Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Easy Steps to a Cleaner Home

Whenever the husband goes on deployment, I seem to go on a cleaning and organizing spree. With time, I've slowly realized that I have a method to my madness that never varies. Each time (without even realizing it), I follow three easy steps that help me get things in order and looking nice. I thought I'd take a break from cleaning to share them with you.

Before I get into any of the steps, I want to share a secret with you. These steps should be tackled on a room by room basis. Do not jump from room to room when you're going through the steps. Stay focused on one room at a time for the highest productivity. (This tip is coming from someone who gets easily distracted.)

Step 1: Get rid of unnecessary items.

Your first step is to survey the room and get rid of anything you don't need. You're going to need a trash bag (or two) and a box for this step. The trash bag is going to be for any trash (and a second one for recycling if that's an option). Walk around the room and pick up anything that can be trashed - this might be old scraps of papers or other items that may have been "left behind" unintentionally. Survey the room really well - especially if you live with anyone else.

Now, you're going to put that box (or crate in my case) to use. Survey the room once more. This time you're looking for anything that is no longer needed. Maybe it's the vase you no longer like or the book you've finished (unless you're going to read it again, do you really need it?). All of these items should go into the crate to donate or sell. (I'll be doing another post on how I determine what to get rid of.)  These bags and crates should be set by the door because they are going to travel to the next room with you. You're also going to want them nearby in case you find more items to put into them.

Step 2: Return items to their proper room.

The next step is really simple but it's also the step that's going to require the most focus and discipline. Look around the room and start gathering anything that doesn't belong. Maybe there's a plate from lunch sitting on the coffee table or a pair of shoes by the door. Pick up these items and return them to their proper room. Don't worry about putting them away yet - simply return them to the room. Remember my tip from earlier? You don't want to get distracted by another room. Stay focused on the room you're working in. Your goal with this step is to get items out of the room you're in. (The only exception is when you are returning items to a room you've already worked in. Then, you want to make sure you put the item away or you'll have to repeat this cycle over and over again.)

Step 3: Put everything away and clean the room.

Once you've returned everything to its proper room, you'll be able to put everything in its proper place. (If things don't have a proper place, then you might discover that "organizing" needs to be added to your to do list.) After everything is in its place, it'll be easy to sweep and dust around the room. You can do step 2 and 3 at the same time - as long as you stay focused on the room you're in.

There you go - my three easy steps for tackling clutter and getting things clean! Now, all you have to do is decide which room to start in. I like to start in the living room when I clean. Which room do you prefer to start in?


  1. Oh Pam, this is going to help so much to get my butt moving to cleaning!

  2. SO love this idea! And the best thing is the decluttering you can do quickly (and should do quickly really to resist temptation to keep things). Just sometimes takes a while when you're doing your child's room, especially when he is just like you! ;)

  3. My biggest thing is not getting rid of unnecessary items! I am definitely working my hardest on it!!

  4. This is my method exactly. Makes keeping things straight so much easier. Love it! I would love for you to check me out at I also have an organization challenge right now that I am really excited about!!!

  5. I like this method!

    Chad and I have crazy schedules and this is something that we can both work on together and knock it out as a team. Plus, his boys will be coming over more this year, so we can get them on board with this too.