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All Purpose Clean Up: 5 Handy Ways To Harmonize Your Garage

All Purpose Clean Up: 5 Handy Ways To Harmonize Your Garage

If you have an overpowering feeling, whenever you enter your garage, then it is time to clean out the space. Set aside a day or two to rid your garage of the clutter. Separate items by placing them into specific groups. Figure out which items you want to save, toss and donate. Formulate an idea of where to place everything. Here are 5 helpful ways to maintain a harmonious garage.

  1. Pool Noodles

Your local dollar retail shop should carry $1 pool noodles. Mount the pool noodles onto the garage wall. If you are storing items such as fishing poles, make a slit every 4” or 5” apart from one another. Widen the slits if holding gardening gear such as shovels or rakes. If you must park your vehicle close to one specific side of the garage, to gain some extra storage space, a pool noodle can protect your car and the garage. Simply measure and cut a noodle to mount comfortably onto the garage wall.

  1. Pegboards

There are multiple options, when it comes to pegboards. There are full sheets that you can use to line the walls of your garage. These are great for when you need to hang heavier items such as wheelbarrows or ladders. Smaller size pegboards can be used to hold tools, helmets, and other items similar in size. Pegboards are available in hardboard, plastic, and metal. You can purchase any to correlate with the décor of your garage.

  1. Bins

Bins can be an organizer’s best, and worst, friend. If you overindulge in bins, and randomly throw things into one, you are creating a nightmare for your future self. Save the hassle and headache by counting out the number of bins that you will need. Count the grouped items in each category, as fitting for one bin. For example; if you have holiday decorations, divide them up into four seasons. This will indicate that you only need four bins. Remember to label the bins, for easy accessibility. Stack the bins accordingly, with the items used less on the bottom.

  1. Shelves

Shelves create additional space by storing the newly organized items. Tall shelves promote the use of vertical spacing, while shelving units can keep items arranged in one section of your garage. No need to necessarily purchase shelves, as old furniture can be remodeled as new shelves.

  1. Overhead Space

Shelves can be anchored to the overhead space. Larger shelving units can be used as another bin holder. Bike racks can be mounted but can be costly. For a more cost-effective route, take some strong pieces of wood and heavy-duty bike hooks. Affix the two together and mount them onto your garage ceiling.

Removing the clutter is the first step to in the organization process. It can be overwhelming, but All Purpose Clean Up is here to save the day! Everything from junk removal, trash collection, janitorial services to home cleaning. Whatever your cleaning needs are, All Purpose Clean Up is here for you.

Clean Your Airbnb Yourself or Hire a Pro? What Should You do?

Clean Your Airbnb Yourself or Hire a Pro? What Should You do?

Although renting out your home or spare room for a guest isn’t a unique idea, the way Airbnb implements it is. Airbnb allows people to search for their ideal property based on many criteria — everything from a single room to a whole house. And while having strangers rent out your home or room for a while is a great way to make some extra cash, you’ll be expected to clean up after the guests leave so the property ready for the next potential guest.

To clean up, you can do it yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to come in and do the job for you.

In this article, we’re going to look at the benefits of hiring a pro service versus doing it yourself.

 

Why Do It Yourself

Saves you Money

The significant benefit to cleaning your Airbnb yourself is that it saves you money. When you host a guest, you want to keep as much of that profit as you can, and cleaning services can be expensive. And while you can always raise the fee to your guest to include the cleaning fee a pro service charges, wouldn’t you rather pocket that money?

 

Clean it the Way you Want

Another benefit to doing the cleaning yourself is that you get the place clean according to your liking. Maybe the cleaning service doesn’t put items back in the proper location after they’ve cleaned, or perhaps something gets misplaced. When you clean your Airbnb yourself, you’re in total control of the cleaning; the job gets done just the way you want.

 

Why You Shouldn’t Do It Yourself

Costs You Too Much Time

While cleaning your Airbnb yourself does save you money over hiring a professional service, it costs you time. Your time is valuable, and most people have full plates, which leaves little time for cleaning. Spending hours cleaning your room or home means time taken away from other projects that could be bringing in income. Also, taking longer to clean your home means lost revenue not getting it rented out again quickly. The sooner you clean up, the sooner another guest can come in. Large homes can take a day or two to get back into shape after your guests leave, and that’s usually time better spent doing something else.

