I hate how my brain works sometimes. I like things that can be sorted and categorized and have a clear place to belong. Like bath towels go in the bathroom cupboard. Toys go in the playroom. Tools go in the garage (can someone send this memo to my husband?!). But random things, like the child safety door nobs that we don’t need now but will when Riley gets a bit older… where DO you put them?

Have a toddler really helps with the desire to accomplish this task. When you create and keep homes for everything you use and make that home be someplace you know is out of sight or reach of a 2 year old your house is pretty much bare. The principal of a place for everything and keeping it all away not only helps my sanity with keeping a clean house but also helps Landon stay out of stuff he doesn’t need to get into; and while I don’t leave him “alone” by any means, when things are away I can leave him alone in a room for much longer knowing he’s not going to break or ruin something.

I’ve really been working on establishing these three “rules” in our house. Once everything has it’s place take some time every night before you go to bed, or sit down to relax to do a walk through the house. Everything that is not in it’s rightful place get picked up and put away. If you do this every night it’s not that big of a deal and it takes maybe 5 minutes to do. It takes even less time if you put the things where they go right after you use them. Also it helps to make sure that when you are involved in a project that you make the cleaning up of that project part of the project. That’s something that I’m still trying to convince my husband of…and my 2 year old… and even myself sometimes.

I think the biggest reason that people don’t do the “walk through”, and why I resisted it at first, was the thought that it was going to take forever. But honestly I spent more time procrastinating on cleaning than I did actually cleaning. Really – do this – get a timer and go through your house or a room and pick it up. Time yourself and see that it really doesn’t take that long to do.

See the next in the series: The less stuff you have

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