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My Desk Looks Great! (All Papers Are on The Kitchen Counter)

My Desk Looks Great! (All Papers Are on The Kitchen Counter)

Organizing Paper

So you say: “My desk looks great,” but all the papers are on the kitchen counter? Aren’t we proud? (LOL)

If this is you, please know you are not alone and that paper clutters homes the most because it is harder to corral, classify, and organize.

Paper is sneaky, and you can’t see the chaos it makes by looking at a page here and there. But when it accumulates enough for you to notice, then it is too late.

Whether it is brochures, magazines, newspapers, instruction manuals, receipts, unopened mail, coupons, gift cards, or schoolwork, these things hang around the house and clutter everyone’s lives.

When organizing clients’ homes, they are often surprised by an unpleasant by-product: the unforeseen accumulation of paper and other items that don’t have a definite place in the house.

We gather all paper, including magazines, brochures, children’s papers, and projects. These should be addressed later by the client. We can’t save our clients from doing this work.

Because looking at the paper collected, it is impossible to know what you need to keep; you’ll have to do the work you have been avoiding in the first place (except that now it is all accumulated and is a lot!)

Since this part of the process is a necessary evil, and people fear paper so much, leaving you in the dark to do your homework is unfair. So, here is a detailed guide to winning the paper clutter battle.

NOTE: Before we start, you need to establish a cut-off date, after which you will manage your incoming mail and papers using your new system (thus, staying on top of that).

1. Clean up your files

You will need space for the new stuff that requires filing. If you do not have a filing system, this is the time to create one. Your filing system should preferably be in your home office. The best options would be a rolling cart under a desk by the kitchen or a filing cabinet that complements your décor in the living room.

But every household needs a filing system. Every piece of paper worth keeping should have a permanent home where you will know to look for it.

2. Gather every piece of paper

Gather every piece of paper throughout the house. This group includes magazines, coupons, receipts, notebooks, journals, books, and gift cards.

This exercise might result in several bins of stuff you’ve never seen before. And that is okay! We’ll take one box and one category at a time.

3. Divide and conquer

Start with one box and sort its contents into the categories you find in that bin or container. Then, tackle the second bin of mixed contents and repeat the process.

As you move along, take your trash to the trash and clean the bins that you empty.

Pro Tip: Tackle each category separately. Do not start with a group while still working on another.

4. Sort bigger items

Start with the bigger stuff, such as books and magazines. Decide what can be donated, sold, trashed, or recycled.

Then, see where to allocate what you keep. For example, you might already have a logical space in your home for those items. In that case, merge your gathered items with corresponding objects in their designated home space.

Note that if you run out of space to place all items together, you can purge items by evaluating the entirety of your collection. If this does not give you the needed area, consider an alternative space for these items. The important thing is to keep the same type of items together.

5. On with the paper

Set up the following boxes to collect four types of paper:

  • Recycle

  • Shred (only for sensitive information)

  • File (all documents you decide to keep in paper format)

  • Digitize (paper to be digitized and let go of print)

Keep paper to digitize in a separate box and set aside as a project for the near future.

Every piece of paper needs a decision, and every piece you keep needs a permanent home in a file.

6. Create These Files

  • “Important Documents” File

Important and official documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and the like need their file, so you will always know where the most important things are.

  • “Medical” File

You will want to make a “Medical” folder for each household member. Here is where you file medical records, EOBs, insurance, etc. If you have too much paper in this category, you may need to have Medical-Records, Medical EOBs, Medical-Insurance, etc.

  • “Taxes” File

Decide what you might need to keep for tax purposes for the current year and place all that material in a file called “Current year taxes.”

When filing past years’ taxes, eliminate anything other than the IRS’s need if they audit you.

Discard any envelopes, especially manila envelopes, and unfold papers to letter size.

If you need to keep papers or receipts together, paperclip or binder clip them on the right side. That way, when they are in their folders, you can easily see what’s what.

Keep seven years’ tax history and shred the oldest each year.

Consider digitizing everything. Digitized documents are acceptable to the IRS. But always check with an accounting professional regarding financial/tax decisions.

