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Household Hints for Cleaning and Organizing.

Objectives: At the end of the session, the trainees will be able to:

#1 Define the basic concepts of organizations as systems and of internal processes.

#2 Differentiate between busy work and work that keeps you busy.

#3 Develop strategies for eliminating unnecessary work in the home and for planning for order and cleanliness.

I went to the panhandle of Texas this past weekend for a family reunion. It always amazes me as I travel this great land that there is not one ugly place. Each region has it's own beauty and great Americans!

My mom and I stayed with her sister who is a great organizer. I slept in the den and when I opened the closet to hang my things, I saw a great idea!

My aunt had all her table clothes, table runners, and other linens, neatly pressed and hanging on pants hangers. That makes a lot more sense than folding them. They were easily accessible, one could see (without having to pull out stuff) what one wanted.

This actually is one of my laundry hints. I hang up ALL our clothes as when articles of clothing are in drawers they end up either on the floor or scrunched up and wrinkled. It is almost impossible to keep a drawer clean!

After breakfast, I was doing dishes, and took the trash out. My aunt has her trash can in the kitchen under the sink. I could not find the trash bags...I looked and looked and finally had to ask her. They were in her pantry across the hall.

This is an organizational no no. You should always have what you need for the task on hand, and in reach. The trash bags should have been under the sink, by the trash can.

This eliminates steps and time.

At the college, we had a stapler tied with a string to the printer. (If it wasn't attached, it tended to walk away).

I have scissors by my desk, by the printer, in the laundry room, each bathroom, in the kitchen, in the living room.

Pay attention this week to each task. Are you walking to another room or back to your cubicle to retrieve an item? If you do this often enough, you could save time by making sure the tool you use is where you need to use it.


Just as it is better to brush

your teeth than to lose them

later. It is less trouble and less work to prevent messes,

rather than have to clean

them up later.

The only that you have to develop


and you must be


For example: Having the rule

to not allow food in the house, EXCEPT at the table will save hours and hours of work.


No more cereal on the


No spills on the couch.

No juice on the bed.

I would guess 40-50 percent

of the work of a mother with

young children is spent on

cleaning up messes they


This is inevitable. However, as the children get older, IF the mother is consistent and

continually works with

them, there will be less and

less mess.

The same is true with

managers. If you are a "crisis" manager--you are like the

mom who "responds" to crisis

after crisis.

Better is the manager or mom

that actually sets rules,

policies, procedures, and then enforces them.

Teach boys to wipe their

splatters from the toilet.

Teach the family to leave their shoes at the door.

Have wipes by each toilet.

When there is a mess: hair in

the tub, a dirty sink, etc. Use the wipes for a quick cleaning.

Teach and show the children

that if you turn the water on

too hard and then you put

your hands under will

splatter the mirror.

While they are little say, "Can you wash your hands without

splattering the mirror?

Can you brush your teeth without getting toothpaste in the

sink or on the mirror?

Oops! Look, you left a mess!

What do you do? Take a wipe and clean it.

I grew up in a house where

no one said anything and then on Saturday we spent all day

cleaning up all the messes we made during the week.

It was my husband that

taught me and the children

that if you are careful all week long...there will be NO big

messes to clean up.

He taught me to hang up my

clothes when I took them off (not wait for a big pile to


I was born organized and

have always been really strong in those skills, but I had to

learn the little skills and tips of PREVENTION.

Think all this week...what can I do to PREVENT "this" from


"This" could be late employees to a messy living room.

Think about it and see what

solutions you come up with.


consequences are helps.

Keep cheap baby wipes in each bathroom. Use them to wipe up hair, drips on the toilet, soap scum, etc.

You won't have to do heavy cleaning as often if you do a little cleaning each day.

Keep a box in the laundry room for stuff. This can be the shirt

that needs a button, the puzzle that is missing a piece.

At work, it can be the stapler

that you haven't found staplers for, the papers that you haven't had time to file, etc.

