Clear Smarter, Not Harder…or something like that

As I was writing my last blog some odds and ends of my favorite cleaning & organizing tips popped into my head. Whether they work for you will depend on your space and your cleaning style, but they work for me! (or they will when I have a bigger house!) : )

When organizing, smaller is usually better. That is, break things down into the most specific category that makes sense for your items.  Here are some examples
Instead of a basket for your jewelry, divide it by necklaces/earrings/bracelets/rings. This is where the dollar store and small boxes (think velveeta, baby shoes, small electronics) come in really handy. I was having a hard time keeping my earrings sorted that way, so I made this for $4Image

 Take the giant pile of “toys” and break it down. Blocks, action figures, barbies, art supplies…dollar store baskets/containers, empty wipes containers, shoe boxes…whatever works for you! They can go on shelves or even back in the toy box. It’ll make things easy to find, keep things from getting broken and discourage those “empty the entire toy box” moments : )

http://wp.me/a2Y1ch-2G – My new favorite way to organize toys and art supplies!

Bath products. You’ll find what you like best, but mine go something like this – My products, my husband’s products, first aid supplies, things that need to be unreachable to little hands and extras for when we run out. The drawer of extras (toothbrushes, deodorant, things we don’t want to be without and things that were on sale) is the most out of the way, since we don’t need it every day. My basket of products is neatly arranged by hair/face/body while my husband’s is a little bit more…well anyway, those are under the sink. First aid (band-aids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, etc) are also in a basket under sink. Scrips/meds are on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet. So, you get the idea : )

Moving on…

Ok, I don’t sell Norwex, but my enviro cloth has changed my cleaning dramatically! If you’re interested in chemical-free cleaning that doesn’t require extra elbow grease, I highly recommend these products!

I was just told this yesterday and it was a total “duh” moment for me! Use the baking soda that’s been in your fridge for, let’s face it, longer than the box suggests, to freshen your drains. Sprinkle about half a cup down the drain while running warm water. I can’t believe I’ve been throwing it away all this time!

Get a basket for each cleaning zone in your house and keep it ready to go with the appropriate supplies.  One basket with a swiffer, cleaning cloth, febreze and window products for the living room and family room. One basket with gloves, bleach, cleaning cloth, shower cleaner, etc for the bathroom. Save yourself the time of finding what you need from different places in the house, knocking over other bottles to get to what you need and not keeping track of what you need to refill or replace as well as making it easy to move things from room to room.

Wear gloves! This may not be for everyone, but I clean so much better with gloves on! I’m not so worried about what my skin is coming into contact with or if it feels yucky. I can fold and refold my cleaning cloth to use a clean side and not be concerned if the dirty side is facing me. I use disposable gloves, but the rubber gloves are great for using super hot water without burning yourself.

Here is my personal secret – some things just cannot be made to look neat. I’ve tried so many different ideas, but when you find those things in your home that look messy no matter what it’s time for a basket intervention. (or a cupboard/closet) Head to Michael’s with a 40% off coupon and buy a cute basket. I have one for keys, sunglasses and other things that end up in a pile when we walk in the door. Now instead of a messy pile all you see it a cute little square basket. Allow yourself that or you’ll go crazy trying to arrange things neatly that cannot be arranged! : )

That’s all for now! I’m sure as soon as I hit “publish” a bunch more things will come to mind, but I guess that will have to wait for another day : )

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