  • “Owner’s Manuals & Warranties” File

It does not matter what these are; it needs a file to keep a user’s manual. Create a “Household Manuals” folder and place them all together. You can be more specific and divide the category (like tools, appliances, miscellaneous, etc.).

  • “Hold & Throw” File (or tray)

The Hold & Throw is a parking spot for things you may want shortly, but that will be irrelevant in a few months.

This space could be a tray or a file within your system. Some examples in this category are receipts for clothes, neighborhood trash schedules, and paid bills. These items are not worth filing long-term, and you can safely throw them away every couple of months. This practice negates piles of advertisements, receipts, brochures, and things people put on their refrigerators. If the paper will be irrelevant in a few months, it goes in the “Hold & Throw” folder.

  • “To Do” File (or tray)

Among the papers you find, decide what is “to do.” Place that in your “to-do” tray/file. Once done, let go of these papers. You might want to make a note on your schedule to ensure you tackle those “to-do” tasks promptly and consistently.

7. Sort other categories of paper

  • Coupons

Get a coupon wallet to keep in your kitchen drawer. All store coupons and gift cards can live there until needed. They will be accessible whenever you go shopping. Review this wallet monthly to let go of expired offers and coupons.

  • Loose pictures

Set pictures apart and place them with other images you might have. Photos deserve their category, and the procedures to handle picture organization are here.

  • Business cards

Transfer business cards (including those refrigerator magnets with business information) to your computer or mobile phone with card scanning apps or software available.

  • Receipts

You can find discarded receipts online by accessing your bank account or transaction history with the vendor.

If you need receipts to return or exchange something, those receipts should probably go into your “To Do” file or your “Hold & Throw” file.

Moving Forward with Mail

Mail comes into the home daily for most people. We would return to square one very soon without a system to handle mail effectively.

Handling mail daily doesn’t mean handling everything completely. Instead, it means opening each mail piece and directing it to where the action will occur. This should take one or two minutes of your day when you come home.

To this end, you should have your recycle bin and your “To Do” and “To File” files or trays in your mail processing area. Have a recycling bin next to the mail processing area so that all junk mail goes immediately to recycling. Then, sort the rest according to the action each piece will require in the future.

Recycle — Place all junk mail in your recycle bin immediately

To-Do — Things that will require some action (like paying a bill or RSVPing to an activity)

To File — Papers or documents that you’ll want to keep for reference and that belong to any of the file categories in your filing system

OHIO Rule (Only Handle It Once)

If you want to be one step ahead, apply the “OHIO Rule.” It means that you immediately deal with any paper coming into your home instead of setting it down, unopened, to deal with later.

In this case, you commit to processing each mail piece completely when you first handle it. Handling your mail this way reduces paper clutter and eliminates the need to deal with paper later.

Schedule It

Remember that if you follow the steps to handle mail every so often, you need to schedule in your calendar as a weekly or biweekly activity — time to finish processing the mail you pre-classified. The “one-touch rule” eliminates this second part of the process.

Tackling your paper might seem daunting. Nobody said you must finish organizing all your accumulated paper in a day. Paper is the thing that takes the longest to manage! Take your time and work on one category at a time. The space and relief you will feel afterward are worth every moment you invest in the project.

You can tame the paper monster. But, as with everything in life, keeping it under control requires commitment and effort.

If you need help organizing and deciding about your paper, contact us! We will be thrilled to nosedive into your paper mess. Truly!

Designing The Perfect Kids’ Playroom

Designing The Perfect Kids’ Playroom

Note: This is a guest post by Kevin Connors of Inspired Organizers in Phoenix, Arizona

Creating the Perfect Kids’ Playroom

When envisioning well-organized spaces in your home, the kids’ playroom may not be the first that comes to mind. However, creating that ideal place  for your children can foster their creativity, exploration, and joy.  It also makes it easier for parents to maintain order and encourage imaginative play.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best practices for organizing a kids’ playroom. Striking the perfect balance between fun and functionality creates a space that nurtures learning and enjoyment.

First, Declutter and Organize

The initial step in organizing a kids’ playroom is decluttering the space. Begin by sorting toys, games, and other items into specific categories, such as puzzles, building blocks, stuffed animals, art supplies, and board games. Discard broken or unused items. Consider donating toys your children have outgrown to make room for new experiences.

