You may be frustrated with living in a mess, have company coming or your family is threatening to leave home. You want to find a fast way to begin to get rid of the mess around you. Well, get ready, get a timer, and go!
- Two areas will need to get started right away: Laundry and dishes. Get a basket or even a trash bag and collect all the laundry you can find. Take it to the laundry area (if you go to the Laundromat – sort it into bags or baskets by type or color and take it to your car)
- If you have a laundry area at home, sort by color and weight. Start a load.
- Set a timer for the length of the load to keep the laundry moving. There are color catcher sheets available in the laundry aisle where you shop. I saved a load of whites with a color catcher sheet yesterday. A red towel was snuggled inside someone’s underwear and made its way into a load of whites. The color catcher sheet came out pink. The underwear came out white. (Big sigh of relief!)
- Next take a box or basket and collect all the dirty dishes, take them to the kitchen, load your dishwasher and start a load in your dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher, sort your dishes by type (glassware, eating utensils, dishes, pots and pans) begin by washing the glassware, when the dish drainer is full, allow those dishes to air dry while you gather the trash in each room and take it out to the trash can.
- Now beginning in your living areas, start to spend 15 minutes at a time in each room. At the end of fifteen minutes, move on to the next area. The pattern I have used has been: kitchen, living room, bathroom, break, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, break. If you don’t finish a room, come back to it next time around. Racing the clock will help you get more done in less time.
- Why the break? It’s for sanity and success. Taking a break every 45 minutes gives us a chance to drink some water, assess where we are and plan our next hour.
- Don’t stash and dash. Stashing and dashing built rooms full of grocery bags full of papers, toys and other things that were missing for a long time before I got to those bags. Cramming and slamming gave me a house full of rooms I couldn’t let anyone into and closets with doors I was afraid to open. In other words, those practices lead to an unlivable home.
- Keep the laundry and dishes going. In the kitchen, put away the clean dishes, and keep working through the dishes. In the laundry area, keep washing, drying, folding, and putting away clothes as they come out of the washer and dryer. A clean house with no towels, underwear or clothes is not family-friendly. For those of us without a laundry area in our home, one of the benefits of a Laundromat is the number of large washers and dryers. Start one load at a time so they will finish one at a time. Stay focused, fold as quickly as they come out of the dryer and get out of there as quickly as you can.
- Remember what you are creating. You are creating a place of beauty and comfort for yourself, your family and your friends. A place of beauty and comfort is more about order and cleanliness than about spending big bucks. It is more about considering what happens in a particular area and having only the things that add to that function there.