As professional cleaners, we know firsthand that the cleanest offices, childcare centres and body corporates spaces, are those that are the most organised. As such, we are going to create a series of articles where we will share our top tips on organising and keeping your home clean.
Before scheduling your first home organisation day, be prepared with our quick checklist:
- Block out 2 x 3-4 hour appointments in your diary. Schedule these one week apart. Invite others, but only if they are as committed as you are to the cause! This is not a job that can be started and stopped with unnecessary distractions.
- Have your eco-friendly cleaning products ready for the: bathroom, windows, surfaces and floors. Read about our favourite DIY formulas here if you don’t have some already.
- 3 x empty washing baskets or hampers.
- 3 x sizeable recycled cardboard boxes.
- 3 x document trays.
- A tidy kitchen – just make sure there are no dirty dishes lying about. Don’t stress if the oven/stove or benches need a wipe down or a deeper clean.
Kick everyone out
Send away anything with a heartbeat that that doesn’t share your enthusiasm to get organised. This includes partners, flatmates, cats and dogs. Send them packing on an external excursion – especially children. If you’re a parent, you will know that as soon as you can organise one room, children have an insane ability to transform a room into chaos in the same amount of time. A client of ours once compared cleaning a house with children in is like “beating the sea back with a stick;” and no truer words were ever spoken 😊 While it is good to teach your gorgeous brood the importance of cleaning up after themselves, this is not the time to teach this lesson. Children inherently don’t like to see change happening and will try and reclaim pretty much anything that you try and throw out or recycle. The only exception to the ‘kick-out’ rule is anyone who shares your desire to declutter and clean the house as quickly as humanly possible.
Choose a Room to be the “Transfer Station”
Choose a room in the house where you have some space to work. The larger the room, the better. We suggest the living room where there is a dining room table or bench you can use. You can shift sofas to the side of the room if you need more space to move about.
Prepare the transfer station by:
- Laying the document trays on the table side by side – label them recycle, file and action.
- Lay out the washing baskets next to one another – label them dirty darks, dirty lights, store.
- Lay out the boxes parallel to the wash baskets, but on the opposite side of the room – label them keep, maybe keep and charity. If you have enough room, try to create a runway up the middle of the room so you can safely work.
Hunt & Gather
Starting at the front of the house, screen every room for items that aren’t stored away in their ‘ideal’ home. Don’t worry this week about things that are stored away out of sight. Use one of the washing baskets to hunt and gather the items and move them to your transfer station. This includes clothes, random clutter, knick-knacks and paperwork. It doesn’t matter at this stage if it all goes in the basket together, just gather up as much as you can safely carry and transport it to your transfer station room. When you return, unload each full basket.
- Pile the paperwork to the left of the prepared document trays.
- Dump all dirty clothes to the left of the wash baskets.
- Place all other random items to the left of the boxes.
It’s okay to make multiple trips from particularly cluttered rooms. Once you have gathered everything from each room, unpack the basket as described above.
Work through each room of the house until all floors and surfaces are cleared of “things” that aren’t in their ‘ideal home.
Return to your Transfer Station.’. Screen the room and decide which is the biggest pile. This is usually the clothes or sometimes the random clutter pile.
- Sort the clothes into dirty laundry darks, dirty laundry lights, clean clothes to be put away.
- Sort the random clutter into the boxes: keep, recycle, charity.
- Sort the paperwork into the trays: recycle, file, action (any paperwork that needs action, e.g. unpaid bills etc.)
Store or Charity Store Run
- Put on a load of dirty laundry and put the remaining items back in the laundry or hampers.
- Fold clean clothes and put them on the bed of the person they belong to for them to put away when they get home.
- Put the recycling in the recycling bin.
- Sort through the maybe box. If the item hasn’t been used in the last four weeks or brought you sentimental joy in the month, move it to the charity box.
- Take the charity box and take it straight out to the car. Don’t waste your time carefully packing it. Just make sure that any fragile items are safely stowed. The charity stores will need to unpack and screen all the items anyway so perfectly folding everything is not necessary.
- Store the remaining keep items in their correct storage space in your home.
- Screen the action document tray for anything urgent, before stacking the document trays together and put them out of the way ready for the next scheduled organising day.
Coffee & Charity Shop
Grab yourself a coffee and take a trip to the charity shop. This will prevent any unpacking and reclaiming of long lost toys, clothes or keepsakes happens from fellow house dwellers.
Once you have returned to the house, it’s time to clean.
Work downwards, and in this order: remove cobwebs from the ceiling, dust downwards, clean windows, put cleaning product on sinks, toilets and showers bath to give them time to do their work while you vacuum. Mop the floors, clean sinks, the toilet, bath and then jump in the shower, clean it off before cleaning the days grime from your hair and body.
Finish Up for the Day
You will be fairly exhausted by this time, so relax for now. Reward yourself by welcoming any forthcoming praise from returning housemates and children and enjoy the clean space. Ask them to shout you out for dinner, so that you can keep your home tidy for a little while longer than usual.
In our next article, we will look at the decluttering your cupboards and storage spaces around the home, so stay tuned.
At GT Cleaning, we are happy to come by your work and offer you an obligation free quote for organising your workplace. Get in touch today.