Clean House

Last week during my annual CLEAN OFFICE day, I asked my team of lovely ladies whether they taught their children at an early age how to organize. Organizing isn’t typically a skill you think young children need or even could learn so I was surprised to find that a few of my colleagues did. They emphasized “toy management” with their kids by helping them dump out cluttered drawers and deciding the fate of each item: throw out, donate or keep. Denise would also tape a polaroid of “neat” shelves on the furniture so her three year old knew what to strive for on cleaning days. (She admits this was a good idea…in theory!)


Like almost everything in life, I believe that people fall on a continuum of how naturally organized they are, with hoarders on one end and obsessive neat freaks on the other. I’ll admit that I fall closer to the neat freak end, although it’s probably best not to be at either extreme. I stop short at organizing the noodles in alphabet soup!


So for those of you who get a thrill drawing a line through an item on a TO DO list, nest all the forks in the silverware drawer so they spoon each other (pun intended), or organize your closet by season and then color, here are some of my favorite organizing tips.

EASY TO PUT AWAY: The emphasis is on easy. If you can’t put your coat into a closet without a crow bar to pry open a space, the coat will end up on a chair. If you can’t put away a bowl without toppling over the cups, your counter will look very appealing. The point is that your stuff, when put away, needs breathing room.

TRANSPARENT CONTAINERS: Get rid of cardboard boxes or tubs that are opaque. You’ll save so much time looking for something by simply glancing at a clear container versus opening and unearthing one that isn’t.


REVERSE HANGERS: Once a year, arrange your closet so that all the hangers are reversed on the rod. As you wear a garment, replace it back on the rod with the hanger facing normally. At the end of the year, consider donating the items on reversed hangers since they were never worn.

STICK TO DISCARD RULES: If you made a rule that anything not used or worn in X amount of time is to be donated, stick to it. Looking at things you never use actually causes stress!

CALENDARIZE IT: Whether it’s exercising, a special home project, making an effort to call family or friends, or taking a vacation, block time for it on your calendar. If it doesn’t show up there, it won’t get done.

HOOKS, NOT HANGERS OR TOWEL BARS: If you have a place where hooks can be installed to hang coats or towels, do it. Hooks are so much easier and faster to use, especially little family members.
Email me your favorite organizing ideas and good luck with your CLEAN HOUSE project!