So my current mission (of the week or whatever) is to have a clean and organized home. After all, “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” right? I have been going through things in the various junk-pits in my house and have a few checkpoints to keep things clean. So the basement and the loft are my two big targets, as well as our closets. Here are a few of the tips that I have found helpful:

In the basement, it is our food storage shelves that get chaotic. Keep the flats that cans are sold on to help keep them in place. For smaller items, like spice jars and chocolate chip bags, etc. use bins to keep them reigned in (keep similar items together). This also works great for storing extra toiletries. I have a bin labeled with each of our names and first aid and general for our shampoo, soap, meds., etc.

I am using a similar idea in the kitchen. I got small baskets for my spices and grouped them together (so the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. in one, Grillmates in one. (I really love McCormick’s Grillmates line.) extracts and vanilla in one…you get the idea. In another cupboard, I have a bin for baking items, chips and treats, sauce mixes, jello and pudding mixes. (Is this hitting the ad nauseum point yet? Maybe I should have titled this post “I love storage bins.”)

In our closets, I am trying to be more ruthless. My Mom gave me this good tip. Clean out your closet and turn all of your hangers so that they are coming from the back. hangerAs you wear the item of clothing and put it back, put the hanger in the normal way. At the end of 6 months, anything that is still hanging backwards can be given away. Interesting to try. I have also put our shirts and sweaters that I stack on the shelves in the closet in (Surprise!) bins. It keeps the stacks straight and makes it easier to get items down.

For the loft (our playroom), I am also getting rid of things and simplify the put away system as much as possible. I am using big bins with pictures of the things that should go inside. Also, it seems like a kid can only play with so many things at one time. So I am putting a large Rubbermaid container of them in storage to rotate out in a few months.

Now that the big stuff is out of the way, to keep things in order I am making my goal to have a clean house when Michael comes home. I figure that putting a deadline on the daily pickup will ensure that it gets done each day. (And will make it that much more pleasant for Michael to come home.)

Man, I actually feel a little tired just typing about it. ;-P