There comes a time in your life when you realize you are spending too much money on things. I’m not talking about rent and groceries (although are ridiculous). I’m talking about spending on clothes, makeup, home décor…things you can control.
I had to confront my spending habits about a year ago when the credit card bills started getting out of control. Also, I’ve been truly trying to cut back – even minimize.
I’m not a minimalist but I do like the concept of a capsule wardrobe, having less décor in the house, and of course making everything easier.
I stumbled on a You Tuber named Christina Mychas who was stating a low buy journey and her ideas really inspired me to start my own low buy. Here are some of the things I have learned about myself during the low buy and of course – how to do one yourself.
First – come up with your “WHY”. You must have a clear reason for doing a Low Buy so it will inspire you when things are difficult. My why was to lower my credit card bills and try to save more for travel. Your why might be to reduce debt and purchase a home. Whatever your why – its personal – but it will support you on your journey.
Second – come up with “RULES”. My no’s were no new jewelry, clothes, home décor, makeup, blowouts, or books. And I committed to eating out significantly less. I committed to use up with I had in terms of makeup and skin care and only REPLACE things when I ran out. My yeses were nails 1x a month, lashes 2x a month and hair color ever 6 weeks. I made those personal upkeep things a priority in my budget. I did also discover that I wanted to prioritize a candle budget. I love burning candles and with buying no new home décor it left a hole. So, I developed a small line item for candles.
Third – manage your budget. I got a budget app called Rocket Money who helped me identify monthly subscriptions and cut back where I could. I also unsubscribed from texts and emails from businesses that sent me too many offers and opportunities to buy. You can control what comes into your email! Finally, I switched to cash for some of my spending. I get coffee from my local bakery on the days I go into the office. (If I have to work, I deserve coffee) So the coffee is $3.75 a cup x 4 days a week = that’s $60 a month. I also use cash for my eating out for lunches. 1 time a week I budget $15 for a lunch out = that’s $60 a month. I use cash to manage both of those funds for myself. Also – it cuts down on credit card line items.
Finally – it was hard to identify, but I shop for clothes and home décor when I’m stressed or bored. So, I had to come up with new, constructive, ways to manage those feelings. I literally came up with a list of things that a free to do when I feel stress or boredom. They include, taking a walk, walking the dog, reading, and taking a bath. I also realized that decluttering my home and of course cleaning it was free!
The low buy has been a game changer. My credit card bills are lower, and I seem to be managing my money better. Of course, I’ve been doing it for a year for I will admit that I have purchased some items (like clothes) on my no list. But I’m not going crazy. And a low buy is just to reign in your spending and help you identify some of your habits. It’s not designed to be about scarcity or depraving yourself. The best part about a low buy is that you get to make the rules. Identify what spending you can control in your budget and make plans to spend less.
I have been very happy on my low buy. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.
I’d love to get a discussion started about what rules you are establishing for yourself and what your no’s and yeses will be. Post below in the comments so we can inspire each other.
Do it now, not later – Have you ever heard of the one minute rule? I think organizing guru Peter Walsh coined it. The rule is that if you can do it in one minute or less then, you should do it immediately. Here are twenty 60 second tasks that you can do around your home to make a big impact. Do it now!
1.Make your bed – super simple and it makes a big impact. The bed is the biggest piece of real estate in your bedroom, if it messy then your room has permission to be messy. If the bed is neat and tidy then the room will rise to meet it.
2.Take out the trash – don’t let trash pile up in your home. Take it out to the garage if there is a weekly pick up or straight out to the dumpster if your live near one. Trash is a big deal.
3. Empty your car when you get home- take out everything your started with – coffee mug, keys, sunglasses, purse and of course all of your purchases. (unless you are trying to hide them from your husband and sneak them in later…I get you). Resetting your car is an easy way to keep it clean and ready for the next trip.
4.Clean off counter tops – take off the clutter and wipe them down. This may have to be done a couple of times a day. Make breakfast? Put the cereal away, put the dishes in the dishwasher and give the counters a quick wipe. Make dinner? Put the dishes in the dishwasher, put the spices away and give the counters a quick wipe. Here’s a quick tip – the less you have on your counter tops, the easier they are to clean. So, if you only use the rice cooker once a month it doesn’t deserve valuable real estate on your counters.
