Prevent clutter by working the following tasks into your daily routine until they become a habit. I’ve focused on the areas that will make the biggest “instant” improvement in five minutes or less.
1) Get a load of laundry started.
If you have enough dirty clothes for a load, get them into the washer first thing in the morning. Move them to the dryer when they are finished.
Reduces pile-up of laundry and complaints from your child that her favorite jeans have been in the pile for a week.
2) Make your bed.
There is nothing that can neaten a large space in 2-3 minutes like making a bed.
The room feels cleaner. You paid a lot of money for that pretty comforter. Enjoy it the way it was intended to look, which is not wadded on the floor.
A special thanks to my mother for adding this tip to the list. Apparently you are never too old to have your mother remind you to make your bed. 🙂
3) Take care of incoming mail immediately.
Trash/recycle the junk mail, and put the rest in the appropriate places (bills to pay, “to-do box”, magazine rack, “to-be-filed” basket, etc.). Do not place any of it on the counter.
Prevents paper clutter from accumulating around the house and bills from getting lost.
4) Fold and put away laundry.
Find a few spare minutes to fold and put away the load of laundry you did this morning. If you did more than one today, you are ahead of the game! Congratulations!
Prevents the laundry room from having piles of clean laundry as well as keeps it from being used as a dressing room.
5) Kitchen cleanup
After dinner, take the time to wash all the dishes and run the dishwasher if it’s full. Wipe down the counters, cabinets, and appliances quickly.
Keeps the kitchen clean and the silverware drawer stocked. There’s nothing worse than eating your cereal with a fork!
6) Kitchen counter cleanup.
The counter tends to be a “drop-off” spot during the day. Take all items back to their assigned places. The counter is for food, snacks, etc., not paper clutter.
Keeps the kitchen area neat and orderly.
7) Nightly toy pick-up.
If you have kids, toys tend to make their way around the house quickly during the day. Get everyone involved with a quick 5-minute pickup to put everything back in its place.
Keeps living room/toy room organized and clutter-free. Say “good-bye” to the pain of stubbing your toe on a Barbie car or the shock of stepping on a Lego in a sleepy morning daze.
I like to wake up in the morning with my house in order. Mentally, it puts me in a better mood because I am not slapped in the face with things that need to be done on the way to making my coffee. I also find I am more productive during the day when the house is free of clutter.