The Quickest Way to Purge & Clean a House & Get Rid of Clutter
Keeping your house clean and clutter-free makes life so much simpler. You save time, money and emotional stress by having a place for everything, and everything in its place. A clean home enables you to host company on short notice and to avoid purchasing duplicate items because something is misplaced. Clearing out excess clutter makes your house or apartment look and feel more like the relaxing haven that it should be. Gather your supplies and a few friends, if possible, and spend a day cleaning and decluttering your home.
Label four large boxes with "Put Away," "Give Away," "Store" and "Throw Away," as recommended by The Organized Home. As you go through each item in your home that is out of place, decide whether it needs to be put away in an accessible location, given to someone else or a charity, stored in a basement or storage closet, or thrown in the trash; and put each item in the appropriate box.
Bring your boxes and cleaning supplies into the first room to be decluttered. Former "messie" Sandra Felton, author of "How Not to Be a Messie," advises starting at one doorway and moving in a clockwise circle around the perimeter of the room 2. Clear off every surface and declutter each drawer by choosing a box for each item that does not belong where it sits.
Walk around the room a second time, this time with your paper towels and cleaning supplies in hand. Spray each surface with all-purpose or glass cleaner, and polish wood furniture with furniture polish. Wipe with paper towels and throw the paper towels in the trash. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each cluttered or dirty room in your home.
Go through each of your boxes. Take your "put away" box with you through each room, putting away items as you find places for them. Put the "give away" box in your car, so it is ready to be dropped off at the thrift shop or charity of your choice. Place the "store" box in your storage area, and dump the contents of the "throw away" box in the garbage. Take it out to the garbage can or dumpster immediately after it's filled or you're finished.
Walk through each room again, this time with your vacuum cleaner or broom. Vacuum or sweep the floors. If you have hard flooring, damp mop each floor as well.
Assign a place for everything, and make it a rule in your home to keep everything in its place to avoid making a big mess in the future. If you have places in your home that accumulate clutter, try displaying a pretty vase of flowers or a centerpiece of some type on the surface as a visual reminder to put your things away.
Carry your cleaning supplies in a large tote bag, basket or hook them onto your apron to avoid having to walk back and forth several times while cleaning a room.
If your house is very messy, do not try to do it all in one day. Take frequent breaks and spread out the work over several weeks if necessary.
Be careful not to mix cleaning fluids. Once you use glass cleaner and wipe it off with your paper towel, for example, dispose of that paper towel immediately and use a different one for your all-purpose cleaner.
- Organized Home: Declutter 101: Strategies to Cut Clutter
- How Not to Be a Messie, Sandra Felton, 1999
- Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images