Five uncluttering and organizing tasks you can do every day

The following are five simple things you can do every day to stay on top of your clutter-free home.

Make the bed

When my sisters and I were young, and our clothes or hair were a mess, my mother would tell us, “You look like an unmade bed.” Aside from looking messy, a bed piled with sheets and blankets is no fun to get into at night. It is, however, inviting to the dog, who will gladly deposit his fur on your sheets. Spending the three minutes it takes to make the bed will make things easier on the eyes and more pleasant at night, all while foiling the dog. You can always air out your sheets while you shower, and make the bed afterward if you’re worried about your sheets getting stagnate.

Do a load of laundry

Laundry can pile up very quickly. Miss a day and it feels like you’ve got a mountain on your hands. I’ve taken to putting a load in each morning and moving from washer to drier after work and folding it after dinner. It only takes a few minutes, and it keeps me from wasting an entire Saturday afternoon on conquering Mount Laundry.

Process the mail and papers

What piles up faster than laundry? The incessant onslaught of mail, papers, permission slips, advertisements, and so on that enter my home. Instead of piling it up in a heap, deal with it immediately (if possible). Keep a trash can, recycling bin, shredder, pen, and physical inbox in a convenient location to your main entrance so you get rid of the junk and trash immediately, and get the important paperwork identified and processed.

Prepare for tomorrow

If you adopt only one suggestion from this list, let it be this one. Each evening I ask, “What’s needed for tomorrow?” Kids lunches, umbrellas because it’s supposed to rain, gas in the car, permission form signed, what everyone is going to wear, etc. This allows me to avoid the last-minute scramble to do these things in the morning, teaches the kids to do the same, and lets me enjoy my evening knowing that nothing is going to blow up in the morning (probably).

Create an errands list

Let’s say on Monday you realize that the TV remote needs batteries, you’re almost out of toothpaste, and the car’s state inspection is due in 10 days. These all need to be taken care of, but they’re exactly the type of thing that will slip through the cracks of your memory if you don’t capture this information and get it on your to-do list or calendar. Have a reliable, simple way to collect these things — an app, a dry erase board on the refrigerator, whatever — that you can review. Then, the next time you’re in the car, you’ll know exactly where you need to go.

Staying on top of these things is easy. Just take on a few simple new habits and you’ll notice your life moving in a smoother manner.

6 Comments for “Five uncluttering and organizing tasks you can do every day”

  1. posted by liz on

    Good list. I use index cards for my errand list. I have cards for my standard stores (drug, department, hardware, grocery) and a “summary” card. When I look through ads (Sunday & Wednesday) I can note who has something on sale. I staple any coupons to the cards, so I don’t forget or lose them. As I run low on something, I try to write it down, so I can look for the sales. The “packet” is held together with a small binder clip and is kept in the same area as where I process the daily paper stash.

    Before I jump in the car, I plan my route, noting any additional places I need to go (bank, library, etc). It’s low tech, but it works for me.

  2. posted by Pat Reble on

    I find the important thing for my errands list is that it be physically easy to manage. I cut up light card into 3″ x 2″ rectangles and keep them clipped together with bulldog clips. The result is a list that is credit card sized, easily slipped into my wallet so I don’t lose it, and robust enough that it doesn’t disintegrate. A few minutes every couple of months and I have a good sized stash of cards, different colours for different purposes – shopping lists; to do lists etc.

  3. posted by Sarah on

    I like both Liz and Pat’s ideas. I also use index cards (unlined) for lists, but had not thought to attach coupons, etc. to them.

    I like the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing something off the index card list, plus the knowledge that I’m not forgetting any tasks because the remaining to-do items are still visible on the index card.

  4. posted by Jessie on

    These are good ideas. I am newly retired, and I save myself a lot of time and backtracking by using M-W-F as “out” days and Tu-Th-Sa as “in” days. The “out” days are for errands, shopping, medical appointments, volunteer work, etc., all in one trip if possible. My “in” days are for cleaning, laundry, returning calls, correspondence, bill paying, reading, cooking for the freezer, and company. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it keeps me from running in and out several times every day since it forces me to think ahead.

  5. posted by Penny on

    My mom taught me to use the back of a blank junk envelope for errand running and the grocery store. Write the list on the blank back and use the envelope for receipts to return, coupons to be used etc. I use the front side (address side) to make notes or my tally mark system for keeping track of how much my bill will be as I am grocery shopping.

  6. posted by Amy on

    We have a clip board hanging inside a kitchen cupboard with a combined grocery and errand sheet. (Took it from word documents and revised a bit.) When someone would holler out something we are out of I would say, “Go write it on the sheet.” Great master list for every stop I have to make!!!

Comments are closed.