 

You Lose Focus on Your Other Business or Activities

As mentioned above, if you have other irons in the fire — other revenue streams that need your attention — spending a lot of time cleaning takes your focus away from those business opportunities. And, speaking of business opportunities, you could easily miss a business opportunity if you’re too wrapped up in cleaning.

Lastly, taking a lot of time cleaning can mean you’re neglecting your family and friends. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in work that you forgot to relax and enjoy those who you love and put the work in for.

 

Why Hire a Pro

You get a Better Cleaning

Pro cleaning services clean for a living, which means they’re often more thorough when cleaning up. Whether you’re hiring a single person or a company to clean, those people know that if they fail to do a proper job, they may not get paid. A pro cleaning service is less likely to cut corners or ’sweep things under the rug.’

Another thing to consider is building a symbiotic relationship with another business can benefit both of you.

Long-term guests might want regular cleanings and hiring a cleaning service to come in and handle it will save you the hassle and the time out of your schedule. This makes your guests happier and strengthens the relationship you have with your cleaning service. It’s a win for everybody.

Using a single cleaning service over and over allows them to get to know how you want things done and what you expect. Once they’re aware of what you’re looking for, they’ll likely do a better job to ensure you’re satisfied and allow the quality of the cleaning to be consistent from job to job.

As mentioned above, a pro cleaning service, while costing you money, will save you time.

 

You’re Covered if Something Goes Wrong

Most reputable cleaning services are insured (if they’re not, don’t hire them). If something gets broken or misplaced during the cleaning, your cleaning company is liable for the damage, whereas if you cleaned up and broke something, that money would be coming out of your pocket.

Another thing to consider is that most professional cleaning services can jump on a job on short notice. If you need a room or home cleaned up quickly, but don’t have the time, the pros generally can accommodate for those situations.

 

Why Not to Hire a Pro

The Cost

The glaring negative to hiring a professional cleaning service is the cost. Depending on how large the job is, you could be looking at shelling out hundreds of dollars to get a spic and span cleaning. As mentioned above, you could incorporate this fee into the rental price, but then you lose out on pocketing more money and potentially drive away a customer because of the high cost.

 

Too Much Hand Holding

Depending on how particular you are when it comes to cleaning, you may need to do a lot of hand-holding to get your cleaning service to perform according to your expectations. This means wasted time and money. If they don’t put things back just the way you like them, then you’ll be doing that yourself. Depending on how bad it is, you may have been better off to do the work yourself.

Renting out your home or room to guests is a great way to earn extra income, but people won’t put up with a dirty place, and it only takes a bad review or two to kill your business. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a pro, the bottom line is to get your place as clean as you’d expect it to be if you were renting it.

Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

Having a clean home not only makes you feel better, but it can be better for your health too. Dust buildup leads to dust mites, which can cause respiratory problems such as asthma attacks. Also, maintaining a clean home reduces the chance of mold buildup, which also leads to health problems.

Whether you love to clean, or begrudgingly do it, here are some tips and hacks to help you get a cleaner house and make the process easier.

 

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

While you can always use a commercial cleaner to get those dirty bathroom mirrors clean, did you know that black tea is also an excellent cleaning agent? The trick is to brew strong black tea — at least three tea bags. Put the tea into a sprayer bottle and use just like regular window cleaner. It’s all natural, and the results might surprise you.

Everybody hates soap scum and hard water stains, but did you know that you can use lemon juice to clean these stubborn stains? Take half a lemon and scrub the affected areas, and you’ll see the soap scum disappear just as if you had used a commercial chemical cleaner.

Continuing on the all-natural cleaning, the next time you clean your toilet, consider using vinegar instead of a commercial cleaner. Pour vinegar in the top tank and then use vinegar in a spray bottle for the bowl; this is a great, eco-friendly way to keep your toilet clean and fresh.

 

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

Like the bathroom, the kitchen can be one of the messiest places in the house, but here are a few tips to keep the kitchen clean and sanitary.

If you have a garbage disposal, then chances are you’ve dealt with the smell that rises out of it like a spirit from the underworld. You can buy dedicated chemical garbage disposal cleaners at your local hardware store, but did you know there’s an all-natural solution that does the job just as well? To get your garbage disposal sanitized and smelling great, take small pieces of lemon and vinegar and put it into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, throw the cubes into your garbage disposal to freshen it up.

If you’ve neglected your dishwasher for a while, chances are the inside is full of gunk. Instead of using harsh, store-bought chemicals to clean it, try using baking soda.