Investing in proper storage solutions is crucial for maintaining a tidy playroom. Combine open shelving, closed cabinets, bins, and baskets to store toys and belongings effectively. Open shelving allows easy access to frequently used toys, while closed cabinets can safely store items that might be hazardous to younger children. Clear bins and labeled baskets help children identify where to return toys after playtime. This encourages them to participate in the cleanup process.

Activity Zones Ideas

Organize the playroom into different activity zones to stimulate specific types of play and learning. Here are some ideas:

  • Reading Nook: Designate a cozy corner with a bookshelf or bookcase, soft cushions, and good lighting to create a welcoming reading space.
  • Art and Craft Area: Set up a table with art supplies, drawing paper, coloring books, and washable markers to ensure ample space for creative exploration.
  • Building and Construction Zone: Utilize open shelves or storage units for items like LEGO, building blocks, and magnetic tiles. This inspires engineering and imaginative play.
  • Pretend Play Corner: Arrange a play kitchen, dolls, action figures, dress-up costumes, and accessories for imaginative play.
  • Transform the playroom into an excellent environment for learning. Introduce educational elements like a whiteboard for drawing and practicing writing skills. Consider adding a map, alphabet chart, or numbers display to make learning fun and accessible.

Additional Considerations

Consider implementing a toy rotation system to keep things fresh and avoid toy fatigue. Store some toys away and rotate them periodically. This method reduces clutter and reignites children’s interest in toys they last saw a while ago.

Safety is paramount in a kids’ playroom. Anchor large furniture to the wall to prevent tipping, cover electrical outlets, and use cord holders to manage wires. Keep small items or toys with small parts away from younger children to avoid choking hazards.

Flexibility is vital as children’s interests evolve, and their playroom should grow their interests.

Kid's Playroom by Inspired Organizers Arizona

Designing an organized kids’ playroom is a fulfilling investment in your child’s development and happiness. You can build a space that encourages creativity, imagination, and joyful play by decluttering, employing smart storage solutions, creating purposeful activity zones, emphasizing safety, and incorporating learning elements.

With some planning and effort, you can create a magical haven where your child can explore, learn, and make unforgettable memories.

About the Author: Kevin Connors owns Inspired Organizers in Phoenix, AZ, and serves as the Director of Membership of the NAPO Arizona Chapter.

Organizing Media

Organizing Media

Sneaky Media

Media, like DVDs, cassettes, videos, CDs, and books, insidiously clutter our homes. These items sneak into our space without us even knowing why. We are organizing media today. Want to join us? Keep reading!

These items are often invisible until they overrun our environment or until they gang up with other types of clutter to take us down. Do you know that feeling?

Let’s strike back and end this battle now. Follow these simple steps and suggestions.

First, go through your home and gather every book, CD, DVD, video, and cassette (if you have any of the last two?). Do not get distracted by papers, clothes, Knick knacks, or other stuff around. You need to stay hyper-focused if you want to finish this process.

Then divide this large media group into five categories: CDs, DVDs, videos, cassettes, and books.

Let’s Do This!

Cassettes (Tapes)

Let’s deal with those cassettes first, if you have any.

Do you have the equipment to listen to these? And would you listen to them — ever? (Honestly!). What are their contents? Are the contents something you can easily find online (like music)? Or is the material recorded conferences, for example? If so, could you find the same content online?

If the contents of the cassettes are something personal you recorded and need to keep, find a service that can transfer that tape contents into digital. A digital format preserves the material and also makes it more accessible.

Then you can let go of both the tapes and the tape player. Off with clutter!!!

If you MUST keep one or two tapes in the actual cassette format for utmost sentimental reasons, that item should go in your “warm & fuzzy” box.

What is that box? This box is a special box everyone should have in their closet or under the bed, with very few carefully selected items that make you laugh or cry throughout your entire life.

Of course, not everything can or should go in this box. You have to be super selective!

Place all cassettes you decide to digitize in a box or bin marked “to digitize.” Then, get your calendar (yes, right now) and schedule a date when you will do any research about this service and mail this material to be digitized.

VHS, anyone?

Everything said in point number 3 applies to any VHS video in your home.

Answer the same questions and take the same actions described for cassettes with your videos.

