An Excerpt From Clean Like A Pro

“An organizational system is only effective if it’s easily maintained. The idea behind organizing your stuff is that every item belongs somewhere, so that things don’t end up accumulating on top of counters or tables or piled up on the floor. It’s important to get into the habit of consistently putting stuff into its designated spot. If you can’t get to it immediately, you need a system that forces you to deal with it ASAP. Here are some pointers:

~Have a designated area for items in transition, like unpaid bills or unread mail, and make sure they are placed there.

~Use a basket for each household member, plus one for communal property. Make sure baskets get emptied daily – i.e. the contents get put away.

~Don’t let things that are outright trash pile up. Throw away or recycle junk mail. Don’t hold onto useless items.

~If it’s something you think you might use, find a place to keep it. For example, some people re-use shipping boxes, which can easily be flattened and stored, then re-taped open at a later date. It’s OK to save things you will probably use within the next few month, just be sure to find a logical place to store them, one you can remember later on.

~If storing things in boxes, for instance in the garage, attic, basement, or closets, put a list of the contents on the outside of the box or use clear containers for storage. If you have multiple boxes of stuff, it might be worth making a master list with the contents of each box and corresponding letters or numbers on each box. For example, boxes A, B, C and D match up with lists A, B, C and D. That way, you can easily check your list to locate items instead of having to move boxes around repeatedly. It might seem like making a list will take a long time to do, but it will save time in the long run.

Organization saves time and improves the quality of your life. Having a good system for keeping track of your stuff may seem tedious at first, but once you get into the habit of keeping things picked up you’ll be glad you went to the trouble. It’s easier to find things, and it saves a lot of time when you’re cleaning if there isn’t a lot of stuff to have to work around.”

This is an excerpt from my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like A Seasoned Professional. For more info, check out my author page at: