Declutter 101: Where Do I Start?

Ready to cut clutter on the homefront–but not sure where to start?

Standing amid the stacks and piles, it can be hard to find a good spot to dive in and begin. Too often, de-clutter efforts fizzle along with the light of day.

This time, resolve to succeed! To get your organized journey off to a good start, try these clutter-cutting start points. They will help free a strangled household from the clutter monster.


Today’s Challenge: Get Frugal, Get Organized

Here’s a little challenge, now that it’s yard sale season: try to find a yard sale without a stock of organizing products for sale.

Too often, we start a get-organized effort where we should finish it: at the store. Buying organizing products before we’ve done the heavy lifting of setting up activity centers, sorting and purging our stuff, and deciding where to pare down leads to that paradoxical result: organizer clutter.   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Keep Clutter From Coming Back

Getting a grip on clutter is only the first step. How do you keep it from coming back?

This week in the Cleaning Challenge, we’ve considered cleaning routines that work to keep dirt at bay. Clutter, too, needs to be addressed with habits and routines designed to prevent it from gaining a foothold in an organized home.

Today in the Cleaning Challenge, try these ideas to stop clutter at the door, and keep it from coming back:

Declutter 101: Staying Clutter-Free   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Minimum Maintenance

In yesterday’s Cleaning Challenge, we took a look at household routines: those things we do daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally to keep the household clean and organized.

As with so many things in life, your mileage may vary! Household needs and composition mean that every home has a different set of routines. A two-career couple with an empty nest will have far different routines than, say, a family with pre-school children.

But there’s one routine every household needs, no matter how casual: a minimum maintenance list.   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Clean House Routines

Over the last weeks, the Cleaning Challenge we’ve moved from room to room through the house, cutting clutter, organizing and deep-cleaning. Now, how will we keep it that way?

Professional cleaners know that regular cleaning routines are the secret to an always-clean home. What’s the state of your cleaning routines?

Today in the Cleaning Challenge, give some thought to how and when you tackle cleaning chores, and reach for solutions to cut the work, keep the clean.   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Spruce Up Household Routines

Reaching the end of the Cleaning Challenge, it’s natural to want to keep all the cleanliness and order … all the time.

How to achieve this goal? In a word: routines.

Routines for morning, evening and weekly cleaning keep up with the mess so that it doesn’t slide backward into chaos. What’s the state of your household routines?   Read More >>

Printables: 

PDF iconcalendar_to_do_weekly.pdf
PDF iconcalendar_to_do_daily.pdf
PDF iconcalendar_checklist_spring_summer.pdf
PDF iconcalendar_checklist_fall_winter.pdf

Today’s Challenge: Celebrate Your Success

Get-organized plans, like the Cleaning Challenge, can be great motivators, but for many folks, they create a problem: the idea of being “behind”.

It’s common to jump into the Challenge with red-hot energies, only to find yourself flagging when “real life” intervenes. Yet the plan rolls on without you, leaving you deflated. That feeling of being “behind” can sap your enthusiasm and blind you to the very real progress you’ve made.   Read More >>


Cleaning Challenge: Be Ready For Guests

When the doorbell rings, will you be ready?

This week in the Cleaning Challenge, we’ve freshened the front porch … and now, it’s time to prepare to welcome visitors and friends.

Lay out a cheery welcome mat. Add extra coat hangers to a nearby coat closet, and find a space to hold guests’ umbrellas or overshoes.

Most of all, prepare your heart! A welcoming home needs little more than that oldest and best greeting: “You’re here! Come in …. and welcome!”   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Finish-Up Week

You’ve made your lists, and checked them twice … but life still got in the way?

Welcome to Finish-Up Week at the New Year Cleaning Challenge! This final week is designed to meet the needs of reality: a scheduled chance to follow up on the good intentions that motivated you to get with the Challenge.

Not that this is a do-it-all kind of week. Instead, it’s designed to let you tackle the most important, most necessary items that got short shrift during the last 13 weeks.   Read More >>


Today’s Challenge: Front Porch Week Wrap-Up

This week, our focus has been on the front porch: the place where home meets world.

Today, wrap up any remaining items to bring a fresh feeling to the front porch–bringing our Cleaning Challenge to an end for this year.

Say what? There are still items on your to-do list?

Not to worry. Tomorrow, we’ll start a final “finish up” week, designed to provide time to complete those last few items.

Along the way, we’ll review basic routines, and focus on ways to keep your Challenge-clean home in good order year-round.   Read More >>