It takes work to keep your home organized and decluttered. But if you take a few minutes every day to maintain your home, you'll be surprised to see how much decluttering and organizing you can actually do. This weekly routine is meant to be flexible, and it's a suggestion. The goal is to make sure you're devoting 15 to 30 minutes a day to decluttering, tackling your mail, and making sure you're not letting laundry pile up for too long.
Three Daily Habits
When you begin to do the following three things every day, they'll easily turn into hard-to-break habits that will keep your home clutter-free. In a short time, they'll take seconds, not minutes, to complete. As you become used to these daily habits, you'll start to see your stress melt away, too.
- Clear counters and tables after use, sweeping away debris and putting everything back in its place (including putting all dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher).
- Hang up coats and put line up shoes in the entry or mudroom.
- Toss dirty clothes in the hamper.
Monday: Plan and Prep Meals
Start your week off in an organized kitchen that's also ready for cooking. Plan, shop, and prep meals today and you'll have an easier week ahead. By adopting this plan of action, you'll likely have to only do a full grocery shopping once a week with a couple of fill-in trips or pick-up orders. Here's how to make the most of your Mondays.
Declutter the Kitchen
Declutter and tidy the kitchen so you can have a clear space for meal planning, prepping, and cooking. This three-step process is painless:
- Store kitchen items.
- Clear off countertops.
- Give your kitchen a quick wipe down and sanitizing.
Make Your Meal Plan
You now have a clean canvas for planning your meals. The benefits of meal planning will convince you it's worth the time: You'll waste less food, mealtimes will be stress-free, and you'll likely have enough for leftovers for the next day's lunch.
Grab Your Groceries
Grocery shopping is best done with your meal plan in hand in the form of a list. With a plan and list, you'll eliminate the aimless wandering around the store and the bloated grocery bill you didn't expect when checking out. Here's an incentive to shop with if you can on a Monday: the store is quieter than on the weekends.
Prep Your Meals
With your plan and appropriate ingredients, you're ready to prep snacks and meals for the week. Here's what that means:
- Cut up vegetables for a week's worth of snacks and salads.
- Portion out a week nuts, crackers, and fruit snacks and put them in containers or zippered sandwich bags for the week.
- Gather sandwich ingredients in separate containers (so they stay fresh) and bag them separately for the week.
- Gather and prepare dinner ingredients for dishes that will yield leftovers and enough to turn into another dinner during the week.
Tuesday: Declutter the Closet and Bedroom
Thanks to meal prep, you have plenty of time to straighten up your bedroom for the week. Get your kids involved in organizing their bedrooms on Tuesdays, too. Proceed through Tuesday's three-step plan:
Sort the Closet
Clutter from closets tends to spill out into the bedroom. Sorting out closet clutter greatly reduces this spillage. Gather any clothes, shoes, and accessories you see strewn around your room. Hang everything up, put folded clothing in dresser drawers, put away accessories in their rightful places, and toss dirty clothes in the hamper.
Scan the Bedroom
Once your closet is in order you can declutter your sleeping space. A clutter sweep of your bedroom is a quick way to turn chaos into calm. Grab garbage and put things in their proper places. Your room will feel more like a soothing retreat.
Do a Big Batch of Laundry
Clear the hamper by doing a load or two of laundry. Sort what needs to be taken to the dry cleaner. Separate items that need fixing or a replaced button. Your wardrobe will be ready to go for the rest of the week.
Wednesday: Organize Papers
The paperless home is but a dream. There are plenty of papers to be tossed or filed. Staying on top of your papers is an important key to reducing stress. No one wants to miss paying an important bill or misplace an important letter in a pile of unattended clutter. There are a few points in your home where you'll find paper clutter to clear.
Start in the Entryway
It's midweek and your entryway is probably a bit cluttered with mail, school and work papers, and items to file. Attacking the pile weekly cuts down on both time and money. You won't spend time fruitlessly searching for important papers and you'll reduce paying fees for overdue bills.
Shred Sensitive Papers
When tossing and sorting mail or other papers, consider shredding sensitive materials that have your personal information on them. You should shred items such as old bank statements and even promotional mailings for new credit cards or lines of credit. Papers with any type of account number should also hit the shredder.
Keep a Command Center
Consider creating a small family command center in your entryway, a hallway, mudroom, kitchen, or home office. It's the place where you can file or pin up important household notices, invitations, permission papers, or bills that need attention. Keep the command center streamlined and clutter-free by only including a few things such as a family calendar, message board, wastebasket, and charging station.
Thursday: Revisit the Kitchen
The kitchen is a high-traffic area. It demands a second round of decluttering and organization during the week. You're just checking in on meal prep and wayward clutter this time.
Looking in on Meal Prep
You've almost made it to the end of the week. That means you may have to replenish your stash of meals and snacks. You may need to do a quick grocery store stop to fill in for the remaining meals and any snacks you're craving. This is also a great opportunity to look ahead to the weekend: If plans changed and you're suddenly hosting a gathering or unexpectedly staying in, pick up the necessary groceries now to avoid the weekend rush.
Clutter Sweep the Kitchen
A busy kitchen typically demands a second clutter sweep this week. The second time may be a bit easier because you've gone through your cabinets, refrigerator, and pantry, and cleaned your countertops and table. This time clean a little deeper in one area of the kitchen that needs it—maybe it's under your sink, the coffee machine, a junk drawer, or your cutlery drawers.
Friday: Declutter the Living Room and Bedroom (Again)
Living spaces usually need a couple of weekly things done: clutter sweeps and vacuuming. Just those two tasks alone will make you feel better prepared for unexpected guests. You'll also appreciate the peace of mind having clean linens on your bed.
Clutter Sweep the Living Room
By now, your living room or family room deserves a bit of attention to the clutter that's likely accumulated over the week. You may find piles of books and magazines, pillows and toys tossed across the room, wayward mail on the coffee table, clothes that need to go back to the closets, or schoolwork that remains undone.
End the week with fresh linens. Swap out sheets and blankets. Pamper your bed with linen spray. Fluff your pillows and duvet cover. Declutter and organize your nightstand. Vacuum or sweep the floor. You deserve a refreshed space after a busy week.
Laundry tends to pile up during the week. Bring dirty clothes and linens from the bedroom directly to the laundry area for a few loads.
Saturday: Do a General Clutter Sweep
Take the weekend to plan and purge in three steps. It doesn't need to take long once you're in the habit of doing the following tasks:
- Think about your wardrobe needs for the coming week; that includes work-out clothes and anything that needs ironing, fixing, or laundering.
- Purge junk mail and recycle old papers and magazines in your entryway and in your home office.
- Do laundry while you're purging papers or catching up on favorite activities like reading, listening to podcasts, and searching for new recipes.
Sunday: Get Ready for Next Week
Beautify the Bathroom
There's a lot going on in the bathroom. It helps to have your bathroom clean, organized, and ready to go for the next week. Do the same routine for all of your bathrooms:
- Swap out hand and bath towels.
- Declutter the counter, drawers, and under the sink.
- Tidy up the linen closet.
- Empty the trash.
- Clean the toilet, shower, and bath area.
- List what health and beauty aids need replenishing.
Prep the Entryway
Jumpstart your week with a quick prep of the entryway. Get your bags, backpacks, and gym bags ready for the week. Empty them out, clean them, then repack them with fresh items. Return umbrellas, keys, and papers back to their rightful places. Taking a few minutes Sunday night to do this makes the Monday morning rush a little easier.