Organizing Media

Photo Home Decor Obsession

Books’ turn!

Check all those books collected through the home and see if anything should go away through donation, recycling, or selling. If you have a decent number of books to let go of, see if you can sell them at Half-Priced Books? They also buy movies and music, so keep that in mind.

Take the books you will keep to that home area where other books live. If you do not have a central place for the books in your home, it may be time to assign such a place.

Don’t let the lack of space or bookcases limit your ideas. There are infinite ways to create bright displays for your books. In addition, books can make a design statement! Just check Pinterest, and you will see. Smashing idea; Points for Design!

A word about vinyl

Organizing Media

Have a Record Collection?

Vinyl has come back- no doubt about it. But being a vintage item, vinyl makes a statement on its own. Because we tend to listen to records on special moments and need vintage equipment to play them, these items tend to behave more appropriately. They don’t run away like their CDs and DVDs relatives. There is not much we need to say about vinyl. But if you have some records and their player but have yet to give these items the standing they crave, you are missing all the fun. Consider a place of honor to display and listen to your Vinyl music. You are unlikely to have records you no longer want out of their jackets or in random home areas. But if you do, I am simply out of words. Let’s leave it at that.

How about DVDs and CDs?

Make a space in the living room or a home office for all your DVDs.

First, you must pair DVDs and CD cases with their discs! For mysterious reasons, half of the cases we find are empty. That tells us their corresponding disks might be broken or scratched somewhere or under some gooey, unknown blob. Those disks are no longer suitable to keep; you can feel okay trashing them. But when you let them go, discard their case as well.

Other DVDs and CDs will be in good condition. So, after matching them with their cases, you can decide to keep or donate them.

The DVDs and CDs you keep should be all together in a single place in the home. Typically, the optimal location for these is the living room.

When you decide where all your DVDs and CDs will live, take those you found during this exercise to that place in the home. Then, see if any of the discs in your collection can go. You could donate or sell them (remember Half Priced Books?).

When you go through all your disks and eliminate what you don’t want or enjoy anymore, you make a more comfortable, appealing space for the DVDs and CDs you keep.

The Most Brilliant Idea Yet

On the other hand, consider that movies and music are easy and inexpensive to download these days. It might cost you more to store these items if you consider the space they occupy in your home and the amount you pay for each square foot of the house. And when was the last time you watched a movie from your DVDs or listened to a CD? (No, honestly!)

Some DVDs and CDs might be homemade, with great sentimental value. You may want to keep all that material.

However, here is my brilliant idea: Transfer their contents to an external drive dedicated to photos and videos or place the material in your computer and copy it to the cloud. This way, all your memories are safe, shareable with others, more accessible to enjoy, and do not occupy the physical space CDs and DVDs take. Furthermore, you can also let go of CD players and DVD players. How about that? Off with the clutter again!!!

These steps and ideas will help you tackle the media clutter in your home. Probably, media is not the most significant factor cluttering your environment, but every little bit counts. So, we must divide, conquer, and work on every puzzle piece to achieve our desired results.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help or advice with your home organization.

Suggested Reading

Systems Take Organizing To The Next Level

Systems Take Organizing To The Next Level

Systems are fundamental in organizing. In fact, systems take organization to the next level. Organization seeks to enhance life and make any space more functional. It’s not a matter of tidying things up. How we interact with items and the space defines the upkeep and efficiency we are able to enjoy as a result of the organizing process.

Let’s take this kitchen cabinet as example.

The Kitchen Cabinet Situation

  • This cabinet had lots of cookbooks and recipe binders.

  • It also had a myriad of serving items.

  • The books were stacked sideways because some did not fit the space.

  • Recipe clippings were sticking out of books and binders.

  • Nothing was labeled or had hand-written Post-it notes.

Kitchen Cabinet

Also

  • Recipes were difficult to remember, identify, or use.

  • Meals were boring, repetitive, and unhealthy.

  • Medicine and supplement bottles occupied the lower shelf of this cabinet.

  • Taking meds and supplements was inconsistent because of the sorting and opening of bottles required, and it was hard to remember who took what and when

The kitchen cabinet needed some tweaking to become a functional cabinet with valuable, organized content.

