Running: For Beginners

In my last post, I said that I had signed up for my first 5k… Yes, I did. I’m terribly excited about this, even though my running time sucks, because I haven’t ran (other than short sprints after the kids) since I was a teenager. So when I made the decision to start running again, I did some research and I decided to start running like I never had before. And now, I bring to you, running for beginners!

running for beginners

Running For Beginners

Now, if you’re a smart phone junkie like I am, I have an absolutely wonderful app for you that I am convinced is the greatest thing ever invented! Go to your Google Play Store and search for C25K. C25K stands for Couch to 5k. C25K is perfect for anyone who is just starting out… Don’t get me wrong, it gets hard, REALLY HARD, but it’s a great way to start running for beginners. The most important part of this program is to not be afraid to repeat a day if it felt like it was too hard. Repeat it until it’s easier.

Now, here are some more important tips… Actually, here’s a list of things that you’ll need, that you shouldn’t have to figure out the hard way like I did.

Running for beginners checklist:

  • Running Shoes
    • You DO NOT want to wear cheap Walmart shoes… I LOVE my Brooks and New Balance.
  • Flip Belt or Arm Band
    • Because you need to put your phone somewhere… I personally am in love with my flip belt and would wear it everywhere if I could.
  • Running Socks
    • This was another lesson I learned the really hard way, through lots and lots of blisters
  • Water Bottle
    • I started out carrying a throwaway water bottle, but that’s sooooo bad for the environment, so you should really invest in a reusable one.
  • Awesome workout clothes
  • Great music
  • Headband, to keep your hair out of your face
  • Earbuds, or a bluetooth headset to listen to music and your coach with C25K

I’m sure that I’ve left something off the list, and I’ll make sure to keep it updated. Make sure to comment with your must haves for running! AND make sure to comment with your tips/advice/encouragement for running for beginners.

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Getting Healthy

I am absolutely ashamed to admit this… You all know that in the last few years I have been trying new workouts and doing what I can to attempt at getting healthy and to actually have a healthy lifestyle, but I haven’t been doing a good job at it. I haven’t done a good job at all actually.

In March I turned 28 years old. I also got married. And I also realized that my weight was at an all time high. It may not seem like much to some of you, but I topped out at 165 pounds and my size 8 pants were getting too tight. Something had to change. To top it all off, I started having chest pains… I wasn’t sure if it was from lack of exercise and just being completely unhealthy, or if it was from stress, but I had finally had enough, and on April 1st I took my first step on my journey to being healthy… I bought a FitBit.

Some of you may be able to get healthy without the assistance of a device, and I probably could too, but I realized what was missing on my journey was a community that was also determined and that had the same goal of getting healthy that I did, so with a little research, I quickly decided that a FitBit Charge HR was right for me. It could help me track the amount of steps I was taking in a day, see what was going on with my heartrate, and even track my sleep patterns, as well as help me get that sense of community that I so desired.

I won’t lie and pretend that my healthy lifestyle began overnight. As a matter of fact, I didn’t meet my healthy goal of 10,000 steps in a day even after a week of having my FitBit. I quickly realized that I was lazy. I didn’t have any friends that actually had a FitBit (rather, the ones that did were not active) so I finally logged on to their website and started becoming members of groups. I obviously needed someone to compete with and to hold me accountable, because I was going to keep allowing myself excuses. The best thing happened… I finally found a group that was on Facebook called the FitBit Challenge Group. There are roughly 11,000 members of that group now, and many of us work hard to keep each other challenged. I am thankful to them, and I really owe my biggest steps in getting healthy to them.