5. Never leave a room empty handed – dirty dishes to the dishwasher, items that belong another room go there . Always take something with you. My tip here is “think like a tidy person”. Don’t waste a trip.
6. Wash the sink - here’s an easy recipe for keeping your sink sparkling clean after you do the dishes. Sprinkle baking soda, drizzle dish soap and scrub. Then rise with water. Your sink will smell fresh and sparkle. And be ready for tomorrow’s dishes.
7. Throw out expired food – Take a quick scan of the fridge and see if anything is passed its prime. Think soggy vegetables and old left overs. You’ll keep your fridge smelling clean and of course free up space.
8. Tidy up the bathroom counter – after you are done getting ready, put things away. This of course is easier if you places for them in drawers or counter top organizers. So think about what you might need to make this space tidy. Can you achieve a clean sweep and have clean bathroom counter?
9. Reset your living room when you go to bed – no matter the time of year, I always seem to have a blanket on me to watch TV at night. When I go to bed at the end of the night, always take a minute and reset the pillows, fold and put away the blanket and put the remote back in its place. It’s a simple step to reset the living room for use the next day – so I don’t wake up to a mess that I left myself.
10. Break down boxes – take them to recycling or just outside to the garage. This is an easy step that frees up so much space.
11. One touch rule – this is a good one. Touch something once. Bring it to its place. Don’t bring it to a holding station that you have to deal with later. This is especially important with mail and paper. Touch once – throw away one!
12. Create a drop zone – keys, bags, sunglasses - put them in the same place every day so you know where they are. My husband has a basket by the back door for all his stuff. I always hang my purse on the same hook in the mudroom. Create an area for things to go and they will never be lost.
13. Clean as you cook - Do a pan or a dish as you cook. This of course is much easier if you have a dishwasher…or a sous chef helping you. Wipe down cutting boards and soak pans while you eat so it makes them easier to clean later.
14.Reset your workspace at the end of the workday – studies show that you are more productive with a clean workspace so tidy up at the end of the day and give your future self a gift. Also, organizing and cleaning off your desk at the end of the day signals the end of the work so it’s a great transition time.
15.Decant your pantry items – right as you get home from grocery shopping put cereal into canisters, wash berries and put into glass jars, take snacks out of the cardboard boxes. Decanting not only looks good but helps you see how much you have.
16. Put away your coat, shoes and purse – every time when you get home. Establish a routine and a place for all your gear.
17. Deal with your mail when it comes in - I have a bin in my garage where I throw out the junk mail before I even get in the house. Then in my mud room, I sort the mail into slots for each family member. It never hits the kitchen counter. I’ve worked with clients who have let their mail pile up and they have missed important bills and correspondence. Take 60 seconds and sort it.
18. Wipe your table after you eat – no crumbs!
19. List out your bigger tasks – not everything can be done in 60 seconds but your still need to do them. So, start a list
20. Designate a spot for miscellaneous items – the book you’re reading, the remote…. Think about sensible and intuitive places that you’d look for them – and place them there. Everything has a home!
I hope you found something useful in this list. Please leave a comment and let me know which one (or 20) you'll be doing.
I love a good to do list. Seriously. I have a notebook and white board and I email myself reminders to do… But how do you keep it all together? And how do you keep it efficient? I came up with a productivity hack that keeps me focus and on task – and it all starts with a sticky note.
First do a brain dump – on a white board or a notebook or app, whatever you have. A brain dump is literally that. You empty your mind of what you need to do. No categorizing. Just list. Take a few minutes and gather the tasks from every available source. Do you email yourself reminders like I do? Scan your email. Do you have slips of paper on your desk? Get them out.
Brain dump everything you need to do. Then, pick the top three things to do that day and write them on a sticky note. It’s as easy as that. Your priorities will show themselves as you decided what to list as your top three. Maybe they are the most important or the most time sensitive or the easiest to do. Whatever. You can do three things. That’s the hack. A three item to do list.
The trick is - once you do the three items, repeat the process. Pick three more items to do and repeat. It breaks your massive to do list in to manageable chunks. And let’s be honest – aren’t we all looking for manageable chunks – in almost everything we do?