The Process

  1. Removed all cabinet contents.
  2. Sorted through contents and removed what was no longer wanted or needed.
  3. Adjusted shelves to fit even the tallest book.
  4. Allocated specific areas for things that stay.
  5. Created a recipe management system.
  6. Photocopied, cut, and pasted recipes on 4″ X 6″ index cards.
  7. Classified recipes by dish type and organized them in index card boxes.
  8. Labeled index card boxes with their corresponding recipe categories.
  9. System benefits: mixing/matching cards creates a week’s worth of healthy, varied meals
  10. Created a medication management system by sorting pills according to dosage/time of intake. Everyone knows where, what, when, and how to get their meds.

Developing systems improves space usage efficiency.

Having systems that increase productivity and make life easier is one of the most valuable benefits of working with a Professional Organizer. 

If you want to experience some organizing magic, let’s talk! We’d love to hear about you and see how we can help.

Organizing Kids’ Memories

Organizing Kids’ Memories

All those school projects, papers, and awards are everywhere, and you can’t find it in your heart to let them go.

Organizing kids’ memories lets you declutter your life and enjoy those mementos better. I will show you how.

First, gather all your children’s projects, artwork, school papers, trophies, awards, and the like. Go through every space, drawer, closet, and room in your home. Leave no space unchecked. Take all this kid-related stuff to a single place in your home to collect them together.

However, stay hyper-focused during this gathering process. Don’t get distracted by other things you might find. Your focus is crucial! Getting distracted is what trips people through this process, and then they get confused and can’t finish half the job.

You will have many miscellaneous items once this material is in one place. Now subdivide this big pile by child (if you have two or more children).

After having a separate pile for each of your children, sort each one by year.

When you can’t recall the year of this creation, assign some chronological order as best as you can.

You will have several groups of items per each of your children. Now follow the steps described below for each year per child. You must work on one group (year or stage) for one child at a time.

Horseshoe child's art creation

Photograph Non-Scannable Items

Take good pictures of everything other than paper, like artwork pieces, medals, trophies, etc. As you take each photo, include a post-it note with the child’s name and the item’s date.

Place this post note at the bottom of each article so you can crop it out of the picture later.

Then, when ready to work on a project with these pictures (like a photo book or scrapbook), crop the note out if you can tag or caption the image.

If taking pictures of these items suffice, you can let go of the physical object.

When dealing with trophies, medals, and awards that are necessary keeps, find a suitable location in the home where you can gather and display these items in a cohesive, aesthetic way. You want these things to look intentional within your home..

The Written Work 

Group items related to written work like stories, poems, analyses, and the like. The idea for these is to make binders or books later on. But, for now, organize the material to create these books later.

The “Warm & Fuzzy” Box

Regardless of your most ruthless efforts to eliminate clutter, there might be a few (a few) small items that you or your child can’t simply let go of, even when you have them in digital form as well. That’s where the “Warm & Fuzzy” box comes in.

Everyone should have a “warm & fuzzy” box, by the way. This is a nice-looking box, basket, or container with a lid that includes items we keep forever. Those items take us back in time, making us laugh and cry every time.

Therefore, it is crucial to be selective with what we include here. Not everything makes it to the coveted “warm & fuzzy” box material status. Remember that!Kid's art

Paper and Flat Media

Loose papers, awards, recognitions, messages, etc., on paper, are scannable media. As you do this, name the electronic file with the child’s name and the year they made it. This process is equivalent to the Post-it notes you applied to items photographed.
Scan everything using your printer/scanner, iPhone, or any equipment you might have or can purchase. This equipment is not that expensive anymore. However, having a reliable scanner at home would be an excellent investment.
Stories, poems, essays, and other items you put together to make binders or books (step 3) should be digitized, ensuring a safe record. If you do, ensure that pages of the same item remain together in sequential order.
You will manage the scanned material like you did with the pictures. So, think of each scanned paper or project as a digital image comparable to the photos.

Rinse and Repeat

Once you finish working with all the mementos of a child’s years, repeat the process with each of your other children, working a year or a stage at a time.

In my case, we have three children, and for each one, I divided their electronic files into four main stages: infancy, elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Note that pictures or souvenirs from extra-curricular activities and summers get included in one of these four stages, depending on the year.

