On Day 18 of this series about how to get organized and clean house in 30 days we’re continuing progress in the family room. If you have a separate living room, lounge, sitting room or whatever else you call it, you’ll need to do these steps in both rooms.
Tips On Getting Organized and Cleaning House
•Do it daily: Each day of this guide has three parts to it: cleaning, organizing and maintaining. Don’t skip a part, even if it looks clean. The idea here is to establish a regular routine that keeps you one step ahead of clutter and grime, rather than allowing things to snowball and become overwhelming.
•Maintenance is key: Throughout this month of hyper-focused organizing and cleaning, the “maintaining” part means following the Daily Whole House Cleaning checklist but focusing extra effort on different rooms. This way you’ll be keeping up with the organization and cleanliness you’ve worked so hard to accomplish, while still making progress in the rest of the house.
•Get it out of there! After organizing and de-cluttering an area, take the trash out and put the box of items for donation in your car that same day no matter how tired you are! This follow-through step is the payoff for all the work you’ve put in; without it, you’ve just moved junk around, but haven’t really purged any clutter or trash
If you’re just starting, you can find all of the previous days’ entries here.
How To Get Organized and Clean House
As I’ve said before, there are three parts to getting organized and cleaning house in 30 days: cleaning, organizing and maintaining. Sometimes those tasks overlap, like they will today as our cleaning and organizing both take place in the family room. After that, we’re maintaining the bathroom, which will include cleaning up after some of our family room tasks.
Today’s Cleaning Task: The Family Room Blinds and Curtains
The second dustiest place in a room isn’t the furniture, it’s the window coverings! (The floor’s the first, in case you were curious.) If you’ve got blinds, you’ve probably seen how the dust builds up. Did you know there’s usually plenty of grease on blinds attracting that dust? And that even if you use curtains, too, they’re collecting dust as well? Let’s do something about that today.
- Fill it: The first step to cleaning your blinds is filling your bathtub. Seriously, there’s no easier place to clean blinds than in the bath, so fill yours halfway with very hot water, then pour in 2 cups of white vinegar and 1/4 cup dish detergent (Dawn works best). Swirl that around so everything mixes together.
- Bathe them: Remove your curtains if you have any, and set them aside. Now, remove the blinds and carry them to the bathroom. This is most easily done if you have the blinds pulled tight first, but you’ll need to open them fully as you immerse them in the tub. You should be able to clean two sets at a time. Doing so is as simple as laying the blinds in the tub and allowing them to soak for 10-20 minutes, then draining the tub and running the shower to hose them off. Hang the damp blinds over the shower curtain to drip-dry, but be sure to place a towel beneath them to catch the drips!
- No bathtub? No problem. If you don’t have a tub to soak the blinds in, you can spray them with the same solution I use for homemade soap scum remover, then let them sit in the bottom of your shower for 10-20 minutes before hosing them off with the shower spray.
- Dry them: Allow the blinds to dry thoroughly before returning them to place. If you’re in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer. No, really, it works!
- Shine on: Before re-hanging your blinds, wipe down the inside of the window sills and clean the windows with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Hang the blinds and proceed to the next set if you’re having to clean them two at a time.
- Remove them: If you haven’t already done so, remove your curtains from their rods.
- Shine on: Once your curtains are down, wipe the inside of the window sills and clean the windows with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth.
- Spin them: Washing curtains is the best way to rid them of dust, but only do so if yours have a tag indicating they’re machine washable! Launder them according to label instructions, then transfer them to the dryer. If your curtains don’t have a label, or they’re dry-clean only, you can still rid them of dust by giving them a good tumble in the dryer on a no-heat setting for 10 or so minutes. Be sure to remove them from the dryer IMMEDIATELY so they don’t wrinkle, and rehang them right away.
- Oh, hang it: As soon as a set of curtains are done tumbling in the dryer, get them out of their and hang them back up. If you’ve been prompt about it, your curtains will be wrinkle free.
Today’s Organizing Task: Purging Media
I have a confession to make: I’m a magazine addict. I’ve lost count of how many subscriptions I have, but let’s just say that halfway through every month I wind up with a massive stack of issues sitting on my coffee table. Invariably, I run out of time to read them and so the stack continues to grow, month after month, until I freak out (or my son’s school holds a recycling drive).
If you’re like me, it’s time we acknowledge something: we’re probably never going to have 25 hours in our day. And here’s something else I’m starting to realize: there is NOTHING in most of my magazines that I can’t find on Pinterest or Facebook, or even in the pages of a different magazine the following month.
Let’s take the plunge and move those magazines, along with any newspapers (do people actually read paper newspapers anymore?) to the recycling center. If you’re terribly worried about missing something essential, they’ll have a headline for it on the front of your magazine. So scan the issues as you move them to the recycling bin and if you see something you think you absolutely can’t live without reading, thumb through the magazine and pull out that article… and ONLY that article. Then staple it together and walk it to your mail sorter (you know, the one we set up in our entry way on Day 13) so you actually read it tonight.
Today’s Maintenance Task: Daily Cleaning (Emphasis on tub/shower)
As part of today’s daily cleaning routine, take some time to clean the mess we’ve made in the bathroom by giving your tub and/or shower an extra thorough cleaning. Don’t forget to shine those fixtures when you’re done!
See you tomorrow as we continue with this series about how to get organized and clean house in 30 days. Until then, keep at it!
Equipment I Use For This:
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