Last year I started on a journey to clean my house and keep it clean. I thought you might be interested in what has worked.
My common rooms have stayed much cleaner. It isn't that we don't still make a mess, but now it takes 10 minutes to clean it, not a weekend.
Here are my favorite changes:
1. Put a trash can in every room that has a tissue box in it, this is the smartest thing I did.
2. Putting a tablecloth on the kitchen table. The family still respects the cloth and the table stays much cleaner. Aside from a couple of time my son came close to a bad comedy routine dragging it off the table, it has been great
3. Don't store boxes. Taking foods like granola bars out of their box and toilet paper out of the bag the day I buy it has helped on may levels. I no longer have to shake boxes to see what we are running out of, there is more room in the closets, and I get all of my boxes broken down and in the trash at one time.
4. Coat hooks by the back door. We are lazy coat hanger so the hooks have been perfect. The addition of a glove basket has kept us all from losing gloves.
5. Moving my shredder to where I stand when I sort the mail. If you have kids with fingers small enough to fit in a shredder this might not be a good idea, but my kids are old enough to leave it alone.
I really knew the process had worked when Halloween was here. We have an open house kind of party every year and every year I end up filling a "sort later" box that never gets sorted. This year, I didn't need the box. That is huge for me.
I did really well through the downstairs and a couple of rooms upstairs and then I hit my 11 year old daughter's room. It broke me. She was actually really receptive to the changes and love the rearranging of the furniture. Her room is a lot cleaner, but for the first time in this process I ended up with boxes of stuff I didn't know what to do with. They are sitting in our playroom to this day. I just lacked the energy to move on. I am determined to get back on track, because there is really only one room in the house left. It is the smallest room, but is the office/ music/ craft/ extra guest room, so it won't be easy. I'll try to get back to posting pictures then, too.
Speaking of pictures, here is one I just took to prove at least part of it all stuck.