Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Your Home

Woman cleaning out clothing and donating some to charity.
  • Written on May 10, 2022 By Stanley Martin Homes

There's nothing quite like being in an organized space. Seriously—think about it for a moment. Imagine walking into a home or office that's clean, tidy, and free of clutter. There are no messes to clean up or pick up and no misplaced items (at least not many). It's soothing, isn't it? That organized feeling is one that everyone should be able to have. For some, cleaning and organizing is not an enjoyable way to spend time, but it doesn't have to be the worst. With these tips, you'll be able to stay on top of cleaning and organizing your house.

Attack the things you hate cleaning first.

Don't put off the things you hate to do. Get them out of the way first, and then move on to the rest of your cleaning. By doing this, you'll feel free and happy in your home instead of frustrated and overwhelmed. If you get frustrated with a specific task or chore (for example, scrubbing floors), take a break from that job. Don't try to force yourself into finishing it if it's not working for you! If possible, try doing something fun in your home until your mind has time to relax and let go of stress or frustration.

Clean a little every day.

We all have those days when we don't feel like cleaning, but we're right back where we started the next day. It's a vicious cycle and one that can be broken. Make it a habit to keep the kitchen sink clear of dishes, wipe down countertops after each meal, and discard trash before it becomes overwhelming. One way to do this is with a cleaning schedule or checklist. You can create a plan or list for each room in your home and follow it regularly.

Clean your bedroom last.

When it comes to cleaning, it's a good idea to clean your bedroom last. While a messy bedroom can be stressful and uncomfortable, having a clean and well-organized bedroom is essential for a good night's sleep. Having a cluttered bedroom can also lead to other areas of your house becoming cluttered, making your home less inviting for guests (and even for you). If you have the time during the day, try to do some quick tidying up before you go to bed at night. This will help ensure that your clothes are folded properly and put away when morning rolls around.

Put things back where you found them.

If you're going to use something, put it back in the same place when you're done with it. It's a basic and logical rule, but it's something that many people fail to do. If you organize your room so that things are easy to find, it will be easy to put them back where they go! For rooms that are not already set up, try reorganizing items to be more accessible for putting away at the end of each day. You can create storage spaces under beds or closets using storage bags and other organization systems. Keep like items together (e.g., books on one shelf) and move frequently-used items closer to your bed (or wherever else you spend most of your time).

Have a drawer and closet clean-out day.

Set aside a specific day and time to clean out your closet. Sunday nights are good because they are typically less busy, and most people are already at home. If anything that doesn't fit right or isn't flattering anymore, get rid of it! Donate gently used items to Goodwill or other charitable organizations and dispose of the rest. To keep track of the remaining items -- and prepare for next year's purge -- turn all of your hangers backward. Turn the hanger around and hang it back up whenever you wear a piece. You'll know what to throw away at the end of the year, all of the articles on backward hangers.

Use rewards and prizes.

It's time to get motivated! You can use rewards and prizes as motivation for your room cleaning journey. But be careful with this—you probably shouldn't reward yourself for putting away five clothing items. It won't feel like a big deal if your goal is something more significant. Instead, choose a reward that will make you feel accomplished when you reach it. For example, suppose one of your goals is to eliminate all your junk mail by organizing it into folders. In that case, you could celebrate getting through the first letter or two with a special treat. Or maybe there's a fun activity coming up that would require some preparation—like planning an outdoor scavenger hunt with friends. For bigger tasks (like cleaning out closets), consider rewarding yourself at the end of each day or week instead of waiting until everything else is done before permitting yourself to have fun again. You can also set up systems with consequences for not following through and reaching those goals. This gives both external and internal motivation. Even if something seems too hard right now, it'll become more realistic.

These tips can help you keep your house in order. If you're in the habit of picking up after yourself and cleaning regularly, it'll become second nature!