Organize the Garage

For most of us, organizing the garage is a major project. There’s no way we could tackle the garage in 15 minutes a day without it taking all year! Maybe next year we could jump on board with Garage Cleanup 365 :) But, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t at least give an opportunity to improve this area of the home.

Since we’ve cleaned the garage a little bit this week, today’s task is going to be to organize the garage. It might take a little (or a LOT) longer than normal. Do what you can. And don’t worry about what you can’t. Seriously.

Garage Organization

Organize the Garage

Here are steps to completely organize your garage. If you just want to tackle just one area of your garage, that sounds like a plan to me!

  1. Remove everything from your garage, or at least everything that doesn’t have a place.
  2. Categorize items as you remove them. One area for kid toys. Another for yard equipment. Another pile for items that can be donated.
  3. Sweep your garage. Get rid of the cobwebs. Paint the walls if you’re extra motivated :)
  4. Divide your garage into zones and decide which zone your piles should go. Do you need shelving units? Boxes? Labels? Other organization tools?
  5. Get the tools you need.
  6. Install those organization items on the wall if they aren’t already in place.
  7. Put back everything that should be housed in the garage.
  8. Take donation items to the donation center.
  9. Pull in your car.
  10. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

I know it’s a lot. And for most people it would take several weekends. Just do what you can. Even if it’s sweeping the floor. You can do it!

And just a heads up…our spring cleaning tasks will be easier next week :)

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #9.
  • Organize the garage.
  • Add this task to your personal cleaning schedule so it doesn’t sneak up on you again!

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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You’re not using all that stuff in the garage, are you?

Clean out the garage

You got rid of all that obvious trash in the garage yesterday, right?

Good!

Now it’s time to get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the garage. If you’ve been around all year, then your house should be pretty clean and organized by now.

So, take anything that belongs in the house inside. Put it where it belongs…not by the door. Not that you would do that.

Then, look for things in the garage that you haven’t used in at least a year…and honestly ask yourself if you will ever use it. The key here is honesty. If you don’t use it or need it, get rid of it.

I know this is very, very, very, very, very difficult. But using the garage for what it is meant to be used for will simplify your life.

I promise.

I know this first hand.

My husband and I just cleaned out our garage, got rid of a bunch of stuff, organized it, and *gasp* are parking in the garage!! Trust me. It’s worth it!  

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #9.
  • Remove anything that doesn’t belong in the garage.
  • Add this task to your personal cleaning schedule so it doesn’t sneak up on you again!

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Trash the Trash in the Garage

Who’s ready to tackle the garage? Cleaning out the garage will definitely be a process….at least for most of us. But, just remember that every little bit helps. If you just spend a few minutes each day working to clean and organize the garage, you WILL notice a difference.

Trash the Trash in the Garage

Today’s task is simple. Go out to your garage and look though every box and look in every corner. If you find anything that’s obvious trash, get rid of it.

Sound doable?

Great!

Oh. If you don’t have a garage, work on the basement, or the carport, or a closet, or…well, pick a room of your choice :)

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #9.
  • Get rid of the trash in your garage.
  • Add this task to your personal cleaning schedule so it doesn’t sneak up on you again!

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

A new month means a new cleaning habit. Are you ready?!?! Let’s talk about why we should use the best cleaning tools for the job.

But first, a reminder about the cleaning habits we’ve covered so far:

  1. Cleaning Habit #1: Tackle your problem area,
  2. Cleaning Habit #2: Clean your kitchen every night,
  3. Cleaning Habit #3: Let it go and streamline your life,
  4. Cleaning Habit #4: 5 minute pick up,
  5. Cleaning Habit #5: Put things back where they belong,
  6. Cleaning Habit #6: Wash one load of laundry each day,
  7. Cleaning Habit #7: Do One Thing. Just Start,
  8. Cleaning Habit #8: Conquer paper overload.

Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually use laundry detergent in the bathroom or an all-purpose spray to clean the dishes. I mean, it would probably work; but just not as good as products made specifically for the job.

The right cleaning products usually do a better job than random tools. When you use a dusting spray to remove dust, it usually repels future dust accumulation. When you use job-specific vacuum attachments, you can clean baseboards, ceiling fans, door frames, shelving, and under furniture all while you vacuum the floor.

Using the best cleaning tools for our messy housecleaning jobs will reduce the time we actually have to clean. That means we’ll have more time to do the things we actually enjoy!

Just so you know, I’m not talking about green cleaning or homemade cleaning products vs. conventional cleaning products here. The best cleaning products are the ones that you will use, that you feel comfortable with, and that do the job well!

Your challenge for the month.

This month, I want you to take inventory of all the cleaning products you have in your home. Sprays. Solutions. Detergents. Soaps. Scrub brushes. Cleaning cloths. Vacuums. Brooms. Mops. Everything.

Then think about what you’re missing in your collection of cleaning tools. What tool or product would help you clean more efficiently.

Then think about what you don’t need. Do you have duplicate items. Do you have a product or tool that you’ve never used? If so, get rid of it.

