If there is one thing I have learned from apartment living, it’s that things can pile up and get messy very quickly.
When Scott and I decided to move to New York City, we knew that we had to downsize quite a bit in order to feel somewhat organized in smaller living quarters. In the end, it felt great to get rid of stuff that we really didn’t need, and we do our best to find a place for everything in our 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment.
At first, I was worried about apartment living after living in a spacious townhouse. I figured things would be crammed from floor to ceiling and that it would be a challenge to keep things in working order.
We’ve only been New York residents for less than a month, but in that time I come to find out how important it is to do little things every day to stay organized, clean, and, in my case, sane.
The biggest thing I can recommend is to de-clutter. If having every counter or corner decorated stresses you out, get rid of things that really don’t serve a purpose. I am my happiest self when I am in an environment that is clean and tidy, and this post is all about what I try to stay on top of on a regular basis to keep our home organized!
• Take ten minutes to tidy up every night.
Let’s kick things off with a point not everyone will get excited about. I’m not saying get on the floor and scrub your heart out for ten minutes before bed, but instead, take a simple loop through your home and put away things that don’t belong.
Fold blankets up on the couch, fluff the pillows, put cups or dishes in the dishwasher, stack papers, wipe the kitchen counters, and set yourself up for a tidy space to live in the next morning. I have been doing this ten minutes of spot cleaning for years, and it has made a huge difference. I go to bed much happier knowing the house is in order. Is that weird?
• Clean a room at a time.
Friday afternoons after work used to be my go-to cleaning day. I would devote several hours to cleaning the entire house and felt good going into the weekend knowing that it’s done. These days, I focus on a room at a time and clean on a regular basis.
For example, one day I will clean out the refrigerator, wipe the counters, clean the sink, and mop the floors. Now that I know the kitchen is done, I can take fifteen minutes and go after the bathroom the next day.
Of course, this approach may not be for everyone, but it’s really worked for me!
• Do a load of laundry every few days.
I’ve never been a fan of laundry days. To avoid having to devote an entire day to the task, keep up with it on a regular basis. Any time our hamper gets full, I’ll do a load of colors, towels, or whites. Eventually, doing so will just become a part of your weekly routine, and it won’t even feel like a chore.
Getting a little bit done every few days saves you from dreading doing it all at once!
• Take your shoes off at the front door.
I never realized how essential it is to leave outdoor germs outdoors until we moved to Michigan and then New York. It is the standard to take your shoes off at the door before entering any home in the winter months, but why not do it all year long?
Think about what you walk around in all day outside. Do you really want that on your floors inside where you, your family, and your pets walk barefoot and then drag onto your couch and into your bed?
I didn’t think so.
• Split up your responsibilities into morning and nighttime chores.
I do better with staying on top of my chores if I have somewhat of a schedule to them. For example, I make sure to clean up all dishes and clear the kitchen counters any time I cook dinner. After dinner, I’m usually on a brief cleaning mode, so I will throw in a load of laundry and try my best to fold everything and put it away before bed.
I change the litter box every morning so that one of us can take down the bag when we Roadie goes out for his morning walk. This is also when I make the bed and try to organize my at-home work space before I start the day.
• Make the bed every day.
I feel like there are two types of people: either you make the bed every single morning shortly after you wake up, or you make the bed (maybe) after you clean the sheets, and that’s it. I get it. Personally, making the bed in the morning helps set my tone of keeping tidy throughout the day.
We have animals, so if I don’t make the bed right away, they will lay everywhere in our sheets which makes it impossible to do later. Maybe this is why I’ve been so on top of it. Regardless, if you’re not a “make the bed” person, try it for a week and see if it makes a difference in how you feel about your bedroom space. What do you have to lose?
• Don’t leave dishes in the sink for “later”.
We all know what “later” means … procrastinate until the last possible moment and regret leaving it there in the first place.
I used to get into dish wars with my former roommates in college. Someone would leave a dish in the sink, so then another person would, and then it would snowball. Eventually, the sink would be filled with dishes and nobody wanted to do them.
Since moving into my own space as an adult, Scott and I agreed that we would never leave dishes in the sink. There are times where I need to soak a pot from time to time, but for the most part, cooking means cleaning all of the dishes afterwards.
• If the chore or task only takes a minute or two, do it.
A few years ago, I read a cleaning tip that if something takes less than a minute to do, don’t put it off to do later. This has slowly turned into if it takes a few minutes to do, just do it.
I apply this rule several times throughout my day, and it helps me remember to quickly put my shoes away in the closet, gather dirty clothes and put them in the hamper, set up the coffee maker to automatically brew the next morning, or fold a load of laundry.
The next time you are faced with a task that only takes a minute or so, I challenge you to do it!
• Assign a day per week to sort through mail and random piles.
One of my biggest downfalls in staying organized is letting random piles of papers and such build up on the desk or kitchen counter. Usually, these piles are filled with important papers and receipts that I haven’t filed. Once a week (usually Fridays), I try and make a point to go through everything and give things a permanent home. If I don’t know where to put it, then I probably don’t need it.
• Keep disinfecting wipes handy.
And last, but certainly not least, I am an avid user of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes. I keep at least a few containers of them handy at all times, and today I am teaming up with Clorox® to share these cleaning tips and also a pretty awesome giveaway below!
While I have used Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes for years, this was my first time testing out Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers.
The regular wipes are great for every day counter top wiping, but the micro-scrubbers are wonderful for handling bigger, greasier messes.
I really love the extra texture in the pattern to be able to dig deep and scrub away at stubborn spots. Not only do they wipe away dirt, grime, and grease, but they also kill 99.9 percent of germs* that can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
These wipes are also double-sided for multipurpose use. The texture side is perfect for scouring tough messes like baked on grime and soap scum, and the smooth side is useful for simply wiping away dirt. Killing nearly all of the common germs on surfaces, including those that can cause cold and flu, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteric, is a bonus.
Right now, I have disinfecting wipes under my kitchen sink, in my bathroom, and also tucked away in my desk drawer to make wiping surfaces clean part of my daily routine. It only takes a few minutes to do, and it is comforting to know that I’m fighting viruses and bacteria that could be coming our way.
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers have a new home under my kitchen sick, and they are saved for the really hard-to-handle messes in the kitchen, bathtub, and tile floors and walls in the bathroom.
Read more about Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers, follow Clorox® on Facebook and Twitter for more cleaning tips, and find them at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, Staples, Amazon, and other national retailers.
*When used as directed
$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
Now that we’re all on board to fight against nasty germs, who is up for a giveaway to win a $100 Visa Gift Card?
Leave a comment on this blog post telling me your best tip (or tips) to keeping your home organized and clean!
Each comment will be automatically entered to win …
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
- Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
- Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#Sweeps” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
- Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
- For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/5/2016-6/30/2016.