I’ve added a lot of friends on FitBit through my Facebook group that are from all over the world, and we keep each other motivated, and hold each other accountable with FitBit challenges like the Daily Showdown, WorkWeek Hustle, and Weekend Warrior. Thanks to them, my resting heart rate has gone down from the 90s to 77 bpm as of today, and I’ve lost approximately 16 pounds! I’m still well on my way to getting healthy, and I’ve hit a few obstacles along the way (sinus infection AND an upper respiratory infection) but I am excited, and my new friends are cheering me on each step of the way!

making_fat_cry_racerback_tank_topMy favorite announcement today is that I have signed up for my first ever 5k since starting this journey towards getting healthy! I am so excited for that day to come, and I’ll even be running with some of my new friends!

Oh, and if you have a FitBit, please click this link and add me as a friend, I promise to help keep you motivated on your journey towards getting healthy too!

Until next time, I’ll be over here making fat cry… Talk to you soon!

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52 Week Home Organization Challenge- Week 21: First Aid and Medicine Organization

This week’s challenge is to create a first aid and medicine organizer center in your home, to make sure you have the right supplies for your family when they need them.

Unless you’ve got a lot of medicines and first aid supplies all over your house this week’s challenge will not take too long, but it is in my opinion vitally important.

That is because your family’s health is important, from taking vitamins, taking care of minor scrapes and bruises, treating minor illnesses with over the counter medications, and dealing with prescriptions and pills to manage or cure various health conditions.

These items need to be stored safely so they stay at their freshest, can easily be found, and are available when you need them.

This week we’ll make sure you can feel comfortable in finding these first aid supplies and medications when you need them.

Are you new here? The First Aid & Medicine Organizer Center Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).

Step 1: Gather All Your Medicines Together And Declutter

The first step in creating a medicine organizer center is to gather all your medicines, first aid supplies, pills and vitamins together in one place in your home, so they’re not scattered all around everywhere.

It is best to keep all of these supplies together in one spot, not only so you can find what you need more easily, but also so you don’t need to have duplicates of everything.

Remember that many medications have an expiration date, so not having duplicates will make it easier for you not to waste these items.

Declutter any medications that have passed their expiration date, and donate any unopened over-the-counter duplicates you may have that you don’t realistically think you can use before they expire.

Step 2: Gather Supplies For Your First Aid Kit For Your Home

Once you’ve gotten all the supplies together that you already own, the next step in the First Aid & Medical Organizer Center Challenge is to make sure you have everything you need for treating minor medical emergencies and for common illnesses in your home, for all of your family members.

The time to realize you need something of this nature is not when you need it, but to be prepared ahead of time.

Step 3: Choose A Spot In Your Home To Keep Medication And First Aid Supplies

The third step in the Medical Organizer Center Challenge is to choose a spot for all these supplies to be kept.

In last week’s challenge, when we organized our bathrooms, I explained why the bathroom was not necessarily the best place to keep your medications. Basically, medication storage is best in a temperature controlled, non-humid environment and the bathroom does not fit those criteria.

I would suggest keeping your medical supplies in a central location of your home though, and many people like to do this in their kitchens. Just be sure, if you keep these items in the kitchen that they are far away from the oven and stove, since the heat from these appliances could harm the medications in a similar way to problems in the bathroom.

I’d love to hear idea in the comments from people sharing where they’ve decided to keep their medical supplies in their home, to give others ideas of what may work for them too.

Be Considerate Of Safety Wherever You Place Your Medicine Organizer Center

When deciding where to place your pills and medicines, be mindful of safety.

Clearly, prescription medicines especially, but also over the counter varieties, can be harmful in large doses or when ingested or used by someone other than the intended recipient.

Be mindful of where you place items so small children and pets cannot accidentally ingest them. Examples of places that might work include up high in a cabinet or using a child safety latch if in a lower cabinet.

In addition, abuse of prescription and other medications is unfortunately on the rise. If this is a concern in your household you may want to go even further and put any medications which could be abused in a locked container.

Other Places Where Small First Aid Kits Can Be Useful

Please note that this week’s challenge is focusing on your main first aid kit that you keep in your home. However, smaller satellite kits may be appropriate in other places around you.

