Archives for Cleaning
One of the reasons my family needs to redo our household routines schedule is because who we were in June 2011 is not who we are in July 2011. Our son has started preschool and, as benign as that might seem, it has completely changed our lives. The biggest revision is that now there are parts of our day subjected to a schedule we didn’t design.
The last time anyone in our house had to commute somewhere on a regular basis was 2004. For the past six years we have followed a daily schedule, but it has been one completely of our making. Being subjected to an external schedule isn’t an inconvenience or frustrating, it’s just different. Obviously, we chose for our son to attend preschool, so it’s a change we eagerly approved. We simply didn’t realize how much it would transform the way we get things done around the house.
When creating a new household routines schedule or revising one you’ve used for years (like we are), follow these seven steps:
- Make a list of all the things that need to get done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Use four columns (daily, every other day, weekly, monthly) and also identify when during the day these tasks need to be completed. For example: Daily — Assemble son’s lunch while making dinner. Weekly — Mow yard in early morning or evening when it’s not blistering hot.
- Keep your list of regular chores to the bare minimum. You and your housemates do not have superpowers. There is a difference between things that have to get done and things you want to get done. Cross any item off your list that isn’t essential. The would-be-nice-to-do items are more appropriate for your daily action items, not your regular routine chart.
- Once the list is created, decide who in the house will be responsible for each chore. If you live alone, you can probably skip this step. Assign responsibilities fairly.
- Using a spreadsheet or calendar, enter all of the activities that need to be completed into the appropriate time slot. (Feel welcome to download this Excel Chore Chart: Hourly template.) You may find that an hour-by-hour schedule doesn’t work best for you, so consider using a less-rigid format if it better meets your needs. (Or download this Excel Chore Chart: Blocks of Time template.)
- Younger family members may need additional guidance. Make a to-do list (or seven daily to-do lists, if necessary), laminate it at your local FedEx Kinkos, and put it in a place your little one can access. A washable dry erase marker can be used to check off tasks as they are completed. (Melissa and Doug also makes a nice Responsibility Chart that uses magnets.) Really little family members who can’t yet read can benefit from image chore cards displayed on a wall or magnetically to the front of the refrigerator. (Etsy has some adorable ones. Search for “chore cards.”)
- Practice the new routines. Research has found it takes close to three months for actions to become habits. You’ll have to make a concerted effort for 90 days for these new routines to become second nature.
- Adapt as necessary. Life is full of surprises and conditions in your home are constantly changing. Evaluate and revamp your regular routines when they stop meeting your needs.
Laundry rooms are often dark corners of basements or narrow closets with barely enough space to fit stacked machines or odd hallways leading to the garage. Rarely are they beautiful rooms that entice us to keep up with the tedious chore.
However, a clean, uncluttered, organized laundry room is welcoming and makes doing laundry much more enjoyable. Additionally, an organized room speeds up the process so you spend less time doing what you may not enjoy.
If your laundry space could use some attention, try these 10 steps to get it in order:
- Clean it up. Start by removing everything from the space that isn’t attached to the walls. Ironing boards, detergent, hampers — whatever you have in this area needs to be temporarily removed. Once everything is gone, sweep and mop the floors, wipe down the walls, dust, and get the room looking like new. Paint the walls if necessary. Even clean underneath and behind your washing machine and dryer, but be careful not to disconnect your water, drainage, power, and/or gas lines.
- Sort it. Before returning a single item to the laundry area, decide if it really belongs in the space and if the item meets your needs. You probably don’t need motor oil in your laundry room and you certainly don’t need a bottle of spray starch that is more than a decade old. Get rid of anything you haven’t touched in at least a year and only keep the things you actually use.
- Be inspired. Head to Google images and do a search for “inspiring laundry rooms.” Pages of gorgeous rooms will appear to give you a laundry list of ideas.
