It has rained in Minnesota for a month straight! Maybe one or two days of beautiful sunshine and a 70 degree day but not enough to say it’s been a nice spring. In the past I have loved rainy days, something about the earth being watered brought joy to my soul. The rain is refreshing and all the grossness had been washed away. Plus who doesn’t love sleeping in on a rainy day, vegging out on the couch or getting your house cleaned. That’s what I would do on a rainy weekend. I’d power clean, organize and de-clutter my home. I would rip apart closets and put back only what was needed, I’d take everything off my kitchen counters and clean every square inch of the surface, vacuum the hard to reach areas and mop on my hands and knees. It was beautiful! Then the next day would be sunny and I would be happy that I had a clean house for the sun to pour in on.
Since I have been on maternity leave and then transitioned to a stay at home mom I did my rainy day routine in March when it was snowing and O and I couldn’t and didn’t want to leave. I had the worst cabin fever from mid-February to mid-April that I thought I needed post-partom depression pills. I cleaned and re-organized literally every foot in my home every chance I got. I felt like Martha freakin’ Stewart, everything had a place, a label and on a cleaned shelf with liner. Now my home is a working machine, it’s so nice to know what you have is what you need and not living in clutter. Especially with a new baby, her belongings take up more room and their are so many little pieces to things that I had to have a home for all of it. With all said and done I feel very accomplished to get those goals and keep it the running machine that it has become. But now I have time to focus on the creative side of my brain and all I want to do is veg out out on the couch. Now rainy days make me lazy, not even a pot of coffee can get my ass moving!
I have been searching through previous summer pictures from years past, nothing has gotten me motivated or inspired. So this post is only about my anal cleaning skills and how I created my de-cluttered home. I don’t have images but I have tips and I will share…
Getting the “Shit” that doesn’t belong out of your home & making it look nice:
- Do one room a week. Start with the bathroom, under sinks and in the linen closets. Move to bedrooms, living spaces, the kitchen and then the garage. Only do one a week and sometimes just do the closet one week then go back and do under the bed and dressers the next week.
- Make piles. Keep, trash, donate. Have totes not boxes and stick to the three! That’s the most important rule of organizing and de-clutering. It’s easy to make a fourth pile, an “I don’t know pile”, then that pile turns into the keep pile when it was probably suppose to be in the trash pile. Make decisions and stick to the three!
- As soon as you finish filling your totes, take the trash tote immediately to the trash and dump, don’t hesitate. Put the donate one immediately into your car and the keep one is up to you. Side Note: So when I was dong mine, I kept all my keep totes in the basement. I moved the other two to the trash and to the car and then the keep went right down stairs. When all the rooms where finished I had five totes to organize. I then made a keep, donate and trash pile with those. It’s amazing what you change your mind about a few weeks later. I got five totes down to one keep! I would recommend this procedure.
- Cleaning the spaces you just de-cluttered. Before you put anything back, clean it. Vacuum the corners and hidden areas, wipe down the shelves, label if labels are needed and add shelf liners.
- Invest in baskets and bins, jars and dividers to make the areas nice looking. This is easy to do for closets, everything that is not hanging or organized into a dresser drawer should have a place that looks neat and tidy. Same with bathrooms, a bin for travel size items, extra things like toothbrushes and soap, a bin just for medicine and band aids, one for summer items like sun screen and aloe vera. Items like extra rolls of toilet paper and your bathroom cleaning supplies should all be stored away neat and tidy.
- Seasonal storing is always fun! So I recently assigned one tote to be my seasonal clothes. We all have clothes that we wear year round but items like shorts to wool are only used certain times of the year. Right now my one tote has gloves, scarves, sweaters and jackets in it. When fall comes I will pull out that tote and hung those items and put in my shorts, dresses and tanks. I will take my swim suits and beach covers out of their bin and put scarfs in it. All that summer clothing will go back to it’s home in the basement. Plus while your transitioning between seasons, make your three piles. If you never wore it during that season get rid of it! This is to be done with all the members of your household. Each person as their own seasonal tote and is labeled. Side note: Do not keep white under shirts or tanks for more than one season, don’t keep kids clothes that are stained or have holes, trash them. Do not keep items that don’t fit, even if you tell yourself you’ll fit back into it, that maybe true but who loses weight and then wants to wear their old clothes. Donate any clothes that don’t fit any family member.
- Organize your storage areas also. We have a big walk in closet in our basement, that’s were I store everything. I have it organized based on season also, right now it’s spring/summer so I have our camping/picnic gear at easy reach. At the end of summer I will switch those totes around to have Christmas totes and winter clothes easy to reach. If you are pulling something out or putting something back make it easier on future you and think ahead. What will you be grabbing the next time you come into the storage area?
- In all rooms and areas make “groups.” Group together items that are like each other. Quick examples, bathroom: all medical related items in one bin. Office: only pens in one jar, pencils in a another, markers in their own, etc. Kitchen: all baking ware in one cupboard, that’s metal and glass bakeware, casserole dishes and cookie sheets. When storing items this way it’s easier to know where certain items are. If you are unsure where an item might fit into then think about the last time you used it. Example: A dutch oven can be used as a stove top dish and an oven dish. I use my dutch oven more for soups so I keep it in the pots and skillet cupboard. The point is to have all like items as close together as possible so when they are needed you don’t have to think where they are you can just walk to that spot and grab. Side Note: Match tupperware lids with bottoms, it’s easier to find matches and easier to store, you won’t have lids flying all over the place. When something doesn’t match trash it. Stack items with in each other, all my mixing bowls live together, all stacked inside of each other, my tupperware is stacked by size, my pots have their lids on, turned upside down and stacked smallest to largest.
- Keep it up! When you move an item from one room to the next, put it back when your done. This is very important to keep clutter on your count tops and tables down. If you take the finger nail clippers out of the bathroom, return them as soon as your finished. It’s not rocket science. I keep a basket on the kitchen counter, anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen goes in there and before I go to bed our while my coffee is brewing I return the items. Side Note: for some reason in my house everything ends up in the kitchen.
- Once a day clean something. Even if it’s switching the loads of laundry or putting away the dishes, do something to keep your home looking nice. Every single day I wipe down the kitchen counters, do the dishes, swiffer the bathroom floor, put away clutter in all rooms, make the bed and put away any laundry. Seems like a lot but I can usually do that all while the coffee brews. When you keep it up, it’s easy to always have a clean house and when everything has a place it’s easy to keep it up. See the circle? 🙂
This post ended up being longer than expected but it feels great to have all that information out and to share it!! I hope you have learned something new and take the challenge, or hey if you’re not motivated to do it for yourself, hire me!! I’d be more than happy to help organize your life and de-clutter your home!!
I guess this rainy day brought me inspiration after all!