Once every 3-4 weeks go

through the box. Did you really miss the shirt? Did you need the stapler or that paper? If not,

throw it away, take it to

Goodwill, or leave it in the box

one more month.

My iron clad rule is: if it was

in the box for more than six

months...I don't need it!


The peace of mind

that order brings is much more

valuable than stuff!!

Today as I was cleaning the kitchen, I noticed that the front of the cabinets had splatters on them. I grabbed some Clorox wipes (Lysol work well, too) and quickly wiped down the front of the lower cabinets, dish washer, etc.

I didn't worry about the top ones and I didn't get every single spot. But what a difference it makes to do small quick things.

It took 30 minutes to do the cabinets and it made them look new! I used to procrastinate on stuff like cleaning the cabinets or refrigerator because I knew it was going to take too long and I didn't have the time (or desire).

So, what I do now, is do it in small bits and pieces. For example, I didn't do the top cabinet doors.

Or-- I will clean out just one shelf in the fridge. Then maybe 3 or 4 days later, I will clean out a different shelf.

I do the same with the bathrooms. Perhaps, I only have time to clean the toilet, but not the whole room. Fine. Just clean the toilet.

Next time, just clean a sink. I think we get caught up in having to do a certain job...but break it down into several tasks and just do what you can!!

I do not know how many of you have an elderly person living

with you, but here is what I

have done concerning my mom and her geriatric bedside


When my mom left the nursing

home, home health care came

for many months until her

health improved.

They suggested that she have a bedside potty so that at night she did not have to travel far

to use the restroom. They said

that most elderly falls occur at night in the restroom.

I have tried many things, but

this is the best system for

cleaning I have found thus far.

I have a plastic office chair mat that I keep under the commode. This way if there are any

accidents, it is easily wiped


I also have a basket on one

side that has a roll of trash

bags, baby wipes, toilet paper, and her disposable underwear.

There is a trash can with a lid

that pops up on the other side where she can dispose of her


I have a battery powered

fragrance diffuser that sends

out fragrance every 9 minutes.

When I empty her potty, I

clean it, then I refill it with

about 5 inches of water. I

then add about 1/4 cup of

bleach to the water.

I have tried many different

solutions, etc., but the bleach works the best. I usually buy it at the dollar store as they

seem to have the best price.

I use any brand.

I also have found that if you

do not have enough water,

you just have more mess to

clean. 5-6 inches seems like a

lot of water, but it keeps the

smell down and does make it

easier to me.

I also keep clorox wipes by the potty and by the toilet so I can clean splatters if needed.

I have started doing something new with my mom's potty that I thought readers would like to know. I buy 13 gallon heavy duty (they must be name brand heavy duty or they will leak) trash bags and I now put them in the potty like a liner.

I still add 2-3 inches of water and about 1/4 cup of bleach. If you do not add the water and bleach, the smell is horrible.

When the potty needs to be empty, I still flush it down the toilet, however, the liner keeps me from having to clean the potty!!! YEAH!

I just knot off the liner, add it to the trash and put a new liner less work.

Another thing I did recently, too, is I took some large contractor trash bags (these are huge, black, heavy duty bags).

I cut them down the sides, laid them across my mom's mattress and then ducted-taped them all around the mattress.

We had to put the mattress on it's side to do so, but now the mattress will not be ruined and this should cut down on cleaning.

I use waterproof mattress covers and change them often, but they are not completely water proof and sometimes there would be leaks.

I also always keep a folded-in-half towel in the center of the bed to help, too.

There are no diapers which work perfectly, so these other measures are needed as well.

Use a microwave plate cover! It keeps the

microwave so much cleaner and you can purchase

a sturdy one for little money.

If you are worried about using plastic, cover your plates with paper towels. I also took a 3x5 card and wrote

on it:


and taped it to the front of the microwave, and believe me it HAS helped!! 

LOTS more coming on this. I have an organizational personality test that I give and I have hundreds of ideas for making your LIFE EASIER!!!

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