- Identify your needs. A laundry room that handles the clothes loads of just one person will have different needs than a laundry room for a family of six. Do you need room to fold clothes? Do you need cubbies for each person in the house? Do you need a bag for dry cleaning items that accidentally slipped into the dirty clothes hamper?
- Make adjustments. If you need a shelf above your washing machine, now is the time to add these fixtures to the room. If you want an ironing board and iron holder that fits on the back of your door, install it. If you have been dreaming about having a clothesline or rolling garment rack, add them now. Make structural additions to the space that will help you on the days you do laundry.
- Wipe it down. Now is also a good time to wipe down any items that will be returning into the laundry area. Remove the dust and gunk that builds up over time.
- Store items where you use them. As you begin to return items to the laundry room, be sure to put things where you use them. Detergent and stain treatment products should be within an arm’s extension of the washing machine. A rolling garment rack and extra hangers should be immediately next to your folding area or the dryer. Your iron should be with your ironing board.
- Label locations. If you aren’t the only person who uses the laundry room, label shelves and cupboards well so everyone can know where to find products and where to return them when they’re finished.
- Don’t forget donations. Every laundry room should have a box or a bin where you can easily deposit items of clothing that are ready to be donated to charity. Make it as simple as possible to get the unwanted items out of your wardrobe and ready to be passed along to someone else.
- Use it. Take advantage of your clean, uncluttered, and organized laundry space by keeping on top of your laundry chores. Have set days on the schedule for when you will tackle the wash.
I am easily distracted, so I have to use little tricks to keep me on task when doing my 30 minutes of picking up around the house each day. If I’m straightening up a room, I’ll close the door to the room so I don’t wander off into another part of the house. If the room doesn’t have a door, I’ll set something in front of the entrance — like a trash can or a chair — as a visual cue to stay in the room until I’m finished with my work.
I also usually have a laundry basket with me where I put things that don’t belong in the room. Then, after I’m finished straightening a room, I’ll walk through the house and put the things in the basket back to their proper storage spaces.
This past weekend, I decided to embrace my distracted self and try a new method for picking up stray items around the house. I named it my “Wherever I may go” system.
I started in the bedroom and worked in there until I found one of my son’s socks under the bed. I took the sock and carried it to the laundry room. Once in the laundry room I noticed the trash needed to be emptied, so I took the laundry room bag of trash outside to the big trash can. When I came back inside, I washed my hands in the guest bathroom and noticed the toilet paper supply was getting low. I retrieved extra rolls of toilet paper from the linen closet and put them in the toilet paper holder in the bathroom. Then, I went back to the linen closet and took a quick supply inventory to evaluate if I need to buy soap or paper towels or any similar items the next time I’m at the grocery store.
I bounced from room-to-room all morning, tending to whatever caught my attention. I’ll admit that the “Wherever I may go” system took significantly longer than my usual method, but it was nice to switch things up a little and see how another style might work for me.
When straightening up around your home, what is your plan of attack? Do you go room-by-room, or are you more of a “Wherever I may go” type? If you go room-by-room, do you work in the same order of rooms each time? Do you work in the same way around each room? (I do. I move clockwise from the door, focusing from the ceiling to the floor, and then tend to the middle of the room last.) What method do you use every day for picking up around your home?
This winter has been hard on the trees in our area. The rain, wind, and ice took down a lot of twigs and branches, and many trees toppled over pulling their root systems right out of the wet ground. As a result, we have a lot of yard work to complete at our new house, and we’ve decided to take an organized approach to getting it finished.
- Research yard debris collection options in your area. Many cities and counties will collect sticks left on your curb and turn them into mulch for parks and gardens. Some areas have trucks that suck up leaves that have been raked into street gutters. If none of these options exist, you may wish to invest in a wood chipper to create your own mulch.
- Trim tree limbs and bushes. In addition to it being aesthetically pleasing, it’s also good to take down any limbs that might have been damaged but haven’t yet fallen to the ground. Large branches may need to be professionally trimmed and hauled away for disposal.