By the end of this month (maybe even by the end of today) you could have a full collection of cleaning tools that just may cut your cleaning time in half!

Is there a tool or product that’s top of mind? Let me know in the comment section!

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Practice Your Paper Organizing Process

I don’t know about you, but there have been so many times I excitedly set up a new system, get organized, and then…nothing. I’m back to my old habits. Since you have been working so diligently on your filing system, I do NOT want that to happen to you.

Today’s task seems easy on paper. And technically it is. But it is VERY important.

Today, the goal is to practice your paper organizing process.

As new paper comes in, put it in your inbox (or whatever system you created). Check your purse, bag, backpack, mailbox any any other container that your paper comes home in.

Then process the documents. Pay bills. Sign papers. Review and shred. OR determine when you can process the paper. Then put it on your calendar :)

That’s it!

Let me know how you made progress this month!

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Practice your paper organization process.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Photo Organization

We spent some time decluttering our digital photos yesterday. But getting your photos off your phone and camera are just the beginning.

Today, let’s spend a few minutes systematically organizing your photos from yesterday. If you jumped ahead, go back to an older album.

Ready? Let’s go!

Supplies Needed:

Instructions:

Start with one photo and systematically work though the batch.

  1. Make sure your photos are in a descriptive folder. Maybe something like year, month, event.
  2. Name the photos to something other than “img_ooo23.jpg”
  3. Tag the photos appropriately (of course this only applies if the program your using has tags).
  4. Back up your photos. Put them in dropbox (it’s free!), on an external hardrive (not free but totally worth it!), somewhere in the cloud, etc.

If you don’t have time to go though all of the steps, set your timer for 5-15 minutes and get to work. Then feel free to quit when the timer goes off. Keeping your photos in order doesn’t have take over your life!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

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Digital Photo Organization

I don’t know about you, but my phone gets cluttered with photos in a hurry. I’m constantly taking pictures of my kids. I take tons of photos for my blogs. There’s Instagram, twitpic, Facebook albums…

Digital photos can be a major source of clutter!

Thankfully we’ve been spending a couple of days working on photo organization each month this year. Hopefully it’s a habit by now. If not, we’re going to keep doing it until it is! You may find it helpful to officially add it to your cleaning schedule.

As for today, let’s get to work!

organize digital phots

Supplies Needed:

  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Computer

Instructions:

Let’s get motivated to declutter and organize our digital photos. Here’s how…

  1. Connect your phone/camera to your computer and dump ALL of your photos into your photo software program.
  2. Then delete every photo on your phone and camera.
  3. Then….delete any photo that isn’t AMAZING. 

As a reminder, here’s the least painful way to start deleting photos (in my opinion):

  1. Delete duplicate photos.
  2. Compare photos from each event; delete those that don’t convey something special about the event.
  3. Step back and look at the photos from an outsiders perspective. Are there any photos that would be Boring with a capital B to look through?
  4. Keep deleting photos until you’re left with only 2 or 3 of the most captivating photos that tell the story of the event. Of course there may be a few events that you want to keep a few more (i.e. a wedding) but those are the exception rather than the rule.

I know photo deletion is difficult at first. Trust me! I take a LOT of pictures! But it gets easier over time. Mostly because it’s easier – and more fun – to look back at those photos when there are fewer to sift through.

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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September Spring Cleaning Calendar

If you’re new here, welcome! You’ve jumped on board at the exact right time.

If you’re a regular, this is the perfect month to keep following along because we are going to focus on paper overload!

Paper clutter is one of those areas that can make your home – and your brain – feel overwhelmed. When you can’t find what you need, bills get paid late, invoices never go out, and you don’t take care of important matters.

Unorganized paper clutter can cost you time and money!!

So let’s take care of that this month.It will be fun!

Take a look at our new calendar for the month and schedule 5-15 minutes each day on your calendar to work on the daily task!

spring cleaning calendar 2015 september

Print the Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar September 2015 and PIN the calendar for later. 

I’m looking forward to going on this month long journey with you!

Hop on over to the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group or Facebook to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Finish Scanning Paper Files

If you’ve stuck with us this month, your paper piles are no more and your files are pristine. Or…something like that :) Whether you’ve completed two steps or twenty, you’ve made great strides in conquering your paper clutter. You set a goal and achieved it. And I could not be more excited for you. Great job!!!

If you still have a few steps to finish, keep plugging along. You’ll get there. Just set your timer for 15 minutes and work as fast as you can today. Then reward yourself!

Finally, to round out this paper clutter series, here are the steps we completed:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.
  18. Shred.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Scan, scan, scan.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Scan More Paper

Several of you have told me you plans to go paperless. I’m actually trying to get there myself (using this incredible scanner by the way…works with Mac & PC!)

However, in order to actually make the leap to an (almost) paperless household, we need time to scan all of our paper, right? Well, that’s exactly what you get today! You task is to scan some of those paper files. And then scan some more.

If you aren’t quite ready to go paperless, then don’t worry a bit. Just keep working though the steps we’ve covered during this paper clutter series:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.
  18. Shred.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Scan, scan, scan.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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