Create Digital Files

Download all the photos you took of non-scannable items into an electronic file. You could name this file “Kids’ Projects” or something like that.

Then, create a file folder per child and move every picture related to a particular child into their electronic folder. After this, you may subdivide each child’s electronic folder into years, stages, or any way you want to do this.

Remember to add all images from your scanning process to your digital folders.

From Now On

When you gather all those projects, awards, and papers from around the home, consider it a clean slate and a new beginning. Pay attention to how you manage your children’s documents, projects, and awards. The key is to stay on top of things. Here’s how you do that.

Every day, when kids come home from school or extra-curricular activities

  • Note important dates and deadlines and place those dates on the family calendar.
  • Post any school reminders for your children on a magnetic or chalkboard where they can see them every morning. 
  • Discard those notes or papers. Those are the miscellaneous papers you tossed in Step 1 above.

The Artwork

When children bring home artwork pieces, trophies, medals, and other non-flat items:

  • Photograph these as soon as they get home (so they look their best and you don’t forget to do this). 
  • Save these pictures in the child’s electronic file. Name the file with the child’s name and year. 
  • Add subsequent art projects during that year to that same file.
  • Create a new file with the child’s name and year every year. 

You or your child might want to display such an item for a while. That’s great! Just ensure you place this item in that particular location you designated for this kind of thing. But, again, you don’t want their projects to look or feel like clutter.

In any case, taking those pictures early on gives you and your kids the freedom to let go of the item after displaying it for some time.

The Paper

Scan all paper items and flat media such as report cards, academic evaluations, school pictures, stories, essays, and poems as soon as they come home.

If you can’t process these items immediately, park these papers in a bin close to the scanner and assign a day of the week or the month in your calendar (yes, do it now!) to periodically scan them. Of course, discard originals as soon as you digitize them. But should you need to keep it, place it in a file with the child’s name in your filing cabinet.

Now You Tell The Story

It’s a lot of work, I know. But consider that all this work needs to be done just at the beginning of the project because you did not have a method to deal with all this stuff. So, once you follow the initial process, you only need to stay on top of it. 

But why do all of this in the first place? First, this solves the overwhelming number of papers and artifacts cluttering our home space. Second, this process allows you to have all that worth-keeping material organized and ready to create meaningful stories of each stage of your children’s lives. 

Telling a story is the real purpose of keeping all these projects, pictures, and awards. Having all those papers and items with no order all over the house does not tell any story nor inspire anyone to create one. This material is meaningless when scattered around or carelessly stored in a bin somewhere. 

On the other hand, memories in book form, like photo books, are easy to keep neatly on a shelf or library and are a joy to share. Our children will be able to see and enjoy their path through life and share this fantastic legacy with friends, family, and their children.

Also, imagine the storage space you will recover when you let go of physical items and original papers! However, you might think throwing all that away is what you do not want to do. But how often has anybody enjoyed those things since you put them away? Is there space in your home to display them all? Are they all worth exhibiting? Do you want your home to look like a kindergarten classroom? 

When your child created a project, you displayed it for about a week. But eventually, that project and so many others started cluttering your home and your life. So, this way of purposely and intentionally working with your children’s stuff will take you where you want to be.

Looking Beneath Your Need to Keep the Stuff

If you feel it is too hard to let go of those physical objects and original papers, even when they are safely digitized, what you are trying to keep is the feelings they evoke. It is not about the item itself.

Images of these items can still satisfy those feelings without drowning you in “stuff.” Instead, having these memories accessibly organized enables everyone to enjoy and share them for many years.

The Foundation of Elevated Living

The Foundation of Elevated Living

Elevated Living

I always refer to that elevated living we should all experience or my “Elevate Your Everyday” message. And we might immediately think of luxury, high-end brands, a richly designed home, or other things.

But when I speak of an elevated life, I refer to much simpler yet meaningful things – often details, that can alter our perception of our environment and ourselves. That might be the deeper subject to dive into at a different time.

It turns out that what lies beneath an elevated life is something most people neglect. No one would ever consider having it part of a happier, more beautiful life. However, this piece is crucial for extraordinary living.

Cleanliness and Maintenance at the Core of Elevated Living

We can all agree about how we like the experience of a hotel room or a spa, although we might have different views about how or why we enjoy these places.