This system is in line with my suggestion of tackling your organizing in your home in 10 or 15 increments. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You know your to do’s – whether they are a list of literal to do, or a set of tasks around the house like organizing the junk draw and tackling the closet. Wouldn’t all those things be easier if they were in smaller tasks? Start with a three item do list or 10 minutes of organizing. They can really make a difference in your day.
Did you know that the average American only has about a ½ hour of free time a week? A week! No wonder we are putting off things like daily cleaning, making doctor’s appointments, paying bills or sorting through paperwork. I truly believe that if we only have 30 minutes a week to do the supurflous tasks around our house like organizing and other to do…then a three item to list is just perfect for accomplishing real results. And 10 minuets organizing your junk drawer? Whoa nelly – that will get you so far!
Look, I’m a busy mom and you are probably too. My goal with this suggestion is to help you manage your time and to find some productivity hacks that actually work. I have tried the three item to do list now for a while and really works. I feel like I’m more focused and I actually get more done. The secret is chunks – with chocolate and organizing…the secret is always chunks.
Want more habits around productivity ? Schedule a coaching session - I'd love to help.
I tell everyone to start with their closet – it’s the most personal stuff. But there are very little sentimental items in there so with a little practice the closet is relatively easy to tackle.
I love Marie Kondo, but she got clothing wrong. Her practice is to gather every piece of clothing you own and pile it on the bed. You are supposed to go through it one by one. I believe the practice is to confront you with your belongings, but what this really does is overwhelm people. It’s not sustainable. You will inevitably get anxiety and overwhelmed and be left with a huge pile at the end of the of the day. That pile will be transferred to tor floor when you go to bed, and you will be left with an unfinished project.
There is a better way. Try my method. Get a cocktail (just kidding) and step into your closet. Take each item individually and address it. Do you love it? Do you wear it? Would you buy it again? Ask yourself these questions and evaluate each piece. If you want to get rid of it, discard it – donate it. If you want to keep it, tur the hanger around. It’s that simple.
Turning the hanger around accomplishes two tasks. First – it gives you a visual reminder of where you are in your project. Stop anytime to make dinner, pick up the kids, or if you feel overwhelmed. You know where you are based on where the hangers are turned around.
Second, it gives you a visual cue for wearing your clothes. When you wear your items, turn the hanger back around. It’s a keeper. But, if after 6 months there are hangers still turned around – then you know you don’t wear it and its time to donate it.
OK – that’s decluttering your closet. Easier than the Kondo method. More manageable. Let’s talk setting up your closet.
First of all zone your items – like with like. My closet is shirts, pants, jackets, and dresses. I once worked with a professional organizer who suggested I create outfits and hang them together – that my closet be outfit based rather than zones. But it just didn’t work for me. It was back to zones within a week. I like creating outfits, but I do that on a valet hook every night before bed for the next morning.
Next is color code your items. Don’t let your closet be a jumbled mess of color. I follow the rainbow principal. Red, yellow, orange, green, blue, violet – then the neutrals, brown, grey, black, and finally white. I set that pattern up for each zone.
Finally – address shoes and accessories. Everyday shoes I store lined up in a bookcase or shoe rack (depending on how many you have). Special occasion shoes – or those you just can’t get rid of are stored in plastic shoe boxes. Purses are lined up on the top shelf – color coded. There are great shelf organizers which can help the purses stand up, so they are easy to grab. Color coding is important if you have as many purses as I do! Finally, jewelry. I have a chest of drawers with special jewelry inserts that organize my baubles. There are many options for jewelry – it’s about finding what fits and what works for you. I like to display my jewelry like a store – so I know what I have, and I actually wear it. (Anyone else get into a jewelry rut?).
The best part about the closet is that these are your personal things so you can organize them, display them, and celebrate them as you see fit. How do you what to see your necklaces? How do you want to grab your shoes? Get creative – there are so many options.
Want to dig deeply into your closet with an accountability partner who can help you organize and declutter? Contact Bliss This House!
