Monday, January 4, 2010
resolution 101: get organized!
so, it's time to get all of the holiday decorations out of your sight and back into the garage/crawl space/basement until next year. as if this undertaking isn't daunting enough, chances are you seem to have way more crap laying around your house post-holiday than you did before.
now, you can take a lesson from my mother and simply wait for 'spring cleaning' to remove all of this new clutter, but by that time, it's likely that you and your household will have become accustomed to your new living arrangements and the need to get your house back in order may not feel quite as pressing. (note: this is how people get themselves into serious trouble. ever seen that a&e show, hoarders? it all starts somewhere.)
rule number one for getting your house clean: bust it out.
forget the advice you may have read elsewhere about doing a little bit everyday until the job's done. no one has this amount of discipline and you WILL end up cutting corners....oh, i guess that stack of 30 victoria's secret catalogs can stay there, they are fun to look over sometimes.
i seriously devote hours at a time to cleaning my house, because if it doesn't all get done at once, it's not going to get done. period. start in one room of your home and get it sparkling (i like to start in the kitchen), i'm talking drawers organized, appliances moved and wiped behind, the whole she-bang. once that room is done, move on to the next one with the thought in mind that no one room in your home should be cleaner/messier than another.
yes, this will take you some time, but you only have to do it about once every couple of months to maintain a 'clean' home. chug an energy drink and just get it done.
rule number two for getting your house clean: throw shit away!!
seriously. get it out of your house. you will not miss it. if it is ugly, don't put in a closet or seldom-used guest bedroom, throw it in the trash where it belongs! if you are afraid that you will one day miss it, get over it: remember those really comfy elephant print sleep pants that you practically lived in in college and then let some friend wear home some morning after a night of binge drinking? (yeah, well you didn't until i just brought them up.)
if you are a collector, pick ONE thing to be a collector of and figure out a way to display the collection in one place. if your collection can not be displayed in a pretty or interesting way, you are collecting the wrong thing. frame children's artwork or create a coffee table book by sliding pieces into plastic slipcovers inside a 3-ring binder. give knick-knacks their own special shelf in your entryway. display an interesting wine glass collection on an unused bookcase shelf or mantle.
if you can't find a place for it, donate it, sell it, or pitch it.
rule number three for getting your house clean: small, pretty containers.
they don't even have to match! small baskets, jars, glass dishes, saucers all are great ways to give the illusion of cleanliness without actually having to do much cleaning. since you've already done your room-to-room cleaning and thrown out most of the crap littering your living space, you should be left with only a few little piles of 'where do i put this' kind of stuff.
i keep my tv and stereo remotes in a pretty fluted glass bowl on the bottom shelf of my coffee table. loose change is kept on a large saucer in the master bedroom. keys, sunglasses and bills are kept on a similar saucer above the microwave. dishtowels and scarves and gloves have their own respective baskets in the laundry room and hall closet. nail polishes and small lotions are kept in an old wrought-iron silverware organizer in the linen closet. i even have a basket at the foot of my bed where my husband and i keep our jeans and sweaters that we have worn but are likely to wear again before laundry day.
these are just a few of my organizational tips (trust me, i've got plenty) though i deem these three to be three of the most important. i hate clutter because clutter looks like laziness and even though, yes i am lazy i am also too much a lady to let that fact be thrown into my house guests faces.
another added bonus tip: if you have school-aged kids, get them to help out...if they are young enough, sorting like things into piles can be a fun and educational game. and, if they are too old to be so easily fooled, just threaten to take their playstation or cell phone or keg party privileges away. they'll be helping you in no time!