July 3, 2017
Simple Systems that Will Keep Your Home Clean + Organized
Small systems can work together for a big payoff in a household. Implement one or two and you’re on your way to a clean home. Gradually put all of these in place and you’ll soon find that these little systems are working together to help you keep your home clean and organized with very little effort.
New here? You’ll find that some of these tasks are on my daily cleaning checklist included in my free monthly calendar here.
create zones – Think of your home like a series of little organized zones – each of these zones work together to keep you organized and efficient. Zones can be anywhere and everywhere in your home. If there are items that you routinely use together, put them in a container, bin, basket, or dish so you can easily access them AND so they have a home.
corral like items together in a bin or basket – This is most likely my favorite organizing trick. Group like with like – it makes it easy to find and if you put them in a nice basket, even boxes of cereal can look cute!
plan ahead – Set aside time ahead on Sunday night to sketch out the plan for the week. If this doesn’t work for you, just take 2-3 minutes each evening to glance at the calendar and make sure you know what’s on the docket for the next day. No one likes surprises like a dental appointment that you forgot about! (Clean Mama Home lists + paper products can be found here – 2018/2019 planners will be available mid-August!)
use an ‘on your way up’ basket – Sick of stuff getting stashed on the steps to go up later? Put a basket on the steps and make sure it gets emptied and put away daily. For some reason the basket is more obvious and a better reminder then a pile of stuff. Eventually you should be able to repurpose the basket as people start putting things away after they use them, but you might like this and just keep it!
deal with clutter daily – Figure out a system to deal with clutter on a daily basis. Mail, papers from school, toys, clothes….whether it’s a 10 minute pick up at night or a couple clutter eliminating times during the day, make it happen consistently.
shoes off at the door – I’m sure that there are people that disagree with me, but keeping shoes at the door WILL keep your floors cleaner, thus giving you less work and bringing less dirt and germs into your home.
have a place for shoes – Make sure you have a designated place for shoes. It’s annoying to be tripping over a pile of shoes at the door. Ask me how I know 😉 Whether it’s a shelf, a basket, or a closet, just find a place for the shoes. We have a mudroom with a shoe basket for each child and we still need a daily reminder to put the shoes in the baskets. Someday it’ll sink in!
fold towels a certain way – This is a silly little thing, but if you like a neat and tidy linen closet or cupboard, fold your towels the same way. I like to fold them in thirds the long way and then in thirds again. The method isn’t as important as consistency is – decide on a method and stick with it. Your closet will be organized without any additional effort.
place your sheet sets in pillow cases – Stop worrying about the perfectly folded fitted sheet! Fold them up as neatly as you can and then slide them into the matching pillowcase. Fold the extra fabric over and you have a neat sheet set ready to be stacked away.
clean the kitchen up after dinner – Take the time each and every night to clean up the kitchen after dinner. Load up the dishwasher, clear the counters, wipe down the table and counters and give your sink a little scrub. Five to ten minutes nightly pay off many times over each and every day.
unload the dishwasher in the morning before breakfast – I use the 3 minutes (it seems longer) that the coffee is brewing to unload the dishwasher and our kids take turns unloading it too. What is it about this task that is so annoying? Make it a system and you’ll find that the rest of your kitchen starts to run more efficiently. No piles of dishes on the counters because they have an empty (and clean) dishwasher to go to.
store dishes and silverware by the dishwasher – Stop what you’re doing and think about WHERE your dishes are in the kitchen. Are they right by the dishwasher and/or sink? If they aren’t, move them there today! This system alone is a game changer.
stop wasting time folding socks – Store socks in a basket or bin in a drawer or on a shelf and buy the same sock to keep it even easier – just toss them all in the basket and grab two and you’re all set!
make your bed every morning – Get in the habit of pulling that comforter up and putting the pillows back every.single.day. Time yourself – it probably takes you less than a minute!
keep items to donate in a basket – Be ready to part with stuff and have a designated place for it to go. Keep a basket in your closet for outgrown or unwanted items. I keep a labeled bin in each of the kids’ closets for their outgrown clothing. Once the bin is full it either goes in the basement for the next kid or goes to a cousin as a hand-me-down bin.
Have a favorite system to share? Tell us about it in the comments!
These are great tips, and your pantry is on point!
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I keep a brown grocery bag in the closet. I put donation items in it as I think of them. When the bag is full, off it goes to the charity shop!
Andrea, that’s a great idea! I’m going to borrow it. I have room in my closet for a bag! My problem has been where to put donations. You’ve solved my problem. Thanks!
I use one set of sheets & one set of towels. They get washed & put back the same day eliminating the task of folding sheets. I put donations in a bag in my trunk & add to it until I can drop them off.
I sort mail before bringing it inside so I can drop the junk mail into the recycling bin.
I totally agree about washing each child’s clothes separately. I had 3 little boys who wore very similar sizes. Saved me lots of time not having to sort.
My husband thinks this is too hard on our washer. :'(
I wipe my bathroom sink and counter with an old towel I cut up for cleaning,every time i wash my hands ,it stays clean a lot longer, and it shines all the time. I keep the rag underneath the sink out of sight
All great tips!! Thanks for sharing !! Where did you find the clear acrylic bins used in your pantry?!
b r SaysPost author
Love be your bedspread…where did you get it?
b r SaysPost author
It’s this one from Pottery Barn:
Donna Anderson Says
My great-aunt Estelle, used to keep a wash rag in her shower. She always told guests not to use it, as it was her “wiping down” rag. Before she exited the shower each morning, she wiped it down with her cleaning rag and draped it over the inside handle to dry. She called it keeping the home. Even her 1950s double-oven with pull-out burner top looked brand new in 2005 when she passed away.
I love the sheets in the pillowcase idea, brilliant. I’m a fairly organized person and this one just fixed a problem I have never figured out, thank-you
Kim Vollendorf Says
Right after I unload the dishes in the morning, I fill the soap dispenser with soap and close it. This is our system for keeping track if the dishes or clean or dirty. If the soap dispenser is open, the dishes are clean. If it’s closed, the dishes are dirty. It’s worked well for us 🙂