It’s a question I get a lot. I always tell my clients that the goal of declutting is multi-purpose. You want to generally get rid of the excess. But more than that – you want to find the good stuff. I like to think that decluttering helps shine a light on what’s really important to you.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Helps you see where you have excess – One aspect of my process is categorize. (Plan, Categorize, Declutter, Organize, Elevate). When you categorize what you have you get a sense of how much you have. You are confronted with what you have. Do you keep buying kitchen scissors because you can never find them – and then wind up with 5 pairs? Do you not like wearing shorts but when you categorize you find you have 8 pairs? Why do you have so many and what can you get rid of?
This process might even help you confront your shopping habits. Do you shop when you are stressed or bored? DO you even know what you are shopping for? Creating an awareness of what you own can change your shopping habits.
Helps clarify your goals - When you love your stuff, you need to take a step back to see how you and your home are being negatively impacted by what you own. You don’t need to become a minimalist, but you do need to set boundaries. A good rule of thumb is “one in one out”. That’s especially useful in the kitchen (gadgets) and closet (clothes). What are your goals for your home? Ask yourself if that next purchase aligns with the goals you have set for yourself.
When thinking about decluttering you can set goals for yourself in your home that align with your future self – I want to have space to do yoga; I want to get more work done on a clean desk; I want to make delicious meals in an organized kitchen.
Helps you highlight what you really love – I always say that the goal of decluttering is not to get rid of stuff but to find the stuff you really love that has been lost or covered up because of clutter. How can you enjoy that picture from your wedding when there’s too much clutter also on your mantle? How can you bake cookies with your kids when your kitchen counters are too cluttered ?
Declutter your space and let the good stuff shine in your home. Celebrate you and your personality. Think about the statement you. Can make in your home when it’s just filled with the stuff you really love and prioritize – rather than clutter.
Helps you locate things more easily - The average person will spend two and half days a year looking for lost items (including keys). Can you imagine? My mantra is a place for everything and everything in its place. If your clutter is just out…it doesn’t have a place. And that’s a problem. When you have less, you have less to look through to find what you are looking for. You might even just instinctively know where to look in the first place!
In the end it’s ok to love your stuff. We are human and spend a lifetime collecting memories and things and that’s ok – it’s all part of the journey. Even minimalists have things that are special or sentimental. But when the clutter starts to overwhelm you, then it’s time to start thing about letting some things go.
Start with trash, real trash that has no business being there. Then categorize your items and take stock of how much you have. You might be able to downsize whole categories. Think about your goals and what you want your life and home to look like. After you declutter, organize what is left in a way that serves you. Finally – make it pretty and let those special items shine.
Bliss This House always ready to help so please reach out. Fill out the contact form on this website for a free consultation. And leave a comment below if this blog was helpful to you.
How to declutter when the mess is too much to handle? You just have to start. Put one foot in front of the other and declutter a little bit. When you declutter a little bit over a lot of time, it adds up to huge results. Let’s get started.
How to start:
Start right where you are – You don’t even have to get up from the couch! Just sit and plan. How do you want the room to feel? How do you want to use the room? What can you take out to achieve those goals?
Take a picture before you begin – A “before picture “ is very powerful – document your starting point and act as a visual reminder of how much you’ve accomplished.
Eliminate the garbage – Grab a garbage bag and get the garbage out. It’s easy and doesn’t require decisions. It’s a great first step.
Remove the stuff that doesn’t belong – Look around and take out things that have a home in another room. Toys to the toy room, cups to the kitchen. Again, these are easy decisions because they don’t require thinking. You’ve already done the work. The next step is “take it there now”. Don’t let your to do’s pile up. Part of your job in decluttering is take the items that don’t belong in one room to where they do belong in another.
Declutter flat surfaces – I always say that flat surfaces are clutter catchers. Don’t put your mail down – deal with it. Don’t let small appliances pile up on your kitchen counters – put them away. Clear counters not only look better but are easier to clean.
How to keep up momentum:
Work in small chucks – If you don’t have time to declutter the entre house, that’s ok. Smaller projects have bigger impacts. Think about decluttering a certain part of a certain room in one session – keep it small. Make it achievable.
Declutter when you can - Don’t have all day? That’s ok. Declutter when you can. And batch your task with something enjoyable like a podcast or audio book. The goal is to make the project fun and realistic.
