Operation: Organized

I love a clean house. And what helps keep our place clean is keeping it organized. It’s so much simpler to clean up when all the little nick-nacks are put away. To kick off the new year in a wild way, I spent four intense days cleaning and organizing our home. I’m talking emptied the kitchen cupboards, moved the bed, polished the leather couch cleaned. While I do clean our house every week, I just needed a deep spring winter cleaning to help make the week-to-week easier. Fortunately, I had a week-long break that enabled me to do one room per day, so I didn’t wear myself out.

The list I made is overwhelming so I’ll just give you the highlights of what I did and some helpful tips. For each room I’ll answer what I cleaned, what I organized and what I dream of doing in the future (either the near or distant future).

What I did in every room: moved everything to vacuum and mop the floor. Wiped down baseboards, cleaned the windows, inside and out (European style windows make doing the outside infinitely easier). Washed all bedding, blankets, and towels. [To see some pictures of our apartment, and a little of our life in Slovenia, check them out here!]

The order I cleaned the rooms: kitchen, master bedroom, living room, bathroom. (I didn’t have time to do the guest room, someday soon).

1. Kitchen:

    • Cleaned: I emptied all of the cupboards, the food cupboards and dishes. Taking a homemade all-purpose cleaning solution (details coming soon), I wiped down every inch (or millimeter) of the shelves, countertops, and inside the refrigerator. Even the table and chairs got dusted and vacuumed.
    • Organized: Our food “pantry” is rather small so I need it to stay organized. We had little baskets lying around the house that I used to store 1) all of our coffee bags, 2) snack foods that are in smaller bags, and 3) baking supplies, other than flour and sugar. Clear the counters of as much stuff as possible. It will be easier to keep them clean and look less cluttered.
    • Dream: Designing my own kitchen one day is high on my bucket list. One dream that could feasibly happen is several matching glass jars with a section of chalkboard paint on the outside to label what it contains. Example: containers filled with different types of flour, sugars, etc. (rather than the crayons/pencils pictured below).
chalkboard jars
chalkboard jars

2. Master bedroom:

    • Cleaned: hardcore underneath the bed. With having all hardwood or tile floors, dust becomes much more visible. I dusted the bed frame, wiped out our closet and dresser, and cleaned the mattress and mattress pad.
    • Organized: the closet and dresser were emptied out, re-folded, and sorted by color and style. We have really big individual shelves so I put labels down of which clothes go where. To make our room a little homier, I brought in a chair, draped it with a blanket and set a candle on our nightstand.
    • image via fabuloushomeblog.com
    • Dream: rather than investing in picture frames for the time being, I’m going to hang a piece of twine on the wall, have a few pictures laminated and clip them to the twine. His + her nightstands with coordinating lamps, a big loveseat, and designer pillows for the bed would be lovely one day.

3. Living room:

    • Cleaned: tore down all Christmas decorations. Wiped down artwork, radiators, light fixtures. Used leather cleaner for the couch, chair and footrest.
    • Organized: cleared out the entryway closet and hutch. Placed board games and decks of cards neatly on one side, made a section on the other side for winter hats and gloves, and items for the gym (passes, bag, etc.). Re-purposed a once space-hogging armoire into a much-needed shoe rack. Gathered all the packaging for items that will need boxed up when we move, and then had another box with goods for shipping. Insert pic of my “shoe rack”
    • Dream: a new, non-leather, sectional couch; our own personal artwork/pictures (current things came furnished with apartment); large rug for entryway, bookshelf with not just books but vases and other decorations.

4. Bathroom:

    • Cleaned: sprinkled baking soda over the toilet, bidet, and shower. Sprayed with the all-purpose cleaner and let soak in. Wiped out our toothbrush drawers, all cabinets and shelves.
    • Organized: our medicine cabinet was a disaster. I snagged another basket lying around and placed all bandages and medicine in there. Our grocery store had free cardboard boxes so I grabbed one to place my hairdryer, curling iron and straightener in (easier to access on the shelf than under the sink).
    • Dream: a device to specially hold your hair appliances, his + her sinks, a bathtub (ours is just a shower); matching baskets for the shelves to place hair and body products, makeup, etc. in.

And there’s a semi-in-depth glance at how our home started off for 2013. Trying hard to keep it that way. Grateful to have a hubby who always does the dishes, cleans up, makes the bed and a million other things.

Coming soon: my weekly cleaning schedule, mattress cleaning steps, and how I made my all-purpose cleaning solution.

How do you stay organized? What helps you keep your house clean?