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Best keeping your house tidy/uncluttered tips - Page 2

post #21 of 64
I'm loving all these suggestions, because I do most of them, too!

Minimize owned objects; striving for a life of simplicity, this is my mantra.
* We do the dishes every evening.
* I vacuum 4x a week (1,000 sq ft home, doesn't take too long).
* I'm always trying to create the right space for things (do the sleeping bags and other camping gear really need to be in the hall closet, or can I stuff them into 'deep storage' in the laundry room?

It has taken countless organization books, web sites and magazine articles for me to be able to clarify our household problems.
#1) When I can reach the corners of the room, I'm willing to clean them.
#2) When I establish a routine or system (doing the dishes every evening), eventually dh sees the benefit (a clean kitchen in the morning, wow!), he will then follow suit.
#3) There has to be permission to have a 'clutter spot'.
I've read that it is part of our nature to have a bit of chaos (or maybe I made that bit up), but by allowing ourselves to have an area (or two) where untidiness can reign free, we can work on the other areas that really bother us.
post #22 of 64
mine is having a 'home' for each and every thing you own......and putting that thing back in it's home once you're finished using it.

i'm a total organizational freak so clutter = chaos to my general sense of serenity.....and my home is a haven from chaos, so i don't want that IN my home.
post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by vm9799 View Post
mine is having a 'home' for each and every thing you own......and putting that thing back in it's home once you're finished using it.

i'm a total organizational freak so clutter = chaos to my general sense of serenity.....and my home is a haven from chaos, so i don't want that IN my home.
Me too!

I try to have a place for everything that make sense so it is easy for the rest of the family to put away. For example I was tired of the mail building up and cluttering our kitchen counter (by the door) when it should be by the computer. So I put a basket with a lid on the counter. Problem solved!
post #24 of 64
We have a "one thing in -- two things out" goal.
And I stay out of stores, to avoid purchasing stuff.
I also often imagine us living on a boat or in an RV having an adventure, so keeping that dream in mind keeps us from accumulating a lot of excess stuff.
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Boudicca~ View Post
Cookbooks: I had about 10 of them, but then I realized that I used the same handful of recipes out of them time and time again, so I photocopied the ones I needed, put them in my home management binder, and got rid of them. Done.

DVDs. I took them out of their cases and put them in a big CD binder. Now instead of taking up 2 shelves in my living room I have them in one big binder. Now my 2 y/o can't strew the DVDs all over the place. I did the same thing with my CDs.

I just did the same thing recently. What I love about my binder is that I have each recipe in a sheet protector--so when I am cooking, I can take out that specific recipe and clip it to space convenient for me to look at while I cook or take with me to the grocery store. I also feel less guilty scribbling notes now that they are not in a book. I donated the cookbooks to a friend who loves to collect cookbooks.

Yes! I love my DVD binders--did the same to my old music too.
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
We have a "one thing in -- two things out" goal.
And I stay out of stores, to avoid purchasing stuff.
I also often imagine us living on a boat or in an RV having an adventure, so keeping that dream in mind keeps us from accumulating a lot of excess stuff.
I would love to have an RV adventure someday. I always thought that would be awesome!!

Love the one thing in--two things out, that's great!
post #27 of 64
Decluttering, decluttering, decluttering and then organization, organization, organization. Do both, on an ongoing basis. I really do live by the "a place for everything and everything in its place" motto. Some of the things that help keep me organized include ...

I set up a staging area by the door. In our house, we have huge buckets, one for each of us, lined up under a bench by the back door where we come in and out. Each person has his or her own bucket into which goes everything he or she needs to leave the house in the morning. That includes purses, backpacks, coats, hats, mittens, sunscreen, etc. The kids are responsible for loading their backpacks up each night before bed with whatever they'll need for the next day. Then they put it back in the bucket where they can easily grab it on the way out the door the next morning, and no one is ever wondering where their stuff is. It contains everything in an uncluttered fashion, too.

I also have a big wooden toolbox (like these http://clarksoutdoorchairs.com/library/P1010249.JPG) by the back door, in that same staging area, in which all library books are kept. I got the box for a dollar at a yard sale, which is why I have that kind specifically -- anything you can make work would suffice. Right above the box is a wipe board calendar with due dates for library items, so that I can see exactly when I need to take things out the door with me to be dropped off at the library. I keep a couple of canvas bags there, too, for hauling the books. Everything in one place so that I never have to search for any one thing I need in order to get the books back to the library on time. Plus, library books are not then spread hither and yon all over the house.