For example, when we organize our purses, or our cars or other vehicles, these are other prime locations to place a small first aid kit. You can wait until those weeks to work on these smaller kits, or go ahead and add them now.

Further, in the previous Create An Emergency Preparedness Kit Challenge we added a first aid kit to our emergency supplies.

Step 4: Consider Storage Solutions For Your Medicines & Pills

The final step in the First Aid & Medicine Organizer Center Challenge is to actually put your medications, pills and first aid supplies into their newly designated spot, so you can find them when you need them.

Below I’ve gathered some medicine storage solutions you may like to use to keep things neat and organized in your center:

Storage Solutions In Your Home

It is nice to keep all of your medications and supplies together on one shelf of a cabinet, for example. Instead of having everything loose it is often easier to keep things contained together in a container, or even a lazy susan to make access easier.

If you’re concerned about safety, and want something that gives you the ability to lock the medicines up here are some possible storage solutions for you.

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52 Week Home Home Organization Challenge- Week 20: Bathroom Organization

Whether your bathroom is big or small, bathroom organization is key to making the space functional and pleasant.

When organizing this area of your home functionality and convenience are the main considerations since you’re working in a small and confined space.

To make this space work for you think of it in zones, and organize each zone for maximum efficiency.

Below are the steps to take for this challenge:

Are you new here? The Bathroom Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).

Please note, for those of you that have more than one bathroom in your home, try to get them all organized this week during the challenge, but you can come back to this challenge later if you can’t finish them all at once.

Just work on one bathroom at a time, so not everything is out of order in all these areas at once.

Step 1: Declutter Your Bathroom

The first step in the Bathroom Organization Challenge is to declutter the room, removing things you don’t want or need in there anymore.

Prime items for decluttering that you may find in this room include:

  • Trash, including used up bottles, tubes and jars of ointments and potions for personal care products or makeup
  • Multiple bottles of the same type of product, especially if half are used and abandoned
  • Expired or old products, such as makeup or other personal care items
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Old magazines or other reading material
  • Things you haven’t used in at least a year, or do not plan to use anymore even if used less than a year ago

Since your bathroom is a confined space you’ve got to have enough space for everything you want stored in there. After you declutter you may identify additional items that should stay in your home, but you don’t have enough room to hold inside the room anymore.

This can be especially true, for example, if you’ve stockpiled products with couponing. You may just want to keep products you are currently using in the bathroom, and to store the excess of your stockpile elsewhere.

Step 2: Separate Your Bathroom Into Zones

You and/or your family members need to accomplish several separate but important tasks in your bathroom. To make sure you can do so easily it is best to first mentally separate your bathroom into zones, thinking about what functions need to beaccomplished in each of them, and what supplies you’ll need to accomplish the task.

Each zone should have all of the items needed for you to perform that function within easy reach. Here are the typical zones you should consider:

  • Shower and/or bathtub for bathing
  • Sink and vanity for personal care
  • Toilet for well, you know!
  • Walls, doors, and floor space for additional storage

Of course, what zones are in your bathroom will be dependent upon who uses it, and for what exact functions. Therefore, for each of these rooms in your home think about which family members (or guests) may use it, and what they’d need in it.

Common Storage Items In Bathrooms That I Think Should Be Moved Elsewhere

There are two things which are common in many bathrooms, however, that I don’t think should be in there. The first is your medicine.

We’ll be discussing organizing your medicines in more detail in next week’s challenge, but suffice it to say now that many medicines don’t do well in the high heat and humidity your bathroom is often exposed to. That means there should be a better place to store these items.

Similarly, many people have a hamper in this room for their dirty clothes. While it makes sense to drop your clothes in a hamper when you take them off for your bath or shower, again, the humidity can cause mildew problems with clothing in this environment. Therefore, I suggest removing the laundry hamper and making more room for something else in its place instead. (We’ll be discussing where to place laundry baskets around your home in a later week of the Challenge.)