Has your cutting board seen better days? If so, an eco-friendly way to clean it is by using lemon. Sprinkle salt onto your cutting board and then use a lemon half to scour the board’s surface. Make sure to squeeze the lemon to release some of the juice; this works on any cutting board surface.

Did you make a meal that stunk up the kitchen? If so, instead of using a store-bought solution, try putting orange peels into a warm oven or warming them up on the stove. This releases a soothing natural citrus aroma that masks those nasty kitchen odors.

 

Living Room Cleaning Hacks

When’s the last time you looked at your TV’s remote, really looked at it? Chances are, it’s gross. To get it looking like new and to sanitize it in the process, get a dab of hand sanitizer and a paper towel and wipe it down. Use a Q-tip to get the little nooks and crannies around the buttons.

Does your wood furniture look dull? If it does, you can take a few drops of apple cider vinegar and mix it with olive oil and rub it into the wood. The vinegar lifts dirt from the wood and the oil conditions it leaving it looking almost as good as new.

Carpets are another area that demands frequent cleaning, and you can freshen them by using baking soda. Just powder baking soda on your carpets, let it sit for an hour or so, then vacuum; this trick helps eliminate pet odors too.

If you have a ceiling fan, then chances are you haven’t paid much attention to the blades — most people don’t. But those blades do attract a lot of dirt and dust. Instead of buying expensive dust removers, try slipping a pillowcase over the blades to get them clean.

Do you have blinds? If so, you know how tough it is to keep them looking clean; there are just so many opportunities for dust to collect! Cleaning blinds are simple if you use a sock. Put a sock over your hand, use equal parts vinegar and water as a cleaning solution, and wipe down the blinds.

 

Laundry Hacks

Just go to your local grocery or big box store, and you’ll see hundreds of products dedicated to getting your clothes clean, and while many of these products do a decent job, you can do equally as well with an all natural, homemade solution.

If your clothes look dull, you can add baking soda to the wash to make them come out brighter and newer looking.

If you have stains on your clothes, don’t worry, because there’s a solution that’s probably sitting in your home right now. The first step to removing the stain is to pour salt on it and let it sit for approximately half an hour. After that, wash the garment as usual, and you’ll be amazed at how effectively this solution is at removing stains.

Towels are a big challenge because of the odor they collect. It seems like nothing you do ever make them smell fresh and clean. The good news is that eliminating the odors that come from mildew in your towels is easy, and can be done with a few household products. Just get white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and hot water. Dump your towels into your washer, fill with hot water, then add in the vinegar, and run a cycle. Once the cycle is complete, add in the baking soda and run through another cycle with hot water. Once dry, your towels should smell clean and fresh again.

Cleaning isn’t always fun, but it’s easy to do and doesn’t require expensive chemicals or products — most of the stuff you need to get your home truly clean is stuff you already have. However, if after all of this you can’t get a handle on your cleaning, consider calling in a professional cleaning service to come on a regular basis.

How Dust from Clutter Affects Our Health

How Dust from Clutter Affects Our Health

With clutter comes dust. And when you have dust, there’s a chance that you can develop respiratory problems and other health problems. Most health problems associated with dust aren’t severe at the outset, but they can grow worse if not properly treated.

In this article, we’re going to look at how dust affects your health and what you can do about it.

 

The Detestable Dust Mites

While not visible to the naked eye, dust mites exist all around us in our homes — in mattresses, carpets, curtains, and piles of clothes. These little critters are responsible for many of the allergies people suffer and are particularly dangerous for people who are asthmatic.

According to the American Lung Association, “mites are one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma.”

More clutter means more dust mites, which means a higher risk of breathing problems and allergies.

Getting rid of as much clutter as possible is key to eliminating dust mites, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Old carpets are like vacation resorts for dust mites; rip them up and consider laying down wood or laminate flooring instead. Another thing you can do is to damp mop your floors regularly; this keeps the dust from stirring around.

Reducing areas of humidity in your home is another way to keep the dust mite problem to a minimum. To eliminate humidity, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner and aim for below 50% humidity. The American Lung Association also recommends you open your windows on dry days to remove moisture from the house.

It’s impossible to eliminate dust mites from your home entirely, but there are things you can do to limit their impact on your health so you can live a happier, healthier life.

 

The Effects of Clutter

As mentioned, clutter in the form of clothes piled up, papers stacked on desks, books stuffed in shelves, etc., are dust magnets. The more stuff you have, the more opportunities there are for dust to gather. And, having a disorganized and cluttered home makes it tougher to clean, which means more and more dust gathers.