Celebrate your progress – Remember that even one small step forward is still progress. You are doing great. Just don’t celebrate by buying more stuff…
How to maintain your space:
Have a place for everything - Make sure everything in your home has a designated place. Having a place for everything makes things easier to find and helps others know where to put things when they’re done.
Create one in / one out rule - Create an exchange rule for bringing new items in your home. This is especially helpful in the closet. New shirt? One goes out. This can help you make decisions in the store – do I really have something that can go out if I buy this new thing?
Establish a tidy routine. – Tidying for just 5 or 10 minutes a day will really make an impact in your home. Set a reminder on Alexa or on your phone to do a tidy and reset your home.
I hope these tips on how to start, how to keep up momentum and how to maintain your space are helpful. Contact Bliss This House to help you declutter your home and establish good declutter routines!
Have you heard of the capsule wardrobe? It’s a great concept that helps you minimize your closet by maximizing your outfits. You get about 30 pieces and then you can mix and match to make about 200 outfits. There are many services out there that create capsule wardrobes but I like the site – Classy Yet Trendy and of course there is Project 333, which I highly recommend.
So why am I talking about a capsule wardrobe when the title of this blog is the Kitchen Capsule? Because it occurred to me that you can apply the same concept of a capsule wardrobe to the kitchen. And you should. It will cut down on excessive items in your kitchen!
I recently worked with a great friend who was cleaning out her kitchen. She started pulling out her plates and we counted – 15! Not to mention her fancy set for guests (10 more) and of course her Christmas dishes for the holiday (8 more). This is a single lady who lives by herself in a small condo. Why does she have 33 plates?
Next we got into her wine glass collection and it was a collection…we lost count after 20. They are all lovely and special, but when you have more than 20 wines glasses you might have a problem.
Why am I counting dishes and wine glasses – because I think you should have less. My friend should have:
4 everyday plates
2 wine glasses
a set of silverware for 8.
In my house – a household of 4. We have :
8 everyday plates
4 wine glasses (the kids don’t drink)
and a set of silverware for 12.
I’ll admit that I also have a set of fancy dishes that I registered for when I got married. I bring them out on special occasions like Christmas or when my Mother In Law comes to town. But my everyday kitchen cabinets are lean. We don’t live in a tiny house where space is at a premium, but we do live in a world with too much. Everywhere. I do my best to minimize where I can.
Now you’re probably thinking – Maria, what if I have company? Good question. I have 8 everyday plates so that means I can 4 more people over. If there is more than that I bring out my fancy plates. If there is more than that I order pizza.
You can tweak these numbers for the number of people that live in your home – and use your kitchen – but the general numbers stay the same. 2 plates per person. Dishwashers are amazing things and they really do conserve water better than hand washing. I run mine every other day – to keep on top the dishes and make sure we always have plates available for dinner.
I’d love to have this Blog open up some conversation about the Kitchen Capsule – how many plates and wine glasses do you have ? How many do you think you need? Can you do with less?
I don’t want you to get rid of things just to get rid of them. I love sentimental items and want you to keep things that spark joy for you. But having less actually helps you celebrate the things that are special to you. You can display the sets of dishes that are really special to you – say your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving dishes – knowing that you have less over all.
The Kitchen Capsule is just an idea to get you started. I love the idea of the Capsule wardrobe but I legit have too many clothes that I love to whittle down to 30 pieces. So let’s get started! What can you release from your kitchen today?
Contact Bliss This House to set up one on one coaching or in service organizing. We’re here to help! Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I recently had a client ask me – how do I stay organized? I offer lots of tips, tricks and inspiration to get organized but I can understand that that next logical question is how do I stay that way?
The first tip…and to has to be said …. Is declutter. Come on, you knew it was coming.
By significantly decluttering you reduce the amount you have to manage. Fewer clothes means less laundry. Fewer dishes means less in the sink. Minimal amount of gadgets on the kitchen counter means you can clean the kitchen easier.
You must declutter and get to a manageable amount of things. If you find a place for everything then it’s easier to put things away. If your drawers aren’t busting at the seams, you might just become that magical unicorn that washes, folds and puts away their clothes all in one day.
Once you declutter, though, you still have work to do. I call them daily tasks.
