One of the biggest sources of stress for me is clutter and a generally messy looking house. If I start out the day with glasses and cups on the living room tables, empty packs of potato chips on the kitchen counter, shoes everywhere and mail in piles, you can bet my stress-o-meter is going to be sky high.

As I work less hours outside the home than my dear hubby at the moment, I take on the brunt of the household chores. However, I am not the maid and don’t enjoy cleaning up after others. We have implemented the 30-min pick up in the morning before we start the day. This could be done in the evening or the morning, but I have more energy in the morning and find that a tidy house starts my day off on the right foot. The trick is to never let things get so messy that they can’t be reasonably straightened in less than 30 minutes. Do we get this done every day? Heck no, we are normal just like everybody else and the house is just messy sometimes. But the days that start out with this morning routine are usually more peaceful and calm. Here is my morning quick-pickup routine:

Make the bed the minute you get out of it. If you have a good comforter and pillow with shams, (and don’t live with someone who flops around like a fish all night) you can throw it together in less than a minute.

Grab a trash can and make a round sweep of the downstairs (for us an office, dining room, living room and kitchen) clearing all that needs to be thrown away.

Fold blankets & put away, straighten throw pillows, and do a quick vac of the living room.

Unload the dishwasher and have dirty dishes put in throughout the day so that you can turn it on at bedtime.

Straighten any books, magazines, or movies left out and send any toys that have lost their way upstairs to the kids room. When my son was small, we had a toy chest downstairs where he could keep a small group of toys. Those that could not be contained there would go upstairs. Now that he is a teenager, his stuff can go back to his room at the end of the day or at the latest, first thing in the morning.

Use a bottle of all surface spray cleaner and do a quick wipe of all surfaces in the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

Pick up the mail and make a stop at the trash can outside to dispose of all the junk mail and flyers. If it never comes into the house, it can never become clutter. Put the bills and real mail in a basket by the door (or in the office) and any reading material in the office or magazine rack.

Whew!!! Sit down with a well deserved cup of coffee and survey your beautiful sparkling house. Take joy in starting off the day in an organized manner!!!

Tagged with:

Filed under: Time Management

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!