Step 3: Organize Your Bathroom By Zones

When thinking of each zone, stand in front of the zone and hold out your arms. The space around your arms, that you can easily reach, is the most ideal place to store items you’ll use within the zone.

For the most convenient bathroom organization keep like items together, and all of the items which are supposed to be used at the same time in the same general location.

Sometimes you can’t get everything to fit the way you like, but keep it the above ideas in mind as a goal, at the least, and do the best you can.

Shower and Bathtub Organization

3m shower caddyWe all know the function of your shower and tub, but often what happens is that we overload this area with way too much stuff. That is where decluttering your shower or bathtub area can come in handy. You really don’t need six types of shampoo available each time you take a shower, especially if you just use one kind anyway, and the others just sit there unused.

To organize everyone’s supplies a shower or bathtub caddy or organizer can work well, such as the one pictured to the left. Try not to have more supplies than can reasonably fit in the caddy you are using.

Depending on the number of people who must use the shower it may be better for bathroom organization that each person brings their supplies into the bathroom for use and them removes them back to another area in the home afterward.

If you use a wash cloth or loofah in the tub, consider adding a hook for it to hang on.

Bath toys can be another big issue, especially if you’ve got small children.

Whatever you do with your bath toys though, keep in mind not to get too many of them. They’ll only be used for a couple of years and too many can get dirty and yucky really fast, and you don’t want kids putting them in their mouths at that point anyway.

Sink Top and Vanity Organization

sink top organizer

One of the most visual parts of the bathroom organization process is organizing your sink top and vanity.

Your sink is one of the most used areas in your bathroom, so take careful thought of how to best use the space around it when doing this week’s Challenge.

Most sinks don’t have a lot of space to sit things on top, and even if they do having too many things out can make it look cluttered and messy (as well as make it harder to clean the surface regularly).

Therefore, I suggest only having the items out on your sink that you use daily. If you use something less often than that, put it in a drawer or under a cabinet instead.

One of the habits you’ll be trying to develop, starting this week, is to keep your bathroom sink and countertop clear, much like the clear kitchen counters we worked on in the first challenge. You’ll be amazed how much better the room will look, on a regular basis, if you can put things away after you use them instead of having them laying on top of the sink and counter all the time.

If you do want to keep things out on your sink and counter that you use daily (which is perfectly acceptable), it visually looks much better to have them contained in an organizer or basket (such as the one pictured above) so you still have lots of free clear space.

Toilet Area Organization and Storage

over toilet storage shelvesWhen organizing the toilet zone, as part of the Bathroom Organization Challenge, make sure you have everything handy that you need when using this area, including such things as extra rolls of toilet paper, feminine products, and perhaps even some light reading material.

In addition, when considering this zone don’t forget about all the space you’ve got around your toilet, both on top of the tank itself, and on the sides of this item.

There are several types of organizers available either for the sides of the toilet, or for over the tank, that you can use to store these items or use the otherwise unused wall space above your toilet.

One thing to consider with over the tank toilet storage solutions is that you may, from time to time, need to get into your toilet tank, such as for maintenance or cleaning of the toilet. Make sure you get something you don’t mind moving around, if needed, or make sure there is enough clearance to still get in the toilet tank if needed.

A skinny set of drawers that can go between the toilet and sink can also add lots of storage space to an otherwise underutilized area too.

Additional Storage Areas In Your Bathroom: Walls And Doors

wall hair dryer holderMany bathrooms, especially small ones, can scream for additional storage space. Don’t forget to utilize the backs of doors, where you can place some type of over the door organizer, such as to hang towels, or hold bath items.

Similarly, walls can also be a great way to increase space in your bathroom. You can purchase both narrow shelves and cabinets that can be mounted on a wall, or more specialized organizers, such as this hair dryer holder on the right, to hold items you use regularly.