In addition to the health problems associated with clutter, clutter creates stress, which can weaken your immune system leading to more problems. Looking around at a cluttered home it’s easy to become overwhelmed and upset at the state in which you find yourself.

The key to getting healthier at home is first to take a good hard look at where your home is organized compared to how much clutter you have. Look around and be realistic about your situation.

 

Brain Impact

While some people get comfort from clutter, there is research that suggests that too much clutter negatively impacts your brain by causing you to lose focus. This lack of focus impairs your ability to perform at your optimal level, which can affect your career and your health.

 

Anxiety and Depression

Some doctors believe that people with a lot of clutter experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. The stress and depression is caused by people who feel overwhelmed by the amount of junk they have and worry about how others might judge them. Cleaning your home or office, and getting organized is key to feeling better both physically and mentally.

 

Dealing with the Clutter

The first step in dealing with clutter is admitting you have a problem. Once you do that, the next step is to identify the worst areas of your house — areas where it’s most cluttered. Go through each room and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 on how much clutter it has; tackle the higher numbers first.

After you’ve identified the most cluttered rooms, it’s time to begin cleaning. Go through the stuff and separate them into categories of what you need, what you can sell, and what you can throw away. It’s essential, to be honest during this step because many people think they need everything they have. The reasoning is, ‘If I didn’t need it, I wouldn’t have it.’ But humans tend to save things and buy things we don’t need. All of that stuff gets piled up and creates clutter, which in turn leads to dust and health problems.

Once you’ve pared down those things you need, it’s time to figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff. In many cases, if the items are in decent shape, you can take them to a charity or shelter. If you don’t want to do that, you can always sell them online or plan a garage sale. As for broken items, throw them out. If you find you have too much junk, consider bringing in a professional junk removal service to help you get rid of the stuff.

The thing to keep in mind when you begin this process is that you’re not going to be able to do it all in one day. It may take a week or longer, especially if you have a lot of stuff. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Do a little at a time — break it down into small chunks — so it’s easier to manage.

 

Keeping Clean

Once you’ve successfully cleaned and gotten rid of as much clutter, and you’ve become organized, it’s vital that you create a routine that allows you to maintain a clean home. Again, the key is not to let things get out of control. Make it a habit of doing a little cleaning and dusting every day. If you wait for weeks, the job will seem overwhelming, and won’t get done, which leads to your home becoming a cluttered, dust-filled mess again. On the other hand, you could look for professional cleaning services to help you maintain a clean house. 

By being honest about your situation, and committing to making it better, you can live a happier, healthier life when you eliminate clutter and the dust that goes along with it.

Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

Where Did Spring Cleaning Come From?

Spring cleaning goes back… way back. We’ve been spring cleaning for generations across different cultures all over the world.

On the first day of spring, just before the Persian New Year, Iranians used to (and many still do) practice the tradition of “khooneh tekouni” or literally “shaking the house.” They would clean their homes from top to bottom so that the entire household would be ready for a fresh start heading into the Iranian Nowruz (New Year).

Jewish tradition calls for a similar practice of spring cleaning just before the springtime celebration of Passover. Since those observing Passover avoid eating or drinking anything yeast fermented or leavened, Jewish people would participate in spring cleaning to rid their homes of any trace those types of products.

Chinese tradition calls for spring cleaning to get rid of any bad luck hanging around, represented by dust that has settled in the house over the winter season. Just before the Chinese New Year, people clean every corner of their homes to get ready for a new start to the year that is sure to bring good fortune. Making the home look like new, and even buying new things is a traditional Chinese way to welcome in the new year and get it started right.

What Does Spring Cleaning Mean?

No matter the origin of the spring cleaning concept, today the practice of spring cleaning is popular all over, now mostly for its functional purposes. In climates where winters are cold and long, spring cleaning is a chance to open the windows and air out the house before the summer heat comes along. Springtime is the chance to pull every dusty rug out and let the wind carry away the dirt tracked in by dusty days of a long winter.

In the day when only coal and wood heated our homes, spring cleaning was a chance to scrub the house free of all the film and soot from a whole season of heating. Spring cleaning is a chance once a year to get to all of the most neglected areas of the home, to give those places a little extra TLC, and start the beginning of the year off on the right foot.

No matter what the occasion, whether it be preparing for a new year or welcoming in spring, spring cleaning gives us a chance to reset our lives, starting with a clean, crisp, organized home inside and out. So what should be on your spring cleaning list? Look below for a list that includes all the cleaning jobs that may get passed over during routine cleaning.  We’ll take you room by room to make sure nothing is missed.