- Pick up sticks. Any fallen sticks you can easily carry and small limbs you trimmed should be picked up and gathered into a pile.
- Prune plants. If any of your plants require spring pruning, now is the time to do it. It’s also nice to prune back and edge any plants that have grown onto paths or out of their containers.
- Rake. Dead leaves, plant prunings, and tiny twigs should be raked up and gathered into the gutter (if your area has vacuum trucks) or composted.
- Clean outdoor furniture, hose down paths and patios, sweep stairs, etc.
- Draw a picture and make a list. If you plan to add new plants, bushes, flowers, or trees to your yard, do what a landscaper does and create a drawing of how you want your yard to look. From this drawing, make a list of the plants you want to purchase before heading to the nursery to make purchases.
- Plant or transplant any flowers, bushes, or trees you wish to add to your yard that have recommended spring planting dates.
I prefer to do yard work over the course of a few weekends instead of investing all of my effort into one very long, yard work-focused weekend. I’m also trying to get our new yard full of plants that are easy to maintain, so there hopefully will be less yard work come next spring. How do you tackle the work in your yard? Do you take an approach similar to mine, or do you work in sections and do everything for that section? Share your expertise in the comments so we can all benefit from your experience.
Chores are tasks you don’t want to do. If you wanted to do them, you wouldn’t call them chores. Rather, you would refer to them as opportunities or entertainment or fun.
Even though you don’t want to do chores, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them to help your life run more smoothly. If you’re someone who lets dirty laundry and dishes pile up, avoids mowing the yard until the neighbors complain, or hasn’t cleaned out your car since 2005, maybe it’s time to learn why and overcome these obstacles:
- Temptation. When a comfortable couch and favorite television show are calling your name, it can be hard to ignore these temptations. You want to participate in the short-term benefits of watching tv, instead of holding out for the long-term benefits of doing chores. Find a way to reduce or delay the immediate distraction (like getting a DVR and recording your favorite show), so you can focus on the long-term benefits first and the short-term benefits when you’re done with your chores.
- Associated stressor. You may not be putting off a chore because you don’t want to do it, but rather because you don’t want to do something tangentially related to the chore. For instance, if you know you haven’t recently balanced your checkbook, you might put off paying your bills. Consider scheduling a regular coffee date with your friend where the two of you meet, hang out for awhile, but then vow to balance your checkbooks before you can go home. Being accountable to someone else often helps you overcome this obstacle.
- On the road. Working long hours can often mean you don’t have much time at home to take care of chores like laundry, dusting, and scrubbing your toilet. The upside is that you don’t have much time to mess up your home, but the downside is that some chores still need to be completed (like laundry). If this sounds like you, outsourcing some of these chores might work best for you. Take advantage of a fluff-n-fold that will do your laundry, start using a dry cleaner that picks up clothes instead of requiring drop offs, have a cleaning service come in twice a month to scrub your floors, countertops, and bathrooms, and hire a professional errand runner to do other odds and ends.
- Inertia. Humans are creatures of habit. If you haven’t been great at doing your chores in the past, it’s unlikely you’re going to wake up one morning a changed man. Overcome this obstacle by creating a schedule of the things you need to do and when you need to do them. Then, try your best to stick to the schedule. When your system falls to pieces, start again the next day. Consider hiring a professional nagger (there really are such things) or asking a friend to help encourage you. Simply acknowledging that inertia has the upper hand often can be all you need to get moving.
Looking at this list, I see myself in a lot of these obstacles (especially inertia). What strategies do you use to overcome these four obstacles?
Cabinets under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms are common places to find clutter. There are pipes, maybe a hose or two, and usually a lot of stuff that was stored there in hopes that it would just magically disappear. Additionally, having clutter in this space can quickly become disastrous if one of the pipes or hoses develops a leak or bursts. Then, not only do you have a clutter problem, but you also have a soggy clutter problem.
