What are the Best Methods for Cleaning and Organizing?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Recycle papers that are no longer needed.
Recycle papers that are no longer needed.

There are several great methods for cleaning and organizing. The first step typically is deciding if help is needed, either from a professional or a friend who is proficient at cleaning and organizing. When going through the cleaning and organizing process, it is important to give away, recycle, or throw out any unnecessary, unused, and unwanted items; the one-year rule can help break a pack-rat habit — if something hasn't been used in more than a year, it's a good candidate for being thrown out. Once the clutter is thinned out, each item in a room should have a specific place. The room then can be cleaned from the highest point down to the floor.

Clear bins are helpful when organizing items.
Clear bins are helpful when organizing items.

If the thought of cleaning and organizing seems too daunting, a professional organizing consultant and a professional cleaning service may be necessary. A good friend or a willing family member may be willing to lend a helping hand as well. The benefit of having help is that it allows more to be accomplished in a shorter period of time.

A helper who is not emotionally attached to the items in a person’s home may actually give that person encouragement and support in reducing the number unused items. The general rule of thumb is that if an item has not been used in more than a year, it is time for that item to go to someone else. For example, if a person has five sets of flatware that she has purchased over the years, a helper may encourage the person to give away a few sets if they are not used on a frequent basis. In some cases, items may be recycled or thrown away. In other cases, items may be sold at a garage sale or through the newspaper or Internet.

The hardest part about cleaning and organizing is finding a place for everything. Many people have junk drawers, cabinets, or closets that are stacked high with items that have no specific place. Once a “home” is found for a particular item, it may be helpful to place a small label where the item belongs. As a result, it will be easier to remember to put something back in its place. For example, if the place where the stapler is supposed to be is empty, the label will make it clear that the stapler is some place other than its home and needs to be returned.

Cleaning and organizing a room or an entire home can be easy, especially if it is attacked on a small scale. It may be overwhelming to try to organize all the rooms at once. Focusing on a single room, a single closet, or a single cabinet at a time may make the process easier and less stressful.

In general, it is best to clean from the highest spot in a room to the lowest. For example, dust and debris can fall from shelves, countertops, or light fixtures. At each level, it will either be wiped up or fall to a lower tier. Finally, the lasts of the dust and debris should land on the floor. At that time, it can be mopped up or vacuumed.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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Discussion Comments

bagley79

I have all my cleaning products and sponges, cloths, and accessories in a handy caddy that I can easily carry from room to room when I clean. I like to clean my whole house at one time, instead of cleaning rooms at different times.

Especially when I am doing spring cleaning, I like to have everything I need with me which saves me making trips from one part of the house to the other. This also motivates me to just keep going until everything is cleaned and I feel like I can really relax and enjoy the whole house that is clean.

golf07

Everybody has a way that works best for them. All my cleaning products are natural environmentally friendly cleaning products. These all come in concentrated form and one cleaner will do several different jobs. This really helps eliminates clutter under the cabinets.

I label my spray bottles and have different colored labels on them, so I know at a glance which one I want to use. By using one concentrated cleaner that will do several jobs, I am cutting down on all the plastic bottles I use and throw away and recycle my bottles over and over again.

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    • Recycle papers that are no longer needed.
      Recycle papers that are no longer needed.
    • Clear bins are helpful when organizing items.
      Clear bins are helpful when organizing items.