Fireplace with Christmas swag

After a holiday weekend your home may be a little chaotic. Here are seven challenges to bring it back into order.

Challenge One—The Laundry
• Get a basket or even a trash bag and collect all the laundry you can find.
• Sort by color and weight.
• Start a load. Set a timer for the length of the load to keep the laundry moving.
Challenge Two—Dishes
Next take a box or basket and collect all the dirty dishes, take them to the kitchen, load your dishwasher and start it. 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.
Challenge Three—The Trash
While the dishes are air drying or the dishwasher is running, gather the trash in each room and take it out to the trash can.
Challenge Four—Put Each Room in Order
• 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.
Challenge Five—Take Breaks
• 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.
Challenge Six—Keep Moving
• 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.
• 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.
Challenge Seven—Remember the Purpose
• 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 money. It is more about considering what happens in a particular area and having only the things that add to that function there.
• Don’t let putting your home in order make you mean-spirited. A clean home with a bitter heart is not worth it to your family. Don’t use that as an excuse—guard your attitude.


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