The first thing to do with these spaces is to clear everything out from this area. Inspect the cabinet and check for signs of leaks or pests. If your cabinet is leak and pest clear, give the cabinet a good cleaning. If you have a leak or pests, call a professional and have the problem resolved before it gets even more out of hand.
Once everything is out of the cabinet, sort through it and ask yourself a few questions:
- Is this item expired or damaged?
- Is this item a hazardous chemical?
- Is under the sink the best place to store this item?
If the item is expired or damaged, get rid of it or have it repaired immediately. If the item is a hazardous chemical (like a cleaning supply), move it somewhere where small children and visitors to your home cannot easily get their hands on it (a locked cabinet is best for these materials). Finally, if you don’t use the item in the room near the sink, storing the object under the sink isn’t a good idea.
After sorting through your items, I strongly recommend installing a storage system that will get items up off the bottom of the cabinet and take advantage of the vertical space.
Under our sink, we have roll-out storage shelves similar to this:
We have items in small, clear, plastic storage boxes with lids on the pull-out shelves in kits. This makes it easier to pull out all the supplies we need for different tasks at once (pony tail holders, sponges). Also, if a pipe bursts or leaks, the plastic box provides a second level of protection from the water. What is nice about roll-out shelves is you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees whenever you want to reach something at the back of the cabinet.
If the pipes under your sink will work with it, adjustable under-sink shelves might also work well for your space:
Again, as with the roll-out shelves, we suggest using small, clear, plastic storage boxes with lids for your supplies when you return them to the cabinet, as an extra level of protection for you things from pipe and hose leaks.
Your living room or family room is supposed to be the place in your home where people gather. However, if this space is constantly cluttered and uninviting, the people in your house might find somewhere less convenient to congregate (like your office), or, even worse, they’ll retreat to their bedrooms and start to act like strangers under the same roof. At the very least, you might be annoyed by tripping over shoes in the middle of the floor or having to pick up a pile of clutter and move it to an end table whenever you want to have a seat.
Your living room doesn’t have to be a constant source of stress, and rescuing it from the clutches of clutter doesn’t have to be an overwhelming chore. These five steps can help you to reclaim your living room and make it a relaxing and fun space for the people in your home.
- Identify what you and the other people in your home do in the space. Is your living room a place where you watch television, play board or video games, and read? Do you store blankets, books, and your butterfly collection in this room? What are your needs for this space?
- Remove items unrelated to the purposes of your living room. Kitchen items shouldn’t be stored in your living room, and neither should clothes that belong in your clothes or hallway closet.
- Have a place for everything. If your possessions don’t have a storage place, they will always be out of place. Find a home for all of your things that belong in this room, and remember to store things in the room where you use them. It’s easier to put things back into their storage place when you don’t have to stand up and walk across the room to do it.
- Keep decorative items in check. You probably have a lot of items stored in this space, so don’t let decorative items run amok. Only use decorative objects that you love with a passion and find truly inspiring.
- Create and follow maintenance routines to care for the living space. Set a timer for five minutes every night before bed to pick up around the room — return food items to the kitchen, put toys and items back in their storage space, and do whatever you need to do to make the room inviting for the next day. Weekly (or more often if necessary), run the vacuum cleaner, dust, and take care of more intense chores for the room. Seasonally, do the major cleaning responsibilities for the space — polish wood floors, clean vents and screens, etc. Weekly and seasonal chores should be scheduled on the calendar, same as all important events, and everyone in the home should participate in caring for the space.
You’ll have to invest some time initially in the room to get it up to your standards, but then it’s only five minutes an evening to keep it clutter free.
The presents have been unwrapped, turkey leftovers fill the refrigerator, and we’re back at our desks finishing year-end responsibilities. Whether at work or at home, there are tasks that we complete before December 31 that help to keep us organized in the new year.
Even though it’s difficult to get back to work after a few days vacation, the last week of the year can often be extremely productive because so few people are in the office. There usually are fewer disruptions and it’s easier to work for longer blocks of time. If you’re taking time off from work, now is also a good time to focus on year-end responsibilities at home.
