While most of us are stuck at home with the Stay At Home orders this April, why not take the time to clean and organize? You know that you’ve had that To-Do list in the back of your head, or back of your junk drawer, for several years but haven’t had the time to do anything. This April we were all blessed with the ability to stay home and use our time to work on the inside and outside of our homes, so let’s take advantage of it.
So, where do you start?
I keep a To-Do notebook. I am a papryrophile (a.k.a. stationery hoarder) so I tend to pick the fancily-designed, spiral-bound, lined-paged books from the office supply store. It strangely makes me feel that the To-Do list is relatively important, so it belongs in an important looking book. But, you can use your kid’s spare composition book that isn’t getting used this school year.
Now that you have the paper for the list, let’s figure out what to do. You can get started by simply listing all of the spaces in your house on one sheet of paper: living room, bedroom, kitchen, hall closet, etc. Or, you could list each space on a separate sheet of paper and make sublists of exactly what you want to accomplish in each space. I’m calling them “space” because I want you to think of them that way instead of as rooms. For example list separately the closets in your house rather than putting “closets” on your list and lumping them together. If you’re like me, all of my closets serve different purposes and some don’t need spring cleaning. Another space to list could be the screened porch but the unscreen patio would also be a separate space because you can only do one space at a time. It’s really up to you, but I’m sharing what works for me.
So, sublists for the kitchen could look like this: upper cabinets, lower cabinets, drawers, pantry, stove top, microwave, etc. Once you clean out the upper cabinets, put a line through it on your list and watch that To-Do list become a Done list. When you have completed a page, put a big X through it and you’re done in that space!
I find cleaning to be overwhelming especially when I find something that I want to spend time with, like a photo album I forgot I had. By making a detailed, room-by-room list I am less overwhelmed. I can also see my progress and if I get slowed down by something I wasn’t expected, I can make a new list to see my progress.
Some of you don’t need this kind of planning. Others do. It’s all your perspective on your time, your space and what you want to accomplish.
For someone who plans to sell their house or is moving to a new rental property in the very near future, this kind of To-Do listing might help a lot. If you are moving or plan to move, then get rid of the things you don’t need or want now. If disposing can wait until the Stay At Home orders are lifted, hold a yard sale in May. I have a feeling there will be a lot of yard sales when this is over.
Moving can be costly especially if you are paying a moving company. They charge by the pound so it is to your advantage to send that 3-foot high pile of magazines you haven’t touched in the past 5 years to the recycling bin. That extra weight removed, will save you money. It is surprising how many pounds your can shed and dollars you can save by purging before you move.
Forbes recently published an article about cleaning and organizing with some great tips. It, too, goes room by room, space by space, (see I’m not the only one to call it space) to help you organize. The article touches more on organizing your spaces with cabinetry, furniture, baskets and more, while my tips are more for getting the job of cleaning and clearing out done. But check out the article anyway here:
Need help preparing to get your house in Oxford, MS or surrounding areas listed? If you aren’t already working with a real estate agent, I can help you organize and get your home listed, too. I look forward to hearing from you.