As I’ve already said, I would suggest storing your medicines somewhere other than your bathroom. However, if you’ve got a medicine cabinet it doesn’t have to go to waste. Instead, use that wall space to hold personal care items, keeping them off your more limited sink top space.

Additional Storage Areas In Your Bathroom: Cabinets, Shelves & Drawers

bathroom drawer organizerAs part of the Bathroom Organization Challenge you’ll also want to organize your bathroom cabinets, shelves and drawers. If you don’t want your items seen, cabinets are a better way to organize than shelves since you can always close the door.

Shelves, on the other hand, are often open for public viewing which may be fine for your towels and hand cloths, but maybe not so much for your more personal items.

To help you organize under your bathroom cabinets, think more about easy access. You can make these cabinets a great place to store items, as long as everything doesn’t spill out when you grab one thing.

Consider adding shelves or sliding drawers under your cabinets so you can reach what you want easily.

If you decide to store some cleaning supplies or other more dangerous items under your bathroom sink, make sure to add safety latches to the cabinets to make sure children and pets cannot get into areas they shouldn’t.

Further, don’t forget about drawer dividers (such as the ones shown above) which are as useful in the bathroom as they are in the kitchen.

Ideally, you’ll have a drawer, cabinet or shelf, or at least part of a drawer, cabinet or shelf devoted to each specific function in your bathroom. That can help you organize your zones, and keep all items used together in one place so they are easy to access and then return when the task is done.

Further, you can label the inside of your cabinets and drawers with the type of item they should hold to help you keep your bathroom organization project from becoming undone as easily when others also use the room for their own needs.

Towels Storage And Organization

When considering how to organize and store your towels, you’ve got to consider both fresh towels that are available for use, and also how to store wet ones that can be used again.

Don’t forget about simple solutions like towel bars and hooks, as well as the ability to roll towels to place in a basket, such as on the vanity.

We’ll discuss this topic further, when we deal with organizing linen closets in a later week of the Challenge.

Trash And Recycling Area

Finally, when doing the Bathroom Organization Challenge don’t forget to make a space for both a small wastebasket in your bathroom, along with a small recycling bin, like I suggested in the Create A Home Recycling Center Challenge.

The bathroom is a large generator of both trash and recyclables, so make sure you have space in there for both types of items when rearranging and organizing things from the very beginning.

Step 4: Consider These Bathroom Storage Solutions

I’ve mentioned several bathroom storage solutions you can use while doing the Bathroom Organization Challenge in your home above, and there are frankly too many to mention them all here.

However, just keep in mind that anything you choose to use in this room of your home should be sturdy, and able to withstand changes in heat and humidity without ruining. (If you want to stick things to the wall with a hook, I suggest Command Hooks from 3M that are designed for the bathroom. These hooks are specifically designed for hot humid environments.)

You can be as creative as you want with your storage solutions, and it is great when something you choose can both help you organize and be decorative at the same time, since there is not always a lot of extra room in the bathroom.

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52 Week Home Home Organization Challenge- Week 19: House Cleaning Schedule

Creating a house cleaning schedule can help you keep peace and order in your home, most of the time, as long as you can stick to it. The sticking to it part is a lot easier said than done though.

That’s why this week’s challenge is to create and get in the habit of doing both a daily and weekly cleaning schedule for your home that is realistic, but gets the major stuff done.

In addition, we’ll organize our cleaning supplies so you can access them when you need them, to get the housework done as easily as possible.

How A House Cleaning Schedule And An Organized Home Are Related

Before we begin the steps of this week’s challenge though, you may be wondering why I’ve got this on the schedule as part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge, since it has to do with cleaning, not organization.

The simple answer is that your home can be quite organized, but if it’s not also clean enough (not necessarily immaculate) you still won’t feel comfortable in it, and find it a nice, relaxing haven to spend time in. Since that is the goal of why we’re working through this series, this step is therefore necessary.

Are you new here? The Create A House Cleaning Schedule Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).

