Get Organized Challenge Week 4: Clean Up As You Go

Get Organized Challenge Week 4: Clean Up As You Go
29 Jan 2014

Here we are – week 4 of our Get Organized Challenge: 5 Weeks to a More Organized You! By now, you’re buying less stuff, making sure the stuff you have passes the test, and making a home for everything in your home. Or at least you’re working on it. I’m a realist – it’s not about rigidly following these healthy habits 100% of the time – all or nothing style. It’s about practicing these healthy habits as often as you can, and coming back to them whenever you fall off the wagon. That’s what will make you an organizing super-hero for the long haul!

So what’s next?? Hands down – my absolute favorite organizing healthy habit ever – clean up as you go! So simple, yet so effective – and that’s why I love it. I remember learning this phrase in a nutrition/cooking class in college – if you practice this while you’re cooking, you won’t end up with a giant mess to clean up when you’re done. Well guess what? Cleaning up as you go works wonders for keeping your whole home under control too. It’s almost too simple to explain – if you take something out of its home – a pen, the blender, your jacket – put it back when you’re done using it for now. But that last little part is key. Don’t live by the policy of, “oh, I’ll just leave it out since I’ll probably need it later.” That’s how our homes become a jumbled mess…fast. And that little bit of extra effort to put things away means you’ll always know where to find something the next time you actually need to use it.

Really push yourself to truly clean up as you go, but never fear, there’s a simple fix if you get to the end of the day and realize that you’ve failed to keep up. Just set your timer for 15 minutes and use that time to put stray items away. This simple super-power habit will also allow you to uncover clutter trouble spots on the fly – if putting something away is frustrating because the cabinet where it lives is a jumbled crowded mess, then it’s time to tackle it with a little de-cluttering session. No, you don’t have to tackle every trouble spot the minute you uncover it, but keep a little list of mini de-cluttering projects, so you can cross them off when you get 15 minutes and a little motivation. Trust me, if you keep trying to put stuff away in a cluttered home, that motivation will come sooner rather than later! So come on, we’ve got this…

The Challenge – Week 4: Clean up as you go! Each time you finish using something, put it away where it belongs – no ifs, ands or buts! And do a clean sweep at the end of the day to catch anything you’ve missed along the way.

spice drawer


Sarah Buckwalter

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