The following are tasks we complete at the end of the year, but you might tackle different tasks to wrap up 2010 and prepare for 2011. Share your end-of-the-year processes in the comments, as they might be something we all should be doing, too:
- Year-end fiscal reports. Pay all bills, submit all receipts, reconcile all accounts, and complete all fiscal reports the accounting department requires.
- Year-end professional goal reports. Review annual goals and accomplishments, and write performance reports the human resources department requires.
- Review benefit package and changes. Many changes in insurance plans and other benefits occur at the change of the calendar year. Make note of these changes so you aren’t surprised by the differences.
- Reconcile financial accounts. Now is the time to get all of your financial paperwork for the year completed so you’re ready to file your taxes when your forms arrive.
- Year-end personal goal and resolution review. Review all you accomplished over the course of the year and create goals and resolutions for 2011.
- Back-up all digital data. Even if you do this daily, it’s good to take a final snapshot of the digital year.
- Review beneficiary information on all investments and policies. If your family has grown or changed in the last year, now is the time to make sure your beneficiary information is current. Additionally, it’s a good time to do a general review of these investments and policies.
- Review systems and routines. Are the systems and routines you follow meeting your family’s and home’s needs? If not, now is a good time to create new practices to implement in the new year.
These tips aren’t revolutionary, but they’re simple ways to save time when working around the house.
- Open kitchen cabinet doors before putting dishes away, and then close all of them when you’re finished. You won’t waste time opening and closing doors.
- If you have a dishwasher, wipe crumbs off the counter into the open dishwasher. Keeps your hands and floor clean, and speeds up cleanup.
- Dust from high to low, and sweep after dusting.
- Always store your keys in the same place.
- Replace batteries in clocks, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and flashlights all on the same day, twice a year.
What simple steps help save you time around your house? Add your tips in the comments.
A common topic of discussion among the parents in my son’s playgroup is:
How do we teach our children to put away their toys?
Our children are only one year old, which means we don’t yet have much of a problem, but we’re eager to ensure we don’t have problems later. We want our children to develop life-long skills that help them to be organized and respectful of their things in the future. We might fail miserably — kids have amazing will-power — but here is what we’re trying:
- Model the behavior. It’s tempting, especially with small children around, to wait until after the kids go to bed to pick up the house. However, children should watch and “help” you clean up so they can start to mimic your actions. Otherwise, they’re under the impression that a magical fairy appears and cleans up the toys, coloring books, and wooden spoons.
- Explain the process. As you put away toys and project materials, talk through what you’re doing. “I’m putting the lids on these markers so they won’t dry out and you can use them next time you want to color.” “I’m putting these books on the bookshelf because it’s where they belong when you’re not reading them. The bookshelf protects the books from being damaged so you’ll have them the next time you want to read them.” I should admit that this narration is extremely tedious, but I’ve noticed my son incorporating words into his vocabulary like shelf and cap, so I at least know he’s listening.
- Be positive. Look for ways to make the clean up process as interesting as the play. Put on fun, fast-paced music your child enjoys every time you pick up toys and dance while you work. Make up a cleaning song to sing or play a counting game. Voices shouldn’t be raised and threats shouldn’t be wagered.
- Give your child time. Clean up for young children shouldn’t be rushed. If the child has an hour to play, budget the last 10 minutes of that playtime to picking up the toys. Let your child know that playing with toys involves taking the time to put them away. This is similar to dinner not being finished until the dishes are cleaned, the table is wiped off, and all of the ingredients returned to the pantry or refrigerator. Playtime includes putting away the toys.
- Be consistent. This is the hardest part of the teaching process for me — making sure I always leave time for picking up toys. If we’re in a rush to get out the door to run an errand, it’s difficult to pause and make sure the toy is returned to it’s storage place before we leave the house. The consistency and repetitive action, however, are what instill the positive behavior. If a child doesn’t know there is the option to leave his toys strewn about the room, he won’t make that decision. (Well, at least in theory.)
