So I discovered a few websites with some simple, non expensive ways to organize your environment to create some Zen in stressful households. Trust me, my 4 pups are a handful – I can only imagine (real) children and a husband.
Let’s explore, room by room shall we?
- Gather and plates/bowls or glasses and store them in the dishwasher. Of course without that, set up a “to be cleaned” bucket. This is just a little bit more visually appealing than just having them in the sink. Of course, you need remember to wash them too
- Give away duplicate appliances or those you never use
- Take stock of your plastic containers. **THIS ONE IS HUGE** Throw out any that are warped or that don’t have matching lids. If you just can’t part with your tupperwear, find a use for it – storing nail polishes or buttons.
- Instead of opening mail at a table or desk, stand right over your recycling bin (or trash for the naughty readers). That way you can immediately discard any junk mail instead of letting it clutter up your work area.
- Invest in file folders. I am a HUGE advocate for this one as well. I have a file for just about anything. I have found comfort in keeping “current year items” such as tax returns, w2’s, pay stubs, receipts, bills, etc in a file cabinet. The items that I can store going into a storage bin for files until they are ready to be shredded. I know where everything is!
- Keep a sponge and tile cleaner near your bathtub or shower. When you’re done showering, take a few minutes to wipe down the walls. It will keep your shower fresh and save you from a day of hard scrubbing once you can actually SEE the buildup.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet/toiletries. You wouldn’t realize how long certain cosmetics actually last. I’m sure they are well over due for plenty of us! Also throw out old/expired medications. They may still have an effect after their expiration date, but this means the chemical may be unstable. Let’s not chance that.
Concealer: good for about 12 months
Powder: 2 years
Cream and Gel cleansers: 12 months
Eye shadow: 3 years (up to)
Pencil eye liner: sharpen regularly so it lasts you 3 years
Liquid eye liner: 3-4 months
Mascara: Every 3-4 months
Brushes: Wash every 2-3 months
Sponges: discard monthly
Lipstick: If you store it in the fridge, can last 4 years – but of course if it smells awful, it’s bad.
Nail polish: 12 months
Also, sun tan lotion doesn’t last very long either, once expired – use it as a shaving cream.
- Avoid the whole putting towels over the shower bar thing. Avoid the clutter by getting some nice cheap shower racks, a hook, or an over the door towel hanger.
- Get ready for your day the night before. Lay out your clothes, accessories, shoes, socks, and jewelry to avoid pulling out 10 outfits you didn’t feel like wearing.
- Twice a year, reassess your wardrobe. Pull out any clothes that you haven’t worn in a few months. If they’re stained or ratty, toss them. If they’re hopelessly out of style, give them to a charity, like the Goodwill. If you just can’t bear to part with them yet, fold them up and put them in storage for another few months. If you find yourself missing them, return them to their rightful hangers. If not, you know what to do.
- Get your kids in on the “fun.” If you have young children, turn cleaning up into a game. Set a kitchen time for 10 minutes, and have the kids run around picking up their things and putting them away as fast as they can. When the buzzer rings, award them some sort of small prize. What do kids like now a days? Dog treats?
- Clear off coffee tables and end tables. Most items have a “place.” Magazine likely in a type of magazine rack, coasters in their holders, and the remote controls likely in its designated spot (next point).
- Use attractive baskets for your electronic gadgets – remote controls, video game accessories, cords, and chargers.
- Many living rooms these days are overrun with cords – for the TV, the DVR and DVD player, the Ethernet connection, the computer and printer, and more. Keep your cords organized and out of sight by running them along the walls or under carpets. If that’s too complicated, simply bind them together with zip ties or Velcro bands.