Clean, minimalist, spacious kitchen as part of an elevated living.

I typically refer to the minimalism in hotel room designs and the serenity spas convey. Both places speak of relaxation and peace and offer a rich experience that appeals to our senses.

But at the core of every experience in a hotel room or a spa, there is a common denominator we hardly ever think of – cleanliness and maintenance.

Without cleanliness and maintenance, the experience of staying in a hotel room or visiting a spa would never be as we regard them.
We know these two places require constant cleaning and maintenance. Yet, we never see evidence of these activities – like tools or cleaning products. If we did, the magic would disappear.

We enjoy the experience of these places because we don’t have to think about cleaning and maintaining them- just a fresh, uncluttered, well-appointed, functional environment to relax and enjoy.

That Feeling Should Begin at Home

However, cleaning and maintenance are essential for those places to create the feeling of a perfect life where nothing ever gets broken, and cleaning is even unnecessary. And by extension, we tend to feel as if nothing could go wrong when we are there.

Shouldn’t this be how we feel at Home? Home should be a place of rest, support, nourishment, inspiration, and revival. Imagine feeling all that in a place where you truly belong.

Necessary and Unavoidable

Cleaning and maintenance tasks must happen, whether it’s you, other family members, or trained service personnel. So, if cleaning and maintenance are necessary and unavoidable, why not systematize and schedule these tasks? With a system, a plan, and a schedule, these tasks get done, and the Home remains in shape.

On the contrary, neglecting the cleaning and upkeeping of the house means:

  • Trying to make up for all the tasks left undone when guests arrive
  • Coming home daily to a less-than-desirable place
  • Draining your energy
  • Being unable to rest appropriately
  • Not enjoying your Home at its fullest
  • Cleaning and maintaining the Home should not be left for when you feel like it, have the time, or whether you like those activities. Stop fighting, ignoring, dreading, and suffering it. You’ll never feel like doing it, you’ll never have the time (if you don’t plan for it), and no one likes to do these chores. (No one!)

Organized, designed and minimalistic living room

Systematize and Schedule

The less you think of home cleaning and maintenance, the less energy you put into those thoughts, and the less these thoughts will bother you. How could we make sure these activities happen without thinking much about them? Scheduling is the answer.

Scheduling these home tasks:

  • takes them off your mind
  • ensures these tasks happen consistently, thoroughly, and promptly
  • allows you to enjoy your home without constantly worrying about maintenance and cleaning

More importantly, these tasks will stop interfering with your life when they have a specific time in your schedule. You might even forget about them if you trust yourself to follow the routine and allow your schedule to guide you.

Food for thought: A schedule we respect and follow allows the mind to relax.

Love It Clean but Hate Cleaning It

A few years back, we downsized considerably. With a much smaller house, I do most of the cleaning. I find our place to be bright, joyful, and super cozy. I love it! But cleaning? Nope. Not at all.

However, I do love having a clean, cozy home. I feel thrilled when the home is fresh and clean; I can relax and feel comfortable.
I’m disciplined and, as someone once said, “very task-oriented.” This is important when planning activities and following a schedule (especially when we want to avoid doing any of it).

Cozy bed is part of an elevated living.

I’m disciplined and, as someone once said, “very task-oriented.” This is important when planning activities and following a schedule (especially when we want to avoid doing any of it).

Tips for the Not-So-Task-Oriented

What do you do if you can’t follow a routine or schedule? You may want to learn to put yourself into “automatic mode” to keep up with your household routines. (Works like a charm).

And here’s what I do when not feeling so task-oriented (because this has nothing to do with how we feel about it, remember?). My cleaning time goes by much faster when I listen to podcasts, webinars, or classes that interest me while working on house tasks. Try something like that and see how it goes if you hate cleaning the home like me.

Remember

  • A nurturing, restful, and organized home starts with consistent cleaning and maintenance.
  • Cleaning and maintenance don’t magically happen; you must make them happen.
  • Scheduling is the solution to ensure cleaning and maintenance tasks get done consistently with the least amount of stress.
  • When home-keeping tasks get scheduled, these are off your head and allow you to enjoy a clean, fresh space consistently.

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