I’m not much of a housekeeper. I like having a clean, organized home, but I don’t get much satisfaction from the cleaning process. Often, I’ll start cleaning with the best of intentions, only to be distracted by something more pressing/interesting. My family seems to share the clutter gene and, before we know it, we’re overwhelmed.
I would much rather be writing, reading, or playing than cleaning, but I also recognize that a messy home has a way of leaching into the rest of my life. One mess multiplies and suddenly everyone just gives into the mess. We can’t find things. We grow irritable. Depression starts to creep in on me, making it twice as hard to find the energy to pick up.
This is where the Basket Cleaning Method comes to my rescue. Let’s be honest. I am never going to create a weekly/monthly chore calendar. I don’t want to vacuum on Tuesdays and Thursdays and dust on Wednesdays, even if it’s good for me. I can, however, tackle one room at a time in a manageable way.
How Does The Basket Cleaning Method Work?
- Grab a Laundry Basket. I prefer the easy to carry, rectangle style for this task. Whatever you use, it should be lightweight enough to carry from room to room. You may decide to get a basket for each member of your family and maybe label it with their name. Just don’t get consumed by the basket, with no time or energy left for the actual pick up.
- Choose a Room. If I look at my entire house as the “task,” I’ll just give up now. If I walk into one room and focus my efforts, this feels do-able.
- Fill Your Basket. I prefer to simply fill the basket without sorting. My goal is to get the “stuff” up and out of the room. You may prefer to have a basket for each member of your family and fill their baskets with stuff to put away. It’s incredible how amazing it feels to so quickly and efficiently create a clutter-free space.
- Clean the Room. The stuff is out of the way and you still have energy! Use it to vacuum, straighten pillows, dust, etc. Open some windows and let the sun in. Step back, take a deep breath and review your handiwork.
- Empty the Basket. At this point, I carry my basket from room to room, so I can put stuff away. If I want my family to put something away, I’ll transport those items to their room and leave them in a “put away” basket there. I also allow myself to empty the basket throughout the day, because my available cleaning times are often interrupted.
- Repeat, as Needed, for Remaining Rooms. Maybe you want to fill baskets in every room, get your cleaning done, then empty the baskets. Perhaps you do the reverse. Maybe you tackle a room a day or one in the morning and another in the late afternoon. Do whatever works best for you and your schedule.
How Does Basket Cleaning Help My Family Stay Organized?
The Basket Cleaning Method was a very positive contributor to our recent purge of stuff. When I fill a basket, I do the following inventory:
- What needs a clear organizational space? Shoes, back packs, school papers, remotes, baby toys?
- What room needs a more accessible recycling or garbage bin?
- What stuff never makes it out of the bin or gets forgotten? This usually happens when I make a pile for my kids to take care of. If they don’t miss it, look for it, or bother to put it away, it’s probably time to let it go.
- Do we have more stuff than space? Maybe we’re asking too much of a particular room or our house in general. Clutter often happens when our stuff exceeds our space.
I’m currently sitting in the main area of my house feeling relief. These rooms caused me stress this morning, but I managed to get them picked up and clean in the time it took my baby to nap this morning. Now to finish emptying those baskets.