Where and What to Clean

Kitchen

  • Wash cabinet doors and handles
  • Vacuum out food cabinets
  • Clean and wash inside of fridge, oven, microwave
  • Deep clean stove top
  • Wash windows
  • Scrub window sills
  • Wash and scrub sink and faucet handles
  • Wash walls, doors, and light switches
  • Clean baseboard and crown molding
  • Wash underside and top of hood vent
  • Wash upholstered kitchen seating
  • Deep clean floors
  • Wash inside of trash can
  • Clean off and scrub top of refrigerator
  • Dust/wash hanging lamps
  • Change out burned out light bulbs
  • Wash vents

Bathrooms

  • Scour water stains
  • Wash around base of toilet
  • Wash windows
  • Scrub bathtub tile from top to bottom
  • Scrub faucets
  • Wash walls, doors, light switches
  • Wash baseboards
  • Deep clean floor
  • Recaulk rim around tub
  • Change burned out light bulbs
  • Wash entire mirror
  • Dust tops of lights
  • Scrub window sills
  • Wash vents

Living Room

  • Wash baseboards and crown molding
  • Wash walls, doors, and light switches
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Pick up rugs and deep clean floors
  • Have rugs washed or vacuum rugs depending on condition
  • Wash or vacuum drapery
  • Wash upholstered furniture
  • Wash and condition leather sofa with leather safe cleaner
  • Wash windows
  • Clean window sills
  • Dust pictures
  • Clean out fireplace
  • Have chimney cleaned
  • Wash vents
  • Move furniture and clean floor underneath
  • Dust or wash lampshades
  • Dust or wash ceiling fan blades

Bedrooms

  • Wash pillows and comforters
  • Wash or wipe down headboard, runners, and foot board
  • Dust or wipe nightstands
  • Dust or wash lampshades
  • Vacuum or wash draperies
  • Move bed and vacuum underneath
  • Pick up rugs and clean floor underneath
  • Have rug cleaned if necessary
  • Dust pictures and furniture
  • Wash baseboards and crown molding
  • Wash walls, doors, and light switches
  • Wash windows
  • Scrub window sills
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Dust or wash ceiling fan blades
  • Wash vents

Office

  • Clean out desk of unimportant papers
  • Dust bookcase
  • Deep clean floors
  • Wash windows
  • Scrub window sills
  • Dust/wash ceiling fan blades
  • Wash baseboards and crown molding
  • Wash walls, doors, light switches
  • Check printer for ink and order more for the rest of the year
  • Dust electronics and clean with electronic approved wipes
  • Wash or vacuum upholstery
  • Wash vents

Laundry Room

  • Wash out gaskets and crevices in washer and dryer
  • Scrub laundry sink
  • Remove residual lint in corners of lint trap
  • Vacuum behind washer and dryer with vacuum extension
  • Deep clean floors
  • Clean out cabinets, remove anything you no longer use or need
  • Wash windows
  • Scrub window sills
  • Wash baseboards and crown molding
  • Wash walls, doors, and light switches
  • Wash vents

Entryway, Hallways, Stairs

  • Dust lights
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Wash baseboards and crown molding
  • Sweep for cobwebs
  • Deep clean floors
  • Lift any runner rugs and clean underneath
  • Wash walls, doors, and light switches
  • Wash vents
  • Dust/clean ceiling fan blades
  • Vacuum, wash each step
  • Wash stair rails

Garage

  • Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year
  • Throw out old boxes, containers, broken household items that got moved to garage
  • Reorganize shelving
  • Donate any recreation equipment you no longer use
  • Dust all shelving
  • Scrub the garage floor
  • Wipe down doors, handles, and light switch
  • Find recycling options for paint, oils, and batteries

Front & Back Porches and Decks

  • Powerwash patios and decks or hose down
  • Power or hand wash railings and posts
  • Wash table tops and outdoor furniture
  • Clear crevices of cobwebs and dead insects
  • Remove leaf debris from front and back beds
  • Throw out old planters that may have been left out over the winter

Basement or Utility Area

  • Perform Preventative maintenance on your water heater
  • Check the functioning of your HVAC, clean the units of debris outside
  • Consider having your ducts cleaned
  • Dust and clean the area around your utility appliances
Easy Cleaning Tips to do Everyday That’ll Keep Your Place Clean

Easy Cleaning Tips to do Everyday That’ll Keep Your Place Clean

Sometimes it may seem your home is a living, breathing being whose sole purpose is to make a mess everytime you turn around. Or so you would think. It’s amazing, really, that we are capable of making such a mess all on our own; or with the help of our kids, pets, and significant others. Even if it’s just ourselves in our homes, most of us are pros at creating clutter.

