If you have lived in your house for a long time, it’s likely that there are things that you have just stopped seeing. The crack in the ceiling is gradually getting longer. That dust-covered junk you hid under the stairs when you first moved in and haven’t looked at since is still waiting for you. There’s that stain on the carpet that never came out.
Every family home has a few areas that have been neglected for years. This year is your chance to sort it out for good! January is one of the best times to go through all your stuff, cleaning out each room as you go. You can get control of your life again. It’s cold, dark and probably raining outside, so taking back your inside space this month is ideal.
It might seem like a huge task, but if you work together as a family, there is no reason that your whole house can’t be done in a single weekend.
Declutter, Organize and Tidy
It might be obvious, but decluttering is one of the best things you can do to regain control of your unruly house. Kids are the main problem here – or rather their growing out of their toys and clothes is the real problem! As your kids get older, it might be hard to part with the things they had as babies and toddlers, but unless you have a second house, it is the only way that they will get continued joy out of their bedrooms. Believe me, I know! Mine are 20 and 23, and they still accumulate stuff!
The best way to organize and tidy your house is to go through it room by room. Then, within each room, pick a category and go through everything in that category. So for example, if you were clearing out the kitchen, you might take out all your plastic ware and go through it, binning or recycling what you don’t use and then returning what you do in a more sensible fashion. This method is great because you can see exactly what you’ve got and what you no longer need.
For some more serious tidying, you might empty the room entirely and put everything back into a more sensible arrangement. Remember that the storage you have within reach should contain the things that you use the most. Any storage that is higher up or more difficult to access should contain the things you use rarely.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Taking everything out of a room is a great opportunity for some in-depth house cleaning too. Take a damp cloth and run it around your cupboards and shelves to remove any dust and accumulated dirt. Give your mirrors a good shine. Deep clean your carpets with a steam cleaner. If you can, move any heavy furniture from its usual position to clean. This can reveal all sorts of things you’d rather were kept hidden like dust and mold, but once it’s clean, you’ll feel much better knowing that it is.
As you go through your house you might also find that you have some pests to deal with like termites or bed bugs. While these small creatures often go unnoticed, they can cause some real problems if left untreated. The best thing to do is to go to a site like pests.org to find a suitable pest controller to deal with the issue for you. There are ways that you can treat pests yourself, but for the best results, a professional is best. Don’t try to deal with bed bugs on your own. I had to take a class on communicable disease. People have burned down their houses trying to get rid of them on their own!
Once the room is clean, you can return all your things to their places. It is worth considering whether these things need cleaning themselves. If you are in the kitchen, you might want to give all your plates, cookware and tableware a thorough wash. Make sure that everything is clean and dry once it is put back. In the bedroom, you might want to put your clothes through the wash to get rid of any damp or musty smells that may have grown over the years. And don’t put back what you don’t wear. Donate or throw it out!
Redecorate for the Ultimate Rejuvenation
Of course, the real joy of house cleaning is the opportunity to redecorate and refresh your interiors. Once you have taken most things out of a room, you might have a different idea for how you would like to present it – either cheaply and simply with a fresh coat of paint and maybe a furniture move about or with a whole new scheme. Whatever you choose, changing and updating your space is a great way to fall in love with your home again and make it work better for you and your family.
One area that lots of families struggle with is appropriate storage space. A good idea is to look into areas where you could easily add creative storage solutions without ruining the look of the room. For example, many sofas now come with storage which is ideal for cushions and blankets. Another option is to look into fitted furniture in the bedroom to make sure that all the space from floor to ceiling is working for you.
Reassess your needs
House cleaning and home organizing are great ways for you and your family to reassess your needs. You want to create a space where you can all be happy and healthy together. It’s not just about getting rid of stuff. It’s about making sure that you have the right stuff in the right place, that everything is clean and that you enjoy the time you spend in each room of your home.
Though cleaning like this is often a mom’s job, getting everyone involved over a weekend is the best way to tackle a huge project. Depending on your kids’ ages, they should be given the responsibility of sorting through their things. That will help them to understand the importance of cleaning too. Together, you should all go through family rooms together. This will bring you together and instill a team spirit and sense of pride in your home.