Ten Step Cleaning/Organizing Program

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Our house needs some help.  I need some help.  I feel like I’m 10 steps behind on cleaning and organizing and it’s starting to drive me nuts.  No, I promise I wasn’t nuts before.  Just now.

Every day I think about all the projects I want to do and set out to do.  But, between a full time job as an association director, running a small business (My Hello Designs), being a full time mommy, a full time wife, a full time dog owner (yes, she is very high maintenance so that counts as a full time job), a blogger, a facebook addict, and a new gardener, my hours per day are limited.

Something has to give during the waking hours each day and recently that has been the cleaning and organizing aspect of my life.  And I very much dislike that.  I am a planner by nature and profession and having so much disorganization in my house drives me nuts.  It doesn’t bother Jim in the least, but it drives me crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, our house isn’t dirty.  It’s just not sparkling clean and organized.  That is where I’m hoping you can help me.  I need some great organization suggestions on the following things:

  1. Mail Organization:  Currently our mail makes it through the front door and into a pile.  Some days the pile is on the table by the door; other days it makes it to a pile on the kitchen counter.  HELP!
  2. Book Organization:  We love to read books.  We read them everywhere in our house – toy room, kitchen, family room, bedroom.  They are everywhere and I need a quick easy way to keep them organized versus having them scattered throughout the house.  HELP!
  3. Shoe Organization:  I thought I had this one resolved. I have a basket for each kid and taught them to put their shoes in their basket when they take them off.  Now what do I do about the hubby’s shoes all over the house?!  HELP!
  4. Toy Organization:  Is this a lost cause?!  HELP!
  5. Dog Toy Organization:  Seriously!  I find more dog toys around this house than kid toys most days!

And when it comes to cleaning I typically buy whatever is on sale or whatever I have a coupon for.  I’m not particular, but after my new Colgate toothpaste experience last week (remember this?), I would really like to find some cleaning products that I love just as much.  I seriously LOVE my new Colgate Total Advanced Whitening toothpaste!  Do you have any cleaning products that you love as much as I love my toothpaste?  I’m looking for the following products:

  1. Hardwood floor cleaner
  2. Stainless steel appliance cleaner
  3. Granite counter top cleaner
  4. Dusting product for wood furniture

Currently I use Tide HE for laundry and I like it, but I’m not attached. I love the smell and it does what I need it to do, but I thought the same about my old toothpaste and look where that got me!  For the dishwasher I use Cascade Complete.  Again, not attached.

So, if you have any great products you want to recommend to me, I would love to hear them.  Or if you have any brilliant ideas (or have seen brilliant ideas on other blogs) regarding organization, I would welcome those.  Actually, I am sort of begging for help in that area.  My summer goal is to get my house organized and to have a garage sale to declutter.

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  1. The sink is the most important spot in any kitchen and it also one of the most frequently visited spot in the home. It is considered that at any given day, the morning work starts at a kitchen sink and the night work finishes at the kitchen sink. So, it is absolutely essential kitchen gear for the homeowner to select on the best type of kitchen sinks that will perfectly compliment the look as well as the entire set up of the kitchen area

  2. Hi there, you are an amazing lady, i can’t imagine achieving so much in my day!!!
    Im an aussie so not to much help with the cleaning products, but in my last house we had black granite benchtops. I used methylated spirits in a spay bottle that we sprayed on & wiped it off immediately with a clothe designated for that job only. Gives a lovely smear free shine!!
    My kids have there toys in plastic storage boxes & they are sorted in groups eg lego in one box, dolls in another, this way they know exactly where things are so they don’t pull everything out searching for something. Works a treat.
    For mail we have trays on the pantry shelf, one for the incoming that hasnt been opened, one for the bills to be paid or further correspondence needed & one for things that need to be filed.
    I have a clipbord hanging inside the pantry door for each child that has all their school notes, homework, invites etc. We also have a shoe rack at the door that everyone likes to keep their shoes NEXT to.
    Hope you get it sorted, its really hard to function when things aren’t just how you like them

  3. Hi Jean,
    For granite, I like the Weiman Granite wipes. $3.99 at my grocery store. Works great.

    Baskets from Target or Homegoods for books. They make some nice looking baskets.