So what can you do to stay ahead of the mess? Whether you’re home all day working and living in the chaos, or work outside of the home only to come home to a potential dinner, laundry, pet explosion, here are some tips you can practice daily to keep ahead of the mess.

Keeping the Laundry Merry-Go-Round Revolving

No matter if it’s just you in the house or you and four other people, big and small, laundry builds up quickly. This is especially true for those one bath towel per day type of households. You can avoid a Mt. Laundry forming in your bedroom by either washing or folding at least one load of laundry everyday. Try timing it for the part of the day you have the most energy, whether it be mid-morning or right after work.

On that note, when you’re done with your work day, whether its from home or at an office, resist the temptation to throw your clothes on the exercise bike or the chair in your bedroom. Take the extra minute required to hang your lightly used clothes back up on the hanger, or throw them in the laundry bin each day. That will save you a massive pile to sort through at the end of the week, or after many weeks when you’ve discovered you have absolutely nothing left to wear.

Give the Bathroom A Wipedown

Just like you give the kitchen a good wiping after the evening meal, so should give the same attention to your bathroom. Bathrooms are easily neglected, since most of us spend only minutes in it a day. The condition of the bathroom may go unnoticed all week, maybe even weeks, until all of the sudden the grime-covered sink and toilet cannot be ignored any longer. At that point, you’ll spend an hour just getting it back to a respectable state.

Instead, alternate days during the week to quickly wipe down counters and toilets depending on the number of bathrooms you have. If you have two bathrooms, wipe down each bathroom every other day. You can do it during one of your bathroom visits, so it’s easy to remember.

Pick-Up Bins

This is a great trick that works for all members of the household. Get a bin, basket, bag… whatever works, and place it in the hall or on the stairs – any place where it will get noticed before bed. As you walk through the house, pick up clutter as you go and place it in the bin corresponding to the clutter’s owner. Have other members of the house join in on the chore so you’re not the only one bearing the burden. At the end of the day take your bin with you to bed and put things away, so that you can bring your empty bin down the next morning.

Vacuuming

Investing in a decent vacuum that works well on any surface including wood, tile, and carpet will go a long way in helping you keep your home clean on a daily basis. Keep your vacuum out during the week in a convenient place so that you can just flip the switch and do a quick pass on the highest traffic rooms. Pay extra attention to the kitchen, front hall (or most used entry point to the house), and family room.

The Kitchen Hustle

One of the messiest parts of the day is dinnertime. It may feel you’re emptying half your kitchen onto the counter just to get dinner cooked and on the table. Even if you’re going easy that evening, the plates and cups seem to reproduce while you aren’t looking.

Combat this by cleaning as you go. Rinsing and reusing bowls, mixing spoons, knives, etc. while you’re preparing food, cuts down on the amount of dishes you’ll be doing after dinner. Unload the dishwasher before you start preparing, so that you can load the dishwasher as you go. Try giving each person a unique cup to use throughout the day, so that new cups aren’t chosen because someone misplaced a cup that’s identical to someone else’s.

Make Your Bed Daily

This tip is more motivational than organizational. The act of making your bed every morning serves as a reminder to keep the positive, neat and tidy trend going all day. Seeing a made bed makes most of feel good, and may serve as motivation to keep the rest of the house as made up as possible.

Remove Unnecessary Clutter

Take a good look at your surroundings and get rid of those things that just don’t matter. Ask yourself if you really need four throw pillows on your sofa, or a decorative soap basket in your bathroom. Do you really need that stack of magazines on the coffee table that seem to end up on the floor by the end of the day, everyday? Do your children really need all of those toys? Simplifying the amount of small things you need to clean or pick up every day will make a big difference you’ll notice almost immediately.

Empty Trash As You Go

If you’re sick and tired of seeing a small hill start to creep up over the small trash bins, consider giving them a quick check every time you enter a room. Line the bathroom trash cans with a bag (even a grocery bag will do), so that you can easily pull it out and throw it in the kitchen trash as soon as it gets full. Also consider whether you need a trash can in every room. At a minimum, trash bins should be in bathrooms and the kitchen. Beyond that, use discretion.