I keep a big, empty basket in the living room into which the kids can put any toys, books, etc. they've brought from their rooms when they're finished with them. Toys seem to migrate to the living room, so the empty basket is a half-way point for getting them back to their proper places. Each night we take the basket downstairs and put away all the toys and such that wound up in it over the course of the day, then return the empty basket to the living room.

Along the lines of your wastebaskets in every room, we have laundry hampers in every bedroom and bathroom. The kids would drop their clothes wherever they happened to be when I tried to centralize the laundry hampers. Now we just empty all of the hampers onto the laundry room floor on Sunday morning (laundry day) and I sort everything out there. I'd much rather do that then be constantly reminding people to pick up their dirty clothes.
post #28 of 64
My "no browsing" rule (for stores) has helped with clutter considerably....In with a list, out fast as possible, no big box stores, no rummage sales, no thrifting. Amazing what happens. We only go looking for very specific things if we go.
post #29 of 64
Quote:
I'm a hardcore minimalist.
I dream of being a minimalist but my family has much different ideas. I find the biggest challenge for me is my family's attachment to STUFF. I don't really feel that. I would rather give things away to someone who has a use for something than too keep it and hardly ever use it. There are a few things I have a sentimental attachment to (like my books), but even those I will give up if I am in major declutter mode.

But my family.......that is a whole other problem. My dh has shirts that he bought at a thrift store and NEVER worn that he won't give up. My kids are completely attached to items they made themselves out of my recycling. Not things that took tonnes of time and effort, but old cereal boxes with one little hole cut out. Piles of 'creative' garbage. Don't even get me started on the broken toys with NO sentimental attachment (thanks grandma for the dollar store shopping spree .

I work very hard at keeping a clear, decluttered space, but I don't necessarily feel good about recycling the pile of 30-40 paper "snowflakes in July" my 5 year old gifts me with EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

How do you deal with keeping a place clean and uncluttered with a whole pack of clutter obsessed people sharing your space. All my ideas are turning out to be temporary at best
post #30 of 64
I am planning on having a rummage sale for most of the stuff that we do not use anymore. FreeRangeMama, I have a similar problem...DH who loves to keep everything. When we moved in together he actually dumped his junk drawer into a box and would not let me get rid of it. I have been slowly "losing" items ever since. OOPS! I am having a garage sale this August, and wonder if DH or the kids would be willing to let go of items if they keep the money made from some of those items? (providing they can sell) I will see if this works....

My other issue is time! I do wonderful during the summer breaks. During the school year, I barely have time to do the dishes let alone do anything else.
post #31 of 64
For the artwork, I gave DD the back of her bedroom door and an under bed storage box. I said the back of the bedroom door is her display area, the box is the overflow, and when those are full, it's time to sort through the masterpieces and send some on. We send some to her father, aunts and uncles, we'd send them to grandparents if we had grandparents to send to, envelopes full of art. We also send some on to the recycling bin at this point. She gets some control over it, but it still doesn't take over our house. She still gives me pieces, and I proudly display three or four things on the fridge, but then I rotate those into her box when she gives me new ones, and they eventually get sorted, too. It's a win/win.
post #32 of 64
For me, it's KEEP UP WITH IT.

Our house was just so overwhelmingly past what we could do ourselves that we hired someone. It took her 4 hours, which is saying a lot for our TEENY TINY 2 bedroom apartment. Now it's my goal to keep up with it and every week get the chores done, so that we never get that overwhelmed feeling again.

So far it's working...but it's only been a week
post #33 of 64
Yeah, definitely doing a little bit everyday (even it is only one thing or only 10-15 minutes) and doing bigger projects every couple of weeks too. The little bit everyday helps maintain your current level of declutter and the big projects helps me make more headway.

And I really need to work on everything having a place, it definitely does not now and it is extremely frustrating to me. And I need to continue and ramp up my donating. Clothes are a big one for me as I love to buy new clothes and books too, but I really need another bookshelf and to probably donate a few. I have been using the library more so that helps. With our first on the way, I really am pushing harder to get organized ahead of that!
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
My "no browsing" rule (for stores) has helped with clutter considerably....In with a list, out fast as possible, no big box stores, no rummage sales, no thrifting. Amazing what happens. We only go looking for very specific things if we go.
This is great advice!! Since getting an organic grocery delivery service, I am AMAZED how much we've reduced our waste but not buying those little things that you think you need or little treats. I've realised that any money you give to anyone (read: store) is still their gain and your loss. Even if it's a crazy bargain, it's still X amount of dollars that aren't yours anymore. Shopping locally and only for things that you set out for has saved so much money and so much cr@p from entering our home (I'm still a looong way from perfect though, I'm slowly changing my consumeristic ways).
post #35 of 64
This is more of a time-saving tip, but it's a pretty good one if I do say so myself. I have recently started cleaning the bathroom while DD takes her bath. She usually plays in the tub for about 15 minutes after I wash her and I used to just sit there and read. It just occurred to me one day that I could actually clean the room while she was in the tub. We have a pretty small bathroom and I don't use anything toxic so this works pretty well for me. And I either clean the bathtub right before she gets in or just after, and of course, do the floor when she's out.
post #36 of 64
I've stopped trying to clean the room before I clean the floors. I found I was never getting mopped and vacuumed, so now I just move things around if I have to, so at least it gets done and I feel much better.
post #37 of 64
I think just full and utter acceptance of the fact that cleaning and organizing is not just a daily task, but a multiple-times-a-day task.