And finally – create a daily routine that has plenty of time to work on your home. Coffee in the morning? Empty the dishwasher. Set a reminder on your Alexa to do a 5 minute pick up after lunch. Do the dishes after dinner. If you create good habits, then you will see results.
I hope you have found this helpful – if so please leave a comment! Also, if you are interested in working with me, reach out via email. I offer virtual coaching to declutter and organize from anywhere in the world! And if you’re in Connecticut, I can do in person services. I’d love to work with you.
Are you looking for 25 habits that will make you more organized? Look no further. I’ve compiled a list that will change your life – and keep you organized. Looking to simplify your life? Let’s get started.
1.Unsubscribe from junk email – I don’t know about you but I get lots of emails. So much junk! You can use a website called unrollme.com to quickly delete you from unwanted subscriptions or you van spend a few hours doing it yourself. Whichever you chose – you’ll be amazed at the results. Less junk, less clutter.
2.Clean out your purse - You’ve got clutter in there, trust me. Dump everything out and have a good look. Bonus if you organize what’s left over into some sort of pouch or organizer. Bonus tip – I have a pouch that I put receipts directly in. They don’t get lost in the bottom of my purse.
3.Clean as you go – Instead of waiting for your home to get dirty and having to spend hours cleaning it…just do a little here and there. The more you do, the quicker it will take. Tasks won’t pile up.
4. Meal Prep / plan – Meal planning is key to organization. It cuts down on food waste and builds up nutrition. Meal prep goes hand in hand with this – you prep a few meals, take an afternoon, and have meals for days.
5. Organize your digital life - create folders that are intuitive so you don’t waste time searching for things you need on your computer. Delete unwanted files and junk that is stored on your computer. There can be clutter there too!
6.Buy furniture with storage – Hello functional furniture ! I love a good ottoman with storage. Think baskets and cabinets with lots of space. Furniture can do double duty.
7. Set up a cleaning schedule – Designate different days when you vacuum, dust, do laundry, etc. You can stick to a plan and make it a habit – things will get done regularly and be easier to do.
8.Declutter your closet -keeping your closet decluttered and streamlined helps you look better and get ready faster. Also – the closet is one of the biggest pieces in your bedroom, keeping it organized keeps the whole room tidy.
9. Create a daily to do list – I like to recommend a top 3 for the day then brain dump the rest. No matter how overwhelmed you get, you can do 3 things! I believe in you.
10. Have backstock (extras of things) – Don’t run out of TP or contact solution…when you really need it. But don’t go crazy. Have one or two things in your backstock that you can relay on. But don’t hoard. It’s about balance.
11. Lay out your outfit the night before – I love this one – I actually do my full week beforehand. Laying out your outfit saves time in the morning. End of story. Save time. Save decisions. Save morning drama.
12.Save your passwords in one place – I’m constantly losing and forgetting my passwords. Save yourself the drama and save them in one place – maybe a spreadsheet on the computer.
13.Declutter your phone (goodbye unused apps) – Do you download apps that you think will change your life and then never use them? Guilty! If you have a ton of unused apps on your pone its ok to delete them…clear the clutter on your screen.
14.Keep an emergency kit in your car – My best friend once got stuck during a snow storm on a highway for 12 hours! If she had had an emergency kit with a couple of bottles of water, a few snacks, a first aid kit and some meds… it might have been a more pleasant experience. Take my advice and stock a kit.
15.Get a spice organizer – Don’t live in spice chaos. I recently found an organizer that hangs on your fridge so it frees up counter space. I use one that fits in my cabinet. Whatever you use, label – label – label.
16. label everything – Speaking of labeling. If you live with other people and establish an organization routine, you have to tell them about it. The best way is to label things so people are empowered to use the systems. Get a label Maker
17.clean out your wallet – I recently poured out all my change that I had been carrying around in my wallet. My purse is 40lbs lighter. Kidding. But seriously. File receipts, take out change. Streamline your wallet so it can work for you.
18. Set up a drop off zone in your home – A place for your keys, bag, shoes, etc when you come in. Think bin, basket – even bucket! Just placing your stuff in the same place every time will create a routine.
19.Declutter and stock your medicine cabinet - you never know when you’ll get sick and the last thing you need is out of date meds! Flu season is coming, make sure you medicine cabinet is stocked with what you might need.