Plus, even the most organized homes need to have some daily and weekly maintenance chores performed to keep things organized and in their proper place, such as tidying and putting things away. When you take the time to work on your cleaning routine it seems these additional organinizing maintenance tasks also get done during the process.

Step 1: Consider What Chores And Cleaning Tasks Need To Be Performed Daily And Weekly In Your Home {Plus Grab Your Free Resource From Me}

Everything in your home runs on a cycle. There is the laundry cycle, for example, where you wear and dirty clothes, wash and dry them, and then wear and dirty them again. There is also a cleaning cycle, such as with dishes, with clean ones getting used and becoming dirty, and then getting cleaned again.

What we want to achieve is a home where this cycle doesn’t get stalled at a single point – dirty. It is when the cycle stops spinning and points only to dirty that we are uncomfortable and unhappy because we cannot do what we want or need to do as conveniently as possible.

Since most of us cannot afford servants who can “magically” make clean underwear and dishes appear we have to keep the cycle going ourselves.

A House Cleaning Schedule Anticipate Cycles And Keep The Cycle Moving Forward

A house cleaning schedule, when actually used, is the best and easiest way to make sure you live comfortably most of the time. That is because good schedules anticipate the cycle various things in our home move to, and help us keep the cycle moving, where it doesn’t stop at dirty and fester there.

Of course, everything in our homes doesn’t need to be cleaned with the same frequency. That is why you really need several cleaning schedules, including a daily, weekly, and seasonal house cleaning schedule. The most important of these schedules are the daily and weekly ones, and only once you have these firmly under control should you even worry about fall cleaning and spring cleaning, for instance.

The most important thing to remember when trying to stick to a cleaning schedule is to be realistic in what needs to get done on a daily and weekly basis in your home, and only trying to accomplish these tasks, and not everything else that could get done too, but can really wait.

If you limit your daily and weekly house cleaning schedule tasks to only the major stuff you can get it done and start seeing some very positive results. This is especially true if you also enlist the help of family members through chores, honey do lists, and good old fashioned team work in accomplishing the tasks on the schedule.

Step 2: Create A Daily And A Weekly Cleaning Schedule. Plus Personalized Checklists For Certain Rooms

Below are some additional tips to consider when creating these schedules:

Creating Your Daily Cleaning Schedule

Your daily schedule is just that, a list of things that need to be done on a daily basis to clean and tidy up your home. Try to keep this list as simple as possible to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed since these are tasks you plan to do everyday. It needs to be tailored to you and your lifestyle for your schedule to work. But whatever you choose be realistic in how much time these tasks will take, and how much time you’ve got, so your list is not longer than that time frame.

You may also want to break up the daily cleaning schedule further, determining what items you’ll do in the morning, versus the evening, or mid-day for example. Take your typical schedule into account when making these determinations so you’re not trying to schedule things for when you’re out of the house or it would be otherwise inconvenient to do some cleaning and tidying chores.

Creating Your Weekly Cleaning Schedule

There is not as much flexibility for deciding when to do daily cleaning chores, since they have to be done daily. However, you’ve got lots of flexibility when it comes to designing your weekly house cleaning schedule. It is important that whatever you choose for your schedule is personalized to fit your home, your life and your circumstances.

Your weekly schedule can have you do all your major cleaning tasks in one day each week, such as a couple hour cleaning session on Saturday morning for example. Or, you could break up the tasks to do just one or two things each day, tacking on a bit of weekly work onto each of your daily cleaning schedules.

Only you can decide what will work best for you and your family, since it depends on so many factors including your schedule, your family’s participation in the cleaning process, when you’ve got the most energy for cleaning and chores, how long you can clean in one session, and how often you realistically want to be cleaning.

Creating Cleaning Checklists For Your Home

Finally, once you’ve made your daily and weekly schedules you should create cleaning checklists for some of the major rooms in your home, such as your kitchen, the bathroom(s), and bedrooms.

