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Posts Tagged ‘organizing


House Rules - Click to enlarge

One likes to see what’s on display in others’ houses. I had been to my friend’s place where she hung a cute poster about the rules of the house which goes “If you open it, close it…. “. Being in the process of turning into a clean freak, I loved that little thing!

Once back home, i started searching for the poem so I can hang one too. Sure enough, I found not one but quite a few versions of the poem. I added one of mine too! Here is my modified version of it with a couple of lines added to the original one. Print it and live by those rules!

It’s a 7″X10” poster.

Download Rules of the House Poster

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Who likes a messy bed? Or things lying all around? Most of them don’t, but won’t make any effort to clean it up either. It may just be too much work to do. Well, the truth is an organized surrounding reflects an organized mind. And even causes it. But if you are wondering how you will find the time to do all the cleaning, or how you are going to push yourself to do it, here is how.

The best way to live life is to develop simple processes for every task. It’s a matter of trial and error until you find what suits you. I tried vigorous cleaning programs and came up with different schedules for all the things, but none of them worked. What works for me now is a simple Clean-as-you-go procedure. It just requires a few simple steps:

1. Don’t fix a time to clean – I tried scheduling around 20 minutes everyday to clean up the house, but the truth is it is too much a chunk of time to set apart. It is easy to postpone it or it can get used up doing something else. So don’t fix any time to clean. Then what are you going to do?

2. Join the cleaning tasks to other regular activities you already do – We all get up from the bed. We all use the toilet. The trick is to do the cleaning immediately before or after any activity you do. That way all it takes is two minutes more and you won’t even notice you have spent time in a day cleaning.

3. Divide the chores into areas and attach activities to them – My daily cleaning chores can be divided into these : Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room and Study.

4. Bedroom

  • Make the bed soon after brushing your teeth. All it takes is a max of 5 minutes
  • Keep a cloth/dryer sheet accessible and wipe the furniture – 1 mins
  • Throw any stray clothes lying around into the laundry basket – 30 seconds

The bedroom is now clean.

5. Bathroom

  • Clean the toilet right after using it. It just takes an extra 1 minute
  • Before or after a shower, scrub the bathtub. Use a mild cleanser if required. That way, the soap scum never accumulates – 2 minutes
  • Just before leaving the bathroom, wipe down the sink with a cloth – 30 seconds extra

6. Kitchen

  • Keep 2 towels handy. One for wiping the dishes and the other for cleaning the counter top.
  • As you cook, keep the ingredients back in their places. It makes the cooking process more enjoyable with lesser things around
  • Whenever there is a dish to wash, put it directly in the dishwasher. That keeps the sink from having a lot of dishes in it.
  • After cooking, spray some water on the stove and wipe it with the towel. It takes less than a minute.
  • Wipe the sink and the countertop too – 1 minute
  • Wipe the dining table right after eating – 2 minutes

Voila! You have a very neat kitchen without even setting aside time for cleaning.

7. Living room

Just before you sit down to relax, or while you are watching TV, pick up the pieces in the living room and wipe the furniture. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes. And people will love to see a neat living room right when they enter. Their compliments will keep you motivated to follow it

8. Study
Just before you sit down at the computer or do some work, tidy up the table and wipe it. As simple as that. You will get your work done faster too.

So that is my simple plan to do the cleaning everyday. It takes the same 20 minutes I used to schedule before. But since I’ve split it and adjoined it to other works I already do, I hardly notice the time taken to clean. Do it for a few days and it will become second nature to you. You will then start wondering how on earth did you tolerate an unclean house before!!

Tip: Keep cleaning items handy and accessible in each room. Having to go elsewhere just to bring a towel or napkin is an instant put-off to cleaning.

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