Hi friends! I'm excited to share some wisdom from my mom with you! Here are all her tips for keeping things organized after your ruthless declutter challenge! I know you're all feeling like things are fresher and easier to keep clean, so let's keep that momentum (and great feeling!) going!
Now that you’ve decluttered:
- Don’t buy anything. Enjoy the space you’ve created. If you’re willing to do a little bit everyday, you can keep up! Keep a bag for clothes and any other items you find you no longer need. Believe me, there is always more. Drop it off for donation when the bag is full.
- Have everyone in your house help pick up and put things away every night. It'll take ten to fifteen minutes tops!
- Follow @CleanMama on IG if you're looking for a cleaning schedule. She shows you how to do one cleaning task every day instead of all day Saturday or Sunday. A little bit every day is so much easier. Make sure every family member has chores he or she has chosen to do. Be sure they complete them sometime during the week. Older kids: It’s one less battle if you let them choose when they want to do the chores. Just give them a deadline.
- Clean the bathroom while kids are in the bathtub. It doesn’t take long to wipe off the counters if there are only a few things on them.
- Clean the kitchen every night. Clean your sink and wipe down counters (keep them as clutter free as possible to make clean up easier). No one wants to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes.
- Teenagers are supposed to be messy. It’s a hopeless battle until they need to go somewhere or want the keys to the car . . .then the room will be picked up. Until then, just shut the door. Don’t expect perfection every time. When they can’t stand it anymore, they will clean it out with MANY trash bags . . .IF you've taught them how to do it (start young)!
- Before grocery shopping, clean out your fridge and straighten the pantry so that you know what you already have.
- Keep a running grocery list on your phone (or in your Shipt app)!
- Plan your meals for the week. Keep it in your Simplified Planner. Try to come up with 3-4 weeks worth of dinner meals and recycle them. No reason to reinvent the wheel. We try to plan one beef night, one chicken night, one meatless meal, one breakfast / soup or salad night, two seafood nights (we live in Florida), plus one night out every week.
- Once or twice a month, throw some boneless chicken in the crock pot. Shred with a mixer. Store in quart size freezer bags to use for salads, tacos, or casseroles. Also, cook a large package of ground beef. Store in quart size freezer bags. During the week, add sauce and different spices for chili, spaghetti, or sloppy joe’s.
- Buy ingredients to make two pans of your family’s favorite meals. Double the recipe and freeze one.
- Use your crock pots, air fryers, and instant pots. Find some family favorites recipes and print them out. Don’t forget your outside grill!
- Cut up fruit and veggies for lunches or dinners your planning to fix during the week.
- Roast any veggies that need to be used or that you’ll need during the week.
- Prepackage the fruit and veggies for kids lunches. Kids can help.
- Lay out your clothes and kids clothes for the week.
- Plan at least 30 to 45 min for you to have peace and quiet, even if you have to hide in your car! (Ahem, this is Emily jumping in—I have done this. Maybe even today 😂).
- Take inventory of your pantry and freezers. Make a list. Find menus that will use up what you have before you buy more. Then, only buy what you plan to use the next week unless you buy in bulk. But write it on the inventory so you’ll know you have it. Throw out anything that’s outdated.
- Keep a back up supply of things you always need: paper towels, toilet paper, laundry pods, dishwasher pods, etc. Shop BOGO sales!
If you were ruthless in your decluttering, the most difficult part is behind you. As you look around and admire your hard work, remember it can stay this way with just a little effort everyday! Put things back where they belong. By cleaning your kitchen and wiping down the bathroom every night, your home will look clean and organized—even if you haven’t done major cleaning. The floors will always need mopping and the furniture will always needs dusting, but the overall appearance of your home should make you feel calm and proud. You should continue to do the ruthless decluttering twice a year, but it should never be as hard as it was the first time. ❤️