I also do dishes after eat meal, tidy up rooms a few times a day (takes only a short time if you stay on top of it) and then do big cleaning on one particular day and stick to it. I also do my big clean on Fridays, and have done so for to the last 10 years. Even if I am sick I try to do it, because it gets me up and feeling a bit better to have everything freshened up.

Sometimes I read posts where the person says "my house is such a mess, I am having a friend come help me tomorrow--but there is still too much to do...". Truth be told, one person can clean a house just fine and keep it up, but it takes not being lazy about it and just doing the work each day. I was raised in sort of a messy house, so it isn't like I had Martha Stewart as a role model. I just started getting up each day (even if I was tired) and doing the work, and then it got done. I did start learning things about cleaning and organizing along the way, but that is just natural. Anyone can do this, it is just about accepting it will be work and being willing to do the work each day.
post #38 of 64
First of all, when I decided I wanted all a completely clutter-free house, I did a huge purge and got rid of like 18 trash bags full of stuff. I threw away literally everything we didn't use at least once a week. Now the best way I've found to maintain is to do one room a day, deep cleaning and decluttering. For instance, Tuesday is my master bathroom day. I go through all the drawers and both closets (my actual clothing closet and the linen closet), throw away any junk that's made its way into those places, then clean the tub, shower, toilet, vanity, sinks, mirrors, window, empty the trash, and sweep & mop. Once a month or so I also do things like scrub the cabinets and the corners of the floors where dirt tends to accumulate even after mopping, and I wash the curtains. Wednesday I do my bedroom, Thursday the kitchen/laundry room, Friday the living room/hallway, Saturday's my day off, Sunday the kids' rooms, and Monday the kids' bathroom. Just make sure you completely declutter the entire room, all the hot spots, every single week, or it will get out of control again. Don't leave a drawer or cabinet untended thinking it will be okay until next week. Next week it will be a giant mess that you'll have to deal with, which makes it even more likely that you'll put if off another week...and so on and so on.
post #39 of 64
Another thing I do is, when I find something I want to buy, whether decorative or an item of clothing or a toy for the kids or a kitchen appliance, I ask myself, "Where am I going to put this?" If and only if I can come up with a satisfactory answer, and I know the item won't make my house look/feel more cluttered, then I buy it. If I can't come up with a good place for it, I don't buy it.
post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
First of all, when I decided I wanted all a completely clutter-free house, I did a huge purge and got rid of like 18 trash bags full of stuff. I threw away literally everything we didn't use at least once a week. Now the best way I've found to maintain is to do one room a day, deep cleaning and decluttering. For instance, Tuesday is my master bathroom day. I go through all the drawers and both closets (my actual clothing closet and the linen closet), throw away any junk that's made its way into those places, then clean the tub, shower, toilet, vanity, sinks, mirrors, window, empty the trash, and sweep & mop. Once a month or so I also do things like scrub the cabinets and the corners of the floors where dirt tends to accumulate even after mopping, and I wash the curtains. Wednesday I do my bedroom, Thursday the kitchen/laundry room, Friday the living room/hallway, Saturday's my day off, Sunday the kids' rooms, and Monday the kids' bathroom. Just make sure you completely declutter the entire room, all the hot spots, every single week, or it will get out of control again. Don't leave a drawer or cabinet untended thinking it will be okay until next week. Next week it will be a giant mess that you'll have to deal with, which makes it even more likely that you'll put if off another week...and so on and so on.
this may sound crazy, but here goes...

what about things like candles, books, tools, tape, glue, staples/staplers? i'm just thinking about all of the books that i have that i don't want to get rid of but are not going to read soon, candles that we have for their scent that i bought on after-christmas 50% sale, things like that.
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