Versions of this can be used with older children. When I was teaching high school, I’d let the students know when they had three minutes left in the period so they could gather up their materials and be ready to leave when the bell sounded. When the students were working in groups, I’d have them race to see which group could clean up their workstation the quickest. I’d award imaginary points to students when they found something of mine left in the classroom: “5,000 points to Gryffindor!” But, I never gave real rewards (no points, no gold stars, no treats), since I believe that cleaning up is a sign of respecting materials the school provided and an expected behavior of all the students.
What techniques have you used with your children or students to encourage them to pick up their toys? Share your tips in the comments.
Many people find no pleasure in routine household chores — cleaning the bathroom, washing the car, paying bills, preparing meals, doing the laundry. These are activities we have to do if we want to take care of our spaces, but I’m certainly not the world’s biggest fan of doing the laundry or dishes or toilets.
However, one thing I’ve learned about myself since I’ve been living as an unclutterer is the more I know about a chore, the more eager I am to do it. If I research sponges to learn which ones are the most durable, least likely to transmit bacteria, and best at cleaning a bathtub, I’m excited to use that sponge when I do the chore. Add to that research about methods for scrubbing and the most effective and safe-for-the-environment cleaner, and I’m downright giddy when I clean the bathroom.
A few years ago while having dinner in New York’s East Village, I saw a sign hanging on the wall of the restaurant that sparked this personal revelation:
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” — Voltaire
I realized that knowledge about food is what makes eating and preparing meals more pleasurable to me. When I understand the science, the ingredients, the style of preparation, and the choice of pairing foods and drinks together, I actually enjoy making dinner. It was at this point in my life when I started studying cooking and trying to learn as much as possible about food so that preparing the daily meals wouldn’t feel like such an awful burden. Now, I really enjoy cooking because it’s an adventure. Every day I get to put my new skills and understanding to the test.
If you learned more about the daily chores you don’t like to do, would it actually change your perspective on them? Would you appreciate sweeping the floor more if you knew the most efficient style? How about your office work — would you like to file more if you knew the history, details, and styles of filing? If learning more about something isn’t a motivator for you, what is? Discovering this about yourself can go a long way to helping you in your life as an unclutterer.
For those in the northern hemisphere, just 28 days of summer linger on the calendar. Before the cool days of fall and winter set in, now is the time to finish up warm-weather uncluttering projects that remain on your to-do list.
- Your garage. If you haven’t already cleared the clutter from your garage this season, now is a great time to take advantage of the access you have to your driveway. Pull everything out of your garage and sort it into piles: Keep, Purge, Other. Clean your garage (starting at the top of the room and working your way down), make any necessary repairs and/or add organizing systems, and then return only the “Keep” pile items to the space. Donate, recycle, and/or trash the items from the “Purge” pile, and return the items in the “Other” pile to their owners or the places they belong in your home.
- Your car. Similar to the process used on your garage, do the same with your car. Don’t forget small areas like the glovebox and the console.
- Trash cans and litter boxes. Now is the perfect time to haul your trash cans and litter boxes to your local self-service car wash and give all of them a deep cleaning. Set them in the bright sun for a few minutes to dry before hauling them back to your place, stink free.
- Your chimney. Before the rush of callers pour in to your local chimney sweep, give him a call and schedule an appointment now. This way, you won’t have to wait to start up your fireplace on the first cool night of the season.
Whatever tasks remain on your summer to-do list, schedule and take on those tasks now before the weather keeps you from doing them.
Is there clutter hiding in your basement, attic, or garage? Is it at the back of a closet, under the kitchen sink, or in your medicine chest? What is the situation under your bed, in the linen closet, and in the drawers of your entertainment center? How are things in your filing cabinet or your car’s glovebox? Are you harboring clutter in an off-site storage facility?
