Cleaning Challenge Home

New Year's Cleaning Challenge

It's a New Year and you're looking for a fresh start? Take the New Year Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge, and welcome Spring to a clean and organized home.

Catch up to daily messages here, at the Cleaning Challenge Home. With printable checklists and reminder messages, you'll stay on-track as you deep-clean, toss clutter, and organize each room or area of the home.

Ready? Let's work together to live clean and serene in 2014!

Challenge Day 98: Get Frugal, Get Organized

get organized and save money

Here's a little challenge, now that it's yard sale season: try to find a yard sale without a stock of organizing products for sale.

Too often, we start a get-organized effort where we should finish it: at the store. Buying organizing products before we've done the heavy lifting of setting up activity centers, sorting and purging our stuff, and deciding where to pare down leads to that paradoxical result: organizer clutter.

Challenge Day 97: Keep Clutter From Coming Back

routines to cut clutter

Getting a grip on clutter is only the first step. How do you keep it from coming back?

This week in the Cleaning Challenge, we've considered cleaning routines that work to keep dirt at bay. Clutter, too, needs to be addressed with habits and routines designed to prevent it from gaining a foothold in an organized home.

Today in the Cleaning Challenge, try these ideas to stop clutter at the door, and keep it from coming back:

Declutter 101: Staying Clutter-Free

Challenge Day 96: Minimum Maintenance

minimum maintenance for an organized home

In yesterday's Cleaning Challenge, we took a look at household routines: those things we do daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally to keep the household clean and organized.

As with so many things in life, your mileage may vary! Household needs and composition mean that every home has a different set of routines. A two-career couple with an empty nest will have far different routines than, say, a family with pre-school children.

But there's one routine every household needs, no matter how casual: a minimum maintenance list.

Challenge Day 94: Spruce Up Household Routines

routines for a clean house

Reaching the end of the Cleaning Challenge, it's natural to want to keep all the cleanliness and order ... all the time.

How to achieve this goal? In a word: routines.

Routines for morning, evening and weekly cleaning keep up with the mess so that it doesn't slide backward into chaos. What's the state of your household routines?

Challenge Day 93: Celebrate Your Success

no such thing as behind

Get-organized plans, like the Cleaning Challenge, can be great motivators, but for many folks, they create a problem: the idea of being "behind".

It's common to jump into the Challenge with red-hot energies, only to find yourself flagging when "real life" intervenes. Yet the plan rolls on without you, leaving you deflated. That feeling of being "behind" can sap your enthusiasm and blind you to the very real progress you've made.

Challenge Day 92: Finish-Up Week

cleaning challenge

You've made your lists, and checked them twice ... but life still got in the way?

Welcome to Finish-Up Week at the Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge! This final week is designed to meet the needs of reality: a scheduled chance to follow up on the good intentions that motivated you to get with the Challenge.

Not that this is a do-it-all kind of week. Instead, it's designed to let you tackle the most important, most necessary items that got short shrift during the last 13 weeks.

Challenge Day 91: Front Porch Week Wrap-Up

wrap up front porch week

This week, our focus has been on the front porch: the place where home meets world.

Today, wrap up any remaining items to bring a fresh feeling to the front porch--bringing our Cleaning Challenge to an end for 2014.

Say what? There are still items on your to-do list?

Not to worry. Tomorrow, we'll start a final "finish up" week, designed to provide time to complete those last few items.

Along the way, we'll review basic routines, and focus on ways to keep your Challenge-clean home in good order year-round.

Challenge Day 90: Be Ready For Guests

welcome guests to your organized home

When the doorbell rings, will you be ready?

This week in the Cleaning Challenge, we've freshened the front porch ... and now, it's time to prepare to welcome visitors and friends.

Lay out a cheery welcome mat. Add extra coat hangers to a nearby coat closet, and find a space to hold guests' umbrellas or overshoes.

Most of all, prepare your heart! A welcoming home needs little more than that oldest and best greeting: "You're here! Come in .... and welcome!"

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