    (I like to check your blog- Jim is my cousin that I haven’t seen in forever- but I feel like I know your family through your blog.)

  4. I find that plastic bins are good storage tools for just about anything… toys, shoes, books, you name it. You can label them and have everyone (including your husband) put their belongings in the labeled bin as soon as they are finished using them for that day.

    I have a plastic box for each pair of my shoes. My daughter has an over-the-door shoe rack and we also have one that hangs in a closet. The rack has dividers, so a pair of shoes goes in each section.

    Mail: Go through it and sort out the junk as soon as you check the box. The junk goes straight into the garbage or recycle bin. The rest can be sorted as soon as you check the mail into bills, catalogs, coupons, or whatever categories you have. It might be stacking trays or a wire organizer you can get at Walmart, but keep it handy, either in the kitchen or by the computer.

    Just a few ideas. I’m sure in time I could think of more.

  5. all i can say is bins/baskets/ and dollar tree ive bought a lot of bins and baskets from the dollar tree even for my kids room / play room they love them cause there funky and cute ilove them cause things arent all over my floor…. and as mail i concur sort as in ur hand.. recylce clippers/ sales adds. shredd junk mail and then i sort my bills into my slotted org for paying purposes….no piles this way much eaiser call me if u need some help my ocd loves to help……lol

  6. For cleaning, I use the Green Works products from Clorox. I love them!! The bathroom cleaner is made with coconut oil and it smells great! I use it in my kitchen too, and I have stainless appliances and granite countertops. The make lots of products and I’ve been using the Green Works laundry pre-treater on my daughters stuff that gets formula on it and it works like a dream!

    For shoes, I bought my husband one of the over the door shoe organizers. They are super cheap and clear so you can see all your shoes. I usually end up putting his away, but it makes it easier to know they are on the back of a door and not laying around the house wherever he took them off!

    For the mail, I have a three basket mail organizer on the wall behind my front door. When I come in with the mail, bills go in the top basket, personal mail goes in another and catalogs and magazines go to the magazine rack in the bathroom or the office for my husband, since he’s the only one who looks at them.

  7. 1.Mail Organization: I never set my mail down on the kitchen island, it is automatically sorted into 3 piles that I can handle when I have the time. Bills/Invites/Important; Catalogs; Recycling/Garbage. Usually I just move the recycling to the bin right away so I have 2 “neater piles” on my island that I can get to after the kids go to bed or at a different day.
    2.Book Organization: I’ve given up on vertically placing books on shelves for now – too hard for my little ones. We have a dedicated book area, whether it is a drawer in the basement or a shelf in the family room that all books are returned to at the end of the night during “clean up” time. Works pretty great now that I’ve let go of the neat vertical placing.
    3.Shoe Organization: If you figure out how to get your husband to put his shoes away, let me know. I’ve pretty much resigned to either pick them up myself or leave them.
    4.Toy Organization: Lots and lots of bins neatly stored in different rooms. We have things that match certain rooms to help blend in, but then again, we also just have toys laying out – it is sort of a lost cause…
    5.Dog Toy Organization: My mom always had a basket that we’d put Crystal’s toys in. But we never got Crystal trained to pick up after herself, either. It was definitely us doing it all.

    Overall – I say get bins/baskets for the rooms that drive you most nuts. It really helps me to relax cause I can whip them out of eyesight without having to neatly organize the toys/shoes/STUFF and spend more time blogging! 🙂

  8. Hey Jean…so I have found a company called “norwex”…they have all kinds of multi-purpose green cleaning rags etc that can be used without harsh chemicals. They have a rag that I use to wipe down my appliances (stainless)…I too have kids and I know how the fingerprints are!!! It is so easy to do, wet it down and wipe they the appliances look great! Check it out…also there is a dust mitt that is great for dusting and for my wood mini-blinds. Oh I could go on and on…kind of expensive, but all really worth it.
    There also is a rag I found at Target that is a scotchbrite rag that works as well on my appliances, windows and mirrors. Much cheaper..yet a bit smaller than the nowex one. Hope this helps.

I would LOVE to hear from you!

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