How to Clean an Out-of-control House

Have you ever watched the show Clean House and just wished that could be you? Did you sit there thinking that your house will never become organized like that? It wont unless you make it happen! So your first step should be to turn off the distractions like television and the computer for a week and make your home your priority. But dont get overwhelmed at the thought. All good things take a little time and effort. And an organized home is definitely worth the effort. It was for me, and can be for you.

There are two major steps to getting your house under control: First, admit you have a problem and want to fix it; and second, get everything necessary for fixing it. The first thing you need is heavy duty trash bags. I know you think you are saving money by buying the thin garbage bags, but you are actually getting more than double the thickness for a slightly higher price in the brand name ones. It is definitely worth the extra money. And you wont suffer the frustration of the bag breaking and the contents scattering everywhere. Another necessity for organizing is storage bins. If you are very limited for storage space like I am, you should use under the bed storage bins.

You may be the type of person who walks in a cluttered room and dont know where to begin, so you immediately walk right back out. But dont. Start with the clutter closest to the door. Throw everything covering the floor into a bin, then you can sort it one piece at a time. If the majority of your mess is clothing, begin bagging! If it is a clothing item that you have not worn in the past three months, put it in the charity or yard sale bag. Chances are that you will not miss it if you have not worn it recently. If it is a seasonal item, think back to if you have worn it in the last year. If you hadn’t worn it, get rid of it. You will not miss it. Go through your closet and repeat the process. Get rid of ALL of the unworn items. They are uneccessarily taking up precious storage space.

Another problem is the clothing that will fit “when I lose the weight.” If you are actively working on fitting into those smaller jeans, good for you; get rid of your pants that are too big or too small on you now. But weight loss also takes time (for it to be healthy loss) and effort, and by the time you fit into the small jeans, chances are the styles will change and you wont even like them anymore, or they wont fit exactly as you anticipated. Get rid of them! After all, the styles change all the time. And if you lost all that weight, you deserve to show it off and go shopping!

Once you have screened out what you want to keep, put the dirty clothes in a hamper and the clean ones on hangers right away. If they are seasonal clothes, like a sweater, if it happens to be summertime, put the winter clothes in storage bins, and put them away for the summer, and vice versa for summer clothes in the winter. And for the in-between months, do the swap system. If you take a sweater out of the bin, replace it with a tank top. This will keep equal amounts of clothing in the closet, and keep the mess off the floor.

If you are like me and have kids, toys may be your problem. If your child has not played with the toy in months, get rid of it. Do not keep it for your other children that you may have someday. By the time they are born or old enough to appreciate them, newer and cooler toys will be created. Donate the toy to a charity and bless a less fortunate child with it.

Moving onto the kitchen. If it seems like no matter how often you do your dishes, they just keep piling up, I can help you with that. But plastic disposable cups and paper plates. Chinet is a wonderful brand that provides the sturdiness of real plates, and they dont leak through. Your next step is to wash every dish in your sink. You should only have one plate per family, one cup per family member, and one bowl, fork, spoon, knife, etc, per family member in the cabinets and drawers. If you cannot keep up with your dishes, this is the easiest way to keep the piling to a minimum. Keep the remaining dishes in your set in a box in one of your cabinets. That way, when you have company they will be easily accessable.

When it comes to cleaning, rather than tidying, begin in the bathrooms. Take a spray bottle and mix bleach or pinesol with and water. Any old towels that you have, cut into small rags and keep a rag bag with the rest of your cleaning supplies. Cleaning the bathroom is a simple process. First, spray the bathtub with a scrub-free cleaning spray and let that sit. Next, clear the area around the sink and spray with your bleach or pinesol mixture and wipe with a clean rag. For toothpaste and soap scum spots, use a scrub sponge and clean the area. Rinse and wipe with a clean rag. For mirrors, water can work just as good, sometimes better than windex. Use water-moistened lint-free paper towels and wipe the mirror, then use a dry paper towel for a streak-free shine. Next, the toilet. For the easiest cleaning, the disposable toilet scrubbers work great, and it prevents your kids or pets from picking up germs off of a reusable brush. Spray the tops, sides, and underside of the toilet with your cleaning mixture spray and wipe with a dry cloth. Do not forget to clean where the toilet and floor meet in the front. Next, sweep the bathroom. If you have carpeting outside of your bathroom door, sweep the dirt onto the carpet and vacuum it up. This prevents the stubborm line of dirt that is always left behind from a dustpan. Finally, mop the floor and you are done!

Once you have completed all of these, then you can worry about vacuuming and dusting, etc. Enjoy your tidy home!

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