere from $150-$200 each time.

So those are a few of the ways I make some extra cash to help fund our fun, family activities. There are a few more that I just started experimenting with, so I will post an update on those if they work out well. If you know of any additional opportunities, please feel free to add them to the comments. We all could use some extra cash especially with the holidays right around the corner! ;) If you’re looking for other ways to make and save money, see my previous posts on: