View Full Version : Strategy for regaining organization of a home

7-12-12, 7:47am
In the dailies and challenges forum, Butterfly asked about cleaning/organizing an apartment after being in it for 6 months. I posted info on a strategy. Thought it might be useful to people here. If you have a full sized house and work full time outside the home, it might work best to do the kitchen each night plus 1/2 to 1/3 third of the other rooms each night on a rotating basis.

Try setting a timer and working in 10 minute increments. See how much of a section you can do in 10 minutes.

1) Get trash bag and pick up trash for 10 minutes. If it takes less than 10, get a second bag and get the recycle.
2) Get a basket/box. Start at front door. Put away anything in entry way that goes there. Put anything that goes in another room in the basket. Go to the next room clockwise and repeat. Get as far as you can in 10 minutes. Next time start up where you left off.
3) Load dishwasher, clean kitchen for rest of 10 minutes
4) Get load of laundry from bedroom, start washer, clean bedroom for rest of 10 minutes
5) Clean breakfast nook
6) Clean living room
7) Clean bathroom
8) Swap laundry into dryer
9) Take out trash and recycle
10) Fold laundry

Repeat daily, starting in each room where you left off the day before. Once everything is mostly caught up, schedule everything in Outlook as noted below.

Other general strategies:

1) For the next month, make meals that use minimal dishes 6 days a week such as soup, stirfry, salad, pasta, or something you previously froze. On the 7th, use as many as you like.
2) Choose meals that freeze well. Eat one serving and freeze the other 3. Each week eat some previously frozen meals and make another one that has multiple servings.
3) Choose foods that can be made to seem different. For instance a jar of pasta sauce can be used for pasta for day one with the remainder making a soup base for day 2- 4. Combine 1 cup pasta sauce, 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables, 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Vary the mixed vegetables each night. See also a previous thread where I asked for suggestions on doing lots of things with one chicken and got amazing answers.
4) Plan out meals so all the groceries get used up each week. If something wonít be used up in time, freeze all the extra portions in meal size or recipe size increments the day that you open the item.
5) If you add a bit of water to pasta sauce, you can cook the pasta in the sauce on a low simmer and save a pot.
6) Do one type of laundry each day. Darks, lights, sheets, towels, kitchen linens, workout clothes
7) Try to have fewer, but more versatile items. For example have a paring knife and skip the peeler.
8) Use Outlook to make recurring tasks for daily, weekly, monthly and less frequent tasks. Itís really fun to check them off and watch the todo list steadily vanish each day.
9) Switch to low-clutter activities such as community gardening or attending free band concerts, or taking band lessons with the Salem/Bethabara band. Choose a small instrument such as a trumpet rather than say, a base
10) Have a recycle bin next to your desk. Sort mail into folders and bin. Have a paperwork time once a week.
11) Play a CSI game with yourself. Pretend someone is investigating your apartment for what you did in the last 24 hours. Is any evidence visible?

7-14-12, 9:29am
I would also add that if you have a partner or family, get everyone involved. If everyone works together, things will go *much* more quickly. My husband and I do a weekly "get everything clean" hour -- which is a sweet deal because it means I only do about 60% of what needs to be done. :)

If you're by yourself, then, yeah -- increments are good. :)