This post is sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are my own.
One of my most frequently asked questions is how I find time to organize my house. With three little ones, a husband, a blog, social media channels to update, and kid’s activities, finding time to keep everything organized is a major challenge. I can easily get overwhelmed with the thought of deep cleaning and purging my home. There are SO many nooks and crannies that need my attention and just writing all of them down on a list does NOT work for me. It’s too much.
My home looks like this daily. The secret to taking it from disaster to livable is organizing and purging! Over the past two years I’ve developed a system to break down all of the cleaning and purging in to a do-able category for each month. I’ve discovered that if I break it down into manageable sections that can be accomplished over the course of the month, I am more likely to get something done. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel like I have a plan of action I can work with. Plus, I have all month to work on it, which means I can dedicate a few minutes here and there each week towards accomplishing my goal.
For example, the month of January is always dedicated to toy purging and storage and June is always dedicated to cleaning out the garage. Below are my cleaning and purging categories for each month of the year:
January: Toys. With three kids and an explosion of new toys from Christmas, it always feels good to purge toys we don’t play with and find homes for all of the new stuff. I typically focus on storage solutions for toys. Do I need to purchase any new book cases or baskets? Can some toys move out of the living room and into the playroom? This works out so great because typically storage items are on sale at a lot of stores in January!
February: Kitchen Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer. I try and stay on top of purging food and unnecessary items in my kitchen weekly, but sometimes I need to dedicate a good chunk of time to cleaning out everything and starting over. In February I pull everything out of my pantry, wipe down the shelves, and organize everything and put it all away. If something wasn’t working out from the previous year, I relocate it. I move items I don’t use often (roasting pan, waffle iron etc.) into a storage shelf in the basement. I also make lists of any storage solutions I need to purchase like more baskets or labels. I also do the same for the refrigerator and the Freezer we have in our basement. I love and utilize Allstate’s step by step instructions for how to clean your refrigerator, found here.
March: Kitchen Deep Clean and Drawers. Still focusing on the kitchen, I love to go through all of our drawers and clear out utensils or Tupperware containers we don’t need. We also have a junk drawer that contains scissors, tape, stamps etc. that gets a major revamp every year. I typically clean my kitchen on a weekly, if not daily basis so it stays fairly clean….but during the month of March I take the time to focus on deep cleaning. I love Allstate’s DIY Cleaning recipes and utilize several of them in my home. You can find all of their amazing green solutions here.
April: Upstairs Closets. We have a catch all closet in our hallway upstairs that always ends up being a mess. I take everything out, purge what we don’t need, and organize it all.
May: Kid Projects and Artwork. About this time of year, I am often drowning in kid art. My kids bring home so much paper from school and church it’s overwhelming. Each week I recycle items I’m not attached to but typically end up keeping more items than necessary. At the end of each school year (where I live that’s usually May/June) I toss artwork that we don’t need to keep forever and organize the rest in to folders and storage boxes for each kid. You can see how I do that in this post.
June: Garage. Since we live in Michigan, it’s pretty cold January-April, so once it warms up it’s the perfect time to organize the garage. Not going to lie, this is my least favorite thing to do. So, I wait until June when the kids are out of school and enlist their help. Or I bribe them to help. Either way.
July: Bedrooms. Bedrooms get so messy during the summer since my kids are home and playing in them a ton. I tackle one bedroom at a time and enlist all three kids to help me purge, organize, and deep clean each bedroom. They actually love this! My kids are strange! But I love that each of them helps organize their sibling’s room. It’s teaching them how to serve one another all while accomplishing a goal. It’s a win-win!
August: Clothing. Typically, I’m focusing a lot of time in August to back to school shopping, so I always start out the beginning of the month with purging clothes that don’t fit, making lists of what I need to purchase, and organizing all of the kid clothing.
September: Downstairs Closets. September is a great time to focus on our coat and game closets, both located downstairs. I purge snow pants, coats, gloves, and hats that no longer fit, or I pass them down to another child. I also make sure my kids have snow boots that fit (and rain boots, but we wear them year-round as you probably have noticed!) and make a list of any hats and gloves that need to be purchased for the upcoming winter. I also clear out and organize our game closet that typically gets destroyed during the summer.
October: Bathrooms. Purge and clean ALL THE THINGS. I focus on one area each week, for example: my side of the master bathroom (usually the area that needs the most attention) one week, Jon’s side the next. Towel closet the following week, then the kid’s bathroom and the powder room downstairs. I toss out products that have expired or we didn’t’ like, donate items that are unused, toss out old towels, and organize refills of products we use daily.
November: Photos and Laundry Room. Many of you know I work on this throughout the year, but in November I try to make sure I have all of my photos organized on my computer, backed up to an external hard drive, backed up online, organized in to photo albums, and organized in to storage containers. Because I’ve done most of the work throughout the year, this doesn’t take up too much time. So next I focus on the laundry room. I wipe out each cabinet, vacuum behind the dryer (and inside the dryer vent) and organize. Allstate has great instructions that I often use for how to clean your washing machine here.
December: Christmas Décor and a Break. I usually give myself a break in December because it’s just BANANAS at our house. Getting ready for the holidays is crazy enough, I don’t have time to focus on cleaning and purging. However, after Christmas I always take some time to purge and donate décor items that we no longer need or use. I have WAY TOO MUCH Christmas decorations!
So that’s my plan for the year! I do clean and organize my home as needed throughout the year, but I love having one major area to focus on each month. It really helps me feel like I am accomplishing something instead of getting overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done. Allstate has been my go-to for not only safety information, but also information about keeping your home organized and functioning. They have extremely helpful information and resources to help families navigate their busy schedules and their home life so be sure to check them out!
So, tell me….what is one simple thing you can do this year to help make your home and life more manageable and organized next year?
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.
Oh my word! I love this so much! I need to do this!
LOVE this! Maybe I can stop trying to feel like I have to do it all ALL THE TIME!
Okay, this is genius! Such great ideas Julie!
Seriously some amazing tips right here! Totally going to do this!
I am totally going to do this! Such a genius idea Julie!
You always have the best ideas and do such a great job organizing your home!
This is such a great breakdown! I for sure need to do this at my house!
Where has this been all my life??? LOVE these ideas Julie!