Procrastinator's Guide to Cleaning

I confess, I HATE cleaning! I do love having a clean house, but not enough to really work hard at it. But I'm married to a neat freak so I have learned a lot of ways to compromise and change my habits over the years. Here are some of my favorite tips that don't require too much extra effort:

Make a place for everything!

We move a lot which has taught me the importance of getting my "things" settled into their "spots". If you have a basket, bin, drawer, shelf or whatever for every category of item, then it is much easier to actually put the things back in there places.

The welcome home station

This can be a shelf, an end table, set of plastic drawers or one of those fancy "mud room" benches. Whatever you use, make this your first stop when you walk in the door so that you always put your keys, loose change and other to-go gadgets in this spot. This is much better than leaving them all through the house causing you to play hide and seek the next time you are leaving.

I love to have a coin sorter at this station so I can dump my change into effortless organization. There are also great charger stations that you might want to use here.

Another great feature of your welcome home station is to have kid spaces. Things to consider here are hooks for the jackets & backpacks, cubbies for the shoes & random junk, etc. It's really good to have an in/out type of system where they can place notes from school and papers to sign.

For the adults, I always have a basket for incoming receipts. This way when my hubby empties his pockets or i clean the purse, there is a place to stash those piles of receipts which are promptly procrastinated over as long as possible. Wink BUT at least if something has to be returned, I can quickly find the receipt.

It's pretty easy to get everyone in the family used to using the welcome home station after a few tries.

The tech basket

This is the place where all those miles of cables, crazy adaptors and other accessories make their nest. In my house, it is a big tangled ball, BUT when someone needs that specific cable, I know right where to go.

The cleaning closet

There are more than just cleaning things in this closet, but that's it's name so everyone knows where the stuff is. There's a basket of gadgets like sponges, gloves, old toothbrushes for scrubbing with, vacuum cleaner bags, etc. Then of course, all the chemicals, broom, mop, etc. The point is to keep all of those staple items on hand and in one easy location. I'm certainly NOT going to do all the cleaning myself so there's no wasting time figuring out where the last person left the clorox wipes if it's a known fact that they belong in the cleaning closet.

I also like to keep the paper towels & toilet paper in here - which I buy in bulk so I don't have to think about it too long.

The meds cabinet

I think this is a pretty standard item in most homes. For us it is typically in the kitchen and houses all the vitamins, meds, first aid supplies, etc. One trick is to store things in small baskets (like the rectangle ones from the dollar store). This cabinet can get unruly FAST so try to use baskets to categorize and then pile all the bottles in each basket.

Laundry land

When we are lucky enough to have a spacious laundry room, I LOVE to have a table for folding and bins for each family member so you just fold and sort by person right there without having to haul clothes around the house, dropping them everywhere. We even have a basket for the lost socks where they can wait hopefully for the return of their mates.

Gift closet

I may be a lazy cleaner, but my procrastination has taught me to hoard items so that I can appear well prepared. So, I have a big tub of gift wrap items all together with many dollar store finds just waiting for their occasion to shine. I even have a pair of scissors strictly limited to this bin along with tape, gift tags & sharpies. Once, we lived in a home with a basement and I had an old desk that doubled as a giftwrap station. That was cool!

In addition to the wrapping bin, there's the gift box which has things that can fill all those cute bags and giftwrap. This may be items I want to re-gift or things that I found on sale and picked up for future use.

Craft bins

Here again, if you have a place for everything, you're doing GREAT so don't worry about the mess "inside" that place. I have a several big tubs for craft supplies and then I just dump the stuff in there. I may have to dig around to retrieve those glue sticks, but at least I know where to dig.

Memory tubs

I am never going to be the perfect scrapbooking mom but that doesn't mean I don't want to preserve all the cute things they make. When they bring those treasures home and they have finished their rotation on the fridge, they are carefully tossed into the big tub of memories to stay safe & all together. 


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