The One Hour Cleanup
Every Saturday I like to tackle an area of the house that has become neglected. It happens to the best of us. It starts out small, just a dumping ground to get the room picked up when someone is coming over, or maybe even just to get it picked up right before bed. You think, oh I’ll just fix it tomorrow, or after so and so leaves. Then it sits, forgotten. Next time you go to put something away you remember the space and go…. ugh that’s right I need to fix that, I’ll do it later, and the pile adds up (I have to say this even happens to me and my email inbox too). Now you look and there is a full blown MESS! In a place that once had such wonderful organization.
So it’s time to fix it. I’m here to tell you it CAN be fixed, and if you set your stopwatch or kitchen timer, you can do it in a very short amount of time.
0-10 minutes – Empty the space. Take every single thing out and throw it on the floor near by. The entire area (whether it’s a closet or just a drawer) should be completely empty. I call this the nuclear approach. I set off a bomb and the space is gone. This way you know that only things that belong in the space will end up back inside the space.
10-30 minutes – Sort. In this stage you are just sorting things into piles. Things that will not be going back into the space, put in one pile. Another pile should be for trash, another for donations, and another for things that will return to the space. The trash pile should really just be a trash bag. Put the items directly into the trash bag, so you don’t have to take another step by moving it all into the bag later. The same goes for the donation pile. Put it directly into a bag or container you will take to the donation center. You should also have a basket/bin/bag you will use for the things that belong elsewhere, so when you have to put them in their correct rooms later you can just bring the bin around with you and put away as you move through the house.
10 minutes – Sort again. Now go through the “things that will return to the space” pile and sort it into it’s home groups. Such as all of the items that need to be hung up go here, all books go together, all socks go together, and so on. Again, if you already have sectioned space that is easy to put things in, put it directly in it’s home. Such as in the picture I have fabric drawers that have various labels, I would put the items directly into the appropriate bin in this stage.
10 minutes – Put it all away. Last on the list is to put it all away. Go through each section and put the items away in the appropriate location. Hopefully most of this work will be done for you in the previous step. All you would need to do is put the drawer in it’s place or line up the books neatly.
And there you have it. A once organized space, turned messy, turned organized again in about an hour!