Updated: Feb 21
What is the most important part of your home?
Easy! The heart.
The easy answer isn't always the same for everybody. For some people this might mean the living room or the kitchen or the back yard. How do you keep track of everything that needs to happen on a daily basis? How about on a weekly basis? Or even on a monthly basis? I have developed three easy ways to keep track of everybody's schedules and the cleaning needs of the home all in one place!
If the "heart" of your home is your kitchen, what does it feel like when you walk into it the first thing in the morning? Do you feel anxiety? Do you feel calm? Do you make your cup of coffee or tea and go straight to your living room?
At the very end of this you will be able to download a great "cheat sheet" to keep your home organized in a schedule that I have found easiest to follow. You can find many different ways online to help you organize your life thanks to all of the over-the-top stay-at-home moms on Pinterest. Yes, I am a mom but I have an extremely busy life where I had to find a way make all of these things easy for me and my family.
First on the agenda is the daily cleaning schedule. The daily to do list is easy to laminate so that it can be used every day until it becomes a habit. The kids can get in on it too. This way everybody is aiding in the solution and not staying a part of the problem.
Next in line is the monthly cleaning calendar. Take into consideration the size of your house and your family. The first line is just an idea of what to put down. This is entirely up to you! The whole idea is that you only do 1 chore a day. This way, you have time to relax and still get everything done.
Last is a Deep Cleaning Schedule. There should be a day every month dedicated to one activity to the continued decluttering of your home. This will help ensure that the clutter stays at a minimum.
January is set for going through the kitchen. Throw away old canned food. According to the USDA, High-Acid foods (Fruit) can be stored in a cool, clean, dry place for 12 to 18 months. Low-Acid food (meat and veggies) can be stored for 2-5 months. You are looking for cans that are deeply dented, leaking, bulging or rusted. All those need to be thrown away. Remember what your family eats. If you have pinto beans and diced tomatoes that are close to expiring, can you use them within the next week or so?
February is for your closets. While you plan your Valintine's Day dinner, go through your closets. Anything you haven't worn for the last 6 months should either be donated/sold or thrown away. Anything with stains that you cannot get out could be recycled into rags for cleaning. (We will be putting out a laundry blog soon that will help with most stains.) Towels and sheets that have holes should be thrown away. Now is the best time to get an inventory of what you may need to buy.
March is the start of spring cleaning. Perfect for a game of extreme dusting. Make sure you wear something to cover your nose and mouth to protect yourself from the dust. Get out the ladder and get all of the places that you wouldn't normally dust. And hey, since you have the ladder out, change any bulbs that are out. Don't forget to make sure you take any allergy meds.
April is tax time. When you have finalized your taxes take some time to get your Garage under control. Dust the high corners. Yes, spiders may come out of the woodwork but it is par for the course. (I wanted to see how many cliches I could fit in one sentence. Pretty good huh?) If you have boxes of decorations make sure everything is labeled so that you can easily find when the time comes. Sweep the floor or better yet, hose it down the driveway. Clean up the tools and nuts and bolts. Everything should have a place.
May brings us to the end of Spring. Let's finalize spring with a game of Extreme Wipe Down. Get all the door handles, the light switches, and lamp switches. If you have toddlers or moving babies, remember to get down on their level and wipe down everything within arms (or mouths) reach. This is also the best time to get under your tables and couches to get an extra good vacuum done.
June is the start of Summer. Let's prepare by checking the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This is also the time to check the kids' toys and get the kids involved if they are old enough. Are there any broken toys? Throw them away. Any toys that haven't been played with in 3-6 months? Any toys that little ones have grown out of? Sell/Donate those. Check with your favorite donation place before bringing infant/toddler toys. Some places won't take them. However, if you find a shelter or a battered women's collection those places will take almost anything that they can get.
July is typically where we start seeing the sun start shining through. So let's let all that beautiful natural light in by cleaning all the windows. Please remember to be safe about this!!!! If you do not feel comfortable getting up on the ladder so to get the second story windows outside DON'T DO IT! Hire someone. This would also be the best time to get the gutters clean and to check your roof for moss. However, if you don't know how to do any of it the safest way possible, HIRE SOMEONE! I cannot stress this enough. There are contractors out there who have the licenses and safety know-how to get it done. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AT ANY UNNESSICARY RISK!
August will be set aside for the paperwork. Go through all the art pieces that your kids brought home from school/child care and save 3-4 pieces. File away last year's taxes. Gather all of this year's tax information and put in one place that you can find quickly. Remember, most tax websites are open all year long. This means that you can fill out any information ahead of time. Then when it comes time to enter in your income, all you are waiting for is your yearly income statements from your employer. Your taxes will be less of a headache. Change out old family pictures if you would like a change.
September is the best time to get your morning situated. An organized "mud room" is an easy morning. Make sure all backpacks and bags are ready to go before you go to bed. Get all the shoes, jackets, hats and umbrellas all in one place so that nobody is looking for the missing left shoe. This is also the best time to get tomorrow's clothes ready. This will save you so much time in the morning and make your life easier.
October is the best time to test your detectors again and make sure that they are all in the best working order. Change batteries as needed. This is also a great time to go through the toys again. Holidays are right around the corner and all the toys that will be taken out will be replaced with new/age-appropriate toys.
November is the season for house fires. With the low temperatures, heaters get turned on and fires are lit. This could lead to unknown blocked vents and chimneys. Get these checked. This will save a life. Get your furnace checked that way it won't break down when the weather is freezing. If you have a fire going, be safe about it and make sure there is a screen that will protect your home from any sparks that may fly. Keep children and pets at least 3-feet away from any flame to prevent burns. If you are using a space heater, please use it wisely and safely. Read all of the instructions before turning on. Check your Fire Extinguishers. Get them serviced if needed or get a new one.
December is the time to get ready for the next year. Among your gift wrapping and sharing don't forget that the new year is upon us as well. This is the best time to sit down and write down what you want to accomplish for the next year. If this schedule worked for you this year, it could still work for next year. If you think that switching tasks around would work better, do it. Make it work for you and your family. If you started during the first few months of the year and stopped, that's fine to. Call us. We can get you on track to a happy and organized world.
Now, that we have a good idea of what we are going to be doing to start and keep up the clutter. Please download the file and get started. If you need help, please feel free to reach out and ask any questions. We are more than happy to help bring a bit of Peace to your Chaos.