When you can close a door or drawer to hide whatever lurks inside, it’s easy to use that space as a place to put clutter and forget about it. Even though this area might not be distracting you from living the life you want to lead right now, it does create stress and anxiety each time you access the area and whenever your thoughts drift to these spaces. Plus, you are spending money to maintain these objects and areas, and you’re keeping something you might value more — something that actually matters to you — from being stored in its place.
Unlike clutter that “hides” in plain sight, clutter that is tucked away can lead to bug and/or rodent infestations, increase the levels of dust and dander in your home, and keep you from discovering leaks, cracks, or other major structural issues. Not being able to see into your home’s closed spaces can really cost you over the longterm — financially and emotionally.
To bring this hidden clutter into the light of day, find a clear, flat surface you can use as a place to set all of your stored things. A dining room table works well for small spaces, and your driveway can work for large areas. Pull out all of your items and group them by type (make piles of like things). Once you can see all of the items, go through each group to determine if anything can be thrown away, recycled, or donated to charity. Once you’ve determined what should stay and what should go, only return items into storage that should be in storage.
Try not to store anything in cardboard because it is a tasty treat for bugs and rodents and it won’t protect your things if water leaks into the space. Also, label any containers you can’t easily see inside so you won’t waste time when you go looking for something — holiday decorations, camping and hiking gear, 2008 contracts.
Also, while your stuff is out of storage and on display, don’t forget to give your storage spaces a good review and cleaning. Repair any damages and clean out the cobwebs so you return your items to the best space possible. Install battery-operated lights, too, so that you can easily check on your stored objects in the future.
I’m of the opinion that the less stuff you have in storage, the better. Good luck to you as you shed light on your home’s hidden clutter.
As a child, I looked forward to August more than any other month of the year. It’s my birthday month and it’s back to school month — a duo of perfection in my world. August was, and still is for me, the month of new beginnings.
As an adult, I’ve tried to use August as my month to start new habits and routines (or as a time to improve old ones). These routines make it easier to keep the clutter out of my schedule and free up the rest of my time to do what it is I really want to do.
This August, I’m re-introducing my exercise routine now that my foot is healed. I have really missed running, and I’m glad to have the go-ahead from my foot and podiatrist to start moving.
Listed below are all of the routines we’ve written about in the past on Unclutterer. If you’re struggling with time management, or just looking for a more streamlined way to get through the day, one or more of these routines might have something to offer you:
- Morning routine
- Exercise routine
- Weekly planning routine
- Weekly meal planning routine
- End-of-workday routine
- Evening chore routine
- Bedtime routine
Need hep sticking to a routine schedule? Check out our article “Ability to delay gratification can help with routine maintenance.”
Interesting products and articles related to uncluttering and organizing:
- Not the fastest reader of online content? Want to improve your speed and efficiency? The site Zap Reader helps increase your reading speed — and it’s free.
- A nice reminder from NPR that libraries “hand you things for free.”
- BlueLounge has caught our attention recently with two fantastic looking products to help curb cord and cable clutter. For many cables, you might be interested in the CableBox, and for cables that are longer than necessary you might like the CableClip. I want them ALL.
- If you need some help organizing your briefcase or bag, Lifehacker introduced us to the Cocoon Grid-It Organizer. They’re straps of various lengths in perpendicular and parallel directions to accommodate anything you need to carry.
- Office furniture designer Mebelux has some amazing, modern roll-top desks in their Angular line. I love the idea of roll-top desks, especially for small spaces where you might not have a separate room for an office. Being able to close up your desk lets you easily keep your work life from invading your home life.
- Merlin Mann has an interesting (albeit meandering) post “On Future-Proofing Your Passion.” Although it might not seem too related to uncluttering, it has a lot to do with clearing the clutter to focus on what is important.
- Jeffrey Tang has a wonderful guest post on ZenHabits about “The Clean-Slate Guide to Simplicity.” The premise is to put everything into storage, only pull things out as you need them, and, after a set amount of time, get rid of everything still in storage.