20.Set alarms and reminders on your phone / Alexa – This is a game changer. Set a 10 minute tidy on your phone once a day. Think of other habits and routines you can automate through technology.
21. Keep your desk organized – It’s easier to be productive during work time if your desk is not a mess. Also consider “resetting” your desk after you are done working so it is ready to go the next time you sit down.
22. Schedule regular appointments in advance (hair color every 6 weeks!) – I bring my planner with me everywhere I go so I can set up my regular appointments. You are going to get your roots done every 6 weeks…why not schedule it ahead of time to avoid the greys. Schedule kids’ physicals a year in advance. You get the idea.
23.Make your bed every day - The bed is biggest piece of real estate in your bedroom so if it is messy then your room is messy. Take a few minutes every morning and reset your room.
24. Keep a gym bag stocked and ready to go – I avoid going to the gym at all costs. But if my bag is packed, its one less excuse I have. Lay out your work out clothes, pack what you need, set it by the door and head to the gym!
25. Track your finances – Organization can extend to your finances and should. I have a great app that tracks all my credit card spending and helps me keep an eye on my bottom line. Find what works for you, but track!
whoooo - what a list ! what resonates with you? I'd love to hear! My favorite is to set reminders on Alexa - mine manages my life!! Big ol thank you to my brother who gave me my Alexa last year for Christmas...it's a game changer.
Bliss This House is chock full of good ideas like these to help everyone get more organized. Have questions about anything on this list? Drop a comment and let’s talk!
OK - I'll start with the controversial statement: Cleaning People will not solve all your problems. Now don't stop reading...there is hope and a way forward - with or without a cleaning service. But I wanted to address the myth that most people hold so dear. They have a messy home and they think if they can just get a cleaning service everything will be alright.
You have a messy home? You need to organize it!
You have a dirty home? You need to clean it.
Simple. A cleaning person will not declutter your stuff for you. They will not take all your clothes out of your closet and asses what you should keep, toss or donate. They won't tidy up your junk drawer or give you systems for keeping it tidy and organized.
A cleaning service cleans. If you have pets...kids...a life... a cleaning service is a great idea. I personally hate scrubbing toilets. I have a cleaning service - a very nice man comes to my home twice a month and does everything we need.
But here's the secret -- I live in a 3500 square house and it only takes him 2 and half hours to clean our four bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half baths, and the kitchen and living spaces. And hello floors!
I came to this service AFTER I had decluttered our home significantly.
You've heard me say that I like to keep my kitchen counters clear because I like how it looks - but it’s also easier to clean that way. Same principal goes for your floors. If you have too much clutter on your floors and cleaning person can't sweep or mop effectively.
I admit that I used to be the person who "picked up" before the cleaning person came. Are you a fellow picker upper? Do you clean before the cleaning people? Why do you do that? So they don't see your mess or because you think they can't effectively clean with the mess that is already there? See where I’m going with this?
You have to start with a good declutter. This could take a day or a couple of weeks – depending where you are. Then…and only then…will a cleaning service live up to its full potential in your home. If you declutter AND clean you home will transform.
As I said…I’m not against cleaning services. I have two dogs. Two. There is a lot of fur. I vacuum almost every night – even when the cleaning service is coming that week. Vacuuming, swiffing, mopping – they are all easier because there aren’t piles of things on my floor. No stacks of magazines, no left-over appliances, no stacks of pillows. I do a quick tidy and reset my kitchen and living room to “factor settings” and then I vacuum. Its easy.
My cleaning service didn’t solve my problems – I did. With good habits and lots of decluttering. I discovered what Dana K. White of “A Slob Comes Clean” calls my “clutter threshold”. It’s the amount of stuff I can display, store…keep in my home without feeling overwhelmed – and making it easy to clean. What’s your clutter threshold? I’m sure it’s different from mine, but we all have one.
So those are my thoughts. Declutter. Then get a cleaning service if you feel you need one and can afford them. But do it in that order – otherwise your service will waste their allotted time moving your stuff so they can clean around it.
If you are ready to declutter – contact Bliss This House for a one hour coaching session or in person services! We can help you start good habits around your home and stuff and get you ready for that special day when a cleaning service comes!