Think of these checklists as your way of making clear what tasks should be completed to feel like a certain job is done.

So how this might work in practice is that you’ve designated Tuesday as the day you’ll clean bathrooms in your weekly schedule. So on Tuesday you (or the person in your home assigned to clean the bathrooms) can work down that checklist to make sure the task is completed all the way.

After a time you won’t need to really check your checklist often, it becomes routine. But the nice thing about checklists is that it’s an easy way to convey your expectations to someone else assigned a cleaning task, to make sure they don’t miss what to you are obvious cleaning tasks.

Step 3: Get In The Habit Of Working Your House Cleaning Schedule Daily And Weekly

Once you’ve created what you think is a good house cleaning schedule for your home and family life, the next step is to give it a try and get in the habit of doing it regularly.

Realize that at first your cleaning tasks will take you a bit longer if you haven’t been doing them regularly, especially before you’ve finished decluttering your home. Give yourself a certain amount of time each day to work on your scheduled tasks, and when that time is up just quit for the day. Eventually, as long as you were realistic with your times when you created your schedule in the first place, you’ll be able to finish everything on your list during the time alloted as the gradual improvements begin to take effect.

Remember that your schedule was designed to fit your typical routine, but frankly all kinds of things pop up during the day which make very few days “typical.” Don’t let this throw you off.

Instead, design your schedule with some flexibility in mind and just do the best you can. If you get to all the things on your schedule most of the time you’ll see all the benefits of it without trying to fit your life into too tight a mold.

Finally, don’t be afraid to re-work your schedule if it turns out it doesn’t suit your needs. After working with the schedule for a few weeks you may realize you were unrealistic about some of your assumptions. Don’t just give up, thinking you’re a failure who can’t stick to anything. Instead, tweak it, rework it to fit your true needs and time constraints, and try again.

Something else I’ve learned is that even what was once the “perfect” schedule may eventually not be so perfect anymore because of changed circumstances. Since your house cleaning schedule is a tool that is designed to help you with your home, you don’t have to be a slave to it. Instead, don’t be afraid to completely rework it so it fits your needs again.

Step 4: Organize Cleaning Supplies In Your Home

The final step in this week’s House Cleaning Schedule Challenge is to organize your cleaning supplies.

Declutter Your Supplies & Equipment

First, declutter your cleaning supplies, getting rid of empty bottles, cleaners you’ll never use again, and duplicates if you won’t realistically use them all before they would get really old.

To the extent possible, please donate these supplies to a local charity so someone else can use them to clean their home.

Consolidate Your Supplies Into One Or A Few Strategic Locations

Next, try to consolidate your cleaning supplies into one or just a few strategic locations in your home, where you can easily access them for cleaning. One area to hold all your supplies, such as a cleaning closet, may make it more difficult for you to clean your home, or it might be just the ticket for your weekly cleaning routine. Just do what works best for you.

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to come across cleaners and cleaning equipment all over your house since keeping things stored together is typically the best way to find things in your home. This is especially true when you have children and pets in your home, since all cleaners should be stored out of their reach. Therefore, limit the number of areas where you can access cleaning supplies.

Consider These Cleaning Supplies Storage Solutions

mop and broom wall rack

If your house cleaning schedule calls for one or two big cleaning sessions during the week, carrying around a cleaning caddy from room to room may work best for you.

On the other hand, if you like to clean parts of your home daily instead having supplies in several locations may work better for you, but you’ll need to make sure each of those places have a child proof safety latches on it.

In addition, holding your large pieces of equipment, such as your mops and brooms, on the wall or a door, such as in the picture on the left, can free up lots of floor space, so consider a mop and broom organizer.

Finally, if you’ve got lots of cleaning supplies, it can be a pain trying to reach inside a cabinet to grab something from the back without knocking everything else out of the way. In such a case, consider a pull out cabinet organizer to place your supplies in to make it easier to access what you need

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