For some, the idea of being messy is despicable—even the slightest crumb of spilled food will cause them to break out the sanitizing bucket (neatly placed just around the corner on the shelf next to the 50 cleaning products).
For the other 99.9 percent of us, awaiting us are a dirty cleaning bucket under the sink that smells like something just died in it, along with cleaning products we aren’t quite sure are still good to use. Ironic that these cleaners themselves should be dirty, isn’t it?
So, for those who aren’t organized, and are about to skip over this article thinking they have no use for it, here are some very simple ways to stay organized and clean that are realistic and very easy to maintain. Speaking of maintaining, that’s the first tip.
Before even stepping a foot into that dirty room with your yellow gloves on, you must be prepared to put forth a steady and regular effort to maintain cleanliness. If this is a one-time deal, or an “I-need-to-find-the-source-of-that-dead-fish-smell-or-else” effort, it’s pointless even to start. A half-hour a week of actual cleaning is all that will be needed for the average home if the rest of the tips are followed. But be warned: Failure to do all this on a regular basis just will get you back into the same mess you currently are facing. So, unless you wish to read all 14 million search results on Google, remember to maintain.
A huge room that is just a cluttered mess is overwhelming even to the most organized. It’s just chaos, with no beginning or end. Here’s where most people fail. The realization that the room is too much to deal with is the breaker. That’s where starting small comes in. Split every room into sections. Use a desk or couch—or perhaps even a bed—as a divider. That way, you don’t see the whole room as a cleaning project, but rather just a small section of it, even if it’s only the desk or bookcase. Once you finish one area, move to the next, and so on and so forth. With a little time, the entire room will become spotless.
Set a Time
We all lead busy lives, so it’s a must to set a solid block of time to do this cleaning. Simply thinking it needs to be done isn’t going to get it done. So, at the beginning of the day, week, or month, establish a time period when you will clean, and do nothing but clean. This way, the task isn’t something to be done when you have a spare moment, and are in the mood to do so, but just another one on your list of things you have scheduled a time to do. This time also will help you with motivation. If you say two hours will be for cleaning, you’re going to go faster toward the end just so you can get done with it.
Ask for Help
We all have that tidy friend or relative in our lives who will raise an eyebrow when seeing how dirty we really are. This person is the perfect one to help you figure out a game plan. He or she already will have one, and so will be able to motivate you to do the same. Plus, knowing you and what type of person you are, he or she can set up a working plan tailored to you, and not a generic one (like this article) that may not work for everyone. The best part is, he or she just may do most of the hard work for you, because you won’t know what you’re doing.
The last step in this process is doing “tidy” cleaning. This is cleaning up after yourself, which is usually the crux of the problem, anyway. Leaving dishes on the table for a day or two, or dirty clothes on the floor at night, ends up becoming a pile of dishes by the sink, or so many clothes on the floor that you no longer remember the color of your carpet. It takes a second to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, or a few minutes to wash dinner dishes or rinse them and throw them in the dishwasher. If you manage to do just this minimum after you make a small mess, it will prevent a large one from ever happening. Maintain (notice the circle to the beginning of this article) this habit, and the most you’ll have to spend on actual cleaning is a half-hour or so a week wiping down surfaces and vacuuming the floor. Everything has a place, and if you just take care of that thing after you first use it, it won’t become part of a mess for you to deal with later on.